Five Toyota Camrys will start Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the most Camrys to start a NNCS race. All five Camrys made the race based on their qualifying speeds. Dave Blaney in the No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry will start...
Five Toyota Camrys will start Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the most Camrys to start a NNCS race. All five Camrys made the race based on their qualifying speeds.
Dave Blaney in the No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry will start Sunday's race in the seventh starting position, marking the best start this season for a Camry in a NNCS points race.
Jeremy Mayfield in the No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry will make his first start of the 2007 NEXTEL Cup Series season and will start from the 23rd position.
Brian Vickers in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry will make his third start of the 2007 season from the 25th position.
Dale Jarrett in the No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry will start from the 30th position for Michael Waltrip Racing.
AJ Allmendinger in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry will make his first career NNCS start. Allmendinger will start from the 43rd position.
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing:
How was your qualifying lap? "We've had the car running real good all day. When we came here for the test, we struggled pretty bad. The guys went home and really got going on both my car and Jeremy's (Mayfield) car. We were both real good in practice today and we were hoping that when we came in here, that we would have made some big improvements. For Bristol and Martinsville I don't think the car is going to make that big of a difference. When you come to these places, we always work on mechanical balance and grip and that's not going to change much with this car. For the most part, we've had fast cars and just haven't had the luck to finish the races. With the points coming into play next weekend, a good finish is the most important thing. This Caterpillar team just needs to get a good finish to get back up there in the points, that's what this team needs right now."
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing:
How does it feel to make your first race this season? "I feel like we won the race. It is just such a relief to know that we are going to get to race on Sunday. We've had some time to build some good cars and hopefully now we have turned the corner and things are going to start working our way. I'm just really pumped up. I just can't wait to get out there and start the race on Sunday."
What has made the difference from the first four races to now? "I think preparation and us as a team together have really made the difference. We've made mistakes all along and I feel like every week we're getting better. This is by far the best practice we've had, it's the best we've run and it's the best that both of our Bill Davis Racing cars have been together."
Do you see much of a difference between COT and the other car? "I don't see much of a difference in the COT. We'll know more after the race, but I really don't think that we'll see much of a difference here. We'll see more difference at a mile or mile-and-a-half track. I really like the COT because this is the first race we've made this season, so I love it."
How was your qualifying lap? "I'm really proud of these guys, not because of how we ran, but how much we improved. We were really off when we came here and tested. It took a lot of effort after the Bristol test to go to several other race tracks and worked hard to get better. We unloaded a lot better than we were in the test, we've still got a ways to go, but the guys have done a great job with the car for this weekend. I'm real happy with the lap considering where we started from today. I don't think we could ask for any better today."
How different is the COT from the other car in your opinion? "It's definitely different and it takes a way, way different setup. It is just completely opposite on setup and it takes a little different driving style too. At least for our team and our car, we are still tight in the center and tight off and I'm sure that's hurting us some. I still think we are learning a lot about these cars and we will get used to it."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
How was your first Car of Tomorrow qualifying run? "They're just race cars. There's a lot being talked about them, but the only thing you need to do is find out how to make it faster. The competition is tight on the track so there's a small margin for error. The car is fine, we've just been trying to change things to get just a little more speed out of it."
Does experience help in driving these new cars? "I think the teams that have been working on the car will have the edge, no matter if the driver is 20 or 50, it doesn't make any difference. The teams that have found out what the car likes and what it takes will go to the front. It makes no difference how much experience the driver has."
How does it feel to make your first NEXTEL Cup Series race? "I'm sorry that I made my guys work a little bit harder tonight because I roughed up the side of it a little bit. I wanted to get into this race so bad that I ended up brushing the wall on my first lap. I'm just happy that we made the race. I was sitting there watching how fast the guys were going before me and it started to get me worried. I can't believe it. These guys are awesome."
What did it take to qualifying for the race on time? "This is the first track I actually got to test at, so I had a little more confidence coming into this weekend. We had a great test here last month, but when we unloaded today, practice didn't really go that good for us. The guys did a great job. They kept me pumped up. I was going to use every inch of the racetrack if I had to. I didn't care."
-credit: toyota motorsports