Atlanta II: GM teams qualifying quotes, notes

Hampton, GA -- Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Guitar Hero 5 Impala SS, will lead the 43-car field to the green flag in Sunday night's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Going out 33rd in the order of cars attempting to qualify, Truex ...

Hampton, GA -- Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Guitar Hero 5 Impala SS, will lead the 43-car field to the green flag in Sunday night's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Going out 33rd in the order of cars attempting to qualify, Truex claimed his second pole of the season with a lap of 30.106 seconds, 184.149 m.p.h.

Jimmie Johnson put the No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS in the third starting spot with Jeff Gordon fourth on the grid in the No. 24 DuPont Impala SS to give Team Chevy three of the top-five qualifiers for the 325-lap/500-mile race.

A total of 14 Impala SS drivers will start the first scheduled night race at Atlanta, more than any other manufacturer.

Kasey Kahne (Dodge) and Kyle Busch (Toyota) complete the top-five qualifiers.

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MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 GUITAR HERO 5 IMPALA SS, POLE WINNER:

"We had a good car in practice today. The guys made some really good changes, we worked real hard on it in practice. The second practice for us went really well. I felt like we had a really really good car in race trim. We made our very last run of practice on scuffs and we ran just about our best time. I felt good with the car. We have never got to qualify here in the daytime and used to always be fast in the day, then when we would have to qualify at night and we could never pick up the speed. I just want to thank all these guys for their hard work. I was optimistic and I felt like it would be good for us. We got a good draw and everything worked out for us. But it was a great lap.

"It has been one heck of a tough season, but these guys never give up. They have working really hard and trying really hard to make our cars better and to help the No. 42 guys get in the Chase and they have done a great job. The Guitar Hero Chevrolet was great and I think we have a really good race car and this is one of my favorite race tracks, I am really looking forward to racing here tomorrow night, it should be really good.

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 3rd:

"I got pretty aggressive out there to make stuff happen. It was a good lap. I know it wasn't good enough for the pole as conditions just kept getting better but our goal for going out that early was to try and be in the top and we did that with this Kobalt Tools Chevrolet"

TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT THIS AFTERNOON: "I'm real pleased with it. We picked up seven tenths of a second from where we were in practice. It was a frustrating practice. I felt like we were making some good decisions late, and then we had to got into qualifying trim. And then in qualifying trim, nothing was really hitting and we had to take a couple guesses at things and got it right for qualifying. So there was more grip in the car than I really anticipated. If I had one run with it at the end of practice, I think we would have been up there with Martin (Truex Jr) and had a shot at the pole. But still, my expectations and hopes really were to be in the top 10 after qualifying was over because of the early draw. So to end up third was a really good run for us. We'll take that and we'll have a good pit pick, good track position, and go racing. Even though it's going to be fast because it's at night, there is going to be a lot of slipping and sliding. It's going to be an exciting race."

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 4th:

"This is Atlanta and it is a big, fast race track. The track has cooled down a little bit. You have got to be pretty aggressive here when it comes to qualifying. Even though today's conditions are really tricky, it is about the slickest we have had bobble I had off of turn four cost us the pole but still a very good run for us."

YOU ARE LOCKED IN THE CHASE BUT HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE FIVE BONUS POINTS FOR GETTING THE WIN TOMORROW NIGHT? "That is what it is all about. 4Our goal is the same every weekend right now and every weekend in general. You go out to win. You do everything you can to put yourself in that position. It is a total team effort and we are here to win.

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BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 71 TAXSLAYER.COM CHEVROLET IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 25TH:

"The weather made a difference in qualifying. I am glad we put the car back where we had it earlier in the day. It was a little too tight in the center and pretty loose up off the corner. We got a little greedy with some air pressure at the end and lost some grip off the turn. I think we could have been a tenth or so faster. I am really happy with it. It is good. We need to pick up some speed in race trim. The car is not too bad balance wise. When we did our race trim runs it was raining at that time and I didn't get many laps. I will sit down with Slugger and go over the notes and see what we have for tomorrow."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Kyle Busch