Vickers puts MWR Toyota on outside front row at Martinsville

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 2nd

Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Are you pleased to be starting second? "It's always good to be in here (media center) after qualifying -- I had the opportunity to be in here before qualifying with some good news. It's tough -- you qualify second and you want to be really excited about it, but you're frustrated because you're not first. Especially, when you have a really good car in practice. More than anything I just have to thank all the guys at Michael Waltrip Racing -- great, great car from the moment we unloaded all the way through qualifying. Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and all the guys on the Camry did just a fantastic job. Toyota showed up with a great engine package I think here for Martinsville and it's paid off. I would have really liked to have sat on the pole, but we'll take a second and now we just have to do it 500 more times."

How would you approach lapping the Chase points leader? "I just hope I have that problem. If we're in a position that we're that fast that we have to worry about passing or lapping Chase contenders, that's a great problem to have. My job this weekend is to try to win the race. Obviously, I've always raced everyone the way they race me and Brad (Keselowski) and I have never had a problem so I don't predict having one, but accidents happen. My plan is to try -- if I was given that opportunity to pass the points leader is to do it as fast and cleanly as possible."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd

How was your qualifying lap? "That was a good lap for us. I wish I had got a little more out of it, but anytime you can beat your time in practice then you've done better and that's good. The guys gave me a great car. I think the M&M's Halloween Camry is pretty good this weekend. Looking forward to the race here Sunday. It's always a good day when you can qualify here in the top-five or top-six."

How did your car handle in qualifying? "I felt like our car was really good. The guys have done a nice job at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) building some fast race cars here in the last half of the year and we've been seeing and reaping some of those benefits. We just continue to strive to work hard through the remainder of the year and plan on getting ourselves ready for 2013. Good effort here in Martinsville to qualify third. You wish you could find that two-thousandths or whatever you're looking for to sit on the pole, but overall it's a good day for us. Not many times do we get to qualify in the top-10 here at Martinsville. This is good."

How would you approach lapping the Chase points leader? "I think you work it as best you can no matter who it is. Whether you're lapping the 34 (David Ragan) or the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) or the 24 (Jeff Gordon), the 2 (Brad Keselowski) -- it doesn't matter who it is. I'm sure those guys are going to work hard tomorrow and get their car a lot better in race trim and make it where it's drivable and easy to drive so then they can work their way forward and not have to look in their rearview mirror."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 5th

How do you feel about starting fifth? "We have a good starting spot. But ultimately, the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) getting the number one pit stall helps those guys. Wish we could have stepped up a little bit more on qualifying, and I thought we'd have a little better effort than that. But, still it is top-five. We can race from there."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 8th

How was your qualifying lap? "It was solid, but it wasn't as good as it could have been. When you're looking at the times and how close they are, it's just a matter of slipping up the least little bit here or there. Probably just got into (turn) one a little bit too hard and slid up and was slow getting to the gas. That's the difference between a shot at the pole and eighth. Our car is really good -- it's got good speed and it's good in race trim so we move on."

Is it difficult to get a good rhythm at Martinsville? "It's hard to find speed here. Rhythm is how you find speed. You have to get in that rhythm and get comfortable and settled in. In the early days of me being here it was nearly impossible, but it seems like through having a good car and a good team behind you, it seems like now we get here and get comfortable pretty quick and get good speed."

Source: Toyota Motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Brian Vickers , Brad Keselowski , David Ragan
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags bowyer, busch, hamlin, martinsville, toyota, vickers, waltrip