TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 4th Will you leave the track tonight happy with your qualifying effort? "Well, I'm ecstatic with this. It's faster than I ran -- luckily. Knock on wood, I haven't...
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 4th
Will you leave the track tonight happy with your qualifying effort? "Well, I'm ecstatic with this. It's faster than I ran -- luckily. Knock on wood, I haven't put a scratch on this car. The Nationwide car -- I got into the wall twice with it yesterday. They said minor so it never got the suspension or anything. It was just the right rear corner panel. This place is very, very fast. It's very, very smooth. They did an awesome job. As much as I'll give Goodyear a hard time when they do things wrong, we've been to Charlotte this week testing and have been here and they've brought two good tires that we've been on this week. I appreciate the effort that they put forth this week. I'm happy. Our Home Depot car is pretty good right now. I was the third one in practice and my teammates were both first and second and I was about 11th thinking, 'I've got to pick it up here.' I'm happy with the way we ran."
How do you feel about being the top car for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)? "They've (Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin) been beating me in practice so I'm glad we finally got caught up to qualifying. Everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing is doing a great job. Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) are awesome to have as teammates because they're pushing me harder than ever to be better so I appreciate my teammates."
Are you happy with the qualifying effort for this team today? "I'm pretty happy with it. Obviously, we got to run the Nationwide cars first so we got a feel for the track. We picked up three- tenths qualifying so that's pretty good for us. Normally I find a way of screwing up when I come to Darlington and not doing a good job in qualifying -- slowing down quite a bit. So I'm real happy with Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys and hopefully we'll get to stay up toward the front and hopefully have a good day here. This is one of the places I haven't won at that I really want to win real bad at."
Is it more important to qualify well or get a good pit stall? "Pit stalls are obviously important and track position is going to be a big deal tomorrow night and tonight in both cars. Hopefully if you can start up front, you can stay up front."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's/Indiana Jones Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 6th
Were you more concerned with a clean lap or a lap that would put you near the front? "We made a solid run there. We ended up in the top-10. It was good enough, and that is all we needed right now." Is it hard to practice during the day and prepare for a race at night? "You just have to adjust. There are plenty of tracks that we do that at. We do it at Charlotte and Richmond -- all over. You just have to make sure your car is good when it needs to be good for this time of day and the night time."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Starting Position: 13th
Were you happy with the way your car ran during your qualifying run? "Yeah, we've been happy with it all weekend. The car had more in it there, but in our position you've got to be a little conservative and I was. That will be a decent starting spot still. Our team has made good gains here in the last couple weeks and like I said, the car has felt solid all weekend. I think we'll race well tomorrow."
MICHAEL McDOWELL, No. 00 Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 18th
Are you satisfied with your qualifying lap? "We went out early and I think it's just going to get faster and faster. I just hope that puts us somewhere in the top-20. Everybody here at Michael Waltrip Racing has really worked hard. We struggled this week at Lowe's and we came home and we regrouped and came back better, and that is what you've got to do. I'm real excited for everybody on the 00 team. This weekend we've got the memory of Max Helton on the car for Brain Tumor Action Week. So I think that's really special for Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and the whole entire crew."
Did you have any strategy in just doing the one lap? "I just got a little greedy and got loose into turn one. I knew I was going to wreck if I kept my foot in it so I pulled out of it. That's just the way it goes sometimes."
Can you talk about making this race after hitting the wall on the first lap? "It's pretty simple -- when you're a go-or-go-homer, you have to keep your foot in it. I hit the wall hard. I was worried that the car was not going to be able to run another lap. That was my first fear. If it wasn't, I was going to wreck trying to make another lap. I just hadn't felt the car that loose. We kept it tight in practice and had a lot of rear grip. When we went out to qualify, it was real loose. I almost wrecked on the out lap, so when I went into turn one, I changed the line a little bit so I could get to the throttle without it stepping out on me, but it did and I got the wall. Sorry to the guys, but we made the show and that's all that matters. This is probably the worst I've ever felt after making the race. Hopefully it's not too bad, and we can dent it out before we dent it back in tomorrow."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 30th
How was your car in qualifying compared to practice?
"The car was loose. I'm not sure if it was the track or what. We adjusted it a little bit because we were tight in our qualifying runs. That might have played into that a little bit. Going out first didn't help any, certainly, because the track got faster. It could've been the track or our changes, or a combination of the two, but we were a little too loose."
-credit: toyota motorsports