Jamie McMurray Wins the Pole at Martinsville; Team Chevy Drivers Score Four of Top-10 Qualifying Positions
Martinsville, VA (April 2, 2011) Jamie McMurray won the pole for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway behind the wheel of his No. 1 Widia Chevrolet. It is McMurray’s first pole at Martinsville, his first pole of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and his eighth career pole.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, was the second fastest qualifier in the 43-car field for the 500-lap/263-mile race to make it an all-Chevrolet front row at the .526-mile track.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, was ninth quickest followed by Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 starters in race six of the 36-race season.
A total of 17 Team Chevy drivers will take the green flag for Sunday’s race scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET.
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO 1 WIDIA CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT: “We have a really good car. This is one of my favorite tracks. I’ve always loved coming to Martinsville. It’s a unique race track and I think the guys the guys that enjoy coming here typically run well. We had a really good car in race trim yesterday. We struggled in qualifying trim. Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) and the guys made a couple of small adjustments. You come here and you are kind of at the mercy of your car. It is really slick, it is cold today, you need four or five laps to get going. We had a really good car today.
“I didn’t think I drove quite hard enough, but in practice it was so easy to slide the tires and I felt like I was better off to just take what I could get and not try to get too much. It was a good run for our Widia Chevrolet, the first race with this sponsor. It is a really bright car, be cool to have it up front. Excited with our run.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON HIS LAP:
“I just couldn’t get off the corner as good as I wanted to. I could feel the car turning a little bit better than I expected it to. I could commit to it and then lose what I had going or I could just take what I had and see what that got me and it got me I think a .66 (in time) on the second lap. It is a great run for the Haas Automation Chevrolet.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH:
ON HIS LAP: “I just didn’t carry enough speed getting into the middle of one and two and didn’t want to hit the curb because I knew that would really screw my lap up. I got through three and four ok. Could have used a touch more forward bite, but anything that is better than 25th in qualifying day for our Budweiser Chevrolet is usually the sign of a great race day.”
REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH:
ON HIS LAP: “This is a good qualifying effort for our Furniture Row Chevrolet. We worked on race setup yesterday in practice. We made one qualifying mock-up run at the very end of practice and didn’t focus on it very much. So we are hoping to have better luck in the race tomorrow.”
I just couldn’t get off the corner as good as I wanted to.
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH:
ON HIS LAP: “We missed a little bit on the balance, but it was a good run. We have got a fast race car. Car is just beautiful. Glad to have Quaker State onboard this weekend on the GoDaddy.com Chevy. Lance (McGrew, crew chief) and all the guys on the team are doing an incredible job. I really think we are just going to get better as the season goes on. Like I say, we have a lot of speed this weekend. We missed the balance just a little”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH:
ON HIS LAP: “It wasn’t bad, I just couldn’t get to the throttle quite hard enough. Spinning the tires pretty bad up off. Lot better than we were yesterday with the BB&T Chevrolet so pretty excited.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 NIBCO/MENARDS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 16TH:
ON HIS LAP: “I was really happy with my first lap. Slugger (Richard Labbe, crew chief) came on and told me what ran and I just kind of under-drove the second lap honestly. I am kind of disappointed in myself right now. It should have been a little bit better.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH:
ON HIS LAP “I did lock up the brakes, and the brake locking was uncomfortable. I think I had decent lap on my second lap. I was afraid to brake lock up in three and kind of got out of rhythm in between three and four. It is a decent lap, we’ll take it. I ‘m usually not the best at qualifying here so I’m kinda proud of that lap right now.”
-source: team chevy