Atlanta II: Earnhardt Jr qualifying press conference

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 3rd: "We weren't real great in practice and I knew the late draw would be a benefit to us. The track has a lot of grip. If I'd have really known what to expect, I might have...

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 3rd:

"We weren't real great in practice and I knew the late draw would be a benefit to us. The track has a lot of grip. If I'd have really known what to expect, I might have been able to run a tenth or so quicker. But I drove down in there and bottomed out a little bit and pushed up in (turn) one. I cut the car back to the bottom and lost a little bit of time on the exit of (turn) two. Turns 3 and 4 were good."

HOW MUCH DO THE TIRES GET USED UP HERE?

"The track doesn't really eat tires up that bad. It's not quite as bad as most places. The handling of the car changes throughout the day quite a bit. There are so many opportunities and differences in the corners and the way you can enter and exit the corner. That's what I love about this place is the fact that you can move around when your car's not quite working as well. In one place, you've got all kinds of other places to run on the race track to try to change how your car is working. Normally though, you've got one guy who is blistering the field and you can get lapped really easily here.

"But it's a beautiful race track. The one thing about going to fast in qualifying is that you know you don't have to do that all the time tomorrow. The times will fall off quite a bit. You'll lose a good second-and-a-half in the tire run tomorrow. In the race, you'll probably lose a good two-and-a-half seconds in the tire run in the race Sunday. That's cool. At the end of the tire run, you don't feel like you're really going quite that fast and you've got all kinds of things you want to do to the car to try to make it go quicker. I look forward to trying to run up front. In the spring, we took a provisional. So we've made some big improvements in our qualifying and I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday. We need to get a win."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup