Las Vegas: Jeff Gordon post qualifying interview

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT -- Qualified 2nd: GOOD RUN "Thank you. We're real happy. Obviously we would have liked to be on the pole but Kurt (Busch) had a great lap there. I felt like we got a ...

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT -- Qualified 2nd:

GOOD RUN

"Thank you. We're real happy. Obviously we would have liked to be on the pole but Kurt (Busch) had a great lap there. I felt like we got a little bit free off of (Turn) 4 and that might have been the difference because it's pretty close. But still all in all, it was a great day for us and the DuPont/Pepsi Max Chevy and I'm looking forward to Sunday's race.

18 GUYS BROKE THE TRACK RECORD. WHY IS IT SO MUCH FASTER TODAY?

"Tires. There's a new tire Goodyear brought. I don't know all the differences. But it's definitely the tires. The teams do a great job. We bring a little bit more power this year over the off-season and make a little bit more power. We find ways to make the cars a little bit faster, but the majority of what happened today was tires."

WAS THE CAR SET-UP MAINLY FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY WHEN YOU PRACTICED TODAY? HOW DO YOU THINK YOU'LL RACE ON SUNDAY?

"We made two or three short race runs, which is sort of what we're going to do this year. We're going to do more of that and it certainly paid off today. Thankfully. The car felt real good. I felt like we were missing a little bit of speed at the beginning of the run, but it felt like it was really solid looking at the times on the fifth lap. But then we went into qualifying trim and made qualifying runs. So if it rains tomorrow at least we've got something to go off of. But you've still got to qualify. You've got to qualify up front. Track position is important. We'll just wait and see what happens tomorrow."

NOBODY HAS ASKED YOU ABOUT YOUR BACK AND IF YOU'RE DOING ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR IT THIS YEAR

"Thank goodness. I've just been working out real hard and it's still there, the discomfort, but it's not painful. So I'm getting through the races, no problem. And I think just all the working out that I've been doing is helping me to not focus too much on the back."

IS THAT ONE OF THE REASONS THAT YOU'VE DECIDED TO RACE PAST THE AGE OF 40?

"Yeah, that's the thing. At the time, whatever five or six years ago, that's the way I felt. And when the back thing came up, I thought that it could be something that could hamper me. But I wish I'd started the physical fitness training sooner because I feel like it would have helped. But I got a little lazy and won a bunch of races and got lazy and so it happens. And then you lose a bunch of races and some championships and it makes you have to dig deeper and work harder and when the team is doing all that they are doing I don't want to have any excuses out there. And certainly with what happened to my back, that was a big part of me having to strengthen my core. And then I started to like it and get into a regimented routine and it's definitely going to play a role in helping me to race more competitively longer."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon