JIMMIE JOHNSON AND (CREW CHIEF) CHAD KNAUS, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS WIN POLE FOR MILLION DOLLAR SPRINT ALL-STAR Q&A WITH JOHNSON & KNAUS: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ON THE POLE FOR THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT AND HOW DO YOU THINK THINGS WILL GO FOR...
JIMMIE JOHNSON AND (CREW CHIEF) CHAD KNAUS, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS WIN POLE FOR MILLION DOLLAR SPRINT ALL-STAR
Q&A WITH JOHNSON & KNAUS:
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ON THE POLE FOR THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT AND HOW DO YOU THINK THINGS WILL GO FOR THE NO. 48 TEAM?
JOHNSON: "Tonight's a lot about bragging rights. And I think with track position as important as it's going to be in the race, to be where we are is a great situation and we focused on it hard today and everybody did their job. So I'm real proud of the team. We worked as a unit today and executed on all fronts. I'm very pleased with that and I look forward to it."
TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PIT ROAD IN A RACE LIKE THE SPRINT ALL-STAR
KNAUS: "Well I think especially with the new format that we've got coming here tomorrow, it's going to be real important. Green flag pit stop, those two 20-lap runs have position-determining pit stops so the pit crew coming in and performing the way they did today will give them a little boost of confidence going into tomorrow, which is never a bad thing in any sport. So, I think that it's going to be a big contributing factor to the way we perform tomorrow. It's really good. The guys did a very good job, the coaching staff, everybody. This is a big week for all of the pit crews and it was nice to be able to come out on top."
TONY GOT CONFUSED APPARENTLY WITH HOW MANY TIRES HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE, YOU SAID CHAD HAS TO REMIND YOU OF STUFF, IS IT GETTING TO GIMMICKY AT ALL OR DO YOU ALL HAVE FUN WITH IT JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING?
JOHNSON: "This race always changes so much with the format. There's an inversion and the length of the race that I just typically don't pay attention. I also have that problem in general. I knew not to go when the right side dropped. I'm not sure where Tony was on that one. Thinking about all that car owner stuff he has to think about I guess. I don't think it's gimmicky. I think it brings interest because its different and they obviously are working hard to change the format so that we put on the best show possible so our All-Star event will blow away everybody else's. I think we do that in general and I'm proud of our sport for trying to continue to make things better and trying things out in this format. It's a good testing ground for us to try to make a better show for the fans."
ON THE ONE HAND YOU SAY THAT WE WORK TO THE NTH DEGREE EVERY WEEK, ON THE OTHER HAND YOU ARE THE LOWE'S CAR AT THE LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TRY TO BE STRONG HERE THAT YOU DON'T DO EVERY WEEK?
KNAUS: "Absolutely nothing. I hate to be quite as simple as that but the fact of the matter is if we were going to Caraway Speedway to go race for a dollar we would prepare just as hard for that race as we do for this race. That's the way we operate over there with the No. 48 team. We put as much emphasis on every single lap of every single race track of every single race as we possibly can and that's the way we do it. That's how we roll as they say."
YOUR TEAM ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE THAT YOU ADJUST AND ADJUST OVER THE LENGTH OF RACES AND SEEM TO BE THERE AT THE END, WITH THE SHORTNESS OF THIS EVENT IS IT A LOT HARDER FOR YOUR TEAM THAN IT IS FOR MOST WEEKENDS BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A PRIORITY ON THE INITIAL CAR SET UP?
KNAUS: "You know actually that's a good question because its not that the race is that short but it's the way that the race is laid out. It's difficult because we know when the pit stops are going to be. Like you're going to pit at lap 25, you know you're going to pit 25 laps later, then you're going to pit 20 laps after that and then 20 laps after that. You can't get off sequence really and make anything happen. At least not to what we've seen thus far. It's going to depend on how the tires shake out tomorrow in race trim. That's the biggest reason. It's not the lap count. Like if they say okay go race 100 laps, it would be a completely different situation but it's the way the race is broken up that's going to make it difficult to adjust."
WHERE DID YOU SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM EVERYBODY ELSE IN QUALIFYING TODAY, WAS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT MADE YOU JUST THAT MUCH FASTER?
JOHNSON: "Truthfully I haven't seen the broadcast and they were ranking different areas of the track with how each car performed. I haven't seen anything yet. I know we had a fast lap on the first lap but outside of that I'm not really sure where we stood up."
KNAUS: "I think that we were fastest on the time lap. We were the fastest off pit road. Fifth fastest coming in on entry to pit road and sixth fastest during the pit stop, I believe. I don't have any more data right now."
THAT'S ALL YOU GOT?
KNAUS: "That's it, yeah. That's just everything but that's all I have."
-credit: gm racing