JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, POLE SITTER: DESCRIBE YOUR EFFORT: "It was really good. Definitely proud of the work today. We didn't start off very good. I know we didn't show well in practice. I made a mistake on the lap I needed to...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, POLE SITTER:
DESCRIBE YOUR EFFORT: "It was really good. Definitely proud of the work today. We didn't start off very good. I know we didn't show well in practice. I made a mistake on the lap I needed to post a good lap and felt like I was going to be competitive. The number Mark (Martin) put up, I didn't know if it was going to reachable. We just needed a good lap, a good clean lap and we got it. I am real proud of this Lowe's team."
AS FAR AS YOU, CHAD KNAUS, RON MALEC AND ALL THE GUYS, IS THERE SUCH A THING AS PRESSURE FOR YOU ANYMORE? "Oh yeah. Nobody should think there isn't any pressure. There is a ton. There is what we all do for a living and what we have worked our lives for. A shot at history...you name it. There are so many things to think of, ways to think of the pressure that is on our shoulders. That is what I am more proud of than anything is the way these guys keep answering the bell and stay focused with this pressure.
"I am really trying to keep my mind on each thing that I have to do that day. The race, there is plenty of things to be concerned about, but that is two days from now. So, I am just worried about today. Today is behind us, we did a good job, we are going to have a great starting spot. Tomorrow we will focus on the challenges of tomorrow and save all that worrying for Sunday and see what happens."
WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT? "I think Mark started the indecision for everyone with qualifying practice, he didn't know where to run and you guys (media) talked about it. All of us watching, watched what he did and didn't know where to run, so, I didn't know where to run. I knew one and two with the shade on it; I was in the right spot. From watching the videos, it seemed like a lot of guys were slow back on the gas in three and four so I really focused on that. I started on the gas really early and the car started turning and I a little worried about corner exit and the car being loose.
"But, it stayed underneath me and it worked well. I knew in practice that we should have been much better than 21st, I just got a poor lap and jumped the cushion down there in three and four. Luckily I didn't hit the right side on the wall. Great great effort. I was a little bit stressful, a little more stressful than we wanted for this Lowe's team. But, Chad kept his cool, I did, these guys did and we went out there and got a good lap."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 4TH:
DESCRIBE THE LAP: "It is a good race car, but it wasn't a good lap. But, I am really happy that we ran as fast as we did. Early wasn't a good time to go. But that doesn't matter because when we went, we laid down a better lap than we probably thought. We picked up considerably from practice and most guys aren't doing that. Kudos to this race team. This is a great race car. We dug in and I really thought we were going to take a beating in qualifying and it isn't going to be that paid. It wasn't too scary out there but it was a regular qualifying deal. My car was more comfortable than those that make me shake."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 5TH:
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHETHER TO RUN THE TOP OR THE BOTTOM? "It is just personal preference right now. What feels good you as a driver and where your car feels good. I felt better on the top but I know Mark (Martin) has been committed to the bottom all day. That is the good thing about this track. Normally, no matter where we go, there is one distinct groove, a good spot on the race track to be for qualifying. That is what is cool about being here at Homestead, there were polar opposite grooves to run in."
YOU HAVE WON TWICE HERE, HOW HAS THIS TRACK CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? "The first year I came here, it was still a rectangle track like Indianapolis. Then they made it an oval. Now it has got banking. We were leading this thing last year and lost it on a fuel mileage deal. This is a place I look forward to coming to. I don't think they ever missed on this track. It has always been a fun race track in all three configurations. I think this is the only place we have been to this year that we have had guys that qualified all the way on the bottom of the race track and guys who qualified all the way on the top of the race track. I think that part has been fun today to watch in qualifying to see who is comfortable where on the race track."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 6TH: TALK ABOUT THIS RACE TRACK, YOU ALWAYS RUN WELL HERE.
"For whatever reason for RCR and our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, it has been a good race track for us. It just fits everything that we do. It is a lot of fun because you can race from the bottom to the top. Our car has been good all day today."
DID YOU CHANGE MUCH FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING? "We made a small adjustment on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy before qualifying based upon whatever else was doing at the beginning of the run. Our car handled really good the first lap. The second lap we lost a little bit of grip but all-in-all the car has been pretty good. We did about 50/50 in practice with race trim setup in the car and qualifying runs. This is a great race track for us so hopefully we can have a good run and end the year right."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 7TH:
MARK MARTIN SAID GETTING OFF TURN FOUR IS A LITTLE TRICKY, HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? "I saw Mark's (Martin) interview and he was mad. He was mad at himself during practice or I guess after practice and that probably led a little bit to his getting off turn four so good. It was a great run for our U.S. Army Chevrolet. I got loose down in three and four and lost some time down there. A good run for us and gave us a good starting spot which we haven't had the last few weeks.
"We finished practice with a lot of cloud cover and it is very temperature sensitive. It seems to be more so in three and four than one and two because we have a little shade right now down in one and two. We have seen it change. It kind of equalized everything a little bit. I think everybody is running about the same thing they did in practice. Mark (Martin) picked up a little bit, we ran about the same. Some other guys slowed down a little bit."
IT IS WARM TODAY, DID THE TRACK CHANGE MUCH FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING?
"It really didn't. We basically ran the same thing we ran in final practice. We made just a small air pressure adjustment. It was pretty much what we wanted there."
-credit: gm racing