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Quotables: Hendrick Motorsports drivers talk Michigan

By Gray Caldwell

CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend, the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers return to Michigan International Speedway.

In June, Jimmie Johnson found Victory Lane at the track for the first time in his career, and this Sunday Hendrick Motorsports will look to make it 2-for-2 in 2014.

Here's a look at what all four drivers have to say about the track in advance of this weekend's race.

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS

ON MICHIGAN AND LAST VISIT: “Michigan is a big, fast, two-mile racetrack – the fastest we have on the circuit – with no restrictor plates. The speed really gets your attention.

“In Turns 1 and 2, you drive into the corner deep but then get back on the throttle early. It’s a flatter entry into (Turn) 3, so you have to be a little more careful with how hard you drive into that corner.

“In June, we qualified well, ran well and had a strong car. But it was all about track position, track position, track position. We lost it, and it was tough to get back.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS

ON MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: “I feel pretty good going to Michigan. We ran well earlier this year and it is just an excellent race track. It really lends itself to a good motor - good power plant. I think you have to give the Hendrick Motorsports engine department a lot of credit. We’ve had some really good motors this year.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS

ON FOCUSING ON THE NEXT FOUR RACES BEFORE THE CHASE STARTS: “My team continues to work well, and we have fast cars so we are building there. Things are getting better on all fronts so I’m really happy about that. In the past, we have run really well and also won at Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond, so I’m looking forward to each one of those tracks because I feel like we can definitely still make the Chase.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 48 LOWE’S/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS

ON THE PAINT SCHEME: “Being able to drive the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevy SS this weekend is something I am really proud of. I’m thankful for the great partnership with Lowe’s – they allow us to run the paint scheme every year. It would be very special to get a win in this car – to bring awareness of the foundation and the things we try to accomplish for kids and education.”

ON MICHIGAN: “We have had some really bad luck these past few weeks. I’m looking forward to getting back on track this weekend. The team needs a good run and I really like the track in Michigan – it’s in Chevrolet’s back yard – and it would be nice to get a sweep.”

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