Phoenix II: GM teams qualifying notes, quotes

AVONDALE, Az. (November 12, 2010) -Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, was the fastest of the 15 Team Chevy drivers who qualified for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. McMurray, a three-time winner this season, will...

AVONDALE, Az. (November 12, 2010) -Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet, was the fastest of the 15 Team Chevy drivers who qualified for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

McMurray, a three-time winner this season, will start fifth in the 43-car field for the 312-lap/312-mile/500K race set to start Sunday at 1:00 p.m. MT (3:00 ET).

Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, will roll off in the eighth starting position.

Team Chevy Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contenders qualified as follows: Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet - 14th; Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet - 20th; Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet - 21st; Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet - 22nd, Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet - 29th, and Jeff Burton, No. 31 CAT Financial Chevrolet -- 40th.

Carl Edwards (Ford) was the pole winner. A.J. Allmendinger (Ford), Kurt Busch (Dodge) and Greg Biffle (Ford) complete the top-five qualifiers.

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REGAN SMITH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH:

ON HIS LAP: "I didn't feel like I got through one as good as I did in practice and probably left a little bit on the table there. Just a little loose down in three and four. It's two good week in qualifying in a row for us. These guys on this Furniture Row Chevy have been working hard. This team keeps getting better each week. We keep building better race cars and the guys in the shop are doing a great job. I was out there this week with them. I think the sky is the limit for us right now. We are going to keep working hard and see where it takes us."

HOW MUCH HAS THE TRACK CHANGED SINCE PRACTICE? "It is still really slick in three and four. One and two has more grip. It is a little better than it was. It is so tough being able to see going into the corner down there (turn one) right now, I'm not sure going out early was that much of a disadvantage because it is going to keep getting worse and worse to be able to see where you are going down there."

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST:

ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT: "We wanted the pole. That is what we worked on all day was to have a car that could do that. Had a really good balance in practice and certainly hoped to pick up enough to get the pole here today. The further forward you can start, everything is just so much better for you. It is a short race. Track position helps there. Pit road pick. The better we qualify, the happier we are going to be."

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22ND:

ON HIS LAP: "I knew the number one draw never is great. I didn't get a very good lap. The car was actually pretty good in practice. We got held up by a car. I thought we could go a little bit faster than that."

YOU CERTAINLY SHOWED YOUR FANS LAST WEEK THAT THE FIRE IS STILL BURNING: "To see the fans reaction from it, I certainly appreciate all the support. I think people sometimes don't realize how passionate we are about what we do here. Sometimes it takes an incident like that to show that or you have to go to victory lane to show your emotion. It is just different things that go on where that comes out. That was one of those incidents. Now we can move on and go race here at Phoenix this weekend."

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JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CAT FINANCIAL CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 40TH:

ON HIS EFFORT: "Heading down into one, you still can't see real well. We were really good in race trim but when we went to Q-trim (qualifying), we weren't very good at all. We've been trying some different stuff. Trying to get better for qualifying. Obviously today wasn't very good, but we are trying hard. We have struggled qualifying all year, we're working on some stuff but we can't seem to find it. It isn't from lack of effort."

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CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH:

ON HIS LAP: "We were just loose off of four, just couldn't put the power down. Way better than we were with our Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet when we unloaded. We are trying to better ourselves in qualifying. It is something that we have been trying to work on as a group at RCR. Doing that, sometimes you strike. Really have to back up and punt. Go back to what work in the springtime. It was a pretty decent run for us, I'm happy with it."

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BRENDAN GAUGHAN, NO. 71 SOUTH POINT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 44TH:

"It has been a long time since I've driven the Sprint Cup version of the COT. I wasn't able to get up to speed as quickly as I would have liked in practice. We were tight all day. Once we got the tight out of it we just went too loose. In qualifying, I really wanted to do better for the TRG guys. The second lap was going to be a 27-second flat lap. It wasn't going to put us on pole, but it was going to be quicker. I was at the bottom of Turns Three and Four and I told myself all day to diamond the turn as I had been doing all day. I told myself no, and tried to go for it on the bottom. I have never been one not to go for it, so it was my own fault. It cost us some time, but I had to go for it. In the race we will be solid. My main concern is to do a good job for TRG and try to get us a top 25 finish."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , A.J. Allmendinger , Carl Edwards , Regan Smith , Clint Bowyer
Teams Furniture Row Racing