JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Starts 2nd:
TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR CAR WAS IN PRACTICE AND GOING INTO TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE.
"Obviously we are in a great position in the points and starting where we are starting is certainly going to make a big difference. I felt like yesterday in practice we tried to run in traffic a lot more because we were anticipating that we weren't going to qualify well with the impound. And then this kind of happened so we feel like it's going to be a really intense, exciting race tomorrow with the double-file restarts and starting outside front row is a really great place and a great pit stall and we are going to try and take advantage of it because we felt like the car wasn't quite as good as we were hoping but I felt really positive about some of the changes we were making in the last couple of runs we made there last night."
HOW IS THE RUBBER THAT THE GRAND AM CARS ARE GOING TO PUT DOWN ON THE TRACK BEFORE YOUR RACE TOMORROW NIGHT GOING TO AFFECT THE RACE?
"I haven't really thought about it a lot to be honest with you. It's a good question but we won't know until tomorrow. You know this track is always pretty hot and slick and those guys run pretty much around the bottom and I don't know, I don't think they are going to lay a ton of rubber down. So, I don't think it's going to be a big issue but we'll find out once we get out there.
"You know this place is kind of strange for putting rubber down on the track anyway it's not like most tracks because the radius of the corners is so big and its fairly abrasive and what wears tires, I can't really say that it lays a lot of rubber down and if it does, it won't take us long to get the Goodyear rubber laid in there."
DID YOU HAVE ANY TIRE ISSUES IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY OR DO YOU KNOW IF ANY OF YOUR TEAMMATES DID?
"Well we had a failure on a tire and it was the tire that delaminated on the right rear. We didn't have any wear issues or anything like that and we felt really confident about stuff like that. We did the tire test here and I didn't drive it, but Mark Martin did but our team did and worked through all the issues we had in February and we feel really confident about that. And that was a right front issue that we had then so we feel pretty confident about all that and yesterday we had a right rear tire that just had the right rear where the inside corner of it delaminated and we got fortunate that it happened where it did and didn't tear anything up but there is little things here and there which is common for first practice at Daytona with front tires like we were seeing things on the left front. But it was nothing that we felt really concerned about."
DO YOU KNOW WHAT LAP YOU HAD THAT ISSUE WITH THE TIRE, AND SINCE WE HAVE A NEW TIRE SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING IT'S A LOOSER FEEL AND SOME ARE SAYING IT'S MORE GRIPPY.
"I felt like it had a little more grip the first couple laps but it does seem to fall off pretty quickly. And yesterday with the first practice it was like twenty-five degrees hotter with the track temperature than when they tested here so I think everybody was slipping and sliding around a lot and I don't think it's this track I think it's just in hot conditions. We are going to go back a little bit more to things we have done in the past but still keep an open mind around the issues we have had with the left front and right front tires in the past and try to be conservative in those areas but the car felt decent and it wasn't as well balanced. I was tight most of the practice yesterday and I heard some guys were loose and some guys were tight. You know, until you can compare it in the same conditions tire to tire it's really hard to know whether it's just the tire or the track conditions.
"The track temperature is so much higher here during July, obviously. You just really slide around a lot and that's why I've always felt like July is much more of a handling race than the February race. You can come from just about anywhere in the field in February and in July, I think a good starting position is going to be important. And so obviously starting up front is a big plus for that."
SHOULD THE QUALIFYING FORMAT CHANGE FOR DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA? AN EXTRA DAY TO GET IT IN?
"I tell you what I will say about the 2.5-mile tracks. I don't understand why we're doing two-lap qualifying. It's not necessary. We can go out there and get up to speed in three-quarters of a lap that we run. Run one lap. That would cut back on the amount of time it takes. One of the problems we have here is that they look at it and say well, we need 3.5 hours to qualify all the cars. That's just crazy how long it takes. I don't think the outcome would be a whole lot different. So I would just like to see us at here and Talladega just go to one-lap qualifying. The extra days, you're starting to get into a lot of other things with hotels and travel and a lot of things. Right now in this economy, adding extra days is not going to happen. Whether or not we could come back tomorrow morning and qualify and things like that, I think ever since we went away from the second day qualifying and all that it just seems like it's been the constant here lately where if it rains out, we pretty much move on and set the field.
"Mother Nature. You can't control Mother Nature. That's what's been biting us. It's not so much the schedule and everything else, it's the weather."
-credit: gm racing