Darlington: Pole winner interview

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALDS CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE POLE: "We had a really good car in practice. I think that almost puts more pressure on you when you are the fastest guy in practice to go out and back that...

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALDS CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER

CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE POLE:

"We had a really good car in practice. I think that almost puts more pressure on you when you are the fastest guy in practice to go out and back that up. This is one of those race tracks you really can't be too aggressive or you'll get into the wall. I was pretty impressed with the amount of grip that the car had through turns one and two. Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) had come on the radio just before I went out and said everybody was getting through one and two pretty good but they were losing it in three and four. So, I was maybe a little bit too conservative in turns three and four, but it was still enough. It was a really good lap for us."

DO YOU ALMOST SCARE YOURSELF AT A TRACK LIKE THIS?

"It's not as bad as it used to be because the problem with the old pavement was you just couldn't run the same pace. No matter where you let off, the next lap you had to let off a little bit earlier. The way it is now, the track has got a lot more grip and the tires don't give up quite as much. I did get into the fence today but, it's one of those things where you know you are going to hit for a long time and you are just trying to whoa the car down as much as you can so you do the least amount of damage. It is different than anywhere else because you know as soon as you as you enter the corner, that you are going to hit because of how fast the car is sliding so you are just trying to get it slowed up as much as you can. It's really not that bad though. It's bad off turn two if you hit, but it's not that bad in three and four. I mean it's not really scary by any means."

WAS TODAY'S EFFORT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE CAR MORE THAN YOU?

"100%. I'd say they really put a lot of effort into qualifying at EGR. It is amazing how much stuff they change on our cares every week and the effort they put into that. I understand why the No. 1 car had the poles it had last year and why Juan typically qualified so well because I feel like they put as much if not more than anyone else into their effort for qualifying. When you come somewhere like here, if your car doesn't stick, you hit the wall. You drive it in the corner to what you think the limit is and you just hope it sticks and if it does, you run a good lap. If not, you see what happened to a lot of guys today, you get into the fence. Absolutely, your car is just really really important here."

CAN YOU SENSE YOU ARE ON A TRACK-RECORD RUN?

"I didn't know what the track record was. I can tell you that I have had a few poles and when you, like for me, when I went through one and two, I had been rolling out of the throttle getting and getting back to the gas and then kind of playing with it around the corner and I never had to come back off the gas. I was like grinning in the car because you just don't get to have this time of a lap very often. I knew it was going to be very fast, but I wasn't sure because of how much faster everybody was running from practice. They were picking up like 4/10ths. So I knew we would have to run a .20 if we picked up 4/10ths and I just wasn't sure that it felt it was going to be there."

WHERE WOULD YOU RANK A TROPHY THAT SAYS THE SOUTHERN 500 AND DARLINGTON RACEWAY, SC?

"I mean, the Daytona 500 is pretty unique and very special. But I've been very lucky that all the races I have won with the Daytona July race and at Charlotte, that is a big race to win because everybody is from there. But, I mean, Darlington, would be one of the coolest trophies you could have. I don't know a tremendous amount about the history of NASCAR, but as I get older, I continue to pay more and more attention to that. Some of the shows they have had with the Hall of Fame on Bill France, Sr. and Bill France, Jr. and Junior Johnson, I have watched all of that and have been really intrigued by it. Of course, this race is one of the races that everybody always talks about and I watched the race from last year here and they had an interview with Cale Yarborough on, and he was talking about what it meant to him. So, the Southern 500 would certainly be right up there, it would be really special."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Junior Johnson , Cale Yarborough