Quotables: Hendrick Motorsports drivers talk Watkins Glen
By Gray Caldwell
CONCORD, N.C.— This Sunday, the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers head to Watkins Glen (New York) International with the team on a winning streak.
Jeff Gordon's victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s trip to Victory Lane at Pocono (Pennsylvania) Raceway, and all four drivers are hoping to make it three in a row for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at the 2.45-mile road course.
Below is a look at what each driver had to say about the track.
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS:
“I like Watkins Glen (International) a lot. I actually really like racing there. It’s been difficult for me so I enjoy that. I enjoy trying to figure that out, and there are times in that race where we are pretty fast. We figured Sonoma out and have been really good there the last six or seven times. I think that Sonoma is one of my best race tracks. I feel like in time, we will hit on it and it will click at Watkins Glen. It’s definitely not my best track so we’ve got to keep working on that.
“Watkins Glen is a tough track, and we’ve had a little trouble there in the past. We usually run about 10th to 17th so we’re trying to figure out how to do better. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn everything around this weekend because we’re still close to making the Chase.”
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS:
"While Sonoma is a finesse track, Watkins Glen is a track where you have to be aggressive and attack. It's a very challenging track, but it's fun and it's fast.
“Double-file restarts really changed things, too. It changed things on the ovals, but it really changed things on the road courses because it gives you that extra opportunity to be aggressive, to get the position and to take some extra chances to try to get that position or maintain a position – and that causes a lot of incidents.
“But that has also made the road course events some of the most exciting races we have on the circuit.”
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS:
“Watkins Glen is one of the four tracks I’ve not won a race at in my career. It’s a great race, lots of strategy plays out, and it would be nice to check that one off the list this year. I like going there, the area is beautiful and we usually enjoy a good group bike ride on Saturday after the garage closes. After last weekend at Pocono, we need a good, solid finish.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS:
“It seems like guys that run well there can sort of sustain it. I've seen guys sweep there, or at least have opportunities to sweep and come close. I like the track. We have run well there since the repave, and I anticipate us being competitive again.”