Toyota teams Dover II qualifying quotes

Toyota Motorsports press release

Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 1st

Do you have a car you can win with tomorrow? “Not sure, to be honest with you. We worked through a lot of things yesterday in practice and it felt like the car was pretty good in the first practice and then we went to second practice and we fought some things, but I think we found a little bit of an issue with our car and we’ll have it dialed in. We’ve had a really good NAPA Toyota the last couple times we’ve been here and Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all these guys just did an awesome job tuning it up for qualifying, so just got to thank them for all their hard work. They’ve been doing a good job lately, so hopefully tomorrow we can put it all together. Just a great lap and feels good to be back here at Dover.”

Does it feel good to win a pole at your home track? “Yeah, thanks. It was a good lap. I knew it was good coming off of four, but of course you never know exactly what time you have to run, especially today with the track being so much faster than it was in practice yesterday. Just got to thank everybody on my NAPA team. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys did a good job last night of tuning on it and, you know, make it better than it was yesterday. It’s always nice to come here to Dover. I love this place. We’ve got a great pit stall now and great track position to start the race. Hopefully, we can keep it up there all day and get back to victory lane this weekend in the AAA 400.”

What makes the Truex family so strong at this track? “That’s a great question. I feel like I understand what it takes to get around the place and I think, in the end, I’ve been fortunate enough to have good race cars here. I love coming here and it’s a really, really challenging and difficult race track and if you don’t like it, it is one of those places that you’re never going to figure out and it’s going to be difficult for you. I think it’s a little bit of both. I really enjoy the place and, of course, I’ve had good race cars too. I can’t really put my finger on it, but hopefully on Sunday, tomorrow, we can get back to victory lane. It’s been a while. We’ve been close a bunch of times, but I feel good that we can get back there this weekend. Certainly, our team has done a phenomenal job the second part of the year here and Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all the guys have don’t a nice job. We’ve had some really strong runs lately, so this is a great thing for us and hopefully -- it would be nice to get back to victory lane before the season is out. We’re preparing hard for next year. Everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) is pushing hard and trying to get our stuff better and we just need a little bit of luck and hopefully we can make it happen this weekend.”

How much of a difference can a good starting position make? “I can make a huge difference, especially if we have a top-five race car. Track position, as we all know, has been paramount this year more than ever. It’s been harder to pass than it ever has. The competition is closer than it has ever been. If you gain one or two spots on pit road every time, that can go a long way towards having a great finish. It’s really, really important. I think it’s going to help us tomorrow and if we have a car capable of taking advantage of it, it will be a huge advantage. We’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. I don’t think our car was exactly where we wanted it yesterday afternoon, but I’ve got confidence that the guys will do what they need to do to it and fix it up for tomorrow. But a huge advantage here. Just getting onto pit road in itself is something difficult. We know how tight pit road is here. Guys pulling out in front of you. It’s easier to get to where we’re up here and blocked in and all that. It’s going to be a big advantage. Hopefully we’ll have the car that we need to take advantage of that.”

How does it feel to win a pole as a Chase outsider? “It doesn’t feel good to not be in it, let’s start off with that. Yeah, I mean it feels good to go out there and this is what we come to the race track to do every weekend. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Chase or not. We come here to be the best we can be. Certainly, today we were the best out of the cars on the race track and that’s what we want to do every weekend. If we can continue to do that, we’ll be in the Chase next year. At the end of the day, that’s what we all try to do. It’s what we all strive for and I’ve got a lot of confidence and faith in my time that we’re going to get there. It’s just a matter of time. Use these last eight races this year, hopefully, to be prepared better for next year than we were this year. This time next year, hopefully we’ll be sitting in the Chase.

What do you remember about your win here in 2007? “I remember everything about it. It was just one of those days where everything just went right. We had the fastest car on the track, the cautions never came out when they shouldn’t have, we didn’t get caught on pit road or a lap down or anything crazy. We didn’t have flat tires or anything like that -- it was one of those days where we had the car to beat and nothing fell out of the sky and hit it. We didn’t have any bad luck and we had a great race car and that’s what it takes. I know we’ve had countless other opportunities to win when we’ve had a car that good and it just hasn’t worked out. Hopefully this weekend will be the time when we have that kind of car again and hopefully everything will work out for us. I’ve been close here a couple of other times since and it just hasn’t worked out. Last year we were running second and catching the leader here in this race and we left a wheel loose on pit road. It’s about doing all the little things right and having a great race car getting you to victory lane.”

