Michigan II: GM teams qualifying quotes

Joe Nemechek -- ...

Joe Nemechek -- #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet
Pole Winner

GREAT QUALIFYING RUN TODAY

Yeah, it's been long overdue. I'm so proud of my whole U.S. Army team. All the men and women serving in our military--I know they're watching all around the world today and I'm so proud of what we do and I know they're proud to see that U.S. Army car running good and in front. My lap was a pretty good lap. I didn't get everything out of it that I should have, but it's kind of like everybody else, you think you can get a little more. We'll take what we can get and this U.S. Army Chevy is just as good in race trim as it is in qualifying, so I'm ready to go.

DID YOU HEART SINK AFTER YOU QUALIFIED WELL AND THE RAIN CAME OUT--POTENTIALLY NEGATING YOUR LAP?

It absolutely did, but that's kind of how our luck's been. We've been so close to winning and there has been two or three races we've given away right there at the end. And now to get this pole means a lot to the team and the crew. We have a lot of chemistry on right now. I mean, this whole year has been good. Ryan Pemberton and myself have been communicating well, I'm giving him good feedback and when I hop in those cars I got faith that they're going to go fast. Just getting all I can right now.

(Note: Nemechek was unable to come to the media center for an extended pole winner press conference as he was scheduled to immediately run in the Domino's Pizza 250 Busch Series race at MIS)

Kyle Busch -- #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet
4th position

HOW WAS YOUR LAP?

It was good. Being the first car out after the rain delay after the jet dryers on the track, putting the fuel they do, you're kind of hesitant going into the first turn because nobody has gone before you in that condition. So, I wish I was able to follow Joe out there after he was able to make his run. We probably could have been a tenth, at least a tenth, better than what we ended up running. Overall, though, I'm pretty excited about tomorrow's race. That was a pretty good lap for the Kellogg's Chevy just to be able to put it up front within the top 5. It's a good effort for the team and everything they did today and yesterday getting it prepared was excellent.

Brian Vickers -- #25 GMAC / ditech.com Chevrolet
7th position

Yeah, it was okay. It was loose. It got out from under me both times in turn 3 and there's not a lot we can do about it, but it wasn't bad.

HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST ONES OUT THERE ON THE TRACK AFTER THE RAIN DELAY?

Yeah, it felt like it had a lot of grip. It did. I think going out after the rain and the jet dryers didn't help any. I'm not going to say that was the difference between the pole, because we were still a little too loose anyway, but it definitely didn't help.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
10th position

RE: DELAYED QUALIFYING AND HOW THAT CHANGES THINGS FOR THE START

Well, it wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that we blew an engine in first practice, so it is good though because we'll have a good pit stop pick and all that. We'll take that and go with it. But, I'm going to start at the back and drive this Lowe's Monte Carlo up through the field. Looking at the radar it looks like it's going to take a while to get the track dry--it's pretty wet. The Busch race is coming up. I would say we're probably going to get the track dry just in time for the rain to come back.

HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO PREPARE FOR QUALIFYING AND THEN RIGHT BEFORE FIND OUT IT'S BEEN DELAYED DUE TO RAIN?

I think now that this is my fourth year in the sport, you can't get too excited about anything. If you're Joe Nemechek right now he does have the right to go off and be too excited about it. But everyone else, I think once you're in the sport a while I think you just have to roll with it. With all the races we have during the year, so rain out and some don't. Some you think they are going to rain out and they don't. So, you've just got to roll with it and go on.

YOU'VE NEVER WON AT MICHIGAN--WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?

It's going to take a lot. This has been a bad track for us. We've been competitive at times during the race, had some good finishes set up. I think I ran out of fuel one time, running third or so. That was by far my best race and we still didn't have anything for DJ when he won it. So, hopefully we get it figured out. We've been great at Fontana. But what we've had at Fontana doesn't directly apply here. We've been a 10th of 15th place car. So, hopefully we got everything right. A new package once again--every time we come back we're trying something new and hopefully this is what we need.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -- #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
16th position

HOW WAS YOUR LAP?

