JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: WERE YOU ON SOME KIND OF 'CONFIDENCE CAMPAIGN' YESTERDAY TO HELP JOHNNY BENSON BELIEVE HE COULD GET AROUND THIS PLACE? "We were on a bit of a campaign, but not really for Johnny's ...
JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WERE YOU ON SOME KIND OF 'CONFIDENCE CAMPAIGN' YESTERDAY TO HELP JOHNNY BENSON BELIEVE HE COULD GET AROUND THIS PLACE? "We were on a bit of a campaign, but not really for Johnny's confidence. It was more of a case that everywhere we've been with this race team this year we've had a fast race car - and I mean everywhere. Not one of these Pontiac has been slow. We haven't always had our best finishes, but we've always had good cars. Martinsville has been our Achilles heel in all that, and the reason why is that it's not a place that Johnny has enjoyed much success, it's not a place that he likes, he's miserable when he gets here - for whatever reason, it's not a place that clicks for him. So, there was a whole lot going on there, proving to ourselves as a race team and proving to Johnny that just because it's a racetrack that you don't like doesn't mean you can't get around the place. "There was a whole lot of effort put into this race. We probably as much effort into this race as we did going to Daytona in February. Qualifying well just means a lot to us as a race team, getting us over a mental hump, more than anything. Now we know that this isn't a place that we have to be fearful of when we come here."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN STRING TOGETHER A GOOD CONSISTENT DAY TOMORROW OVER 500 LAPS? "I think so. The thing that we feel good about is that this race car is a clean sheet of paper. It's a one-off car. It was specially built for this place and specially built for Johnny Benson. We don't have another one in the fleet and there is probably not another one in the world that is like what it is. It's totally geared to Johnny. The cool part about Friday is that we qualified with the race setup in the car, so there was no trick qualifying stuff. There was zero trick anything. It was a race setup that had tape on the grill. We feel real good about that. We ran six laps in a row at one point yesterday and the car just got faster and faster and faster. It was built to race good and not necessarily qualify good, but yet we're sitting fifth on the grid, which is just a perk for us right now."
NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
MARTINSVILLE IS A FLAT SHORT TRACK THAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE JUST LIKE MOST GUYS GREW UP RACING ON...WHY IS IT SO CHALLENGING FOR PEOPLE TO GET A HANDLE ON? "Well, it's not like the same type of racetrack that people cut their teeth on. It's the same size, but that's about it. It's got long straightaways and tight turns and it's concrete. And when you grew up racing on places that were a little bit like this, you didn't do it with 3,400 pounds and 750 horsepower. When you race on a place like this with these kinds of cars, it gets plenty complicated."
DO YOU EXPECT ANY EXTRA BEATING AND BANGING TOMORROW? "I think it will be just another 'Martinsville.' But, you can have 'Martinsville' with a lot of beating and banging, you know? I don't see where we're really having a whole of beating and banging. Everybody is talking about it, but everybody talks about it every year. This ain't no different. I don't see where this is any different at all."