Do you have an advantage at Dover with it being the closest track to your home town of Mayetta, N.J.? “I don’t know if it is an advantage. There’s some guys here that are really good. Jimmie Johnson has won here a bunch of times. I don’t think that there’s really an advantage anywhere we go as competitive as the field is and as good as these drivers are in the Cup Series. I think mentally it’s a good thing to feel like you’re better than somebody else at a certain track, but there’s other guys that are good here too and will have great results. I just go out there and try to do the best I can with what I have. I feel like this weekend will be a great opportunity for us.”

How far is your home town, Mayetta, N.J., from Dover International Speedway? “It’s about two hours, I guess depending on how fast you drive and what routes you take. This is the closest track to where I grew up. This is one of the race tracks that was responsible for me even getting an opportunity to come down here and race for a living. Running the East Series here a couple times and running well certainly in front of the Cup owners and Nationwide owners was a big part of the reason I ever got the opportunity to come down here. That’s a big reason why I owe a lot to this place and I love it so much -- it means a lot to me.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 5th

How was your race car in qualifying? “Everything was really good. Certainly the track has picked up time, there’s a lot of grip out there. We’re trying to take advantage of that and maximize everything we could. I got a decent lap, certainly would have hoped for a little bit more than that, but it’s all she wrote.”

How will your car be in the race? “The race is anybody’s game, but qualifying up front seems to help things so hopefully track position, getting good pit selections and that will be beneficial. The race is so hard to pass and so hard to race up front here that anything can happen. I think we have a good race car, the guys have done a nice job and prepared something that runs decent times and its better than what we were here in the spring. But, after 10 laps everybody runs the same times anyway so that’s why it’s going to be unpredictable.”

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Grilling.com Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 8th

How was your qualifying lap? “It was really good. I think we got all we can get out of it. We made a couple of changes from yesterday and it seemed to really work good. It’s always more interesting to look at my lap on TV than it was running the lap because it goes by so fast that you’re just in the gas so hard here and its so fast that you really don’t get to measure much of the corner, whether it was loose or tight -- it was about balanced and about right. I was excited about that. I didn’t know what to expect with the way the track conditions are, but not very surprised but very excited that we were able to go as fast as we did.”

Was your car stable out there? “No. It was more stable today than it was yesterday. Track’s got a lot of good grip in it right now. Our Grilling.com Toyota Camry, these guys did a good job making our changes from yesterday to today. We felt like we were definitely gaining on it yesterday in qualifying trim. It’s just a blast to go that fast here. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t know if the speeds have been faster -- I think they have before, but the tires are a lot of softer. Really cool.

KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 9th

How was your qualifying lap? “It was pretty decent. I was just a little -- it wasn’t perfect but it was pretty decent. It was a good and balanced lap. I think the race for tomorrow will be a little better than what we qualified, so we’ll be in the mix. We’ll just see how we do with adjustments, pit stops and decisions throughout the race. We have a car that actually feels really good.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 11th

How was your qualifying lap? “It was a step in the right direction. We improved a half-a-second from yesterday, which that’s a big gain for us. We were really struggling to find speed in our car yesterday and we got a little bit back with it today. We’re not all the way there but we’re getting closer.”

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 14th

How will your car be in Sunday’s race? “I think our Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota is pretty good for the race. We were a little bit too tight in qualifying. We weren’t bad, but it was definitely tighter than it needed to be and it doesn’t take much when everyone is so close. I think we’re okay for the race tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll get our season turned around. We’ve been trying to for a long time and haven’t been able to get there, so hopefully we can get things turned around and have some good racing.”

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 30th

How is your car after qualifying? “We weren’t sure what the track was going to do. We over adjusted a little bit and it was too tight. I think we have a good race car, so we’ll see. I think we’re just going to go back to where we were yesterday and we were fairly happy with it.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 33rd

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing, LLC Toyota Camry, HP Racing Starting Position: 35th

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 39th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 42nd

MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Starting Position: DNQ

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags toyota, truex

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