Sears Point: Johnson post qualifying interview

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS posted the second fastest qualifying time and will start Sunday's Save Mart 350 on the outside front row next to pole-winner Kasey Kahne. HOW HOT WAS IT OUT THERE AND WHAT SORT OF PREPARATIONS DO YOU MAKE...

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS posted the second fastest qualifying time and will start Sunday's Save Mart 350 on the outside front row next to pole-winner Kasey Kahne.

HOW HOT WAS IT OUT THERE AND WHAT SORT OF PREPARATIONS DO YOU MAKE FOR THE HEAT?

"Practice was warm, but fortunately qualifying was just one lap. Hopefully the weather breaks and we get some cooler temperatures come race time. If not, it will certainly be a difficult day and hydration and fitness leading into the race are going to be a big part of it."

IS MARCOS AMBROSE A THREAT TO WIN ON SUNDAY?

"I think he did a great job today. He put in some great laps. I've not really raced with him much, so it's hard for me to really speak in a way about what I'd expect to see on Sunday. He's won championships coming into the Busch (now Nationwide) Series and was very close to winning his first one in Canada a while back. So I think he'll be there. The Cup race itself is a little different than what he's experienced in the Busch Series and these cars are much different, so I'm not ruling it out. I think it would be difficult for him, but he's done a great job. He's really put up great laps the whole time we've been here."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCES ON SUNDAY?

"I feel like we certainly have a top-five car. I feel like I've always had a top five car here. It's just that the driver didn't do his part. We're working very hard on improving at this race track. I run well at Watkins Glen, but this track has been challenging for me. So, today we only worked on qualifying trim, so I don't have an idea of what our race set-up will do. But I'm sure, like normal, I'll have a great car."

IS THERE THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE ON QUALIFYING TRIM VERSUS RACE TRIM ON THIS ROAD COURSE?

"Yeah, there is. There are adjustments like nose weight and tire pressures and things like that, that you do for qualifying that you don't want in the race. There is a big difference. It's not as much as some tracks, but there still is a difference. You can't come in on a pit stop and back out of your qualifying adjustment."

WE WERE ABLE TO WATCH THE TELEMETRY DURING QUALIFYING AND YOU WERE EITHER AS FAST OR FASTER THAN KASEY KAHNE IN TURNS 10 AND 11. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT BOTHERS YOU, OR CAN YOU ADJUST FOR IT DURING THE RACE?

"I definitely felt off of Turn 10 that I couldn't get to the gas and use the gas, and it had me slowed down into Turn 11. Sometimes you think you make a mistake and you can't see it and the lap tracker doesn't show it, but I felt it and we saw that on the replay. But it's just part of it. It's tough to get all 11 corners right and have the balance right. In the past I've had trouble down in Turn 10 qualifying and been loose. The first part of the lap was so good that when I got to 10, I was anxious to get to the gas and get going and lost the back a little bit. It didn't go off the road but got right up to the edge and I knew that I was late to the throttle."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kasey Kahne