KYLE BUSCH IS FASTEST QUALIFIER FOR CHEVROLET IN 3RD; JIMMIE JOHNSON STARTS 15TH Homestead, FL - Championship point leader Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, will start 15th in Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series finale at...
KYLE BUSCH IS FASTEST QUALIFIER FOR CHEVROLET IN 3RD; JIMMIE JOHNSON STARTS 15TH
Homestead, FL - Championship point leader Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, will start 15th in Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnson, who drew an early qualifying spot, holds a 63 point lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup going in to the 2006 season's final event.
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's Monte Carlo SS, posted the fastest qualifying time for Team Chevy and will start third in the 43-car field with a lap of 30.317 seconds, 178.118 mph, just 0.024 second behind pole sitter Kasey Kahne.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS; Brian Vickers, No. 25 GMAC Monte Carlo SS; Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo SS; J.J. Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo SS and Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Monte Carlo SS also posted top-10 qualifying spots giving Chevy six starters in the first five rows.
The Ford 400, scheduled for 267-laps/400-miles will start at 2:55 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Live television coverage will be provided by NBC TV. Both MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio will bring live lap-by-lap over the airwaves.
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY MONTE CARLO SS:
"All these guys have worked so hard on the U.S. Army Chevy. It's one of the cars I've been running pretty good with lately. It was a pretty good lap. I got through Turns 1 and 2 real good. I didn't quite get through Turns 3 and 4 like I wanted to. But we'll take it.
"When you put it on the edge and you are trying to make these cars go as fast as you can, I am really proud of my U.S. Army team. I tried really hard to get them all I could, I got through one and two really good but three and four I didn't get through them quite like I wanted to. I tried making up a little ground on my second lap, and that wasn't the thing to do, I almost lost it getting in the corner, just trying to drive in, make a bigger arc, doing all the things you need to do to go faster and put it on that edge. We ran a 50, I thought we could have run in the mid-30s but that is a good lap, that is all we got. We will just see if everybody made their adjustments right."
*** JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS:
DOES 'ANXIOUS' DESCRIBE YOUR TEAM THIS WEEKEND? "We're certainly excited to just get to work. We want to get out there and do the job we've been working so hard on and been trained to do. We had a good practice session. Now qualifying, that's the best lap we've had all day. So I'm hoping that it stays up there and we get a good starting spot. But we went so early; I just don't know what emotion to have right now.
"I am curious where we are going to end up. We made two great changes; the car went 2/10th faster than we did in practice. I just really don't know how the early draw is going to affect me. It is cloudy and overcast, big question mark for me. If we end up with 12th or better, I would be happy with that going out this early. WE have a great race car once again so we will take what we get and go on to Sunday."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 7 MENARDS/ENERGIZER MONTE CARLO SS
Note: Engine failed during qualifying run
"It's just kind of how the season is going. We got our cars going pretty fast and we're having some good runs. But I don't know. I think this is our fourth motor in five weeks. We've definitely got some work to do."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS:
"We are pretty happy with that lap. Our GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was a little bit edgy in practice and then Todd (Berrier) made some great adjustments on it and it drove really good in qualifying. So, all in all, it was a great lap and it's really fast in race trim, so that's the great thing. I am not known to be notoriously great at qualifying, today was pretty good."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS:
"This weekend is obviously bittersweet. There are just so many people at Hendrick Motorsports that I have emotional connections, but at the same time, I am excited about new opportunities and a fresh start. Our qualifying wasn't bad. The GMAC Chevrolet was pretty good in qualifying trim. We were a little tight in the center in race trim so we are trying to fight that out of it. We made some changes at then end of our qualifying run and wanted to get back on the track and make a second run but we didn't get a chance to back out. I think that hurt us a little bit. But it was still a good lap for us."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS: "We are pretty happy, we thought we had a pretty good car we just weren't able to show it in practice. We got a great draw; that really helped out a lot. We will work on the car a little bit in practice getting it to turn better in the center and we will be happy."
-credit: gm racing