Chevrolet driver Kahne takes the Talladega pole

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN: “So far so good. Our Chevy felt really good. It was fast. We will see what holds up. It’s definitely somewhere in the top five I would say. It was a great way to start the weekend. We had a good car yesterday in practice, felt good in the draft, felt good around Jeff Gordon, we were pushing each other and stuff. Things are good so far. It would be great to start first; I have never qualified first at one of these tracks.”

Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SECOND YOU PUT DOWN A FAST LAP, BUT AS YOU ALL SAY IT’S AN EASY THING TO DO HOWEVER, THE ONLY POSITION THAT COUNTS IS THE POLE HERE SAY SOME DRIVERS. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WILL STACK UP? “Hopefully top five, but we need to win a pole to be in the Shootout that is the way it works this coming year. We are trying to do our best at that the guys did a good job with the U.S. Army Chevrolet and we will see where it all shakes up. I’m just really proud of the guys. My job is a very small percentage of what that lap was all about.”

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THIS RACE TOMORROW? “I don’t know. If we qualify up front then we will try to do our thing up front. We will just have to see. It’s a unique race and we want to be there at the end. Whatever we have to do to be there at the end is what we will try to do.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED FOURTH HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CAR IS FOR TOMORROW? “It’s hard to say you don’t get in the packs that you will be in tomorrow yesterday (practice day). Yesterday the pack sizes aren’t as big as they will be tomorrow. The only thing we can go off is this is the car that we won at Daytona in July with so hoping that is going to be a good sign.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SIXTH HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? “It was a solid lap and effort. This team always does such an amazing job in coming to the restrictor plate tracks. Obviously, being on the pole last time we were here we were hoping to be there again, but this late draw and the wind you just can’t ever tell what is going to happen. We didn’t get the pole, but it’s still up there where we need to be.”

IN A PRETTY GOOD SPOT THERE TO HOOK UP WITH THE NO. 5? “If we can get together with them great, if not we just race and see when and how we can get hooked up with him or somebody. We would love to work with them we worked well together in practice he is our teammate. You just can’t predict what is going to happen at the end of this race. If we can be together I think we will make a great team and duo to be able to go do what we need to do to win. If not we figure it out from there.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH ON HIS LAP: “It was pretty decent. We had a few things we could have improved on and think the car had pretty decent speed. We worked really hard and I think the car had good potential.”

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CAR IS FOR TOMORROW? “I think we have a great car and can race really well. I think we will be able to be real aggressive and we expect to be right up in the thick of it all day long. We are just looking forward to getting off to a good start and just staying strong and aggressive all day.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 17TH HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH IT? “We went out so early it’s hard for me to tell how that’s going to stack up. I know (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) hoped that we’d run a little quicker, but like a lot of the big teams, and especially the ones racing for the championship, you don’t take a lot of risk in qualifying. You want to make sure your car is going to have the right cooling and the right handling come race time. We had a conservative qualifying set-up in the car and judging by Chad’s tone on the radio, I think we’ll be kind of in the middle.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 21ST HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “For us we have had cooling issues all year. We are still having cooling issues so we got way too hot on that qualifying run. We kind of know what we are faced with. Everybody has got a good outlook on what we need to do for the race and we will stick to our strategy. We know where we stand.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 24TH DID YOU STEP ON IT? “It kind of is what it is when you get here. I’m sure everyone has said the exact same thing there is not really much you can do about it. That is a little better for our team than we normally qualify at plate tracks. It looks to me like we are where all the other ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) cars are. The cars are all pretty similar here it is really about the engine in the car. We are right there with the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) cars and with Juan (Pablo Montoya). It’s just kind of what you have.”

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR/DRIVECAT.COM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 26TH ON HIS RUN “It was okay. I don’t have a clue where that’s going to end up. No idea. But we feel like it’s a little better than we’ve been here; probably than we were here in the spring. I feel like we have a good car to race and that’s really all that matters.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 51 PHOENIX RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 29TH HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “The whole effort around it for the last couple of months of just preparing the car, polishing up on it and making it the best car that we can. The Phoenix Racing guys always do that for the restrictor plate races. I don’t know where we will stack up, but it’s really neat working with a group of guys like this where everybody has got to throw in extra and work extra hours and work extra hard. To come here and compete against the big boys it’s very gratifying. It’s self-satisfying to see everybody doing it together.”

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A SHOT TO PULL AWAY THE VICTORY HERE TOMORROW? “We could steal one away for sure. This team is capable and this track lends itself to those big surprise things to happen. We just have to be there at the end. We have to protect our car all day, have that last pit stop be on the right sequence to be ahead of the curve to protect that track position that we had and be right there at the end. We have all the right ingredients now we just have to do it.”

Source: Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kasey Kahne
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports , Phoenix Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags burton, busch, chevrolet, earnhardt, gordon, harvick, hendrick, johnson, kahne, mcmurray, newman, stewart