HOMESTEAD, FL – Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, led all the Bowties in qualifying on Friday evening at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final time trial session for 2012.
Johnson will be looking to score his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship on Sunday, but will need to overcome a 20-point deficit in the series’ final race of the year.
Other Chevrolets in Sunday’s 43-car line-up include Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Duracell Chevrolet who qualified 18th, Ryan Newman No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet qualified 19th, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet was 21st, Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, will start 23rd, Kurt Busch, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet starts 26th, last year’s race winner Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet qualified 35th.
The top five starters consist of Joey Logano (Toyota) who won the pole position, Marcos Ambrose (Ford) qualified second, Brad Keselowski (Dodge) qualified third, Carl Edwards (Ford) was fourth, and Aric Almirola (Ford) will start fifth.
Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 takes the green flag on Sunday, Nov. 18th at 3:00 p.m. EST and will be aired live on ESPN.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 10th:
“We always want to be better. We always want to be faster. But it was a solid, respectable qualifying lap.”
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS DAY IN GENERAL? “We worked real hard to get the car in the ballpark; and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and practicing. Today we were only in qualifying trim so tomorrow we’ll work through our race stuff and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
YOU AND BRAD KESELOWSKI HAVE BEEN IN VERY CLOSE DISTANCE FROM THE VERY START. IS THAT GOOD FOR YOU OR DOES THAT MATTER? “I’ll find a way to make it good for me if I can. I’d love to have him right there by me when we start the race and put the pressure on him.
The best pressure I could put on him would be winning the pole. But we didn’t do that. Hopefully we’ll stay there in the top 10, which is good for us. We’ll get a good pit stall on pit road and go into race trim tomorrow and make sure we’ve got our race car right.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WILL HAVE A WINNING CAR BY SUNDAY? “Oh, yeah. We just worked on qualifying trim today. What’s interesting is a lot of the guys that were really fast in race trim, weren’t so good in qualifying. The packages are far different.
So there are some trends you can carry over and we’ll take what we learned today and apply to our race set-up. But tomorrow is a better tale of where everybody is.
This schedule is very No. 48-style where we can just focus on one thing on Friday and then turn around on Saturday and work on race trim.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH - HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “It felt alright I was a little bit loose on the back of the car, but did everything right. It drove around the corner really nice, just wasn’t quite as fast as I would have liked to go.”
JAIME MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH - ON YOUR LAP... “It was a little bit better than it what we’ve been at the 1.5-miles, so I was disappointed that we didn’t do better.
It’s better than what we’ve been so that was nice. The track does seem to have so much more grip and I felt like I had a little better line in practice than other guys did; and it seemed like that line was good for everyone in qualifying.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 15th: “It’s always easy to reflect and look at the mistakes that were made and how you could have done things different and there were definitely some things that I would have liked to do different and I hate that other guys got caught up in that.
But sometimes you just get to that boiling point and that’s the thing is that I let my emotion and my temper get the best of me and I’m disappointed in that.
I’m excited about our 20th Anniversary DuPont Chevrolet here this weekend and it’s got a really good-looking paint scheme and the car drove really good right there (in qualifying).
I feel like I got everything out of it. I don’t know where it’s going to end up but I wish we were going out later because this track is going to probably keep getting better.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 16TH - HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “It was alright. We were just a little off grip wise, but it was a big shift between where the track was in practice and where it is now.
We had some problems in (turns) three and four with the car being tight in practice we couldn’t really fix in qualifying.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE FOR SUNDAY? “I’m not really sure we will have to see how we do tomorrow in practice. We’ve got a lot of work to do to figure out where we were going to be and how we are going to run and what we are going to run.
We really haven’t dialed in on which set-up we are going to go. Tomorrow should be fun.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 MENARDS/DURACELL CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 18TH - YOU APPEAR TO HAVE A FAST CAR WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE FOR THE COMPETITION ON SUNDAY? “We got a lot work to do yet. We unloaded not very good and made some big gains. Just not quite enough. Look forward to tomorrow and making it better.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 19TH - HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “Just not hooked into the race track. This was our last chance to get the pole for next year for the shootout, but that didn’t happen. Either way just never got the car latched in the race track the way we needed to with qualifying here.”