Charlotte: GM teams qualifying notes, quotes

Ryan Newman Wins Pole for Coca-Cola 600 to Give Chevrolet 600 Poles in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Competition Charlotte - Ryan Newman put the No. 39 US Army Chevrolet on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 to give Chevrolet 600 poles in NASCAR Sprint...

Ryan Newman Wins Pole for Coca-Cola 600 to Give Chevrolet 600 Poles in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Competition

Charlotte - Ryan Newman put the No. 39 US Army Chevrolet on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 to give Chevrolet 600 poles in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

It is Newman's ninth pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the 46th of his career to move him in a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson for 10th on all-time pole list.

Jimmie Johnson will start the No. 48 Lowe's Memorial Day Tribute Chevrolet in fifth position.

Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, will roll off 10th in the 43-car starting field set to take the green flag Sunday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. e A total of 14 Team Chevy drivers will start the 13th race of the 2010 season.

Kurt Busch (Dodge), Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) and Kasey Kahne (Ford) complete the top-10 qualifiers.

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RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:

"So far, so good. It was a great run for the US Army Chevrolet. That was the most courageous lap I probably could have ever had around here. I told the guys I was going to stick to what I ran in practice and that was the top. I watched what Juan (Pablo Montoya) did. He was up pretty good up off of two all the way down into three and just didn't get three and four quite right and he was the best car by far in practice. It was a good run for us and we'll see what we can do in the Coca-Cola 600.

"I thought it was a great lap, you just never know if someone is going to pull one just a little bit better. It was a great effort for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing and the US Army Chevrolet. It is Memorial Day weekend and there is no better place to start.

"The track just really gripped up. You really have to step it up for qualifying. The track has a good bit more grip in it. You can still over drive it pretty easy. It is a little more forgiving when it has the grip in it."

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH

"I was joking with (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) today before I rolled out and watched the No. 39 (Ryan Newman) and it worked and I said all right buddy, make the call, where do you want me? And the bottom always prevails in most cases; well not today. I took the bottom and the car was good. Maybe a little too loose. But I got a good lap and I'm certainly really proud of that race car behind me and all the hard work that went into it today."

ON NOT HAVING A WIN AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY, SIX WINS AT THE TRACK, BUT NOT WITH CMS NAME: "I'm looking forward. It is weird to come here with a new name but this track is so fun to drive. It has changed a lot since they put the new asphalt down but all-in-all, it is a great place. We are glad to be home. There are a lot of events going on. The Hall of Fame stuff was awesome. Then we are right here in the backyard of Hendrick Motorsports and Lowe's and all the employees, friends and families. It is good. It is funny, I have less responsibilities now that the track is Lowe's Motor Speedway so that has been nice, I've had a little time to enjoy being home.

"You certainly always want to get more but a good effort here today. We backed up the speed that we had in practice. Good effort. We will hopefully get practice Saturday if the rains stays away and we'll go from there.

"That late draw was huge. There was no doubt that the guys that went early were at a big disadvantage. You could just feel the temperature drop. That just creates more horsepower and more grip for the tires."

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CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH:

"It was good. I was just a little bit loose. Our draw was good but we were just not quite ready for it. Got a little bit behind. We'll be just fine. Long race."

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MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST AUTO PARTS/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET QUALIFIED 11TH

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR LAP? "Well it's incredible that I had a car that fast. I want to thank that Carquest/Chevrolet team for a great race car. I usually don't let them get out at all in qualifying, but I got hung out in (Turn) 1 and in (Turn) 4 so that's just how fast the car was. It's just very special. I'd like to give a shout out to GoDaddy.com and Delphi and all our supporters. That was fun. You know the draw is not going to be good to us, but golly, that's a fast lap and it's fun to do it.

"It was a fast car and I'm just having a lot of fun. That's what it's all about. We had an early draw there and we laid a great lap down. I'm just thrilled to death to be here and be working with this No. 5 team, Carquest, and all out supporters."

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JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH:

"It was ok. We did a little bit of experimenting there, we were pretty good in practice. Just trying to experiment a little bit to make the next step in our qualifying. We have been qualifying pretty good, but not great so we experimented a little bit and I was really free coming to get the green and that cost us a lot of speed. But I think we learned something from it. Listen, our deal going into this year was we wanted to be in the top-15 in qualifying. That doesn't sound like a real lofty goal, but last year we were 27th, 28th. We wanted to be able to step it up to be 15th or better. If you can't win a 600 mile race from 15th or so, you aren't going to win it from the pole."

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JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET --QUALIFIED 20TH

WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS WHAT YOU EXPECTED? "No, not really because the entry of the corner was like a lot of grip and you come off the corner, there's just no grip. We ran the same speed as practice. We ran a little bit faster but I slipped a little bit out of (Turn) 4 and it is a shame. We have a really good race car but it was just a little bit tight.

"Normally the car gets a little bit freer and it didn't. It got actually a little bit tighter for me and that hurt us a little. We had a good balance during the day. But it was just too tight. It is what it is. It doesn't matter. The track got a little bit tight and we didn't adjust enough for it."

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DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD HONORING OUR SOLDIERS/AMP ENERGY, QUALIFIED 24TH

ON HIS LAP "The sun is pretty good but coming into (Turn) 3 it's in your eyes a little bit. My car was much better than it was earlier today; we were just a little bit too free."

HAS CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY BEEN A KIND TRACK TO YOU?

"I enjoy running here. Its slick tonight but I've come here as a kid and enjoyed watching the races here and enjoyed the atmosphere and environment that this track gives. I haven't really kept my track record on how it's treated me. I've made a lot of mistakes here and had some pretty good cars and probably should have won a race or two."

WOULD IT MEAN A LOT TO GET A WIN HERE?

"Yeah, I think so. I seen that Dad had success here coming here all these years. It's tough to get a win here. I've had some real fast cars in the Busch Series and then we moved into the Cup Series and the competition got even tougher and like I say, we've had some good cars and I've either run them into the fence or just things have happened to us. I do like the race track."

ON GOING TO MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

"Well, I feel as a team we are really in a good position this year. We struggled relatively at Darlington and then Dover was a complete mess and mainly my responsibility but I think we're going to be fine. We worked really had today and we got something decent out of qualifying. It wasn't that good at the start. So I'm feeling good about the gains we made today and Michigan should be fun too."

AFTER DOVER, DID A WEEK WITH A NON-POINTS-PAYING RACE DOES THE ATTITUDE CHANGE AT ALL?

"Well, Dover was all my fault. I went in there and didn't understand what my car was doing and made a lot of bad judgment as a driver and cost ourselves a lot of positions on the race track. But we're a real good team. We're sort of trying to revert back to some things that were working earlier in the season for us as far as today and qualifying. And we feel like we made some gains. We were a little bit off and made some good choices in between practice and qualifying that helped us."

WHAT IS YOUR FEELING FOR SUNDAY'S RACE?

"I don't know yet. I'll have to see how the car is on Saturday. Hopefully we won't get any rain and we can work on the car and make some laps and work on the car because I don't like how the car drove in the All-Star race and I'm sure (crew chief) Lance (McGrew) wants to go another route and I hope we'll get time to be able to do that. We ran all qualifying stuff today. So we'll practice tomorrow and hopefully the weather will hold off."

ON COMMUNICATING WELL WITH CREW CHIEF DURING THE ALL-STAR RACE

"I feel like we always get better I guess every week at communicating. But last week I was pretty excited and the car didn't respond in the last half of that race like I thought we were going to and it played out in my head. Hopefully tomorrow the weather holds off and we can get some laps to help ourselves find what we need in race trim. We really don't know right now. We're really making a guess at what we want to run. We want to run good."

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JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 27TH

ON HIS LAP "Well, we had some issues going through tech. So we really didn't know what to expect. They had to change a few things with the suspension. I don't really know what the issue was. But it wasn't that bad. I think going out early is not good. I would say that's mid-pack. Probably not great, but we have a really good car in the All-Star race last week. This car is a little better so hopefully it'll be good."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Junior Johnson , Clint Bowyer
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing , Hendrick Motorsports