Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 4th): "Chad Knaus (crew chief) has just given us such great racecars. They brought a racecar here that unloaded near the top of the board. I'm very proud of this team." Has this...
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 4th):
"Chad Knaus (crew chief) has just given us such great racecars. They brought a racecar here that unloaded near the top of the board. I'm very proud of this team."
Has this cold weather made the track faster?
"It picked everybody else up. When I was sitting on pit road waiting my turn, I was blown away by how fast everybody was going. It's just amazing about what the cold temperature is doing and how much a little bit of speed around the whole racetrack will equal up to on the track. This motor is running awfully good to."
On being a top qualifying team?
"Track position is so important these days in your pit stall pick. If you can qualify in the top 10 or 15, you're giving yourself a great chance for Sunday."
If there's a change between now and Sunday in the weather, will that cause you to chase the track a little bit?
"As long as the track is similar from Happy Hour to the race, it will be very similar. But I don't have any notes here from a Cup car, but Jeff (Gordon) has always run will here. So, we'll just roll the dice - that's what I've done all year long."
What made your lap so great?
"The only reference I had about how fast our lap was that the rpm light came on down the straightaway a lot earlier than normal. The grip was very similar through the corners. It's just amazing how much a little bit of pickup around the track can do."
Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 5th): "These guys did an awesome job. I didn't know if we'd even be in contention for sitting on the pole, but that was an awesome lap. The car got a little loose getting into turn one, but I held on to it. I got back on the gas real early and the car stuck really good. So I knew turns three and four were going to be really good. I'm pretty happy. This is a team effort. You've got all these guys working their tails off, and we really analyzed everything in practice and put a set-up underneath of this thing that we didn't really even know what it would do. But it held on good and I was pretty excited."
Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 6th):
"Slugger really helped these cars a lot. I'm just the driver. He is making our car better and that allows us to do things and learn things to make Dale Jr. better. Junior and his guys have been together a long time and so they're close to maybe winning a championship. We're a relatively a new team and we're just trying to gain every week. Hopefully we will spend enough time in development so that we can win a championship one day. We're real happy with where we're at."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 9th):
"We borrowed the set-up at the last minute there from the NAPA Chevrolet and Michael Waltrip. We tried some stuff that we tested, but it just wasn't working out for us. I'm really proud that we've been able to get what we got. That's a real good lap for us. I just trusted what he was telling me about his car. That was a great lap for him too. He (Waltrip) loaned me his set-up so he ought to be faster. I'm real proud of him and the job they're doing. They (the NAPA team) just keep going after it. They have a lot of hunger and determination and drive. It should be a good weekend for all of us at DEI."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 17th):
"We went on stickers because we didn't get to scuff any tires there in the shortened practice session. The car was great. These guys did a lot of work to get the car handling better. We weren't very good in practice. Unfortunately, I left a little bit there on the first lap. I think we could have gone faster. But I'm real happy to pick up a second from practice. The track is certainly a lot of it, but the car drove a whole lot better during practice.
"The whole track was a lot faster than I thought it would be. That sometimes happens when it rains and washes the rubber off the track. It can get pretty fast. I think that's what we're seeing right now."