Four Monte Carlo SS Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Positions for Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, earned the fourth starting...
Four Monte Carlo SS Drivers Score Top-10 Starting Positions for Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, earned the fourth starting position in tomorrow's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the fastest of four Bowtie Bridgade drivers to start in the top 10.
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT & T Monte Carlo SS, will start seventh with Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS in ninth and Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Monte Carlo SS will take the green flag in 10th position.
A total of 19 Chevrolet drivers will dot the field of 43 starters for the 14th annual NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Fourth
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: "Yeah, I made a mistake down there. Got in the corner a little too early and just got loose but I like to do the best I can. My guys are giving me a great car this weekend and we've had a good day so far in practice and it's really hard or tough when you can't do your job because that's the main point, that's why they put us in there. Especially going early it's going to hurt us. These guys are going to pick up speed as it gets later and gets cooler and I was trying to get all we could get and I just hate I didn't get as good a lap as I could. I think we lost about three tenths on that last corner."
ON CONDITIONS CHANGING HERE AS THE SUN GOES DOWN: "We were expecting the track to get faster and get beat by that but I kind of beat myself in turn four, made a mistake on that lap and cost us about two tenths so that kind of is a bummer but my guys gave me a great car. We've been fast all day like you said. I like to put it up there when they give me a car like that no matter if we do get beat by some of these guys later in the draw. We'll have a good car for tomorrow I hope. I want to run good here. I want to win and I'm going to try real, real hard."
ON BEING BACK WITH TONY EURY JR. THIS WEEKEND: "I'm always happy to be working with him. He's a talent and he does good things underneath the hood of my car and makes it drive good and we got a great, great, great relationship. When he gives me a good car I like it when I can do something with it and I hate costing us a little bit of time there."
IF QUALIFYING WAS AT 10 A.M, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN PRETTY CONFIDENT: "Absolutely. We have a really comfortable car and it's fast. We put up a great lap at practice and I felt the draw was good had the weather been the way it should have but I don't know, it made for an easy day yesterday so you got to look at the positives to make yourself happy. We run a good lap. I could have done better had I not make that mistake. My guys give me a good car and I'm frustrated about that a little bit but to have a good car, that's all you can ask for so I'm pretty stoked about tomorrow's possibilities."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WHERE THE CAR IS FOR TOMORROW? "I'm expecting that will be about a 15th, 18th position right there in qualifying. It's really, really hard to pass here so we're going to have to work real hard to make some spots on pit road and I'll do the best I can on the track but I think we got a top five car and if we treat it right and make the correct changes. This thing has no rubber on it right now so that race is going to really tighten that track up as it goes and we've got to be able to chase that track."
ON POSSIBLY BOTH FATHER AND SON HAVING A VICTORY HERE: "Just winning here period...I don't even recollect much about his win - it was so long ago - but it meant a lot to him and he was real, real proud of that. We've been in such a dry spell I'll just take a win however we can get it, wherever we could get it but it'd pretty damn awesome to get it here."
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinkos Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 10th
"I'm fairly happy with that. We picked up from where we were and the track was hotter. So I'm definitely happy with that. Some guys were picking up a little bit and some guys were dropping off a lot. But either way, I think that'll get us somewhere in the top 25. We struggled so much in practice that we'll pretty much take whatever we can get. We were so far down there; second to last or so for most of the practice, so we're slowly but surely making improvements on it."
Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 14th
"The lap was pretty good, actually. We picked up about two tenths. That's better than we were in practice. I get a little nervous in qualifying here; more nervous than I do for the race. So, I'm happy with that."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 19th
"It wasn't a bad run. We didn't make a qualifying run in practice because we were pretty far off on race trim. So we'll just see how that goes and where it puts us. I thought we had a great draw but it just turned out to be a bad one. That's the way it goes."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 21st
"Oh, we're going to get smoked later. There are some guys here who are going to go really, really fast. And that early number didn't help. I thought the car actually felt really well balanced. It was a little bit tight just like I couldn't get the throttle down as hard as I needed to but we went after it. That's about where we were at earlier today and I was hoping to pick up a little bit. But I actually missed my line a little bit going into (Turn) 4. The car felt good. I had a good three corners and usually Turn 4 is a little freer. So I drove in a little deeper and I just missed the bottom. So that probably cost us about a tenth. But we'll see where we end up. I think we've got a real good race car in this DuPont Chevrolet. I'm not going to worry too much about qualifying. I'm real proud of this race team and the cars we're bringing to the race track. Even if we had a really bad day today I'd still feel optimistic on Sunday."
J.J. Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 23rd
"The car was awesome. The tires are different than what we ran last year. Had a lot more grip and I was just trying to base everything off last year. Obviously after you wreck one car you tend to be a little more cautious after the first one but the car was really good. My guys worked hard getting the back up car ready, getting the backup running for practice and going out to make a qualifying run. This is the car we ran in Charlotte. It's an excellent race car. It's good to be at Joe Gibbs Racing, the backup car is primary at some of the race tracks. We have really good cars and we'll get it done on Sunday."
Jeff Green, No. 66 Best Buy / Haas Automation Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 24th
"The car felt good. We're lacking a little speed, but it seems like most of the Hendrick cars aren't as fast as they'd like them to be, and we're running the same engine package they have. The car was good in race trim and handled well, and that's nine-10ths of the battle. The major concern is that we're wearing tires out as fast as we can put them on the car. Hopefully, the sunshine tomorrow will make the track take the rubber better. I'm thinking NASCAR will throw a mandatory caution at some point, and after that we're hoping we'll be able to do a full fuel run on a set of tires. Tires could definitely be an issue tomorrow, though."
Ward Burton, No. 4 State Water Heaters/Lucas Oil Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 40th
"Coming off (Turn) four I was really tight going to the green. Coming off four I slid the nose and I got really pushy with the nose on the exit and lost three or four more tenths there so I'm sorry for Jeremy (Mayfield). Jeremy's a great guy and a super driver. His car must have been a little bit worse than mine. But I tell you what, it was pretty interesting. All of us said it's nerve wracking for us out of the top 35 but my son was just saying 'Dad, feel this' and his heart was beating more than mine. He's my best advocate and sometimes my worst critic but one of these days he'll be out here showing us how to do it."
Jeb Burton, son of Ward Burton:
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WATCHING YOUR DAD WATCH EVERYONE ELSE TO SEE IF HE'D MAKE THE FIELD? "(I was) closing my eyes and praying to God, that's about all it was. It was just terrible, I don't know what to say."
ON HIS DAD MAKING THE FIELD: "Yes sir. That paycheck's going to be real good for my go-kart fund (laughs)."
SO IS THAT WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING? "Every daggone bit of it."
-credit: gm racing