MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 40TH: "It wasn't fast enough (Laughs). That was about what we ran yesterday in our first run. These cars are funny. During the second time out you will be a good bit ...
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 40TH:
"It wasn't fast enough (Laughs). That was about what we ran yesterday in our first run. These cars are funny. During the second time out you will be a good bit quicker. It is like when all the oils and everything in the car get hot, it makes a big different. It is about what we ran yesterday, maybe a little bit better. It is a lot windier so I am pretty happy with that. All of us with our ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) engines were all right there together yesterday so we will have to see. The car ran good last night, our engine was good. I was happy with the way it drafted. I am sure this car is a little bit better, it was in testing. We'll have to get them on Thursday, today wasn't our day."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 10TH:
"Well, these cars are pretty draggy, but the good thing is you have the power to get through it, so it kind of offsets itself when you are out there by yourself. I was very happy with that run. Other guys were slowing down and we picked up just a tiny bit. I think the guys did a great job with all the tiny details there are to make the car right. The temperatures right and getting this car really well preparing the DuPont Chevrolet for the Daytona 500. This is a big day. We put a lot of effort during the off-season, those guys worked so at Hendrick Motorsports - the engine shop, the chassis shop and of course our guys in the 24/48 shop that work on these bodies. To come out here and be strong, stronger than we anticipated yesterday, to come out with a very solid lap there, we are pretty happy."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 15TH:
"It feels good to come back to the track after last night. We got that first win, now we have to concentrate on the next one. That wasn't a bad lap for us but it was jumpin around out there in the wind pretty good. Now we will just keep workin' on that thing to get it where it will drive good in the qualifying race and it'll be all good. Just got to make sure it works in traffic, work on the travel and the springs and stuff to make sure there isn't stuff draggin all over the track."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CARQUEST IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 6TH:
"Very excited about today. We had a really good run with our No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet, the guys did a good job. We picked up some time there from practice so we have had a good day. We had a good night last night, our car handled really well. We got some good speed; I am looking forward to the rest of the week. After last night, I am very confident about the rest of the week. Obviously what we learned in the Shootout, the cars are very very fast. I am excited about how they are handling, I feel my car is really good over long runs so as the track starts to get slicker during the daytime, I think our cars are going to handle really good. We will keep chipping away at it. I am just proud of all the work that everyone has done to get prepared for this season.
"We were hammer down the whole time. We picked up a couple tenths from practice. They said we had a little bit left and they gave it to me today. Thanks to everybody back at the shop - engine shop, chassis shop, body shop - they have done a great job. I am very excited about they handled last night and how we qualified today."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, POLE SITTER:
"That was a great lap for us. I thought with the wind it might slow the car down a little bit. The guys worked really hard to give me a car that we could come down here and race with and also contend for the pole with so I am very proud and happy with this effort. Great engine, great body, great car. We saw what we could do last night with a backup car, so I couldn't be more proud of all my guys and all of Hendrick Motorsports.
"They keep giving me great race cars, unfortunately in my rookie season I didn't have a clue what to do out there, I think I finished 15th or something. I had a lot more car than they had driver. Now I understand the draft a lot more and I can take advantage of these great cars they give me.
"After qualifying, I restarted the car on pit road because I was just trying to get the water temp down. I ran the fan on the cool down lap. As it cools off, the volume of water that is in the radiator needs to be cycled through to get hot water back to the radiator. We do it quite often. It was a little warm getting back on pit road; I thought it was the engine we were going to race with so I was concerned about it. The guys said thanks for treating our equipment nice, but we aren't using this in the 500.
"I didn't have a clue I would be here now. But I am having as much fun as now as I did then which says a lot about the company work for and drive for and the guys that work on these race cars. It lets me go out there and be a kid again and go out there have my fun and be myself. I am very thankful for that.
"Today it didn't have a lot to do with the driver. I can only mess up a few things, my guys really put the speed in that car and I can't thank them enough."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 3RD:
"Awesome day. Anybody not locked in the top 35, this is an awesome day. To end up third, that is what we are sitting around here talking about, man, what could we have done differently to go just a little bit faster. Congratulations to Michael Waltrip for getting second and Jimmie Johnson for getting the pole. I didn't know Michael would go that fast, I figured the No. 22 would be a little bit faster.
"Have to thank Hendrick Motorsports for an awesome engines. Everybody that works on this car. This team is based out of Denver, Colorado. Logistics are tough. There are a lot of challenges they have to overcome. But the team is good; we have some good people in place. Good leadership and that is what it is about.
"You look at it, we are a single car team. You look at the teams that we beat today, multi-car teams. It just says a lot for these guys, they work hard. The guys we have in place are doing their jobs, they are smart and they think. You have to be careful in that box that NASCAR gives you, it is pretty small and you get in trouble. You have to be smart about what you do. I am looking forward to this year. This about the best prepared Furniture Row Racing has had their Chevrolets in the three years they have been open."
"This is just huge for this team and huge for me. I am really looking forward to the 150s and then the race."
-credit: gm racing