BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET - Qualified 5th -- Top Rookie ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: "I felt like it was a pretty good run for the GMAC Chevy. We were third quick in practice. We came out in top five for qualifying. It's our third top...
BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET - Qualified 5th -- Top Rookie
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
"I felt like it was a pretty good run for the GMAC Chevy. We were third quick in practice. We came out in top five for qualifying. It's our third top ten start in a row and we're happy about that. We were obviously going for the pole. We had the pole for tenth and a half going down the backstretch but we lost it in three and four. We struggled in three and four in practice too. We were tight off of turn four all day. We worked toward fixing it. We got it a lot better. We thought we had it fixed, but we didn't get it fixed enough. The car got really tight off turn four and we lost all of our time there. I knew the way we got through one and two, it would be an awesome lap if we got the car fixed for turn four. Unfortunately we didn't but they did inform me we had it by a tenth and a half going down the backstretch, which doesn't really matter now."
ON THE CONSISTENCY OF HIS TEAM:
"It's definitely getting better. This team has grown and come into its own. We went through some of the same stuff last year. This series it more difficult, more challenging and more races. Everything about it is tougher. It's taken us a little bit longer. At the same time it's not a bad thing. Last year there were teams that were out running us at the beginning of the year but we still came back to win some races and the championship. It just took us a little bit of time for us to really grow as a team and for me to get some experience and seat time. It all worked out in the end. Hopefully we can have a good end of the season this year."
IS TEN OR ELEVEN RACES A REALISTIC GOAL TO GET ACCLAMATED?
"I wish we won every race this year. I don't really set a number. Ten could be one, twenty could be one, five could be one. The reason I don't set a number is that it all depends on the people. Everybody on this planet is different. You have to learn and adapt and learn how to communicate with each person differently. You may be able to get to the same result in the end but you may have to go about it in a whole a different route. The time it takes to learn that chemistry and to learn that communication and adapt to each other is important. Obviously the driver and the crew chief are very important, but the spotter, the entire team, the owner, everybody in the race shop that's involved plays a key role. Sometimes it takes more time but it doesn't mean that it still can't come out on top in the end."
ON PRACTICING AT THIS TRACK:
"I don't really understand whey we're practicing during the day. We're practicing the opposite of when we're racing. On one side everyone is practicing at the same time under the same conditions. You're going to have some guys that hit it right and some guys that miss. It's kind of more of a guess when really it's adapting to the race track and get it as good as you can. I feel like it would be beneficial for everybody and the race would be that much better if we would practice when we race. That takes a lot of the guess work out. Instead of having two or three really fast cars that guess the set up right, you'll have five or ten really good cars because they can actually work in the conditions they will be racing in. I'm sure there's a reason they did it the way they did. I don't know all those reasons. I would definitely ask them to think more about trying to let us practice when we race."
ON RUNNING A 600 MILE FOR THE FIRST TIME:
"You got to physically and mentally pace yourself more. You have to adjust the set up. I'm very fortunate to have a great teammate like Jeff (Gordon). I can kind of lean on him for that and what the car is going to do at the beginning race compared to the end of the race compared to practice. There's so many things to change on this weekend. Last year at my very first Cup race the Busch race got rained out Friday night. I had to run the Busch that morning and the Cup race that night - that came out to 800 or 900 miles or whatever that was. Six hundred is kind of cutting back. To me if you can make it 400 or 500 miles, you can make it 600 miles, looking at the physical condition of it. Mentally that's a long time sitting in the car.
"From what I experience as a fan, you see a big difference in that last hundred miles. Not just guys falling out of the seat but just trying to stay focused for that length of time. This race track has so many bumps and tricks to it. You have to stay focused all the way around the race track. The cars, the crew chiefs, the teams have been out that long. These cars are built to go 400 to 500 miles every week. We get all we can out them for those 500 miles, not 501. One a year we expect these cars that are built to run 500, go 600 miles. Time on the motor is very important."