ROBBY GORDON, NO. 7 JIM BEAM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "That was a decent lap -- especially when we're looking at how we're splitting hairs here. The Jim Beam Chevrolet was very fast in practice yesterday. We thought we had a shot at the pole today.
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 7 JIM BEAM CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"That was a decent lap -- especially when we're looking at how we're splitting hairs here. The Jim Beam Chevrolet was very fast in practice yesterday. We thought we had a shot at the pole today. Obviously that's slipped out of our hands now. But we're working on it. I think our car is going to be really good when we pull the tape off of it."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The car drove really good. It's just really slick right now. The track doesn't have as much grip and I'm afraid that's going to bite us. I think later it's going to get better -- unless the sun comes out -- and that's not going to happen. The Cingular Chevrolet was good. This is the best race car we've had all year and I really feel good about it."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was a great lap. I'm just really proud of these guys on the DuPont Chevrolet team. We've had a lot of pressure and a lot of changes this week. This is a great track for us to go through those adjustments with the team because this is a track we ran really well at the last time we were here. We had a great baseline set-up. I'm just proud of Steve Letarte and the guys on this team for working as hard as they have to make improvements and so far, qualifying is a big improvement. I'm pretty happy with that lap." HOW ABOUT FOR TOMORROW? "Well, I will say we were better in our race runs than we were in our qualifying run yesterday."
HOW IS THE NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR NEW CREW CHIEF, STEVE LETARTE SO FAR? "It's hard to call it a new relationship. I've known Steve for over nine years. He's been with this team and worked side-by-side with Robbie (Loomis) over the last several years. It's a little bit different when he's got his head in the window and he's asking me questions about what the car is doing. But it's been fun. I think the guy has a lot of talent and we're very excited about what the future has in store for us."
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was good for us. We wanted to actually scuff our tires yesterday but didn't get a chance to. So the first lap we really slid around a lot and it finally started coming in on the second lap. That's when we picked up a lot. I'd be really happy with a top 10. But if we wind up in the top 12, that would be good. I think we'll be a lot better in race trim. We made a lot of changes this morning. But we're satisfied. That was a big pick-up for us."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I'm not real confident that'll be a pole lap, but that'll be close. Rusty (Wallace) has a really good shot. He's been fast all weekend so far. But we definitely have a good race car. Our car was really good in race trim yesterday and I was really happy with today. I think that's the best lap I've ever run at Loudon."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was a decent lap. I've got to thank my whole Army crew. I thought it run a lot faster than that because the car drove so good. But I probably didn't drive it quite as hard as I should have. There is such a fine line here. I've had really good cars here in the past and overdrove them just a little bit in qualifying and ended up in the back. But the car drove really good. It didn't do anything crazy. I probably didn't get all I could get down here in (Turns) 3 and 4. But I'll take it and I think I've got a heck of a race car."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I am happy with our qualifying effort today, that was out goal. Top-10 today and top-five tomorrow. That is how we wanted to start the Chase. So far we have met our goal. With track position being so critical here, we are without a doubt, happy and more confident going into tomorrow's race. We can do what the leaders do, we don't have to get creative, take unneeded risks and chances to get up front.
TODAY IS JIMMIE'S BIRTHDAY - Would a win be a great birthday present? "Without a doubt, it would be a great birthday present and a great way to start the Chase.
ARE YOU FEELING ANY PRESSURE FOR THE CHASE? "No not really and last year it did take a little bit of time before the pressure really ramped up.. Right now, we are all fine. Once we have three or four races in, the crew will start to feel the pressure, I will start to feel it. Right now, it is kind of the calm before the storm and I predict in two or three races from now, the pressure is going to ramp up. It absolutely helps that we were in the Chase last year, we know what to expect. We know we can loose it in the first few races but we also know that you can win it in the last few races. That is what I learned last year which will help this year."