Martinsville: Pole winner interview

Martinsville, VA -- Four time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and current point standings leader Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, will start on the pole for the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway rain because qualifying was cancelled due...

Martinsville, VA -- Four time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and current point standings leader Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, will start on the pole for the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway rain because qualifying was cancelled due to rain.

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS:

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO START OUT FRONT AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY?

"Honestly I think because of the pit road situation here this is probably the most important place to start on the pole because you get that number one pit stall. Either way I feel like rain or shine we had a shot at getting it. This is one of our best tracks and certainly great timing for us to be leading the points because of the rain today. It's going to work against even my teammate with Mark (Martin) where he's at in the points. It's kind of bittersweet for some and for us we are just taking advantage of all the hard work we put into the last five races."

DOES THIS GIVE YOU THE UPPER HAND AT MARTINSVILLE AGAINST JIMMIE JOHNSON?

"There's no doubt that if anybody gets that number one pit stall it gives them the upper hand. Of course the location of it, the ease of getting off pit road. The pit stalls are so tight here that there's really only one good one and that's it. I don't know about the Gordon-Johnson battle that you're talking about. We have to make that happen once the green flag comes out. Up until that point we've got Kurt Busch and plenty of other guys that are also going to be a threat I believe. With this new tire and a new year, I definitely expect Jimmie (Johnson) to be a real strong competitor out there, but it is the unknown of some of the other guys that we are not sure who is also going to be strong."

IS THIS AN EASY WIN FOR YOU WITH AS STRONG AS YOU ARE HERE AND GETTING THE FIRST PIT STALL?

"We've seen here before where pit strategy can really change what's going on in this race and you can be conservative one time and somebody else takes a chance and even with that pit stall can change really the whole face of the race. I wouldn't say that it's that much of an advantage, but it certainly is an advantage and it's something that we like a lot. We've had a lot of wins here and we've also had a lot of poles here so I'm not sure how many times we've won from the pole here. It certainly has contributed to some victories, but at the same times it hasn't guaranteed any of them."

IS IT A RELIEF TO NOT HAVE TO QUALIFY AND JUST GET THE POLE?

"I will tell you that my hopes for the day and I think Steve Letarte (crew chief) and the rest of the team will go along with this is that we got practice in today and could run some race runs and try some things out and get some laps and that qualifying would rain out so we could sit on the pole and get the number one pit stall. Our day has been about as perfect as we could ask for it today. That's just us kind of being selfish and knowing that where we're at in the points and looking all week of the forecast of the weather. It was very important for us to get laps on the track today. Had it rained all day today and we got the pole -- I would have been pretty nervous if it rains all day tomorrow to start this race on Sunday just because things have changed.

Competitors have gotten better, from an engineering standpoint you learn and you try and you push the limits to go faster and Goodyear has changed the tire. We're pretty happy, but I made a qualifying run and we were fastest and I didn't think that I got a very good lap in there so I felt like we had a shot at it either way."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch