RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD, WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYING RAYBESTOSÂ® ROOKIE FOR THE FOOD CITY 500. NEWMAN WILL START EIGHTH. "We made big gains from practice to qualifying. I think we were 35th in practice and came back to qualify eighth. ...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD, WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYING RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE FOR THE FOOD CITY 500. NEWMAN WILL START EIGHTH.
"We made big gains from practice to qualifying. I think we were 35th in practice and came back to qualify eighth. We got a little bit better balance on the car and the guys did and awesome job getting prepared. I spun out in practice. Usually when you spin out at a place like this it takes a little bit of steam out of you. We fought back and qualified eighth. It's a good qualifying effort which gets us a good opportunity to pick a good pit stall. Hopefully we can keep the car in good shape for the race and see all the laps here on Sunday."
DO YOU FEEL PRETTY GOOD ABOUT YOUR CHANCES IN THE RACE?
"I think so. We had a pretty good experience here last year in the Busch Series. I think we qualified third and finished sixth here in the first race. We didn't qualify very well in the second race and I think we still came home with a top-10. It's been a pretty good track for me, statistically, but at the same time it can reach up and bite you at any time. It's fun to compete here. I really enjoy the racetrack. It's a driver's racetrack and Goodyear has brought a great tire here and it will last a long time and it's really fun to be able to race like that."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 33RD. JOHNSON HAD AN ACCIDENT IN PRACTICE FRIDAY MORNING AND USED A BACKUP CAR IN QUALIFYING.
WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE EARLIER TODAY?
"I lost it off of (turn) two. When something small happens here you can't catch it. I lost it and hit the inside wall and damaged the primary car."
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS SAVING A CAR HERE AT BRISTOL?
"It just depends on where things go wrong. It was so late on the exit for me that there was nothing I could do. I was sideways before I even realized it. It depends on the situation."
"We've had four or five fantastic weekends and this one we have a little adversity ahead of us. We're going to grow through it and work through it. It's what makes you a championship caliber team. We've got to take all the bumps in the road as they come and get through this weekend the best we can."