TEAM CHEVY TAKES TOP SIX STARTING POSITIONS AT DAYTONA DEI DRIVERS PAUL MENARD AND MARK MARTIN ON FRONT ROW DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- July 4, 2008 -- To celebrate the holiday with a little fireworks all their own, Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammates ...
TEAM CHEVY TAKES TOP SIX STARTING POSITIONS AT DAYTONA
DEI DRIVERS PAUL MENARD AND MARK MARTIN ON FRONT ROW
DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- July 4, 2008 -- To celebrate the holiday with a little fireworks all their own, Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammates Paul Menard and Mark Martin qualified their Impala SS race cars to start Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup on the front row.
Team Chevy swept the top five positions in Friday's qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Chevrolet drivers grabbed six of the top ten positions for tomorrow night's race.
Paul Menard, driver of the No. 15 Menards/Vertis Chevrolet Impala SS won his first career pole in 57 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. His best previous career start was 13th earlier this season at Dover. Menard turned a lap of 185.916 mph and an average time of 48.409 seconds.
Chevy driver Mark Martin notched his seventh top-10 start of the season and 19th at Daytona by qualifying second. Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified his No. 88 National Guard / AMP Energy Impala SS third and scored his 11th top-10 start of the season and 13th at Daytona. Joe Nemecheck, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Impala ss was fourth and Johnny Sauter, No. 70 Haas Automation Impala SS rounded out the top-5.
PAUL MENARD, NO. 15 MENARDS / VERTIS IMPALA SS -- Pole Winner
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: "I really had no idea. I knew the ECR engine boys gave us some more power for this race. We really didn't do a qualifying run yesterday in practice; we just worked on drafting. We might have overdone it a little bit with the tape because the motor got a little bit warm but nothing too bad or nothing that is going to affect us for tomorrow so looking forward to the race for sure. We drafted yesterday and we really had good speed in the car, had to work on the drivability a little bit but we're right there."
IS THE MOST IMPORT THING WHEN YOU CLIMB BEHIND THE WHEEL TOMORROW NIGHT FOR THE COKE ZERO 400 IS HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU IN THE RACE CAR? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A BETTER STARTING SPOT THAN YOU HAVE EVER HAD HERE IN DAYTONA. "Well, we'll see how it all shakes out. The wind could pick up, it could cloud up, anything could happen but nonetheless we'll have a good starting spot and its four-hundred miles tomorrow night we have to survive."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS -- Qualified 2nd
ON HIS LAP: "Well I know it was good for racing, but I didn't know it was going to qualify this well. We qualified pretty decent in February but nothing like that. So you know, its just a tribute to the Earnhardt-Childress engine program and all the guys at DEI because they build really incredible restrictor plate cars over the years and I had a feeling that the eight car has got the look of years of the past when we watched Dale Jr. go out there and do what he wanted to do. It sure would be fun to do that tomorrow night."
THE OTHER THING ABOUT QUALIFYING UP FRONT IS THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET A GOOD PIT SELECTION AND EVERYBODY TELLS ME THAT'S FAIRLY IMPORTANT HERE IN DAYTONA. IS IT? "Yeah, I mean yeah. I don't know; I'm not sure if Tony and I will know what to do with that good of a pit selection. I'm not used to that."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD / AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd:
ON HIS LAP "I don't know, I am not sure what a good lap is. We run the same thing we ran in February. The cars are really good, and I am real happy with the power and the handling was pretty good yesterday. I am excited and looking forward to the race."
THIS IS A UNIQUE PAINT SCHEME ON YOUR CAR, DO YOU LIKE IT? "It's real similar to the one that Casey (Mears) won with last year. But this one is hand done. Everything on it. No decals, as far as the paint itself there's no decals.
"It took a while to stencil all that out I imagine. The guys took about two days on it and they are real proud of it and its real slick and its real important the preparation they put into these cars."
-credit: gm racing