Bristol: Newman, Johnson post qualifying interview

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Qualified 2nd A GREAT QUALIFYING LAP OUT THERE FOR YOU TODAY NEWMAN: "It was. He (Tony Gibson) took some of the things he had learned here...

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Qualified 2nd

A GREAT QUALIFYING LAP OUT THERE FOR YOU TODAY

NEWMAN: "It was. He (Tony Gibson) took some of the things he had learned here last year with this car with this car at this race track with this tire and applied it to what we did today and the car came off the truck really good and we just had a tweak here and there. We were working on entry a little bit and then we'd fix that a little bit and get on to the next part of the corner that was slowing us up and we'd fix that. We just kept getting faster and faster each time. Fortunately it worked out the way it was supposed to with the exception of the four thousandths of a second that we lost it by."

JOHNSON: "I appreciate it. I really did study those tapes and tried to do everything that I could to come up here and do my part. I think that the most useful time getting prepared for this weekend was spent with my crew chief (Chad Knaus) and our race engineer Greg Ives, and really pinpointed the track. We've been up here a bunch and we've tested a lot, but to really go through and find out where I thought the center of the corner was and where I felt like the car was loose-in and where I felt like different parts of the corner were because I think what we learned today is that A) we were maybe 30 degrees off around the corner. Where they thought the center was, was further around. We weren't talking the same part of the turn and maybe that's what has hurt us here. Spending the time and really going through all that stuff paid off for today. Our race trim stuff looked good this morning. There's a little bit of work needed there, but we're much closer than we've ever been at the start of practice. So we're very excited about this weekend."

FOR BOTH OF YOU, RELATIVE TO ALL THE TRACKS ON THE CIRCUIT, HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALIFYING AND WHY? IS IT TRACK POSITION, PIT STALL SELECTION OR BOTH?

JOHNSON: "It's both. At the start of the event, I'd say track position more than anything. Once you finally get single file and if you start at the back, which I've done many times, it doesn't take long and there's the leader in the mirror and he's coming. Everybody is fighting so hard for position.

"A bad qualifying position will hurt you later in the race if you have a shot at the win. But the first half or three-quarters of the race you're dealing with the leader coming if you start in the back."

NEWMAN: "It all depends on if the first run is 120-lap run or a 30-lap run when we come in and get tires. It's just like strategy. The guys that are great at it are the ones that figure it out before anyone else."

-credit: gm racing

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Chad Knaus