Fontana: Raybestos Rookie qualifying quotes

Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Mobil 1/Attel Ford won the Bud Pole for the NAPA Auto Parts 500. This is Newman'S second career pole (his first came at last year's Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte) In 18 career Winston Cup starts. Newman has now been...

Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Mobil 1/Attel Ford won the Bud Pole for the NAPA Auto Parts 500. This is Newman'S second career pole (his first came at last year's Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte) In 18 career Winston Cup starts. Newman has now been highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie in six of the 10 races this season.

"You've got to have performance (at California Speedway). It's horsepower, car, downforce. The weather conditions maximized everything. The track gripped, the tires gripped, Goodyear brought a great tire. It was a lot of fun to qualify here. Hopefully it will hold up for us. It was a good lap for us. I think it could have been just maybe a little bit better. Kurt Busch did an awesome job to knock the lap off like that. It's wild going out there at those speeds. Sometimes you can get in the corner a little faster than you think you are because of the wind.

WHERE COULD THE LAP HAVE BEEN BETTER? DID YOU SLIP?

"Not necessarily slip, it's just that when you go out like that we gained over a second in practice. It's like, 'What do you expect?' You have to figure out what you expect and kind of predict the future. It's hard to do in a racecar."

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE HOW GOOD THE LAP WAS?

"I realized it when I rolled through three and four coming to the green flag. It just felt good. When the car feels good you can push it hard; you have the confidence."

DID THE WEATHER AFFECT YOU?

"It's good for performance, but it's good for everybody. It's not going to change. It's going to be windy, it's going to be cloudy, and it's going to be cold for the rest of the day."

HOW BIG IS IT FOR YOU TEAM TO RUN GOOD AFTER THE LAST TWO WEEKS?

"It's real important. The car owner (Roger Penske) built the racetrack (laughs). We got to run really good. Anyplace we go we try as hard as we can. This is the sister track to Michigan and I've had a lot of good experiences up there and hopefully we can continue throughout the weekend."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED FOURTH.

"We've got to wait it out kind of like the speedway races earlier this year. I just hope it holds up. It would be nice for me to earn a pole on my own right here. Chad Knaus has given me such great racecars. This one here involved some driver so if we're able to end up on the pole here I'll be very, very proud of myself and obviously very proud of these guys on this team. They brought a racecar here that unloaded at the top of the board and hopefully we can keep it there.

DID THE WEATHER HELP YOU?

"It picked everybody else up. When I was sitting on pit road waiting my turn I was blown away by how fast everybody was going. I didn't know where our car would pick it up. It's just amazing what the cold temperatures do and what a little bit of speed around the whole racetrack will equal up to on the clock. This motor is running awfully good too so these cold air temperatures help them run good, too."

YOU HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE TOP QUALIFYING TEAMS THIS YEAR. YOU'VE GOT TO BE PROUD OF THAT.

"Track position is so important these days and your pit stall pick. If you can qualify in the top-10, preferably top-15 if at all possible, you are giving yourself a great chance for Sunday. I just hope to have some of these "victories" if you'll call it on qualifying days to happen on Sundays so we can take some trophies home."

THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL PROBABLY CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY. WILL THAT CAUSE YOU TO CHASE YOUR SETUP?

"As long as the track is similar from 'Happy Hour' to the race. I don't have any notes here from a Cup car and Jeff's (Gordon, Johnson's car owner) always run well here. We'll just roll the dice. That's all we've done all year long, roll the dice and see what happens."

SHAWNA ROBINSON, NO. 49 BAM RACING DODGE, WILL USE A PROVISIONAL AND START 43RD.

DID THE WEATHER HURT YOU IN QUALIFYING?

"I don't know. It screwed us up gear-wise, a little bit. We turned almost 9,000 (RPMs). We had considered changing the gear before but we really didn't think that would be the way to go. We really didn't think feel like it was going to hurt us."

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Chad Knaus , Roger Penske