Yeah, real good. Especially with the early draw. Hopefully it will warm up here and the sun will come out a little bit and slow some of these other guys down. I was real happy with my lap. We worked yesterday on race runs only and didn't do any qualifying runs. So that was a real good effort. A lot of good guessing on my team's part and the car was real comfortable.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE NEWS THIS WEEK ABOUT TONY EURY, JR. SIGNING A LONG-TERM CONTRACT WITH DEI?

Just, you know, I wanted him to sign on. I was glad that he was able to talk to other people to find out where he is in this business and I think that's fair for him and fair for everybody to really know where they stand. And, it helped him in what his decision was going to be and so he could make the right decision for himself. And, I'm real glad for the decision he made. And I think that puts me and him with an opportunity to work together in the future. You know, aside from my own motives, he's a huge asset to the company. He's one of the most important people at the company as far as knowledge of the sport, knowledge of the cars, where the sport is headed from mechanically and technically. He's a huge asset.

WOULD HE BE YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR A CREW CHIEF NEXT YEAR?

Not quite ready to talk about that.

DOES IT HELP TO HAVE SOMEONE SO CLOSE LIKE THAT STAY AT THE COMPANY?

Yeah, you know, people like that will do the best they can to maintain the integrity of the company. Kind of maintain the vision, so to speak. And, take care of things and treat thigns as their own, more so. I think that's one thing that we have at DEI that a lot of other teams don't have, is that when you come there--I don't know if it's just different--there is a sense of, it's just bigger than the company, you know what I mean? Everybody takes care of things. Things are a little more well respected. Parts, pieces. Stuff is taken care of and it lasts longer. That's one thing. Tony, Jr. has spent so much time around there and been there so long, pretty much. I'd say a good 50% of who is he today was built there. A lot of it comes from Robert Gee, spent a lot of time with Grandaddy. That was kind of his foundation, but he learned a lot at Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated. It's awesome that he's willing to--I mean, obviously he could go to some stronger teams at this point. And, he could obviously probably make some more money. But I think he chose to make decision that won't wake him up in the middle of the night, you know what I mean?

Bobby Labonte -- #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet
18th position

HOW WAS YOUR LAP?

We didn't make a qualifying run yesterday. I got in the fence right at the end of first practice, so they worked real hard to get the car back in shape. They did a great job do that, so we didn't make a qualifying run. So, the first lap was kind of easy and the second lap I had a little bit better feel about what was going on. Good job from all the guys and I'm not sure where we'll end up but still pretty happy with it.

Scott Riggs -- #10 Valvoline Chevrolet
19th position

HOW WAS YOUR LAP?

Yeah, it was pretty good for us. We didn't spend a lot of time on qualifying effort yesterday. Tried to, but the lap we tried to make, the car got really loose so we had to call if off. So, you know, don't know what it's going to hold up as far as that laps goes, but feel pretty good about our race setup. We worked a lot of laps on our race setup.

PEOPLE TALK ABOUT STRATEGY AND TIRES HERE--YOU GUYS KNOW YOU HAVE THE ENGINE PART COVERED, THOUGH

Oh yeah, never have to worry about Hendrick horsepower. We'll always have great horsepower. We feel we've got our car working pretty well and we've got our geometry figured out. Rodney's been doing a good job on getting the car like he wants it. I think that we've had some good cars. There have been a lot of good cars here lately than we've been able to show and we just want to get a good finish.

Tony Stewart -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
36th position

HOW WAS YOUR LAP?

It was alright. It was just a little bit free on entry, but that's the way you want it when you're in qualifying trim. I'm pretty excited and I think it's going to be good for tomorrow.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION REGARDING THE PROBATION FROM THE BUSCH INCIDENT?

I can understand. The good thing is they're consistent with what they do. You know, it wasn't a real big deal, but they're consistent with it. Brian and I didn't have any problems with it and afterwards we were laughing about it, actually. The hard thing with NASCAR is that they don't give you an avenue to vent your frustrations when you have them with another driver. And they know that, too. It puts us in the bad position that we're all in. You know, the good thing is we do get a chance to talk about it when it's over and when we laugh about it we know it's alright then.

Kevin Harvick -- #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
42ND position

The GM Goodwrench Chevy was good. It stuck real well in turns 1 and 2. Just got loose on me in turns 3 and 4. It just felt so good that I drove it in there and it got a little bit loose. We'll race good. It's been good all week.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Brian Vickers , Kyle Busch