Jimmie Johnson Wins the Pole at Bristol; Five Team Chevy Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Spots for Saturday Night Race Bristol, Tenn. (August 20, 2010) - It is a year of firsts at Bristol Motor Speedway for four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup ...
Jimmie Johnson Wins the Pole at Bristol; Five Team Chevy Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Spots for Saturday Night Race
Bristol, Tenn. (August 20, 2010) - It is a year of firsts at Bristol Motor Speedway for four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson scored his career-first victory at the fast half-mile track in March and today won his first career pole at Bristol.
The number one starting position for Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race is the 24th pole of Johnson's career.
Tony Stewart will start the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet in the fourth position of the 43-car field.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Wix Filters Chevrolet, will roll of sixth with Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, in the seventh starting spot.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet, will be in the eighth position on the starting grid.
A total of 14 Team Chevy drivers will take the green flag Saturday night.
Carl Edwards (Ford), Joey Logano (Toyota) and Davied Reutimann (Toyota) complete the top-five qualifiers for 500-laps/266.5-mile race.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:
YOU WOULD THINK THAT A GUY THAT HAS WON FOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS, THAT THIS WOULD BE EASY, BUT YOUR HAND WAS TREMBLING, WHAT WAS THAT LAP LIKE? "Go to a driver and ask them to hold their hand out and based on how much their hand shakes or doesn't shake, you can see how close to the edge they were. My hands are trembling. That car was extremely loose. I ran the second lap because I didn't think that first lap was fast enough. I was steering right the entire way through the turn, trying to give it some gas. The old saying that loose is fast worked really well. Just very thankful to have these great guys at Hendrick Motorsports working on my car and the great support from Lowe's.
"Today, this Lowe's Impala has been awesome all day. Once (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and I can figure out where we need to work on a given race track, we seem to do pretty well. The last two years we've really been building and I've been looking for the right things and Chad's been adjusting on the car and the only question was top or bottom? And we worked so long on the bottom of the race track setting the car up for that, I couldn't see just changing it at that point. So luckily it worked. The car was really, really loose. I'm glad it stuck. I wasn't sure that first lap was going to be all that fast. I was turning right the majority of the corner and really couldn't commit to the throttle. But I guess that old saying loose is fast and I hope it holds up.
"We've been able to qualify alright lately; it's just on the big tracks we've had some trouble on the longer runs. We recognize that and are able to talk about it. There is a lot of time between now and when the Chase starts and when the first mile-and-a-half race comes along. I think we have some good changes in store for our cars for those tracks. Today we were awesome all day. Once Chad and I can figure out where we need to work, we seem to do pretty well with it. The last two years we've really been building the right things with chassis adjustments on the car; the only question was top or bottom and we worked so hard on the bottom of the racetrack and the car for that and I just couldn't see changing at that point. Our car was really, really loose. I ran my second lap because I was sure that my first lap was going to be all that fast. I was turning right or the majority of the corner and I really couldn't commit to the bottom of the track. I guess I'll just say loose is fast and hope that holds up."
ON HIS CHANCES TOMORROW NIGHT: "We feel good about things. We good practice sessions. And to get that lap was really special. The car was so loose. Bristol is a fun track and I'm glad that we got our win here in the spring and we'll just build on that and see what can happen. You're not safe anywhere on this race track. So even though we're starting up front, it doesn't mean that it'll stay that way."
YOU GOT YOUR WIN IN THE SPRING, HOW ABOUT A SWEEP? "I would love to. Everybody wants to win here. We all know how hard I fought this track myself, my own demons, whatever it is that we finally got over in the Spring to win here. I would love to go out and win again. If not, just have a really solid race. I know we are in a nice spot in the points, but I'd like to clinch before we go into Richmond. I think that would be a really good goal for us."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4th:
"I was watching Nationwide qualifying and they were saying that Brendan Gaughn was imitating me or impersonating me this weekend. There is a big difference. He had the wrong tool company. I have the best tool company with Mac Tools on my side. I am happy with that lap. We were 12th quickest at the end of practice. I don't know where that is going be. I'm hoping it is going to keep us in the top-five but we'll take whatever it gives us right now.
"The car felt good. I'm really happy with the way that it ran. Proud of Darian (Grubb) and these guys. Feel like wherever we end up, if we stay in the top-five, I'll be happy with that."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6th:
"We have a great Wix Filters Chevrolet. Tony Gibson and the guys did a great job. I'm excited about how we got our week started with the modified. It has been a lot of fun today. I just look forward to the opportunity and the next couple of races to try and make it in the Chase. We can get in. But at the same time, we have to do everything right and the others have to do everything just well and we could still be out of the Chase. It is going to take some bad racing luck on their part and good racing luck on our part, we haven't had much, so maybe it is our turn.
"It was a good lap and we will see where we end up. It was a good run for us. The car feels pretty good in race trim. We have a good package. We picked up right at two tenths from what we practiced, maybe a tenth and a half. You just never know what is going to happen but either way it is a good run."
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH:
"Well, obviously I think if we had been able to qualify just a bit earlier with a little less heat in the track, I think we would have been a little better. But, overall, I think we had a pretty good lap. We were a little tight, but I'm happy to start Top-10. Track position is so important here, so I'm actually pretty happy." "I think we should be pretty good in the race tomorrow night, we were pretty good in race trim there in practice, so I'm looking forward to another night race at Bristol."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 41 TARGET CHEVROLET -- Qualified 8th:
THAT WAS A GOOD LAP, BUT MAYBE NOT GOOD ENOUGH "Yeah, it's okay. It's not going to be fast enough but it was pretty good. This Target Chevy has been has been so good these last few weeks. I think it's very good in race trim. We just went out there early, so we'll see.
"It felt like there should have been more there. We went out so early, the track is going to get faster. It was more about getting a really clean lap than a spectacular lap. But, it was good."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED: (Gordon spun prior to taking the green flag on first attempt. Changed to scuffed tires and made a second attempt)
"It is always exciting here at Bristol. That was a lot more excitement than I was looking for. I just took off and got down into (turn) three and the car just hooked it way better than I thought it was going to. I just jumped into the gas too hard and around it came. Pretty disappointed but very fortunate that we didn't damage the car any worse. We had some scuffs we put them on. We will end up with something. It's not going to be great but it was better than we were looking at.
"I'm still trying to figure it all out. I got into the middle of (turns) three and four. I was just going for it. I got in the gas too hard. The backend just came around. I knew I was just going to have to hold on and lock the brakes down and try not to hit anything. Luckily we just got the left rear just a little bit. I didn't know what the rule was. I knew not to go across the start/finish line, so I came to pit road and we were on the five-minute clock. We put tires on, we had some scuffs. Unfortunately, we didn't have stickers but at the same time, just fortunate to get to go back out. It isn't going to be a very good lap. The track has some decent grip in it. We need to go faster than that, but right now, I will take it for sure."
-source: gm racing