Talladega II: Johnson, Yeley post-qualifying interview

J.J. YELEY , NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Top Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender to qualify - 10th: ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: "Oh, it was a tough one. I think because I'm the third car, I get like the oldest stuff. The...

J.J. YELEY , NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES MONTE CARLO SS - Top Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender to qualify - 10th:

ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:

"Oh, it was a tough one. I think because I'm the third car, I get like the oldest stuff. The steering box is real old; it's got like half a turn of play and I'm going to be a weapon tomorrow. No, it's the same thing. The race track is real smooth, it's real easy. Qualifying, I guess, is just a formality when you come to places like this.

But this particular car is the same car we had at Daytona. It drives real good. It's a lot better in the draft than it is by itself. So if we can find a little bit of love on the race track, we'll have a good day tomorrow."

JIMMIE JOHNSON , NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS QUALIFIED 3RD:

YOUR TEAMMATE SAID THAT BECAUSE NASCAR HASN'T ALLOWED A PRACTICE SESSION WITH THE NEW PLATE, IT SENDS YOU INTO SUNDAY'S RACE BLIND. DO YOU AGREE?

"We would love to have a chance to go out on the track and perfect the tuning of the carburetor and gearing and get everything just right. But I feel confident that all the teams, including mine and especially mine, we know the jetting we need to have and we have a really good idea of what gear we need to have. Ideally, we'd like to practice to maximize things. But I don't think that anybody is going to be in big trouble as a result of it."

IF YOU HAVE THE SAME TYPE OF RACE YOU HAD AT DAYTONA IN FEBRUARY AND TALLADEGA IN MAY, IS IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO MAKE THAT JUMP BACK INTO THE CHASE?

"I definitely think it will pick us up a lot from where we are in eighth and close that gap to be inside maybe the top five or top four. As far as (Jeff) Burton (point leader) that's going to be a long, steady grind - especially with the consistency and success that he's been having. If anybody has bad luck, it definitely changes that whole dynamic. But I still think we're in position to race our way back into this. We're losing time and points. We haven't made up any points since this deal started. So if we don't turn that around, we'll definitely be in trouble. I've got a big question mark like everyone else inside these race cars and everyone else in this media center. I don't know what to expect. I know I've got a great car. We'll just get out there and I hope I can finish this thing cleanly."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A ROOKIE (DAVID GILLILAND) TO START ON THE POLE SUNDAY:

"I'm trying to think back to my rookie season at Daytona and starting on the pole for the 500. I don't even think I made it around with the lead. It wasn't that I was nervous, there's just a lot going on in the draft. I think David is a quick learner and has proven himself in order to get this chance and drive for Yates. Tomorrow, the beginning of the race may not be his best performance, but by the end with the lessons he'll learn and the things he'll go through, he'll be much better at the draft by the conclusion of the race."

-credit: gm racing

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup