Fort Worth: Raybestos Rookies' qualifying quotes

Raybestos® Rookie contender post-qualifying quotes for the Samsung/Radioshack 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, April 5, 2002. Jimmie Johnson was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie in the Lowe's Chevrolet. He...

Raybestos® Rookie contender post-qualifying quotes for the Samsung/Radioshack 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, April 5, 2002.

Jimmie Johnson was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie in the Lowe's Chevrolet. He will start 13th in Sunday's race and took highest qualifying rookie honors for the third time this season (Daytona, Rockingham And Texas). He leads the Raybestos® Rookie standing by two points (84-82) over Ryan Newman.

"We were faster than that in practice. We went out so early we don't know what speed is left in the track; you think it would be getting faster. I don't think it's going to be as good as we had hoped. We chose to go out on sticker tires and the car was a little skatey on that lap. I could tell that my grip, for some reason, was lower. I don't know if the track is dirty from going out early or if that set of stickers didn't work out how we had hoped that they would. The stickers worked great for us in practice. The 24 car (Jeff Gordon) is on scuffs so we'll see what works best for our cars. I know a lot of guys are on scuffs so it's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out."

DID YOU SWAP ANY INFORMATION WITH GORDON AND HIS TEAM TODAY?

"There's been a little bit of information swapping setup wise but more driver-wise. I went and got some advice from him about how he is entering the corners and it helped me a lot. It helped the car handle a lot better once I drove it a little bit more sanely. I definitely used him for advice."

HOW EASY IS IT TO MAKE A MISTAKE HERE IN QUALIFYING?

"It's hard to tell. You're on the edge and you're scaring yourself. It's hard to know, to feel it because it's such a small amount at this speed shows up. You just hold your breath for a lap and hope that they (the crew) tell you everything was good."

Shawna Robinson, No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge, qualified 16th, the best qualifying run of her Winston Cup career. Robinson has qualified on her speed in three of her four Winston Cup starts this season.

"We made a lot of changes before qualifying. I knew we had a good race car. This is where this team is going to be consistently. We're going to be getting a lot more consistent and we're going to get a lot of real good qualifying and race runs. If we had a sponsor it would have probably happened a little quicker. We're building really good chemistry. My owner promised me promised me seat time this year and I will guarantee you I've had more of it right now than I've had in a whole season of racing. They're giving me what they say they will. I don't think there is any question that we've proven that we can qualify. We're a new race team and we're building and I think we are showing that we have the capabilities to be a competitive team. We're an underdog. We don't have that much support so we need the support to get where we need to be. I will get there, no question. A sponsor would help and make it a lot more fun if I had a product to relate to.

DID YOU SEE THE CROWD'S REACTION WHEN YOU CAME AROUND FOR THE SECOND LAP.

"No I didn't (laughs). I don't even hardly look at my gauges. In qualifying you don't look at anything, just straight as far as you can. When I came in the first thing I said was 'Can I go out again because I know I can go faster than that' because we really got the car where we needed it to be. We just need to race all day. I want to be here and this is my style of racetrack. I just want to get a lot of laps and be a competitive race car."

THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME IN FIVE STARTS THAT YOU'VE MADE THE RACE ON YOUR SPEED YOU'VE GOT TO BE PROUD OF THAT.

"Yeah, and the one that I didn't (Darlington) we weren't even supposed to be there. We'll get better."

Ryan Newman, No.12 Alltel Ford, qualified 36th. Newman was the highest qualifying rookie in the last four consective races.

"Loose, loose, loose. We've been trying to get hold of the racetrack and just couldn't get the car down into the racetrack all day. We'll go back to the drawing board for tomorrow, I guess.

ELLIOTT SADLER THOUGHT YOU WERE QUICK ENOUGH TO BE A THREAT FOR THE POLE (SADLER HELD THE TOP SPOT UNTIL BILL ELLIOTT TOOK THE POLE LATE IN THE QUALIFYING SESSION). SADLER WILL START SECOND IN SUNDAY'S RACE.

"He's just playing games.  I didn't know he was that fast but that's good for
them.  I know they came down here to test and hopefully he can get his pole."

WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO RUN WELL IN SUNDAY'S RACE?

"Track position. The racetrack is so fast it's not made for racing; it's made for speed. It's good if you want to go fast but it's not built for these race cars. "

WILL YOU PUT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SETUP UNDER THE CAR FOR THE RACE?

"We're going to have to think about what we're going to do. We're going to have to change a few things, obviously. Overall we need to make a better package."

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Shawna Robinson , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson