Fontana II: Pole winner press conference

BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET YOUR SECOND POLE OF THE SEASON IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT "It really is. It's just been a pretty exciting year. It's definitely had it's ups and downs, but all and all, this team has stuck together and...

BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET

YOUR SECOND POLE OF THE SEASON IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT

"It really is. It's just been a pretty exciting year. It's definitely had it's ups and downs, but all and all, this team has stuck together and we've had great sponsors behind us. It's been a really neat year for us. Whether we've learned from the good things that we've done like this week with the pole, or to the mistakes we've made or the team has made and we've learned as a whole, we're going to carry that on next year. Right now, as far as the points are concerned, it's not very probable that we're going to be in the top 10 but that's fine. You've got to use that to your advantage. You've got to look to the good side of everything. And the good side of that is we don't have to worry about points. We're going to go for the win and go all out and go after them."

WITH YOUR TEAMMATES FINISHING ONE-TWO AT CALIFORNIA EARLIER THIS YEAR, HOW CAN YOU TURN THAT INTO A FIRST OR SECOND PLACE FINISH FOR YOURSELF ON SUNDAY?

"We've worked together a lot as teammates. I've learned a lot from those guys (Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson). I've learned a lot on my own just making mistakes and just running. Any time you're out there you can learn. It's still just getting the car right. It's the team's job as a whole, not just one particular person's job to get the car right for Sunday. We got it right for qualifying today. If we get it right for Sunday, it'll show."

DO YOU FEEL ANY EXTRA PRESSURE DURING THE NEXT TWO RACES TO STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THOSE GUYS RUNNING FOR THE TOP 10?

"I don't necessarily feel any pressure to cut them any breaks. I don't want to upset their chances to be in the championship. I don't want to wreck them or make stupid mistakes like I have done in the past. But I'm not going to cut them any slack. I'm not going to pull over for them or anything. I'm going to race them just as hard as I race everybody else. I'm going to respect their situation, but I come here every week to win just like they do. When it comes down to it at the end of the day, they're going for a win just like I am."

WERE YOU CONFIDENT YOU HAD A CAR THAT COULD WIN THE POLE?

"I felt pretty good about it. The car was good. We made a couple of changes after practice and we weren't exactly sure how they were going to affect the car on sticker cars. There was going to be a big difference in temperatures and times of day from practicing and qualifying. We were guessing on a lot of it and it worked out. We were definitely optimistic. If you asked me before qualifying if we were going to sit on the pole by two-tenths, I would have just told you we were going to do our best. And we did. We had a great car and we had an awesome run."

WITH THIS RACE GOING UNDER THE LIGHTS FOR THE FIRST TIME, HOW WILL YOU PREPARE WITHOUT ANY NOTES?

"It's going to be difficult. It's going to be different. There are other races like the Coca-Cola 600 where it goes from day to night. It's going to be a big difference. Even though this race won't go completely into the night - depending on how many cautions we have or if we have a red flag or not - it'll probably still end with a little bit of daylight left. But it's going to be a big difference. I wasn't sure at first. Earlier today I was thinking it wasn't going to be that big a difference. But then the difference I saw from practice to qualifying, I realized it is going to be a big difference. It might not go completely dark, it's going to give it a lot of grip and the characteristics of the track are going to change. We don't know what it's going to do exactly, we've just got to guess."

DOES IT MOTIVATE YOU EVEN MORE TO COME TO A TRACK WHERE YOUR TEAMMATES HAVE HAD SUCH SUCCESS?

"We definitely communicate as much as we can. The No. 24 and No. 48 are in exactly the same shop. We're in the same complex and we try to communicate with them. The fact that they have been successful here means we'll lean a little bit more on them than other places. But every track we go to, we want to be successful no matter what."

DURING THE LAST 10 RACES, WILL THE DRIVERS BE DRIVING ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY HAVE IN THE PAST?

"They do the Chase to make it exciting for TV. I think it's going to work. We've seen that already. It's much more exciting. But I think you're going to see a switch. For the top 10, knowing that one mistake might drop them out of the championship, I think you're going to see most of the excitement and go-for-broke driving from 11th back. They're out of the championship. That's how we're going to look at this. We're just going to go for all the wins and not have to worry about points at all."

YOUR TEAMMATES ARE FIRST AND SECOND, DO YOU THINK YOU'LL GET ANY TEAM ORDERS?

"No. This isn't Formula 1."

TO WIN TWO POLES AS A ROOKIE, DO YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF ADVANTAGE?) "We've just got a good team, good equipment, and good support from a lot of people. It makes a big difference. We're young and we don't know any better. We haven't hit the wall maybe as many times as the veterans have. That can be an advantage or a disadvantage. It's just a combination of everything. It's a bunch of people working together and getting it right."

DID YOUR LAP FEEL LIKE IT COULD WIN THE POLE?

"The lap felt really good, actually. The car felt great. It really stuck to the track. When you cross the line during a lap like that and everything goes off, it means one of two things. You either wait for the call that says you just ran an awesome lap, or you're just really slow and that's why it felt so good. It felt like a good lap and it was a good lap."

SINCE YOUR TEAMMATES HAVE HAD ENGINE PROBLEMS. DO YOU HAVE THE SAME ENGINES THEY HAVE OR SOMETHING EXPERIMENTAL?

"No, we have the same stuff every week. On Monday morning, if Hendrick Motorsports finds 10 more horsepower but they don't have enough power or parts to only give it to one engine, then nobody gets it. Nobody. When we go to the race track, they do everything they can to make sure everybody has the most they can and that they're the same engines built the same way with the same amount of power. It's been that way all year and I'm sure it'll continue to stay that way. If a crew chief gets something that has more power, it's actually somewhat - I wouldn't say that dangerous is the word - but it could possibly break during the race. If a crew chief wants to run it and the other crew chiefs don't mind us doing that and taking the risk, I guess we could do that. But for the most part, we run the same engines built the same way. Every team does. We have the same horsepower every week."

WITH THE TRACK CHANGING FROM START TO FINISH, HOW DO YOU SET YOUR CAR UP TO HANDLE THAT?

"You're probably going to stay up in clean air a little bit more in practice and not worry about getting in traffic so much. There's a big difference for setting the car up for when you're up front compared to when you're in traffic. The car will be a lot tighter when you're in heavy traffic. When you start up front you don't have to run it quite as loose."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports