KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&'M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Qualified: 9th Were you happy with your qualifying lap? "Not really -- but times are off a little bit today, too. Unfortunately, we didn't get quite what we were looking for out of ...
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&'M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Were you happy with your qualifying lap? "Not really -- but times are off a little bit today, too. Unfortunately, we didn't get quite what we were looking for out of the M&'M's Camry, but the guys did a great job. Our temperatures were all good with everything that we wanted to hit right, we hit right. The wind is kind of playing a little havoc today. Maybe we missed on the gear a little. We've got a long day on Thursday to try to get ourselves a better starting position for the (Daytona) 500. If you're not on the front row, it doesn't much matter."
What is important in the Shootout tonight? "Just to see how the restrictor-plate plays out and whether or not we need to go bigger or smaller next week for the (Daytona) 500. Tonight, it's going to be a cool race with cool temperatures -- so it should be a fun race. It's going to be something to look forward to and kind of develop a little bit more handling for what the 500 needs next Sunday."
How has the new restrictor-plate affected the draft? "It's easier to suck-up, but it's a lot easier to stall-out people too. I'm not sure if the stall-out effect is from the side wicker on the wing or not because it seems like we can move each other around a lot more and I don't know if that's just a faster speed that we're carrying or the different end plates on the wing. There's some different effects to it, but until you get out there in a race and kind of get all the race scenarios underneath you and feel all that, you don't really know for sure."
How has the wing changed? "The side of the wing, they (NASCAR) changed. It used to be a flat piece of aluminum, but now they put the carbon or wavy piece on there, and it adds more drag. What I think is that when you get somebody's nose that pushes air up next to the left rear quarter panel or the right rear quarter panel, it kind of moves you around a little more because the air is trying to figure out which side to go around that wing and it doesn't know."
What is your big news this weekend? "Samantha (Sarcinella) and I got engaged -- asked her to marry me and she said yes. We're excited about that, to become a couple and make it official is a good step in both of our lives. It was about 80 percent planned, but I built everything up kind of spur of the moment."
Is Samantha (Sarinella) supportive of you racing? "She's very receptive to me and my racing. It's a big deal for me to have her so supportive of what I do and she lets me go race all the time. I still race all my Late Model races, my Truck races, the Nationwide races -- that's the whole deal. When you find someone that's right and can accept what you do and how crazy you are, then you pretty much found it."
Were you nervous about your qualifying lap? "I could tell Jimmie (Elledge, crew chief) was real nervous with us having to qualify in here on time. We weren't so quick yesterday. The guys made a lot of good decisions before qualifying and it looks like it's paid off because we picked up more than we expected."
What would it mean to qualify into the Daytona 500 on speed? "Getting in on speed and not having to race your way in -- that's ideal. Even if you're fast, the 150s can go either way. You can get involved in something that's not even your own fault and not qualify for the Daytona 500. The guys did a lot of good work between practice and here. On Thursday, you're still running your good car and you don't want to crash, but you're certainly going to be able to push it a little more and not be quite as cautious if you're already in the race -- no question."
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 47 Kroger Floral Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Are you happy with your qualifying lap? "That was way better than what we practiced yesterday. We really had a good pick-up overnight -- the car was a lot better to drive. It's like wrestling a bear in there for a couple laps. These suspension packages to qualify here are very aggressive and I'm just pleased that I kept it on the straight and narrow and got a good lap timing."
Is your team excited to get the season started? "We're just pumped up, fizzed up, everything -- we just can't wait to go racing. We feel like we've done a little work in the off-season, I had a great off-season myself and went back to Australia and chilled out for a while. Just reflected on who I need to be in order to be a better race car driver and I'm ready to go."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
How did the weather affect your qualifying lap? "The wind is just gusting down in (turns) three and four. It's tough -- you get a tailwind down the back (straightaway) that gives you some extra speed and then it bogs you right down. It's just luck of the draw. Really proud of all the guys on this NEMCO Motorsports crew. They have been working hard and trying to do it with very limited finances out of my own pocket. There are a lot of guys out there helping us and I can't thank everybody enough for what they do."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How did the weather affect your qualifying lap? "I could feel a big tail wind down the back straightaway that time. I felt the motor kind of crank up a little bit so that should help. I'm sure everyone is getting the same amount of help out there. It seems like everyone is picking up at least a half-a- second and I don't know where it's coming from. I'm glad we picked up that much, we actually picked up a little more from our practice run. The guys on the Home Depot Toyota team did a good job in trying to find some speed. At least we have our teammates down the center, we're all close so that's the good part. Hopefully, these things are good in the pack. We haven't got them in a pack yet with our (Daytona) 500 cars so we'll see."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 51 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Are you happy with your qualifying lap? "I'm real proud of my team to get a top-20 in qualifying and that is certainly something to be proud of. I think the guys did a great job getting all they could. It was a handful to drive -- I don't know if we left a little bit on the table with having a setup that was so aggressive. It was balanced everywhere and a lot of times it was driving me and I wasn't driving it. We were able to get around there in the NAPA car and got ourselves a place to start on Thursday and try to race our way in. We've been in this situation before and worked it out so I'm pretty confident."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How was your qualifying lap? "It was disappointing -- we really felt like we were going to pick up a whole lot more than we did. Just had the car into the race track a little bit and that didn't help us any. We just didn't pick up as much as I really thought we could. The wind is gusting, but I never could feel that big of a difference. The only thing I could feel was the car getting into the race track a little bit and I think that hurt us."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your qualifying lap? "We are pretty disappointed with it. I felt like we could have been a little better or closer to the field at least. It's just one of those things where you try a little different stuff. We didn't get much practice and we just try to bring the best package that we can. We'll start mid-pack in the 150s (Gatorade Duels), but we've won that race before." How important is it for you to win the Shootout? "It's very important to us. We won it in 2006 and it was probably one of the turning moments in my career. This year in particular, we've got some stuff to prove. We're going to have to come from last, but we've done that before too."
ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, Robby Gordon Motorsports
Were you surprised by the increase of your speed from yesterday's practice session? "Yesterday we were fifth and we thought we would pick-up about three-tenths (of a second). I didn't expect everyone else to pick-up. I think Ryan (Newman) probably picked-up eight-tenths of a second. That's a big pick-up. I think the tire might have rubbed on the fender a little bit. This is a tough game -- we are competing against the toughest teams in the business and we're excited to have our Monster Energy car here. Hopefully, we'll have a good race on Thursday of next week and we'll see how it works out on Sunday."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip
How was your qualifying lap? "We were off a little yesterday with the NAPA Toyota. We actually had a huge pick-up so that was a good job by the guys to get some speed out of the car. I don't think we expected a shot at the pole today. Looking forward to next week and getting this car handling good and racing up toward the front and win one of those Gatorade Duels."
Why are the speeds faster today than in practice yesterday? "Everybody is tuning them up and the weather is a little bit better. There's a real big tail wind coming across the back and the way it's blowing across the front straightaway so it's really slowing you down on the front. It's really just helping everybody go a little faster, plus everybody went to work last night and showed everybody their little tricks and threw everything they had at it today."
How did your car handle on your qualifying run? "We kind of made some changes last night and were trying to really go for it and they didn't work out. We misjudged on some of the (suspension) travels. We hit the track really, really hard at both ends through the bumps. I'm sure that took a lot of speed out of the car. It was turning great RPMs at the end of the backstretch, but as soon as I got in the corner and started hitting bumps then it really killed the time."
REED SORENSON, No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
MAX PAPIS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing
DAVID GILLILAND, No. 49 Warner Music/Larry the Cable Guy Toyota, BAM Racing
JEFF FULLER, No. 97 Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
DAVE BLANEY, No. 66 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
MICHAEL McDOWELL, No. 55 Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports
KIRK SHELMERDINE, No. 27 Toyota Camry, Kirk Shelmerdine Racing
-source: toyota motorsports