Three Team Chevrolet drivers qualify in top-10 for Dover 499

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DOVER, Delaware - (September 29, 2012) – Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, posted the seventh fastest lap for Sunday’s 43rd annual AAA 400. Gordon will be gunning for his fifth win at the “Monster Mile”.

Ryan Newman, No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, will roll off eighth for tomorrow’s race. Newman is one of many Chevrolet drivers with multiple wins at Dover International Speedway. He has three trips to Victory Lane in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne posted the ninth fastest lap in the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet.

Five-time NSCS champion Jimmie Johnson will start the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet from the 11th spot on the grid while reigning NSCS champion Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, will start 24th. Denny Hamlin (Toyota) won the pole, Clint Bowyer (Toyota), Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota), Sam Hornish Jr. (Dodge) and Kyle Busch (Toyota) made up the top-five qualifiers for tomorrow’s race.

A total of 18 Chevrolet drivers will take the green flag on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST on ESPN. The AAA 400 will be the 29th race of the 2012 season and third in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SEVENTH

YOU AND CREW CHIEF ALAN GUSTAFSON USED A LOT OF BODY LANGUAGE TO DESCRIBE YOUR LAP. WHAT WAS IT LIKE? "Well this is Dover. It's tough. It's never just a clear-cut, simple lap; especially here for qualifying.

Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

I feel like we made good adjustments. The track definitely has grip in some areas, but is lacking in others. It kind of caught me by surprise down in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2, but kind of regrouped and made a decent lap out of it."

ON HIS LAP: “It’s good that we went early. The track has good grip.

I think if we make good adjustments, I got a decent lap I didn’t get the best lap.

When the track is like this you just think ‘wow this is Dover, so fast, high banked, it’s cool’ and you just go and just jump in the gas and you just can’t.

It has good grip in some areas and just snaps around on you in others. I was fighting it the whole lap. We are on top right now we will see where we end up. Hopefully, that is good enough for a top 10.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED EIGHTH

HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “It was good; I mean we changed the car a good bit for qualifying there. I didn’t really have any idea what to expect other than we have been there before but not this weekend.

It was a good lap for the U.S. Army Chevrolet. Not a perfect first lap, my second lap actually felt better with the tires loosening up and I got what I got. We’ll see how it runs tomorrow.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED NINTH

PRETTY FAST LAP DID IT SURPRISE YOU OR IS WHAT YOU EXPECTED? “The weather surprised me a little bit. I thought the track would be a little slippery today in qualifying but it had a lot of grip out there even with the cooler temperatures.

It felt really good our Farmers Insurance team did a really nice job. My lap was great; the other guys were really good too so we were just right there. It was close.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 11TH

EVERYBODY FINDS THIS TRACK SORT OF TRICKY HOW DID YOU FIND THE LAP? “It was definitely tricky these cooler temperatures change things. It’s tough to really count on that first lap and know that the grip is going to be there, but you have to commit to it.

I had a close eye on the No. 2 car and the fact that he kind of rolled in that first lap and thought that might help him out. He just ended up second there so I stuck to my plan and tried to run one hard one. (Turns) three and four were a bit exciting and I knew I left some time on the table so I had to run a second. I got a respectful lap out of it.”

ON HIS LAP: "I was happy to get that second lap in. I knew it wasn't going to be as good as the first (lap). The first lap I was on the rev limiter down the back straightaway, so I know I busted (Turns) 1 and 2 well.

But it takes a complete lap to get it done around here. It was still a respectable time. But we'll go racing from hopefully somewhere in the top five, maybe the top 10, which would be great, and have a great day for this KOBALT Tools Chevrolet tomorrow."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 13TH

ON HIS LAP: “It wasn’t too bad I was just a little bit too free on the exit of (turn) two. I got to the throttle really good and just had to come back out of it.

Even if we wind up 15th or so that is still going to be a good spot for us compared to where we have been qualifying. Our car is really fast in race trim so that will be good.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 24TH

ON HIS LAP: “That’s probably where we thought we’d end up. We were loose. Right about the middle of the turn I couldn’t get in the gas or stay in it.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 25TH

ON HIS LAP: “We were not very good in practice. I don’t know what to expect. We struggled all weekend really. We just haven’t had real good speed.”

LOOSE ALL THE TIME? “No, not really. It’s a lot of different problems.”

AT THIS POINT DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN THE MODE WHERE A TOP 15 OR TOP-10 IS GOING TO BE WHAT YOU NEED TO GET? DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS IS ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS WHERE YOU HAVE TO SALVAGE SOMETHING? “Yeah, I mean, I think we didn’t have a good car in practice and we didn’t find any good speed or find any good balance.

So yeah, it’s going to be a tough day I think. It’s going to be a tough race for us I believe. We are just going to have to work hard and see what happens.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET – Qualified 38th

ON WHAT SHE EXPECTS DURING SUNDAY’S RACE: “I really think that at a place like Dover where it’s not the easiest thing in the world to pass I believe that helps me when it comes to racing because the leaders don’t come quite as quick as the big 1.5-mile tracks where you have four or five lanes of room to pass people.

I feel like that helps me. This is a short-track sure, but it’s definitely pretty banked and it’s got a lot of grip. I think those are also things that feel better to me in these cars. I thought it felt decent in qualifying.

It was a little tight and I definitely over drove it on the second lap I think. I think that is a good problem for me to have to some degree is when I over drive it because I feel better about that then when I under drive it.”

Source: Team Chevy

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags dover, earnhardt jr, gordon, harvick, johnson, kahne, nascar-cup, newman, patrick, stewart