KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Snickers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 6th How was your qualifying lap and could you have gone quicker on the second lap? "We couldn't -- for some reason our car was better out there on the first lap. All...
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Snickers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 6th
How was your qualifying lap and could you have gone quicker on the second lap? "We couldn't -- for some reason our car was better out there on the first lap. All in all, it was a pretty good run for us. The Snickers Toyota Camry has been pretty good since we unloaded it here today. We tested well out here about a month ago and feel like we have a pretty good race car. We'll take them as we can get them, and so far we've been getting them pretty well."
How confident are you coming back to this track where you've had success before? "Coming back here -- I'm with a different team now -- but I'm coming back to a place I've run well at in the past. Being able to run well again here proves it's not just the car. You need, in order to do well, it 's yourself somewhat, too. I'm happy with that."
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Subway oyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting TPosition: 12th
How was your qualifying run? "We had a good (turn) one and two, just needed to get through three and four a little better. I left a little bit on the table there. I think the rewards of the test are coming out now. We ran decent. Didn't qualify exactly where I want to be, but we ran a solid lap."
How important is balancing the handling between the four turns? "It's hard here. This is one of that tracks that normally if you get one end right the other end is a little bit off. It has been in every car I've ever driven here. Normally, if you get your car good on that end you're loose on this end, and if you get it good in (turns) three and four you're loose in (turns) one and two. If it's good in (turns) one and two, it's loose in (turns) three and four. It's a balancing act."
Anything special you'll be working on in practice tomorrow? "Just the normal stuff -- try to get it as balanced as we can and try to get it to keep speed for the whole run."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's/March of Dimes Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 16th
How did your car handle during your qualifying run? "For whatever reason, we didn't have the speed we had earlier (during p ractice). We picked up a little bit but not nearly as much as other guys. I felt like I ran my lines good, it was just a situation where we didn't feel we had the grip we had before. We slowed down a lot from what we thought we'd run. We just could find the speed that we had. I don't know exactly what we have to do."
How crucial is where you qualify at a track like Phoenix? "It's very critical. We put ourselves at the back of the pack here last spring and it took the entire race to get it back. It's very, very hard to pass here. We'll spend another half of the race getting back to the front on Saturday night."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Starting Position: 19th
Is Phoenix a tricky place to try to qualify? "It is. There's a little balance there between running too hard and not hard enough. For the driver it's kind of hard to tell if you had a good lap or not. I was more worried than normal this time."
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing Starting Position: 22nd
What problems did you have leading up to qualifying? "It was a tough one. We really only made one really good run in practice. We were getting ready to make our 'bonsai run' late in the afternoon with about 30 minutes to go, and had a failure with our cool down unit. We weren't able to get back out. So, we had to do a lot of guessing -- if the changes we were going to make were the right ones and how much the race track was going to change. Knowing that we really made only one qualifying run -- we're fairly satisfied with our run. I know if we got out (in practice) two or three more times, we would have been closer. Any time you go short track racing a tenth of a second is huge. I think we missed by a tenth-and-a-half of what we should have been running."
How did you enjoy throwing out the first pitch at the Diamondbacks game? "I played it down as small as I could in my mind. That way I didn't get nervous going out onto the field and completely make myself look foolish, like some other drivers have already done in years past. It went real smooth. I got to make a lap in the show car. I walked right out on the pitching rubber and threw a pitch. It may have been a little inside and a little high. Most of those guys are really big -- so I'm pretty sure it would have been a strike to 80% of the guys that are playing."
How do you feel about your lap? "These poor guys on the No. 84 Red Bull Camry really worked their butts off today. We came here with the stuff we've been testing at New Symrna (Florida) and stuff we tried at Martinsville, and didn't really thin k we had the confidence in it. We went to change things over and we ran into some problems, and had a hard time changing things over. It cost us our whole practice so we never got to make a good solid run. I left a little on the table out there in turns three and four, but we got her in the race . That was the main goal."
How much work is left for you with this No. 84 team? "I think there's a lot of work left here. AJ (Allmendinger) is getting back in the car next (race) from what I understand and my work is not done when AJ gets back in the car. Our goal is to help Ricky (Viers, crew chief) and the whole Red Bull team to continue to build an effort with this No. 84 car and the 83 car -- to help the team as a whole. Hopefully, I can take 30 years of experience and help a little bit. I haven't been much help yet, but hopefully I can get there."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 26th
Can you tell us about your qualifying lap? "I probably should have run quicker than we did. We felt like if we could run a little bit quicker than we did we'd be alright. A lot of those other guys are trying to get the pole and stuff like that, and we can't even think in that direction because you go out there and make a mistake and it costs you getting in. It was a decent lap and the main goal was getting in the race and we managed to do that. We'll now switch to race trim and see how we are now."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 29th
Was your qualifying lap what you were looking for today? "We have to get better at this. It's not the team, it's me, and I need to just qualify better. It's frustrating -- these are the best teams and drivers in the world. The Aaron's Dream Machine was alright, we just need to get a little more out of it. We're better in race trim. I can't seem to hit a lap here in qualifying. It's something I think will take time and we'll get it sorted out. We only did one mock run in practice and I think that hurts us. A lot of those guys run three or four, so it's just tough."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 28th
How did your car handle in qualifying? "That was a good handling car. I like the way it felt. I felt like I was going faster than that. I just got a little tight. I 'chattered' the right front on the second lap. I ran a pretty sporty first lap that compared pretty good to people, and I just didn't pick up any. Just a little bit too tight. We think we made some good progress today with our car. It started out not to happy -- then it made me smile."
How important is balancing the handling between the four turns? "It's really not that much different. It's just 'grippier.' I don't really see it being any big difference between the turns. Just, overall there is way more grip than when we practiced."
What you will be working on in practice tomorrow? "We just got to get it to turn. We've been struggling to get them to turn on flat tracks and turning sideways on big tracks. So, we have to find the happy medium."
-credit: toyota motorsports