Pocono: GM Racing qualifying quotes, notes

Team Chevy Drivers Lock Up Six of Top-10 Starting Positions for Pocono 500 Jimmie Johnson Set to Start on Outside Row One; Mark Martin Starting Third; 14 Impala SS Drivers to Take Green Flag Sunday at Pocono Raceway Long Pond, PA - June 6, 2008...

Team Chevy Drivers Lock Up Six of Top-10 Starting Positions for Pocono 500 Jimmie Johnson Set to Start on Outside Row One; Mark Martin Starting Third; 14 Impala SS Drivers to Take Green Flag Sunday at Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, PA - June 6, 2008 - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, captured the outside front row starting spot for Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has two wins at the unique tri-oval track.

Its awful early here in the weekend," said Johnson. "But the way the car drove in practice, we found ourselves toward the top of the board for most of practice. So far things are looking good and well find out a lot more tomorrow in race practice.

"We had a great car in practice, so I expected a good qualifying effort. So well just have to see how things unfold. But this Lowes Impala has been strong the entire time we've been here and I got a good lap right there.

Mark Martin, No. 8 Steak-umm Burgers Impala SS, will start third in his quest to capture his first career victory at Pocono. Martin holds the record for most top-five finishes at Pocono, 19 in 42 starts.

It was a very good lap," said Martin. "I want to thank Tony Gibson and everybody at DEI for building great race cars. Its a privilege to drive stuff like this and I just want to thank them. I love driving fast race cars and I love this race track.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Regan Smith, No.01 Principal Financial Group/DEI Impala SS, will roll off fourth on Sunday after posting his career-best qualifying effort.

Joe Nemechek, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Impala SS, will start fifth, giving Team Chevy four of the top-five starting positions for the 200-lap/500-mile race.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. put his No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Impala SS on the inside of the fourth row in the seventh starting position.

Scott Riggs, No. 66 State Water Heaters Impala SS, will start 10th giving Team Chevy six of the top-10 starters.

Kasey Kahne will start on the pole.

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Qualified 2nd:

"I don't know if it was an advantage or disadvantage to going out first. Typically it's a disadvantage. We had a great car in practice, so I expected a good qualifying effort. So we'll just have to see how things unfold. But this Lowe's Impala has been strong the entire time we've been here and I got a good lap right there."

YOU HAVE WON TWICE HERE BEFORE. IS THIS CAR GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN AGAIN ON SUNDAY? "It's awful early here in the weekend, but the way the car drove in practice, we found ourselves toward the top of the board for most of practice. So far things are looking good and we'll find out a lot more tomorrow in race practice."

ON ONE-LAP QUALIFYING? "You can't make two laps. If you do, you have to take a lot of tape off and really sacrifice that first lap. So I don't think anybody will run a second lap unless they really messed up the first lap."

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MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 STEAK-UMM BURGERS IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd:

YOU'VE HAD 18 TOP 5 STARTS AT POCONO. IT SEEMED LIKE THE SUN CAME OUT AND THE TRACK GOT HOTTER: "It was a very good lap. I want to thank Tony Gibson and everybody at DEI for building great race cars. It's a privilege to drive stuff like this and I just want to thank them. I love driving fast race cars and I love this race track."

HOW DID THE CAR UNLOAD? TALK ABOUT TESTING LAST WEEK" "We were at the top of the sheet there most of the time. So the car is good. The car was good at the test. I look forward to the event this weekend. It'll be fun."

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SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 66 STATE WATER HEATERS IMPALA SS -- Qualified 9th

YOU HAD A GREAT RUN TODAY. WERE YOU CONFIDENT ALL DAY LONG? "Yeah, we unloaded off the truck pretty good and exactly where we left off in the test. So we had a lot of good ideas and Matt and the guys did a good job and even Bootie back in the shop did a good job of looking at all the information and knowing what kind of direction we needed to go when we came here. We know we executed a good day today in practice and went through our plan. We learned what we needed to learn and probably could have taken some chances and made some adjustments to try to get an even better starting spot, but because of our situation we had to make sure we got in. So we left the car just the way it was. We were just a little too loose there in qualifying. We just couldn't put the throttle down and carry the speed we could earlier today when it was cool. Yeah, I really didn't let it get to me. I feel upset about the whole penalty deal and 150 points is a hard thing to swallow. But we're going to leave out of here this weekend back on the right side of that 35 and work our way back up where we were."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Joe Nemechek , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Mark Martin
Teams Furniture Row Racing