Toyota Motorsports press release
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting position: 3rd0 What do you think of your starting position? "Third starting spot is good for us. We didn't really show a lot of good qualifying speed or really front end speed of a long run yesterday. That's good for us to be that close and after only a couple laps. I feel like once the race gets into a groove and gets going -- things get strung out, I think we'll be pretty good."
Did you make big changes to the car this morning? "We did. Yesterday we were going back and forth with a couple different setups. We feel like the Chase race here is the most important race versus this one. We're going with a little bit more of an experimental setup this time around and see how it goes. If it doesn't work then we'll just go back to our old stuff when we get back here in October. We feel like we have a good package. We didn't show the practice power that we usually do here and so it forced us to make a few changes. I feel like they obviously, even in qualifying, have been for the better."
What are the benefits of this new setup? "It's actually for a little more front end speed. I feel like regardless, we've always been good on the long runs, but we struggled and we've gotten beat here before on the short run. Last year, we had what I felt like was a decently dominant car in the fall and we got shuffled on some restarts and Tony (Stewart), who I was lapping 100 laps before ended up winning the race. For us, we were getting beat on restarts and that's where we needed to improve and I think this setup should help that."
What part of the race track do you have to be strong to be successful? "I can't tell you all that. There's just certain things you can do as a driver to help. Executing is the toughest part. You have 42 other guys on a half-mile race track and you have to figure out how to set them up and pass them and be efficient doing it. For us, it's something that we've had success with over the last six years."
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting position: 4th What did you think of the qualifying lap? "It didn't feel all that good really. Our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota has had good speed in it since it's been here. That's a good start. I lost a little bit of grip up off -- kind of typical Martinsville deal. Got greedy getting in the gas, kind of shoved a little bit and I think we just ran out of real estate and it jumped sideways and you lose that momentum up off. It is what it is and we'll go after them in the race."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 RK Motors Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting position: 6th How was your car in qualifying? "It was good. I got a little greedy out of turn four and just got too much throttle and spun the tires. This was a really good effort by the guys and I'm really proud to have RK Motors on the car this week. I love the racing here at Martinsville. Qualifying is probably the hardest thing at Martinsville. It's just so easy to miss it and it's so tight -- both here and Bristol. We're fighting for thousandths of a second so it's tough."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting position: 8th How was your qualifying lap? "It was alright -- don't really remember much. It goes by so fast here. Decent anyways and the best I think I've ever qualified here, so we'll take it."
What will it take for you to win at Martinsville? "At Martinsville you just have to have the right circumstances go your way, whether its pit road or guys getting into you and not cutting your tires or just staying out of trouble. That's kind of the biggest thing and we did a really good job of that here last spring and had a great car. Just missed our adjustments at the end of the race and got behind. We were about a tenth slower than everybody at the end of the race so we were too slow to win. You definitely have to have it all go your way."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting position: 10th How was your qualifying lap? "My lap was pretty good actually. My guys did a great job on my race car to get it right. We were really tight in practice and some of that might be because of the track changes. The guys did a good job of improving the car to help me get that other lap that I needed to get down. I think it's pretty good."
Was there anything else in the car for qualifying? "The second lap I didn't. The first lap, I was like, 'Okay, that's pretty good.' I think I left just a little off of (turn) two. I wasn't as aggressive as I needed to be getting down on the gas. At this place, if you slip the back out too much, you'll lose a lot more than you gain. I got just about all of it -- left maybe just a 'skosh'. You go over that limit and you lose a lot more than you gain."
How important is qualifying at Martinsville? "Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and the guys have been doing a good job with qualifying racing and getting our cars better than what they were in practice. You've got to be happy about that -- having a decent starting spot at Martinsville is very, very important, not only for the pit stall, but obviously being in front of this pack here. I'm happy for the guys though. The guys did a great job. I'm proud of them."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting position: 13th
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush's Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting position: 16th
How was your qualifying lap? "It wasn't bad. We made our qualifying runs in the first session and then we made all race runs. To go from a qualifying run to a practice run and now back to a qualifying run -- it takes a bit to make sure you're right. We picked up from our practice pretty good. It should be and that's not a bad place to start."
LANDON CASSILL, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting position: 31st
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting position: 34th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting position: 37th
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Inception Motorsports Toyota Camry, Inception Motorsports Starting position: 39th
J.J. YELEY, No. 19 American Israel Racing / JPO Absorbents Toyota Camry, American Israel Racing Starting position: 43rd