Johnson leads Chevrolet drivers with the top starting position at Texas

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:

WERE YOU MEDITATING, USING THE FORCE OR SOMETHING STAYING IN YOUR CAR? "I was just watching everybody go by and catch a glimpse of the Jumbotron over there and see where they pop up on the board. I've watched more interviews where a guy climbs out of a race car to a microphone, and just at that point in time, they fall to second. I didn't want it to happen. I knew I put down a good lap. Very proud of the effort my Lowe's team put into this race car today. We didn't unload like we wanted to. We made a lot of progress through the practice session, and then got it right there for qualifying."

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

THAT WAS AN 8/10TH OF A SECOND PICKUP. WHAT SORT OF A SITUATION DOES THAT PUT YOU IN FOR SUNDAY'S RACE? "We have race practice tomorrow, and we'll just work on our car and try to get it right from there. Today we focused just on qualifying, so it was a bit frustrating the first run or two in practice when we didn't have the speed that we wanted to. But, we kept our heads down, focused on the right things, and got the car where it needed to be."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 16TH:

ON HIS QUALIFYING: "I thought it was a decent lap; good pickup from practice. Obviously with what Jimmie (Johnson) ran it shows you just how much speed is out there, and I'm real concerned with the gap from him to me. He either laid down the lap of a lifetime, or we're going to have a lot of cars in between him and me. Jimmie puts it out there on the edge. It is good to know he's not superstitious at all. (LAUGHS) Sitting in his car last week until qualifying was over. He's got a lot longer wait this week, so it might get a little warm in there, but he's not superstitious. (LAUGHS). They are just good. You don't win five championships, and be in the running for a sixth this year without being a great driver, and a great team. They have all the same resources that we do. The same opportunity. It us always motivates us to work harder and get better."

ON SUNDAY'S RACE: "Last time we were here, we qualified like 34th, and we drove all the way up to the top-five. This track was really good for us the last time we were here. I'm excited about our chances this weekend."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH:

ON HIS QUALIFYING: "It was not too bad. I think the car had a little more speed than that. I just didn't drive the line right, or something. We'll start mid-pack and have to work from there."

IS WHERE YOU START REALLY IMPORTANT HERE? "The track is pretty wide, so I'm not concerned about where we start. We just don't have much racing left, so I would really like to do some good things before the season's over with. I would just like to do better than that. I think we should have been able to do better than we ran just now."

DANICA PATRICK, GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 32ND

ON HER QUALIFYING EFFORT: “I feel like we had a really good first practice and as I just joked with the guys, I feel like our first 12 or 14 laps or whatever we’ve done so far has been a really solid start for us for the first ones. And our first qualifying run in practice was really good. Tony (Gibson, crew chief) did a good job of making an assessment of where we needed to start. So we weren’t far off for that qualifying run and it’s nice to know logically, why it’s going to be better or why you can believe in it. We talked a lot about that. We looked at the throttle traces. It gave me that confidence and that knowledge of how to drive just a little bit better in qualifying. We want to make more progress, but I think Tony’s done a good job of being realistic of what we need to be shooting for”

DOES LOOKING AT THE DATA HELP? “It does. I think there is overload at some point in time with analyzing and thinking about it. But it’s about being smart about what you’re looking at and that’s what we’ve done. And I love when he tells me and says in the Media Center that I want to give her a car that she likes to drive. And that’s nice to hear. He listened to me the whole way through practice and it shows.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 24TH

ON HIS RUN “We’ve had a very long day. We unloaded with something, set-up wise, that was kinda of out there. But we have nothing really to lose, so we’re just trying all kinds of out of the box ideas; and it didn’t work very well today so we kind of put something normal back in. I don’t think It’s a very good lap, but it’s a lot better than what we were.”

THIS IS SUCH A REALLY LONG RACE. IS YOUR STARTING POSITION AS IMPORTANT OR IS THERE ENOUGH ABILITY TO MOVE AROUND DURING THE RACE TO GAIN THE TRACK POSITION YOU NEED? “I think it’s one of the hardest tracks to pass on that we come to. We talked about that in the spring, and it just doesn’t seem like there’s many cautions here and four or five laps after the restart it’s like you just can’t even get to the guy in front of you. The race track falls off really bad, the banking on the exit of the corner, it’s just one of the most aero-sensitive tracks we have even though you can run two-wide around it, it’s really hard to pass. It’s really hard to pass anywhere, but this seems like a bit more of a challenge.”

IS THIS RACE GOING TO BE ANOTHER FUEL MILEAGE, TRICKY SITUATION? “I think this is normally a fuel-mileage race. The one cool thing that will happen here is that the tires fall off but they don’t fall off that much and it’s hard to pass. I think you’ll see guys in the back stay out and maybe that’ll cause some really good racing.”

Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags chevrolet, danica, earnhardt, gordon, johnson, mcmurray, patrick, texas