Fontana II: GM teams qualifying notes, quotes

Jamie McMurray Wins the Pole at Auto Club Speedway Fontana, Calif. (October 8, 2010) - Jamie McMurray put the No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet on the pole for the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway. It is the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner's ...

Jamie McMurray Wins the Pole at Auto Club Speedway

Fontana, Calif. (October 8, 2010) - Jamie McMurray put the No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet on the pole for the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway. It is the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner's fourth pole of the year and his second of 2010 season at the Southern California race track.

Juan Pablo Montoya, McMurray's Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing teammate, will start fourth in Sunday's 200-lap/400-mile race on the 2.0-mile track.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, will start eighth and ninth respectively to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 starters in the 43-car field.

Team Chevy Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will start as follows: Clint Bowyer-13th; Jeff Burton-15th; Jeff Gordon-17th; Kevin Harvick-21st, and Tony Stewart-22nd.

Other Team Chevy qualifiers are: Mark Martin-11th; Ryan Newman-14th and Regan Smith-19th.

Elliott Sadler (Ford), Matt Kenseth (Ford) and Kasey Kahne (Ford) completes the top-five qualifiers.

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JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER

HOW MANY PEOPLE DID YOU PROMISE TO BUY DINNER FOR IF YOU WON THE POLE?

"I only promised (crew chief) dinner. I said if someone else wanted to come I'd be more than happy to buy theirs also."

ARE YOU GOING TO 'SUPER-SIZE' HIM AND GIVE HIM THE BIG FRIES AND EVERYTHING?

"There is a good possibility we'll end up at McDonald's. It's right by our hotel so that would be really convenient. It was a really good run for us. The guys do such a good job putting these cars together at the shop and we did a really good job executing our practice today.

"But we've got a new engine in this week and the guys from ECR, this is a place where you have so much wide-open throttle that it's really impressive what we have this weekend. I'm really glad to get to have that here at Fontana. I learned this morning that you don't get to pick the tracks you have it at. So, Juan (Pablo Montoya) has had it a couple of races and I'm glad we got to have it here."

WILL YOUR TIME HOLD UP?

"Oh, I hope so. It seems like a lot of guys; I see (Matt) Kenseth ran really well. The track is definitely getting faster. But that's all my car would go. And I really felt like sometimes when you're qualifying laps are over you think you could get a little more, but I really hustled it there and it's all I had."

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JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 4th:

WE SAW YOU HIGH IN TURNS 1 AND 2 AND THEN YOU DROVE OFF OF Turn 4 WITH THE THROTTLE AND THAT'S WHERE THE DIFFERENCE WAS

"It was a good lap. The Target Chevy, we were really good in practice but got too tight at the end. I went through Turns 1 and 2 and thought, I don't know if it's going to be that good. It was okay. It was a little tighter than I wanted to be there but my line is so different than anybody else's and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Just overall it was a good lap."

WHY IS YOUR LINE DIFFERENT THAN EVERYBODY ELSE'S?

"I don't know; I guess my background (laughs), but it works, doesn't it (laughs)."

***

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION -- QUALIFIED 8th:

ON HIS LAP

"That was the fastest lap we ran over the weekend so far, so directionally we did everything right and a top 10 starting spot will be great."

***

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 9TH:

ON HIS LAP

"Well, I'd like it if I could run like that all the time, or a little bit better than that. We weren't real good in practice and we were struggling a little bit and made some changes and I also changed the line we ran. I was watching the No. 42 (Montoya), I guess he was running up off the bottom a little bit, so I decided to try that. It helped my car's speed a little bit and that qualifying lap right there helped me a lot. So I'm pretty happy with it. The car had a little bit more than that. They had made it a little bit better since that last run in practice and the car was a real good car for that run. We weren't as good when we showed up and made a lot of changes and got better."

***

MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 11th:

ON HIS LAP

"I just want to thank everybody at the No. 5 car; (crew chief) Alan Gustafson and everybody that digs so hard at Hendrick Motorsports. I want to say a big thanks too to all our CARQUEST teammates out there and GoDaddy.com and Delphi; and welcome EBay Motors on board as well. It's early in the weekend but this is the kind of race car that you can take and win a race with."

***

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 14th:

HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT TODAY?

"It was pretty good. I under drove (Turns) 1 and 2 just a little bit and tried to make it up in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I didn't really hurt myself; it was a good lap. I can't really complain for the Tornados Chevrolet."

HOW IS LOSING 100 MILES IN THIS RACE GOING TO CHANGE THE STRATEGY ON SUNDAY?

"Is it? Is it a 400?"

YES

"Awesome. Well, hopefully with a good qualifying position, we won't have to move as far forward and it won't take us as long."

***

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 13TH:

"That was a good pick-up for us. We weren't that good in practice. We were hoping to be able to improve enough to get to the top 14 or something like that. We weren't very good in practice. So, the car drove a lot better right there so wherever it ends up, it ends up. That was a big improvement and we're going to get beat up a little bit with the draw but it was a big improvement from the drivability and that's all I asked for and it ain't the pole, but it was a big change from where we were in practice."

***

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 17th:

ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT

"It was a good qualifying effort. We were pretty far off in practice so we made some big gains there. But we needed to be a little bit closer in practice to be able to battle for the pole. And I was pretty happy with the car right there; it was a good lap. We closed the gap tremendously from practice."

BECAUSE THIS RACE IS 100 MILES SHORTER THAN IN THE PAST, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT WHERE YOU QUALIFY?

"Yeah, it just depends on how the cautions fall. If we don't have many cautions, which we've seen this place go that way, then qualifying is going to be extremely important. But all it takes is a few cautions, if you have a good car, this is a wide race track and you can move your way up there and with as good as our pit crew has been lately, I feel confident that we can make up the track position. But we made up some of it right there in qualifying, which was good."

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TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 22nd:

ON THE LAP

"I'm really proud of (crew chief) Darian Grubb and everybody on the Office Depot/Old Spice team. We weren't very good at the end of practice and Darian made a really big adjustment there and the car really responded to it. So those are things that are encouraging for the whole weekend; and then when you can make a change like that and the car responds in the way that you're wanting it to. So, we have a lot to look forward to."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Hendrick Motorsports