Richmond II: GM teams qualifying quotes, notes

Richmond, VA - For the sixth time this season, Mark Martin put the No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS in the number one starting position for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Martin's pole for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 is the 47th of his ...

Richmond, VA - For the sixth time this season, Mark Martin put the No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS in the number one starting position for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Martin's pole for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 is the 47th of his career and the four time he has grabbed the top starting spot at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin Truex, Jr. made it an all Chevrolet front row with a lap that put his No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Impala SS number two in the final qualifying order.

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, qualified fourth to give Team Chevy three of the top-five starters in the 400-laps/300-mile Saturday night that sets the final order of top-12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Wounded Warrior Impala SS, qualified seventh and Brad Keselowski, No. 09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming and Resort Impala SS will roll off in the ninth starting spot putting five Chevy drivers in the top-10 starters.

A total of 16 Impala SS drivers will take the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 green flag set for 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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MARK MARTIN, NO. 4 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS

IS THE TRACK GOING TO GET FASTER? "Oh, yes I think the track will get really quick here at the end. That was a great lap. I'm just tickled to death to be driving the No. 5 car and working with this race team. I love these guys. Great car, good lap; it's going to get us a good starting spot."

WAS THIS ONE OF THOSE LAPS WHERE YOU HAD TO HOLD YOUR BREATH ALL THE WAY AROUND? "Well, I was shaking real hard after that and I don't know why for sure because it wasn't nearly as scary as Atlanta or Bristol. But you know, there is a lot riding on all this and I wanted to get a good starting spot and a good pit stall. There's a lot of Adrenalin. There is a lot riding on this."

DO YOU THINK YOUR TIME WILL STICK? "Well I think the track is going to get faster, but I'm real happy with that lap. I really want to thank (crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) and everybody on the No. 5 team and of course our supporters, Kellogg's and CARQUEST and Chevrolet and everybody that supports us, and Mr. Hendrick and my family; gosh, this is fun. There's a lot of pressure. I'm real proud of that lap and I know the track is going to be a little bit better but we laid down a great lap and had a reasonable draw and got a great lap and we're going to have a good race car tomorrow night and I'll be glad when midnight comes tomorrow night."

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MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS IMPALA SS

"Oh, it was a decent lap but I think it's a little early to be on the pole. But that was better than practice. We made some changes and did some air pressure stuff right here before we went out. We'll see where it ends up. Hopefully it'll be somewhere near the front and we can race up there all night."

THERE ARE SOME BREAKS IN THE CLOUDS AND SOME SUNSHINE, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE TRACK? "Yeah, we'll just have to see how cool it gets. But for us that was a good lap and wherever it ends up, we'll be happy with it."

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KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS:

The Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was just a little free off (Turn) 2, but it wasn't bad. The early (qualifying) draw wasn't much help, but we'll be OK. We're breaking in a brand new car this weekend, and we were pretty good in race trim in practice today. This is one of my favorite tracks, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow night. We always want to put in a good showing in this race, especially with Chevy being the sponsor."

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS

"You'd always like a like a little bit more, but I think we're real close on time and not far off the pole. So, we'll take that. It was a very good lap for the Lowe's Impala. And I think we'll be in good shape for tomorrow night."

COMPARED TO OTHER TRACKS, HOW IMPORTANT IS PIT SELECTION AT RIR? "Yeah, it's really important, especially for the top five, top seven cars. In the race, they'll run such an equal pace that your track position and your pick road pick makes a big difference in those first five or six cars. So, I hope we'll be in good shape for that and we can give this Lowe's car a good run."

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT /NATIONAL GUARD WOUNDED WARRIOR IMPALA SS:

YOU'VE GOT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE. GOOD LAP. HOW WAS IT? "Oh, not as big a smile as I was hoping for. We were really strong in practice with our DuPont/National Guard Wounded Warrior Chevrolet. Well, you know, it was a good lap. The track cools down and you've got to get after it and everybody is putting up good times. We've got to try to drive in there really deep and changed the balance in the car a little bit and so we were off just a little bit there, but we're still going to be really decent.

SO MUCH FOCUS PUT ON RICHMOND IN THE FALL, YOU'RE LOCKED INTO THE CHASE, BUT THERE IS STILL A LOT TO RACE FOR THIS WEEKEND. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET THOSE EXTRA BONUS POINTS? "It's an exciting weekend. This is one of our premier race tracks. Its great racing. There is a lot on the line for everybody. For us our goal is the same as it is every weekend and that's to win the race. And that's what we want to do every weekend and as far as I'm concerned there are 11 races in the Chase (because) it starts right here. We're just doing everything we can to put ourselves in victory lane and where we need to be to win the championship."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Brad Keselowski , Mark Martin