BRIAN VICKERS , PUTS NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS ON THE POLE WITH NEW TRACK RECORD Note: This was Vickers' fourth Cup career pole and first of the season: ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: "It was obviously pretty good. I was pretty excited about it.
BRIAN VICKERS , PUTS NO. 25 GMAC MONTE CARLO SS ON THE POLE WITH NEW TRACK RECORD
Note: This was Vickers' fourth Cup career pole and first of the season:
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
"It was obviously pretty good. I was pretty excited about it. Anytime you can get a pole and set a track record is always pretty neat. We were good from the time we unloaded. Sometimes you just have those kinds of cars. When we came off the truck I told Lance (McGrew, crew chief) the car just has a really good smooth feel to it all the way through the turn, entry, middle and exit.
"We fought a little bit of a tight condition in race trim but it was consistent all the way through. That's just a sign of a really good car that's well balanced because we all know you win these races at the shop not when you get here at the race track. That's just kind of the fine-tuning of it. We went to qualifying trim. I was real happy with it, ran a real good lap there. Our last run we put on a set tires, a looser set, and we went out and ran slower than the 03 we ran previously and luckily we found that out and the set we ran for qualifying was a tighter set. We made a couple changes and went out to qualify. I went down in turn one and I knew the track had a lot of grip with the times that had already been posted on the board. Didn't use any brake, came out of it just a little bit, probably drove in a little deeper than I wanted to and kind of got up out of the groove but I got back to the gas and stayed in it and I knew the grip the track had going into three. I went down in turn three, barely came out of the gas, got back to it and the car was just stuck, stuck like glue all the way through three and four. Coming off of four I knew if we didn't have it I knew we had one heck of a lap."
ON BLOWING AWAY THE TRACK RECORD AND IF THIS TRACK IS TOO FAST:
"It was definitely fast. I always feel great about setting a new track record. As far as my concern over the speed, there's no concern there. We had faster top speeds going into one and three in Indy. We had faster top speeds at several race tracks. It is a fast average but putting restrictor plates on the cars would just make us faster through the turns because you'd be running wide open. We've experienced that before. They tried that at Loudon, New Hampshire many, many years ago. They only gained speed through the turns where you're trying to slow it down. The only thing that we've seen to help the car slow down the corners is taking grip away whether its aero grip or mechanical grip through the chassis or tires."
HOW MUCH OF THAT WAS DUE TO THE TRACK COOLING DOWN? WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STICK AS WELL IF YOU QUALIFIED EARLIER?
"That's a good question and there's no way to answer that. I felt like we had a great car. It's not like we weren't fast in practice and we just got a good draw and threw a lap up there. We were first during most of the end of practice until (Kasey) Kahne put a good lap up there at the very end and we went out. The late draw obviously helped with the sun going down but there wasn't a huge change in temperature. It was cool all day long. Never at any point was it hot especially by the time we got to qualifying, the sun was mostly down through most of qualifying even in the beginning. Most of one and two was shaded. Yeah it obviously helped but I don't think that was the determining factor especially with as fast as we ran. I think we had a really good car and obviously we had luck on our side with a good draw too."
ON HAVING FOUR TOP 10s AND A POLE IN THE CHASE WITH A TEAM THAT HE'S LEAVING WHILE THE TEAM HE IS JOINING HAS MISSED THREE RACES. IS IT HARD NOT TO HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT LEAVING?
"It's a great question. No second thoughts at all. I think a little adversity is good for a new team. I think a little adversity is good for any team at times to keep you grounded and keep you working hard. I remember when I first started racing Busch I missed a race at Richmond and it was devastating but it made me more determined to go out there and be the best that I can be and I think that's exactly what's happening with those guys. You said they missed three races. They actually missed two. One was rained out, one Bill was driving the car and this one A.J. was driving the car. Charlotte was a weird situation with tires. We all know that and here it was A.J.'s first try at a Cup start and it was at Texas Motor Speedway, which was already predetermined before he even got in the car. I think you've got to look at all the things.
"I think A.J. is going to be an awesome teammate. I think it was asking a lot of him to come here for his first qualifying at any Cup event and start at Texas which is a hard track to qualify. But in whole I think it could be a positive. Yeah, it can be a negative if you look at it that way but adversity can only make you more determined and I think that's what I've seen out of that team. I think it's good. As far as our performance in the last 10 races you referenced, that's what we're here to do. No matter where I'm going next year I come here every weekend to try to win and try to sit on the pole and do the best that I can do for whatever team I'm driving for. I'm very excited to go out there today in the GMAC Chevy and sit on the pole and hopefully we'll try and go get another win. Nothing made me happier than to get a win in this car before I left no matter what's going to happen next year."
ON THE BUMP BETWEEN TURNS ONE AND TWO:
"I think it's a very valid point. It's something that probably needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. We got lucky. Our car was really smooth. I keep using that smooth term because we came here the first race in Texas and the car was horrible through the bumps and was all over the place because the bumps are really bad here and it makes it hard to drive. The car today really got through the bumps good and I think that was part of the reason we were so fast. I think what bothers me the most about the bumps here in Texas, it's a great race track but the higher you go in the corner the worse the bump gets in race trim. The bump is already bad enough down low but when you start moving up the race track and trying to find more speed in the race and try to make the groove fan out a little bit the bump gets worse and that kind of hurts the multi-groove track a little bit. All in all we've got a great race track. You'll see some passing for the lead on the outside. As a matter of a fact last year I think and maybe even this race we passed for the lead on the outside. We passed Mark Martin on the outside. The track has the capability. I think if they can come in and somehow smooth those bumps out at least make them more consistent top to bottom, it will be an awesome race track. But I am a little concerned about those bumps especially moving forward in the years to come as it gets worse."
-credit: gm racing