Sonoma: Raybestos Rookie qualifying quotes

Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Sears Point. Johnson will start 15th in The Dodge/Save Mart 350. This is the seventh time in 2002 Johnson has been top qualifying rookie. YOU TESTED...

Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Sears Point. Johnson will start 15th in The Dodge/Save Mart 350. This is the seventh time in 2002 Johnson has been top qualifying rookie.

YOU TESTED AT SEARS POINT. DID THAT HELP YOU TODAY?

"It did, but I came back and didn't realize that I was trying so hard, through practice and everything, and was just overdriving the car. I went out there to drive sensibly and had a great lap going. I blew turn 11. I got a little greedy getting into 11 or else it would have been a much better lap. I'm very happy to turn it around; picked up a lot of speed from practice. Once I get in race practice on Saturday, get back in the rhythm and remembering how to drive out here, I'll be in good shape.

HOW MUCH DID YOU LEARN WHEN YOU CAME OUT HERE TO TEST?

"The way it's gone this morning I was pretty frustrated with all of it. It didn't seem like the test helped me and, whatever it was, we were scratching our heads but now this confirms what was going on. When we get in race practice we'll be back to where we need to be and then our information from the test will start applying."

ANY PARTICULAR REASON WHY YOU PICKED UP SO MUCH FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING?

"I quit over driving the car. I was really trying hard and was over driving the car everywhere around the track and trying to adjust on the car for being so tight. But the problem was I was driving it in so hard there was no way the car was going to turn. So we put the car back to where it was from the test and I went out and tried to drive a little bit more sensibly and it put a lot better lap on the board."

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD, QUALIFIED 17TH.

"We've only had a few cars go, but it was a good qualifying run just based off of our speeds from this morning. We didn't get to duplicate what we ran but it was still a good run for the ALLTEL Ford. We did come out here and test so I got some laps and some experience underneath my belt. Overall, it's still a learning process. I'll keep learning and I'll learn all weekend. I'll be able to come back next time and be a little bit better."

ARE YOU MORE PROUD TO RUN WELL AT SEARS POINT, A TRACK WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE?

"I'm proud when we get to run good anywhere (laughs). This series is so tough and so competitive. It's one step at a time and you try to keep keeping getting yourself a little bit better as you go."

IS SEARS POINT AS DIFFICULT AS YOU THOUGHT?

"We had a good test. (Ron) Fellows was out here testing with us, Jimmie Johnson, (Matt) Kenseth, (Kurt) Busch and a bunch of other guys. Overall, we seemed to adapt okay. We'll just keep going and see how it goes. We got about 15 laps underneath our belt today."

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT GOING TO BE TO RACE HERE SUNDAY?

"We'll see where we start and we'll see how things go in practice. It's not the easiest track to pass on; I've see that on TV. As a whole, it's going to be a learning process for me."

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson