Bristol: GM teams qualifying quotes, notes

IMPALA SS MAKES HISTORIC RETURN TO NASCAR CUP WITH POLE POSITION AT BRISTOL Jeff Gordon Puts DuPont Impala SS on Pole, Team Chevy Has Five Impala SS Race Cars in Top 10 Starting Spots Bristol, Tenn. - The Impala nameplate returns to NASCAR Cup...

IMPALA SS MAKES HISTORIC RETURN TO NASCAR CUP WITH POLE POSITION AT BRISTOL

Jeff Gordon Puts DuPont Impala SS on Pole, Team Chevy Has Five Impala SS Race Cars in Top 10 Starting Spots

Bristol, Tenn. - The Impala nameplate returns to NASCAR Cup competition on a high note with Jeff Gordon of the No. 24 DuPont Impala SS winning the pole position for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

With a time of 15:295, Gordon put his new-generation Impala SS on the pole, his fifth at Bristol's .533-mile track, for round five of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Five of ten cars in the starting lineup are Impala SS race cars driven by Team Chevy drivers Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Impala SS (starting fourth), reigning Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS (starting sixth), Jeff Green, No. 66 Best Buy Impala SS (starting ninth) and Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Impala SS starting 10th. A win by these or any other Chevy driver would bring the returning Impala name its 61st victory.

Chevrolet is looking to continue its dominance in the sport by scoring its 600th victory in NASCAR Cup competition on Sunday, the most of any other manufacturer.

The Food City 500, the first event to feature NASCAR's next generation of race cars including the Impala SS, takes the green flag on Sunday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on FOX.

QUALIFYING COMMENTS:

REGAN SMITH, NO. 01 CHEVROLET IMPALA SS - QUALIFIED 12 (MAKING HIS NEXTEL CUP DEBUT)

DID HAVING A GOOD LAP SETTLE YOUR NERVES? "I'm not sure if it settles the nerves or makes it worse -- now I have to start up front with all of these guys. My next focus is not to do anything stupid early on. But anytime you go out and get a good lap it makes you more confident.

"I am proud of this U.S. Army team and the awesome job they have done working with me. Ryan (crew chief, Pemberton) is really good to work with -- he keeps me motivated. When I explain what the car is doing, the Army guys fix it and it's always a positive change. I am pumped up and excited to be here -- can't wait for Sunday

"When I first got here I felt like a duck out of water. It's a new deal for me. But it just shows the quality of this U.S. Army team -- they can work with two different drivers and still be strong. I can't say enough about them and the entire Ginn Racing organization."

***

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT IMPALA - QUALIFIED 4TH

"Like I have been saying since the test, I am feeling better about this car. We had a great test here, all the Joe Gibbs Racing cars did. Now we will have to see how it all plays out in the race, there are still unknowns but we will see. It drives a lot different than our other cars, that is for sure.

"Our Impala SS was good in qualifying trim and that will get us a good starting spot. So we will good about that effort."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Jeff Green , Jimmie Johnson , Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing