Fontana: Pole winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH and ALAN GUSTAFSON, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- POLE SITTER POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS: BUSCH: "It's definitely an awesome opportunity for the two of us. Obviously, to sit on the pole at the first ...

KYLE BUSCH and ALAN GUSTAFSON, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- POLE SITTER
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

BUSCH:

"It's definitely an awesome opportunity for the two of us. Obviously, to sit on the pole at the first downforce track of the year here at California, and our second race together, hopefully it means there are many more successes to come. It's a tremendous opportunity that Mr. H has given us and we look forward to all that's come about. Kellogg's and Car Quest and everyone that's on board. It's just going to be fun in order to bring it out for those guys. The lap was pretty good. It was a little bit free, but overall you always have to be able to get to the gas here in wide speedways like California and Michigan, so, we're able to do that today. It meant a lot and what also worked out well for us was going out early in the morning and being able to sit on our first pole."

GUSTAFSON:

"Obviously it was a good lap. Things worked out well. I was worried about the early draw at first, that could have gone either way. I saw a forecast for rain so we thought there might be cloud cover today but it worked out well with the draw. We kind of had to balance the impound procedures; we didn't want to bias too much towards qualifying or impound procedures. We mostly worked on race setup this morning, so we were real pleased that we could make the adjustments back to work well in qualifying. We got the pole and that's obviously what we came here to do. We want to win the pole and the race, so to get the pole is huge. We didn't think we could do it."

BUSCH

"Just pick a good pit"

GUSTAFSON

"One!"

BUSCH

"That's the one we want!"

(IS THIS FRONT GRID A MARK FOR THE YOUNG GUYS?)

"I definitely hope so. It's great for Brian Vickers and myself to be on the front row this week. You know, we've moving into the same shop together and we're trying to get all that organized. With Brian Whitesel coming over from the #24/48 team, he's just done an awesome job. You know, it goes out to all of Hendrick Motorsports. The chassis shop, the body shop, the engine shop. You've got to bring some awesome horsepower around this place and everybody's done well with that. It's fun to be able to go out and win your first pole and obviously, I'm elated, don't get me wrong. Still, you've got to thank everyone that makes it all possible for you. It's a whole team effort, it's not just one or two people.

(HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE TOO YOUNG TO SAMPLE THE POLE SPONSOR'S PRODUCT?)

"I can sample their product: I can go to Busch Gardens! But, no, the drink--you're right. It's cool but all in all we take it in stride and just got about how it is we can. It's neat to be able to sit on our first pole. You're excited if you sit on any pole. Last year I think I had six of them and hopefully this year we can get six of them again in the NEXTEL Cup Series. This is the upper echelon of NASCAR racing and we're here doing it so hopefully we can continue our successes.

(DID YOU THINK IT WAS GOING TO COME THIS QUICKLY?)

"No, I didn't think it was going to come this quickly. We figured that most of our success was going to happen more towards the middle to second half of the season. If we can get ourselves in place for the Chase, it would be an awesome goal for this year. If not, we're shooting for a top 15 or so finish in the point standings. All that's happening, if we can just keep it rolling and keep it consistent, we'll be better off, obviously. It's just all about how you can keep the chemistry going."

GUSTAFSON

(DID YOU FOCUS ON RACE OR QUALIFYING SETUP?)

"Yeah, I thought I leaned towards race. So, that could be good. We were tight yesterday in race trim and we made a lot of adjustments for race trim, so I was little worried about qualifying but the guys, body wise, car wise, we put a lot of adjustment in our chassis. We were able to put it off. We were working on race trim. We were struggling with race trim. I think we made some gains on race trim and obviously did on qualifying trim. We're biased towards race, so to have this result is good."

BUSCH

(DOES THIS HELP MAKE UP FOR QUALIFYING HERE IN 2001?)

"Nobody knows but that's my father asking that question. It's pretty cool. I just put the spotlight back on you, bud. It's great. Obviously, you remember we were back here in 2001 and we had to leave the Truck Series that day. It was just a tremendous devastation. We were fastest in practice that day. We weren't fastest in practice yesterday, but if we're fastest here today, it doesn't matter. We're on the pole. It's our award, we've taken it home and going to the house with it. I'm looking forward to running up front tomorrow."

GUSTAFSON

(DOES THIS NEW FORMAT GIVE A BETTER CLUE AS TO WHO WILL DO WELL IN THE RACE?)

"I think that's yet to be seen. It may actually lend itself to the opposite. If you're a car that has to make it in on time, you can just bias your setup to qualifying. So that could give you an advantage there. It's tough--we don't know. We're guessing right now. We usually practice a lot closer to race time after the Busch cars have run a lot more. The conditions are going to change a lot from where we made race practice. It's hard to say."

BUSCH

(DID KURT GIVE YOU ANY ADVICE?)

"Yeah, he got me on the pole. No, I'm just kidding. He's helped me out tremendously. He's just been great as far as on the track and off the track advice. On the track, being as though, helping me out with certain things that they've tried. He just kind of gives me a heads up on that. Last night we were talking about his practice versus mine. He was saying how his car was loose and I was saying, 'Did you try this? Did you try that?' and he said, 'We tried that, but we didn't try that' so it's a give and take. We pass a little information back and forth a little bit. It's not the numbers we pass back and forth, it's just different ways you kind of have to look at things. He may be looking at one thing to change the car to make it better, and yet I'm thinking of another. So, both of them together might work or one of them might work. It just goes down to how you go about working on your race cars."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brian Vickers
Teams Hendrick Motorsports