BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - 2ND FAST IN SECOND HAPPY HOUR SESSION: "I thought practice went pretty good. I was happy with it. The GMAC Chevy was running really well. We made some big adjustments in between practices and...
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - 2ND FAST IN SECOND HAPPY HOUR SESSION:
"I thought practice went pretty good. I was happy with it. The GMAC Chevy was running really well. We made some big adjustments in between practices and got a lot better. We've still got some improvements to make. But, it's going to be tough. We're going to be in a lot of traffic at the beginning of the race. We've got to get to the front. Once we get there, I think we'll be all right.
"You've always got to look way ahead here. It's a very tough track and things happen real quick. We're going to do our best. We're going to try and make some pit stop strategy to help us get to the front and see how that goes.''
ON THE ISSUE OF FIELD FILLERS AT BRISTOL:
"It's going to be pretty bad. It really just depends on how NASCAR handles the situation and whether or not they stick to their minimum speed policy."
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - was tapped by the No. 20 of Tony Stewart during practice and hit the wall:
"Well it's practicing at Bristol. The big problem was with my radio. We had a problem with it and it was cutting in and out. And then right there about two laps before (the incident), I quit hearing any kind of communication with my spotter. I didn't hear any of my lap times from my crew chief so I knew my radio went out. I was just trying to get in.
I looked down the straightaway and didn't see anybody behind me. I had no idea Tony (Stewart) was under me and that he had come down. Communication is critical - especially at a place like this. When you lose it, that's the kind of thing that can happen. I just hate it for the guys. It has put a little bit more work on us, but I don't think it hurt the car that bad. It's mainly just cosmetic."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO TONY STEWART ABOUT THIS?
"Yeah, I went over there and talked to him. He just smiled and said he hoped it didn't hurt the car. And he said don't worry about mine. It's going to be worse than that come tomorrow. So, he knows how it is."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We've been messing with a lot of things. We came back with what Chad Knaus would call more of a 'vanilla' set-up so that we could start from square one and try to protect the tire and make it last. And then as the day has gone on, we've been adding more and more stuff to it with what we've seen in the past. But we're just trying to be smart with this new tire. It's a lot softer and a lot different. We don't want to beat it up and be fast in the short run but not good on the long run. I think we're fair right now. I know we'll work on it overnight and be one of the guys tomorrow.
"The camber is always something that is kind of an easy fix to make the car turn. We started without the camber trying to make the car turn - just to try to help preserve the tire life. And as it's gone on, the tire has been strong and we really haven't had to worry about it too much. But we came out of the box trying to be smart about it and trying make the car turn other ways instead of the camber. And we had some success. But we put the camber back to it now."
ON THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF RUNNING AT BRISTOL:
"Physically, it's one of the toughest tracks we go to. You're never comfortable. You're always in a constant flexing position the whole time and then there is a lot of equipment inside the car and it's hot. I think really, the training I've done will help. But I'm making sure I get a good night's sleep and most importantly, that I'm really hydrated so that I don't cramp and that I can make it through a long run. So I'll drink lots of Gatorade and lots of water and eat just to get my body loaded with all the nutrients I need for a good event."
ON THE FAST LAP TIMES AT BRISTOL
"Before you know it, 50 laps have gone by in a long run. It's really amazing how fast it goes. On a race run, we'll probably be about a 16-second lap. For qualifying, it's 14. It's really fast here at Bristol."
HOW HARD DO YOU HAVE TO CONCENTRATE?
"I think your concentration level stays the same everywhere we go. I mean we only have so much mental space and so much you can focus on and you need all of your senses on every track that we go to. But where you have to concentrate on at Bristol is a totally different area than at say, Talladega. At Talladega, you have to be on top of your mirrors watching where the pack is going and what they're doing and how it's working.
"Here, you've got to try to look far ahead and then keep your eyes in their sockets, really, because it's so rough that you have a hard time seeing the race track and hitting your marks. The concentration is still the same. It's just in a different area."
HOW FAR AHEAD DO YOU HAVE TO KEEP LOOKING?
"You have to look as far ahead as you can. If we could have a sun roof, you would actually see more because when you go into a corner it's so steep and sharp that you look up to the windshield and before you know it you're looking into the roof or the roll bar over your head just so you can see the other straightaway. So it's tough. That's why when there's an accident, you're in it before you know it. You just can't see the to the other side of the track."
ON THE ISSUE OF FIELD FILLERS AT BRISTOL
"In practice, there were so many near misses with guys off the pace. It's really going to show up bad here - more so than any other place. Hopefully if they don't go the minimum speed, NASCAR will tell them to put it on the truck and tell them to go home. When we've gone out with a damaged race car and haven't been able to maintain the minimum speed, I've been warned to get it up to minimum speed or told they would park us. I have every reason to believe that NASCAR will do that if they're not meeting that minimum. Something I would hope they'd look at is closing the gap on the minimum speed and make that a higher speed so that we don't have the separation in speeds."