JEFF GORDON, No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Chevrolet, Qualified 2nd: ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT AND TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE: "We are obviously getting close to this Chase starting. Today was a good day for us. We were fast in practice. We really worked...
JEFF GORDON, No. 24 DuPont/Nicorette Chevrolet, Qualified 2nd:
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT AND TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE:
"We are obviously getting close to this Chase starting. Today was a good day for us. We were fast in practice. We really worked most of the time on our race setup. I was a little surprised that we went to the top of the board in practice because we only made one qualifying run. Jimmie laid down a heck of a lap. You always think that going out late is going to be a big advantage, but I could tell just by watching the gap between him and the other guys, before we went out that he must have really put a good lap down because nobody was really close to him. Still happy to qualify second. I feel like I left a little bit out there which as a driver, you are always wanting to get everything out of it, but all-in-all a good day. Starting on the outside front row, really happy about that. We are here to win.
"We are here to really get ourselves prepared for this Chase. We lost 10 points last week to Jimmie, we certainly don't want to give up another 10. We are going to race hard and try to get ourselves in position to maybe get us 10 more points or come out of here with a strong, solid finish to step up and get ready for the Chase."
ON QUALIFYING BEING AN INDICATION OF HOW RACE MIGHT UNFOLD:
"I don't know, Jimmie and I had a pretty good race the last time we were here. Obviously, him winning the race was an indication that Hendrick was strong here. Being one, two and three in qualifying, we are strong again which I am happy and excited about. I think we would prefer every weekend for it to be between me and him. But we can't guarantee that. I think there is going to be a lot of tough competitors out there. Last time we were here, it ended up being a day race instead of a night race, so I think conditions will be a little bit different, especially since we practice during the day, you kind of throw the dice at it and hope you might make the right adjustments or decisions. I don't know, our car has felt pretty good all day. And we worked on race setup like I said. I knew Jimmie was strong as well, we are just out there pushing as hard as we can. I think qualifying is important here, but you can pass here. We say Kyle do it last time we were here, so there will be some guys that come marching up through the field. I hope it is me and Jimmie, but we will see."
ON TAKING PRESSURE OFF BEING LOCKED IN:
"Jimmie has been putting the pressure on me from the last four or five years, I am just excited about our race team this year. I we have an awesome race team, very well rounded from our pit crew, to our race cars to our communication. This has been the first year really that I feel like we have been able to consistently be one of the strong cars out there and compete with the guys that I think we have to compete with for the championship, obviously Jimmie being one of them. Right now the momentum is on his side, he won the race last week, the pole this week. We know that team is going to step it up when we get in the Chase, they always do. We are excited about what we are going to be able to do because we step it up in the Chase as well. There are 10 other guys out there that are going to come in fired up and ready to do the same thing."
ON WHO MIGHT BE DARK HORSE IN THE CHASE:
"Maybe Clint Bowyer. He just flies under the radar all the time but he is very consistent, good driver, good team. It really truly believe it is anybody's race, I don't know who you would consider a favorite or not a favorite but I think that Kurt Busch has come on strong here as of late. He can be a real factor. Jeff Burton hasn't done a lot that appears exciting but they will step it up in the Chase too. There are so many guys that are capable. You have to put 10 good races together and that doesn't mean you have to be the fastest, best car, winning all the races, it means that you have to put the 10 best average finishes together. That is easier said than done. But it does give anybody and opportunity to win this thing. Carl Edwards isn't a dark horse at all. He is a favorite. I would say he is one of the top five or six guys that is a favorite."
-credit: gm racing