Pocono: GM teams qualifying quotes

TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS OCCUPY 10 OF TOP 13 STARTING POSITIONS FOR POCONO 500 DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX GROUND MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 2nd: "We didn't get the pole. However, we're still on the front row start and we've got just as good a chance...

TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS OCCUPY 10 OF TOP 13 STARTING POSITIONS FOR POCONO 500

DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX GROUND MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 2nd:

"We didn't get the pole. However, we're still on the front row start and we've got just as good a chance coming off of (Turn) 1 leading as we do if we would have gotten the pole. We definitely have a car that can win on Sunday."

***

MARTIN TRUEX, JR, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 3rd:

"We have a good car this weekend. I am really excited about it. I just want to thank all these guys on my Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team. They gave me a great car today. I think we will have something for them on Sunday, we will just have to wait and see.

***

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 4th:

"We've struggled here and we've done okay here. The first year we ran okay but we weren't competitive enough. We thought we should get a better head start here at Pocono and get ready for Indy as well. We built a brand new car and it's a whale of a piece. It looks good and it runs good. Hopefully that means something for Sunday. So far, so good right now. It gives us a great starting spot for Sunday hopefully and we'll just take it from there."

DID THE CLOUD COVER HELP? "I'm not sure how much of a help that's going to be. It kind of takes time for the track to cool down when there is a cloud that comes over. But it's a pretty big cloud, so it might stay here a while longer."

***

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 6th:

ON HIS LAP: "It was a decent lap except for the part where I messed up the entire Tunnel Turn. I think we probably could have been second or third at this point in qualifying. But that shows and speaks highly of what the team has been able to do with this car. It's really, really fast. So I think we've got something to work with this week.

"Our lap was really good except for the disadvantage of having me drive it during qualifying. I always find a way of making a mistake and I did again. I screwed up going across the tunnel turn. It was really good in turn one and really good in turn three and really good on the out lap. If I could have taken part of the out lap, we could have made one really nice lap."

ON PRELUDE: "I crashed, I ran in to the back of Kasey (Kahne) after Bobby Labonte got in the front stretch wall, I think he might have had a little help that choked everybody else. By the time I caught the mess, it was going in to turn one. But it did get me a great vantage point standing in the infield to watch a great finish with Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch coming out of turn four three-wide for the checkered flag. It was pretty cool. It was neat to see these guys that don't get a chance to do that very often, come and drive a late model." I still haven't slept. Everybody is still saying things today that drove are saying thanks for inviting us. That's the ultimate compliment that they were that excited to go race and have fun like that."

THAT COULD WORK INTO A MINI CUP RACE "Yeah, I'm going to have to get busy building grandstands if we're going to do that. But it's fun. The hard thing is that it took a lot of work to do it and I was about one percent of the equation. The rest were all the people at Nextel and Old Spice that worked hard to make that happen."

ON THE KURT BUSCH PENALTY: "I haven't even looked. I didn't even hear about him yet. I'm not worried about him."

HAVE YOU TALKED TO HIM? "Nah, that's NASCAR's deal. We don't worry about that."

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE YOUR QUALIFYING RUN INTO A GOOD RUN ON SUNDAY? "It doesn't seem like our qualifying package and our race package are that much different. It used to be when we came here there was a large difference between the two packages. I think now they are getting closer to each other. I think if you qualify well, you probably race well. But our car was really good in race trim. I just didn't drive it very good in qualifying. I made a mistake. We should be one, maybe two spots higher than what we already are."

ON TALKING WITH KURT BUSCH "We'll probably talk tonight. We'll go talk tonight about it. That's between me and him. We'll get it settled out. That's the thing about guys in this series. Guys in this series always find ways to work this out so you can go back to having fun and racing on Sunday."

***

J.J. YELEY- NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 11th:

ON HIS LAP: "We are pretty happy with the lap. If you are going to go out there and really put down at lap there's a chance that you are going to go to far. So we put down a nice conservative lap and hopefully we'll end up in or near the top-10. You have a lot more to gain by being conservative so you can get slowed down and pick up the throttle early, then if you roll too much speed and get tight. With the straight-aways as long as they are here, as soon as you pick up the throttle the faster your lap is going to be. When we made our mock qualifying run the car was really tight and I just couldn't pick up the throttle enough. The guys went to work on the car and the Interstate Batteries car turning really good. I think I could have gone out there and run a bit harder and maybe picked up two-tenths but I think the pole is going to be a guy that goes out the last five spots or so."

QUALIFYING IS USUALLY A PRETTY GOOD BAROMETER OF HOW YOU ARE GOING TO RACE. DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT SUNDAY AFTER THE STRONG LAP? "We don't ever have horsepower issues at Joe Gibbs Racing. We have the new Chevy RO7 engine here they are putting out a substantial amount of power. You definitely need to have horsepower here but at the same time you need a car that turns well. Having three distinct turns here getting the setup is something difficult. But as long as you get off the money turn, turn three, your day will go pretty good."

***

DALE EARNHARDT, JR, NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 13th:

"We are pretty pleased with that lap. I had some help from Martin and his guys with some things that really helped our car. He had a pretty good lap too. We are all running pretty good right now so we are all pretty excited. There was SOMETHING laying in the middle of the garage area when I came through to get in the garage stall but the car is ok. The SOMETHING is ok too."

ON BEING CLOSE TO BEING IN THE CHASE: "We have been inching closer and closer each week. That is where we really want to be. We want to make that Chase. We accomplished one of our goals so far which was to win a race. The next one is to make the Chase. I am real happy with my team. They have been working hard and doing a great job for me. We just need to click off some more wins to get a shot at the Championship."

***

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 7th:

"We really like this track. We always have a good setup here and Chad Knaus is one of the best on working out a great strategy. I hate being that far off the pole, 6/10th is a lot, so some work to do there. Not a bad lap though. I think a little too tight. I think we had the tires mislead us there at the end. We tightened the car up and it was pretty tight the whole run. A little smarter now and feel really good about the effort we put up. Not the best in qualifying but as long as we are in the top-five, top-10 it is ok with me. Chad really works on turn three from a setup side.

"When I get in the car on the race weekend, we are just trying to fix the biggest problem, what ever that is. He has all things considered in both ends of the setup. If I am struggling in turn one, we try to fix that or whatever the biggest problem is at that point."

***

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T RACING MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 10th:

"I gave up a lot of speed in the tunnel turn and the exit of one. I don't know, maybe I need to be playing basketball today. I have a great car; that helped us get a decent lap. If I wouldn't have lost so much, we were going to go faster for sure but hope we end up in the top-15. When I do a bad job, if we end up in the top-15, that isn't too bad."

***

WARD BURTON, NO. 4 STATE WATER HEATERS MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 20th:

"We had a solid car at the end of practice. All these guys on this State Water Heaters Chevrolet have made really good adjustments. We were off a little when we got here. We picked up about 8/10th during practice and now another second so we are going to be racing Sunday and that is what it is all about. We are doing this with about as little money as anybody can do it with, probably the lowest amount in the garage. I am so proud of the effort these guys put forth. If we could ever get the kind of support some of our competition has got, we could beat some of them. These guys are my heroes, they work their tales off."

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Carl Edwards , Chad Knaus , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing