SCOTT SPEED, No. 82 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 8th How much went into making this race? "The guys at the shop doing all of the work. This is kind of the one place that they go where really they are making...
How much went into making this race? "The guys at the shop doing all of the work. This is kind of the one place that they go where really they are making the biggest difference. Our job is pretty easy putting together a lap. I did learn something very valuable this week and I learned that it's probably not very wise for the driver to bet the crew chief on what kind of lap time the thing is going to do. I'm down $200. I don't think I'll do that again."
How do you expect your day to go tomorrow? "Certainly coming to Talladega for the first time in a Cup car is always an interesting experience. It's the most comparable to Daytona, but this track is a lot easier for us to run wide open so the pack is going to stay closer together and there's going to be a lot more shuffling within close quarters. I imagine the race is going to be like everyone talks about. It's going to be a chess game and I'm sure that it's going to require a lot of mental strength. Physically, it's one of the easier tracks we come to, but after 500 miles of racing within inches around everyone else I think it's going to be a draining race. I'm looking forward to getting that under our belt and learning what we can tomorrow."
How much did you learn at Daytona that will help you in the race tomorrow? "I learned a lot. Daytona was the biggest help especially since we were able to be in the Bud Shootout and were there for the whole two weeks. We got a lot of track time there and that all translates into this here."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Starting Position: 17th
Are you happy to be locked into the race? "I don't know what happened there. They said that the lap tracker had us on pole until we came off of two and down the backstretch it just seemed like it slowed down a little bit. I don't know if it's the wind or who knows in these plate races. There's so many things we do in the garage to try and pick up speed and if one of them isn't quite right it can hurt us. I've just got to thank all of my guys. We're still trying to find sponsorship for our car and get a partner on here for a small amount and we'll give them a good show on Sunday."
Can you be too aggressive during qualifying and hurt your race performance? "There's certain things you can do that are definitely more risky than others and if you go a little too far, just like with your oil, if you go a little too far you're going to burn a gear or transmission or something like that. I don't think we went that far. We're trying to be conservative on all of that because we're planning on running a whole race. It's just one of those things. Yeah, you go through and you've got to get all of your heights set and you've got to put NASCAR's restrictor plate on. You've got all the things that have to make it even for everybody and something went wrong somewhere a little bit."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 18th
How did your car handle during your qualifying lap? "The car was smooth. It drove as smooth as I've ever had around here so that was a good sign. It drove really straight and that's something that you look for. You want to have a car that's aligned really well and I think the car was pretty good."
SCOTT RIGGS, No. 36 Toyota Camry, Tommy Baldwin Racing
Starting Position: 21st
How was your race car today? "We slowed down from yesterday and like Tommy (Baldwin, owner) said, for some reason we're losing a little bit every time we go to qualifying. I don't know if we are changing stuff with our wicker or either our plate that we were using in practice. These guys do a great job and this is a great pick up from where the car was a year ago. I know that they do a lot of unforeseen work that they work really hard at the shop to get this car a little more speed. Triad gave us a good motor again and just glad we're in the show and just need to go out there and have a good finish for all these guys at Tommy Baldwin Racing."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 22nd
Are you happy with your qualifying lap? "It is what it is. I don't think starting position here is the biggest deal in the world, it's just kind of pit stall selections which you want. There's not a whole bunch a driver can do here, just kind of keep the wheel straight and be as smooth as you can and hit your mark right on. That's about all a driver can do."
How did practice go for you yesterday? "I feel like in practice yesterday that the Home Depot Toyota was pretty good. I kind of had to lean on Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) to see how much these cars did suck up. It's so different than Daytona was so I don't really have anything to judge off of. I'm just kind of going off what they think it should do and kind of base it off them and see how my car is. Overall, I think our qualifying effort was pretty good but qualifying doesn't mean anything here so we'll see what we got."
How aggressive are you here at Talladega? "I think I just have to learn as much as I can about the draft. It's going to be so different. I think at the beginning of the race just try things. We've got a plenty long enough race to go back and forth. I'm going to have to be a pusher instead of a pushy. We'll learn as much as we can at the beginning of the race and then hopefully be there at the end, stay out of the big wreck and go for the front at the end."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 23rd
How was your qualifying lap? "It felt like a lap-- no big deal there. Everything was good and hopefully that will be a decent starting spot, but it really doesn't matter here at all. We'll just get into it on Sunday."
How do you feel about your race car? "I don't feel that great about the car, but everybody I talk to says its really good so we'll see. There's some things that we did to change on it to try to make it better and it didn't really do anything. We didn't seem to gain anything and we didn't seem to lose anything, but just nothing made it change any."
How early do you expect the'bump-drafting' to start tomorrow? "Typically it's the last 20 or 30 laps that the race starts getting pretty crazy and a lot of stuff starts happening. There's really no point to it in the middle part of the race. We just need to ride and make 400 or 450 miles and then go race the last 50 miles. It's kind of the way the Budweiser Shootout is-- that's the way these restrictor plate races need to be. We don't need to be in the cars for four hours. You want to see a race, give us a race that's 80 laps long and we'll go race."
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 41 All Sport Body Quencher Toyota Camry, Jeremy Mayfield Motorsports
Starting Position: 27th
Are you happy about qualifying for the race? "I'm extremely happy. Yes, we've struggled and everybody had known that and they've seen it but we just keep working hard and coming back. I've been on a lot of race teams and have been in a lot of situations but I've never been in one with the heart and soul of these guys right here to work like they did this week. They got off the plane from Phoenix and went straight to the shop to start working on this car. That tells you where the heart is. We miss races and just keep coming back."
How was your qualifying lap? "Not as good as we would like it to be, but there's really nothing you can do here. I ran it wide open."
How early do you expect the'bump-drafting' to start tomorrow? "It's probably going to start at the first lap for most guys. I don't really care and I don't have a problem with it. It's just like everything-- it has to be handled reasonably. Just like side-drafting, you can side draft and you can door slam somebody. I think its up to the drivers to understand what the difference is. There's bump drafting and there's hitting. I don't understand what the big deal is-- it's not new. We've been bump drafting since I started racing in this series and it probably started before I was racing in this series."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 31st
How did your qualifying lap feel? "It felt normal. The difference between sitting on the pole here and qualifying 34th to the driver is just looking at the tach (tachometer) and seeing what it's doing. Everywhere else you go-- if you run a good lap you know it. Here you don't really know, you just hope it's going fast."
What will you feel in the car tomorrow? "What you'll have to deal with tomorrow is what the car is doing with somebody pushing you around the track. It's just so fast with somebody hooked up on your rear-end. You sort of hold on and a lot of times you are just holding on and you know that the wrong push at the wrong time can make you go out of control like we saw with Carl (Edwards) here last fall. It's a thrill ride -- it takes three hours or so and when it's over and you didn't crash then you're happy. If you win you're even happier."
How do you view bump drafting? "You never know and you can't tell every second who's back there. You never know if you're going to get a huge shot in the back or you're just going to get a tap. I just have an opinion that anybody that bump drafts for the first 170 laps is being dumb-- why chance it? What are we doing? The last 15 or 20 laps you can do all you want. Maybe they are doing it to rehearse for the big finish. Some of them need some rehearsing."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 33rd
How did your car handle during your qualifying lap? "It was slow. It drove fine and ran fine, it's just not fast. We'll see what happens tomorrow. You get in the pack and there's no telling what you'll do."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Little Debbie/Clorox/Kingsford Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Starting Position: 34th
How was your qualifying lap and how will you approach tomorrow's race? "It wasn't real good and it just didn't have much speed in it. At least I know it wasn't my fault because there's nothing I can do out there. We're happy to be here and we've got a great drafting car-- we're looking forward to getting out there amongst them. It's nicer than Daytona because there's more grip. They hit you a lot more often here too so you have to be careful what you wish for. Tomorrow we'll just get up in there from the get-go and just try to stay up in the front half of the track."
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Starting Position: 42nd
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
Starting Position: 43rd
How happy are you to make your first race at Talladega? "It's huge. It's difficult to know what you need to have when you go out there. I felt that the GEICO car was running just great. The number one goal that we had today was making the show. Tomorrow we have the two goals that are going to be to stay on the lead lap and improve our best ever finish that we had so far. So far all of the goals are accomplished."
Are you looking forward to your first race at Talladega? "I'm so happy for the GEICO Toyota team. It's my first ever superspeedway race, my first ever time here in Talladega and I used the'shake and bake' deal and it worked deal and it worked pretty good today."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 Toyota Camry, Prism Motorsports
Starting Position: DNQ
-credit: toyota motorsports