Talladega II: Mears, Almirola post qualifying interview

CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 POP-TARTS/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON TOMORROW'S RACE: "I am excited about it. It is not very often to get to come to a restrictor, or it hasn't been very often for me to get the opportunity to qualify well. Alan...

CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 POP-TARTS/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2ND:

ON TOMORROW'S RACE:

"I am excited about it. It is not very often to get to come to a restrictor, or it hasn't been very often for me to get the opportunity to qualify well. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) told me earlier this week that they had put a lot of work and effort and time in to this car to really make sure that we could get everything out of it. It definitely did that, I think obviously at these places it has a lot more to do with the crew and what the guys do back at the engine shop. Obviously everybody at Hendrick Motorsports really put a good effort in and we got a good lap."

WILL YOU ACTUALLY CARRY A PAGER WITH YOU IN YOUR CAR? (Referring to the impending birth of Casey and girlfriend Trisha Grablander's first child)

"Man I am so excited, it is getting very close. Obviously the things we did yesterday with putting Brad (Keselowski) in the car were just precautionary. NASCAR basically wanted to see that he got some laps in the car, if we get in that scenario. It doesn't look like that is going to be the case but obviously right now at this point, you never know. You can't predict the future, so we want to be ready. That is a very very important time of my life. If we were sitting inside the top-five right now, you would probably be thinking of some other things and try to figure out how you can make it both work, but, right now, the last thing I want to do is miss the birth of my child. That is definitely No. 1 on my list. Fortunately Hendrick Motorsports has set that up where I can get back in time if something happens, they have everything setup plane wise and working with me the best they can. Exciting. I can't wait for it."

***

ARIC ALMIROLA, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 3RD:

ON TOMORROW'S RACE:

"Absolutely pleased with our qualifying effort. Like everybody says, when you come to Talladega it is more about the team than it is the driver so I held it wide open, did everything I was supposed to do and ended up third. It is good and at the same time it is disappointing because the guys on the No. 8 team, they want a pole so bad they can taste it. They have been second and third I don't know how many times. But nonetheless, it speaks a lot about our company, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., we have all four cars in the top-10. Everybody is working hard back at the shop. Our ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) motors are running really good."

ON SPONSORSHIPS FOR '09?

"I have told a lot of people this weekend, I don't get paid to speculate, I get paid to drive race cars. I am just going out there doing the best job I can every weekend. I am not giving any extra effort now, because if I were, that would be shame on me, because I wasn't doing my job earlier in the season. I am doing everything I was doing earlier in the season, I am doing the same things. It is business as usual. It is up to Max (Siegel) and John (Story) to take care of all that stuff. A part of me worries about it, but a part of me, I can't worry about it, that isn't my job."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt
Teams Hendrick Motorsports