JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) "Talladega is so much different than Charlotte. Actually, I was probably more nervous coming into this race than I was last week at Talladega. We had a great race car last week. Coming into...
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Talladega is so much different than Charlotte. Actually, I was probably more nervous coming into this race than I was last week at Talladega. We had a great race car last week. Coming into Charlotte was quite a bit different. We struggled on qualifying day and luckily it got rained out so we can start up front again. I learned a lot in my Busch car yesterday and we came over here and applied it today. In the first practice, I felt like we were just about as good as anybody. That's more than I expected coming over here. Initially we weren't fast, but on the long run we were really good. They pretty much told me coming in that Sterling was never really good with a burst of speed here, but on the long run he was really good and that's pretty much what we have today. For the most part, we're really close to Sterling's setup. Basically, we're just changing a little bit for the day, but the car was really close off the truck.
"I've been running my Busch car, too. I don't feel like I have an advantage over anybody, mainly because I haven't worked with any of the guys on this team. It's a great race team. You can tell because they've won races. You have to have that chemistry, but it takes time. I've got it with my Busch team, and we'll get it here, too. This Cup car has so much more downforce than my Busch car, and it drives a little bit different, too. There's so much more horsepower, and it takes awhile to get used to that. I haven't been away from the track much. It seems like we're testing or doing something for the sponsor. We're really busy right now, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
"I definitely feel pressure with this. If you're not running well, you really feel the pressure. We're running well, so I feel real good right now. I want to win. That's what I would be happy with. If I give 100 percent all day and the team does, too, then what we get is what we get. That's all you can do.
"I ran a Dodge truck a few years ago. Sat on the pole at Michigan and Nashville. I'm glad to be back with Dodge. I feel like their technical support and all the help at the racetrack is better than any other manufacturer. I was glad to get a chance to drive for Chip and Felix, especially since it's a Dodge. I know everybody with Dodge from the truck series, so it's nice to be back with those guys.
"Talk about pressure, Chip Ganassi is a guy who wants to win races and win championships. He asked he when he hired me if I could do it, and I told him I could. Chip's a racer. He wants to win, and I don't think he's going to settle for anything less. Sterling has been really supportive. He's helped me as much as he can. He's been better about it than I would if the roles were reversed.
"I don't know if I'm intimidated by any of these guys. I just want to get used to racing with all of them. I've raced against some of them in the Busch Series. I just want to get used to racing with them on the Cup side. They didn't beat up on me bad at Talladega. At the first of the race I think I got hung out a little bit, but by the end, I think they all released how good my car was and they treated me pretty fair. This is a handling track, and I think we're going to be good. This is the same Dodge that Sterling won with here last year. It's pretty much the same setup, so I'm pretty excited about tomorrow."
TONY GLOVER (Team Manager Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"We were very impressed with Jamie last week at Talladega. We struggled a little bit here Thursday. We made some changes before qualifying and didn't get a chance to see if they were going to work or not. He did an outstanding job in practice this morning. We got the car balanced to the way he wants it and we're looking forward to a good race tomorrow. It's pretty much like the way we set it up for Sterling. It's basically the same setup we won with here last year. His driving style and Sterling's are pretty similar and hopefully we'll have the same results tomorrow. We had a real good car here last year, and I hope it's going to be that good here tomorrow.
"Sterling is hard to guard. It would take more than me to guard him. He's handled it like Sterling Marlin would, a true professional. He's a class act, and he's going to come through this deal just fine. The way I look at it, if it's something you can handle or something you can change the outcome yourself, then it's worth worrying about. If it's something out of your control, then there's no need to worry about it. Build for the future and go on, and that's what Sterling is trying to do. He's trying to get better and get back in the race car as soon as possible.
"I still think we're handicapped on the track. We've got to work at having the best Dodge and we'll go from there."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"This neck brace is still pretty aggravating. If Paula (wife) ain't around, it comes off. I'm supposed to wear it about four weeks. I just wear it during the day. I take it off when I go to bed or take a shower or I take it off during the day if it gets out. You can't eat with it. All last week I went to the doctors' offices. This week, we came over here on Wednesday. It's a long day at the track when you can't get in the car. It would probably be easier if I didn't come to the track, but I'm trying to keep up with what they're doing.
"This stuff changes so quick. The car is pretty close to the way we had it last fall. I probably won't go to Phoenix. I'll be at Martinsville and Rockingham and Atlanta. They just told me to drink plenty of milk. I guess the doctors are satisfied with the way things are going. I was supposed to see one yesterday and I didn't get to see him to see how much it had healed.
"Jamie did a good job last week at Talladega. I left 40 laps into the race. I was bored standing in the pits. It was aggravating. There wasn't anything for me to do. I was just in the way. I'll probably go home tomorrow and watch it on TV."