JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 11th: "That was a lot better than in practice. But on top of that, I just had to go back and sort it out and find some speed. The car was a little better, but the driver was a lot...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 11th:
"That was a lot better than in practice. But on top of that, I just had to go back and sort it out and find some speed. The car was a little better, but the driver was a lot better. This place is tough. This car is a good car. I think maybe Jeff Gordon will try to set a new track record today. Hopefully this Lowe's Monte Carlo will be in the top 10 or top 15 and we'll be good in the race on Saturday night."
Note: Johnson crashed during the first Happy Hour practice segment. "I lost it in Turn 2 and went sideways down the back straight." The team changed engines from the original car to back-up car #4873, which is the same Chevy Johnson ran at Darlington (won) and Chicago (finished 2nd).
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 30th:
(ARE YOU BACK 100 PERCENT, PHYSICALLY, FROM YOUR BURNS?) "I guess so, yes."
(ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR QUALFIYING LAP OR ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED WITH IT?) "I'm kind of disappointed with it because it ain't fast. I came here to get the pole, and that's not close to it."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 6th:
(HAS THE TRACK GOTTEN REALLY SLICK?) "It's a little slicker. But I think guys who had tight cars, it's coming to them a little bit. And guys who had cars that were loose are really loose now. We can look back at our notes and we were a little bit tight at the end of the (practice) session and tried a couple of things and it got too free. So we put it back."
(HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FENDERS AT BRISTOL?) "Even though it's a short track, as fast as we run here the aerodynamics are a big part of it. You've got to take care of them (fenders) here to keep the aero balance right."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Wins Pole:
"These guys just brought a great race car to this race track. I wasn't sure if I had it on the first lap. This track just doesn't have as much grip as I thought it was going to. We made some adjustments. The car, I knew, was decent. But when I went to make that second lap, I almost wrecked over there between Turns 3 and 4. That would have been pretty embarrassing. So I sure am glad we had a good lap on the first one. That was definitely a good lap for us."
(ON THE PREMIUM OF STARTING UP FRONT AT BRISTOL) "It is. We've been on the front row here many times and seen the benefits of it. There's nothing better than having a nice pit stall here. Hopefully we can hang on to this pole for the DuPont Chevrolet team. We sure would like to get a solid front row starting spot.
(ON WINNING THE POLE - HIS 4TH CAREER POLE AT BRISTOL) "What a great effort by the DuPont Chevrolet racing team. I'm really proud of these guys. This car has never been tested here and we unloaded fast. To do that is a great day for us."
(WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO A DRIVER TO WIN A POLE HERE AND THEN WIN THE RACE?) "I hadn't won a night race here until a couple of years ago. That was really spectacular to me. This is just a driver's track. You've got to really get after it here. You've got to be aggressive, but you've got to really work with the team to get the car working right. It's just a place where just surviving is one thing. To win is just amazing. I love this track. It reminds me of my short track days."