Continued from part 1 RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge): "I was asking Kasey Kahne if he missed anything, because if he missed anything, I'd feel bad about my lap. He said his was a good lap, and he was close to us yesterday in practice. We...
Continued from part 1
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge): "I was asking Kasey Kahne if he missed anything, because if he missed anything, I'd feel bad about my lap. He said his was a good lap, and he was close to us yesterday in practice. We both missed Turn 2 by about 6 inches, which doesn't equate to a whole lot, but it equates to something. I was pretty happy with that lap. Not that it could ever be perfect here, because you always look for just a little bit more. It is a tricky lap. One qualifying lap kind of equates to two at any other track with the four individual corners. It's difficult, but it's fun when you get it right."
MATT KENSETH (No. 17 DeWalt Ford): "That was faster than we probably expected. So I thought the car drove really good. For where we drew and what we did, I think that's a good qualifying lap. It will give us a really good starting spot. It was as good as I could have expected."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline Dodge): "The car was pretty good. It was a little bit tight. But I'm happy. We got a great car for tomorrow. We should have fun. We're in the race, so that's great. I think we'll be good in the race. I think we're getting better and better every race weekend. We struggled early on, and I think it's going to get better. I think tomorrow is going to be good for us. The car is really stable. It runs well every lap. I don't want to say necessarily we're going to win it, but we're going to be in there somewhere. If we finish top 20, I will be really happy for us."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 28 Yates Racing Ford): (About brush with the wall): "The car was tight through Turn 1, and I drove it in there like it was going to stick. From that point on, I knew I had to back off a little bit. I'm surprised it even went as fast as it did. We'll work on it and get it better for Sunday."
STANTON BARRETT (No. 150 NOS ENERGY DRINK Chevrolet): "It's really disappointing. We drove really hard, but we were a little free. We had a tire going down. We only had 7 pounds when we came into here, so I'm not sure what's going on. We usually run 18 to 21 pounds there, so I don't know. It's hard here with tech and you're further back, you miss most of the first practice because they can't get you out through tech. It's just, the formatting is really tough. We should have been much faster than that, so we just definitely had an issue there. Yesterday we were just building up. We picked up two seconds the last two times we went out, so there was definitely room there, and I knew what we had to do to get those two points, but the speed just wasn't there. It's just one of those things. We'll try it again, and hopefully we won't have flat tires and other problems. It felt like there was a lot of grip in the NOS Energy car. Overall, it felt like we had a lot of grip, and then we started just getting loose and I just don't think we carried the straightaway speed with that tire going down. But I don't know. It's just a really tough event to come to, and we just have to learn from that and do what we have to. The biggest thing is that we are so limited on time and tech, by the time they get to the guys past the top 35, you just have no time to go through tech and get on to practice, so you're going to miss a significant amount of the first practice and you're dealing with these guys, you can't afford to do that with this caliber of racing. I haven't been to Indy in nine years and I haven't been in these cars. They're a lot different, and I didn't want to go do something stupid and crash it."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet): "We had a decent lap. It was faster than we ran yesterday, but believe me, I want to go faster. We're struggling to get some speed. Overall, the balance of our Chevy wasn't too bad. It's hard to pinpoint where we need to go find speed. This is a really tricky place. It's been a good place for me in the past, especially in qualifying. Hopefully we can start looking forward to a good race tomorrow."
GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 Dish Network Ford): "I was hoping for that early run and the temperature to do something for us. The sun came out about five minutes before we ran and was out pretty strong. It was right out in that blue sky patch. Now it's behind a big, big cloud. Going out first had an advantage, but it doesn't seem like it's going to do a lot for us unless it starts warming up, and the sun comes out."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 66 State Water Heaters Chevrolet): "It was just way too tight. We should have made better adjustments, and we didn't."
AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 84 Red Bull Toyota): "It was little bit tentative, just trying to get the car in the show. It had been a lot different if we were already in, but this place is obviously a tough place to get around. I think we'll be in the race. I'm pleased with that. That's the first goal. I'd have liked to be a little bit better on lap speed. We could've tightened the car up a little bit, and I probably would, if I was in the top 35, I probably would've got a lot more out of it. But we just wanted to get it in. It's a long race, and hopefully we can go out and have some fun on Sunday. The grip wasn't there compared to early in the morning, based on what the guys have been running, but it still had some decent grip. I was probably a little more tentative than anything. The car was loose getting in and knowing that, I didn't want to overdo it and kill a lap. I just wanted to get the lap in. I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm pleased. I think the car for the race trim is pr etty good, and obviously the pace slows down a lot once the race starts, and it will just be a lot like Chicago and start at the back and work our way up. Use some strategy possibly, and I know Jimmy and the boys, they will give me a good car, so it will be good."
KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet): "It was a little tight off of (Turn) 4 coming to the green today. I got tight off of (Turn) 2 and again in (Turn) 4 on the lap."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge): "We picked up a little bit. It was a little quicker than we ran yesterday, and that was good, but that wasn't really what we were looking for. We were hoping to have a little bit better run than that."
MARTIN TRUEX JR. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet): "The conditions were great, and we just didn't go that fast. We picked up a lot from practice, but we were just a little slow. I wasn't comfortable enough with the car yesterday to get after it today. You got to drive it hard to go fast here. Race trim will be a lot different."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Totinos Dodge): "We picked up about four-tenths from yesterday. We made some good changes on it, but I just wish we could have made a few more yesterday. It's a little too tight through (Turn) 1 and 2; 3 and 4 are pretty decent. It would be nice to have had a day of practice because there were only three guys with the Car of Tomorrow here at the tire test. Track time would be great for everybody. I don't know what to expect tomorrow. I have an idea, but the track is going to change a lot from start to finish."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 55 NAPA Toyota): "It's just the same old story. We felt good but didn't have the speed, and that is what happened yesterday. It's disappointing for qualifying, but hopefully for the race it will pay dividends. It handled pretty doggone good, and I gave it a lot of gas, but I just didn't get back here fast enough."
JOHNNY SAUTER (No. 08 FUBAR Dodge): "We struggled a little yesterday trying to figure out our bump stops, but we gambled today, and that's the way it goes. We picked up time from yesterday, and I guess that's all you can ask for. We drug the splitter real bad, and we did it yesterday, as well. When we fixed it, we picked up a second. It was dragging a little today, but that's just a product of it being only our second race here. We're just trying to work through the bugs, and we just missed it."
JASON LEFFLER (No. 70 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet): "The cloud cover always helps here at Indianapolis. Being out of the top 35 is a fine line between being too conservative and too aggressive. You have to run a middle-of-the-road lap. The guys at Haas gave me a good car, and we were solid all day yesterday in practice. Qualifying for the Brickyard here in Indianapolis is really cool; nothing beats that. This is the greatest track in the world, no matter what anybody says. It is certainly dear to my heart, and anytime I get a chance to race here is incredible."
MARCOS AMBROSE (No. 147 Little Debbie Snacks Ford): "This is fairly spectacular considering the trouble we had yesterday. We did a whole two laps yesterday and didn't know what to do with the car. We're a start-up team, and we made it in today. This feels like my first genuine Cup start. I feel like we have climbed Mount Everest after yesterday's effort. We had less than seven minutes on the racetrack and here we are, qualified."
J.J. YELEY (No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota): "We're a couple months behind compared to what a lot of the teams are. We're going to keep plugging away. I know we're racing, so now we can go back to normal and worrying about making the race car drive good and making it race good on Sunday. Today's qualifying lap, the car was extremely tight on both exits, which really hurt straightaway speed. When the straightaways are three-quarters of a mile long and you don't get off the corners very good, it's a good way to lose a lot of time."
(About getting into the race late): "Yeah, I'm good for that. We didn't make it dramatic in the right way. The car was extremely tight, and we lost a lot of time. We struggled a little bit yesterday with just getting the car to turn like we needed to. We still have some things we need to do to get the car to qualify better. We haven't qualified real spectacular all year long, but we have been making gains and that's the most important part."
(What does this race mean to you?) "It means a tremendous amount to me. I've been coming here since I was a little kid. My dad worked on Indy cars in the early '80s. I spent a better portion of my career racing in Indiana and coming to the Speedway. Being here in 1998 running the Indianapolis 500 and now getting the opportunity to come here with NASCAR and participate in the Brickyard 400 -- this is one of the most historic racetracks in the world -- and the fact that I get to come here every year and race is a lot of fun. People make a big deal about Tony Stewart wanting to win here, but I've raced a lot here, and this would be the biggest race that I could ever win. We're going to try to get it done."
CHAD KNAUS (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Crew Chief): "This is pretty cool. I hadn't had an opportunity to win the pole as a crew chief with this team. I was real fortunate in my younger years to do it with the 24 car when I was working for Ray (Evernham) and Jeff (Gordon). This place is pretty awesome. It's a great facility, and we love coming here. This is quite an accomplishment for us. Typically we don't qualify here well, but we always race pretty good. I hope this is the start of a good weekend for us."
PAUL MENARD (No. 15 Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet): "I was really happy with race runs, and that's what we did the first practice yesterday. We switched over to qualifying, and the car was driving OK; we just couldn't get any speed out of it. We didn't qualify well, so I guess we got our work cut out for us. In Turn 1, I've been pretty loose through the center since we've been here. In qualifying runs, it got sideways on me, so I lost a little bit there. Then right back on the throttle off of (Turn) 2 and (Turn) 4 it's been tight, so I couldn't be quite as aggressive with the throttle. I'm just glad that's through and now we can work on racing. The new car is fine. It's got a lot of sideforce, and you can drive it pretty hard, and it's actually pretty fun."
DENNY HAMLIN (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota): "We had to check off of Turn 2, and off of Turn 4 we just couldn't keep the gas down. That's the direction I was heading. All day yesterday, we were so free, we just had to make adjustments or else we weren't going to make up any ground. We could have had a better lap in the FedEx Office Toyota, but we're going to have to come from the 20's, probably."
TONY RAINES (No. 34 doorstopnation.com Chevrolet): "It's disappointing. We had a disappointing day yesterday, and that's kind of what put us in this position today. But they made a lot of changes to the car, and that made it a lot better, but it was a long ways from being there. If we would've started here yesterday, we may have had a better chance. But not being able to test up here this year, that kind of put us and some of these guys, like these single-car teams, behind a little bit. You can't make it if you don't try. It's very disappointing to me. It's one of the favorite tracks of mine, and being from Indiana, it means a lot to be in it. But I've not been in them all, so I guess I can't complain. We'll try again."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL (No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota): "The car was a little bit free getting into Turn 1, and we lost a little bit of time. All in all, it was a good lap for us. This is my first time at the Speedway, and every session yesterday was better and better. So we just needed to put in a good lap there and make sure that we didn't hit anything and had a good car to start with today. It wasn't a bad run, but we just need to find a little more speed here in practice, and we'll be good for the race."
REGAN SMITH (No. 01 Principal Financial Group Chevrolet): "I got off of (Turn) 4 really good and went down into (Turn) 1, and it never gripped. I went straight toward the wall. I messed up. I think I overdrove it, and I missed the mark. The track was a little slicker then yesterday, and it was my fault. I'll take the blame for it. I hate to make the guys on the Principal Financial Group Chevy have to work any harder then what they are, but we'll get it fixed up and get out for Happy Hour. It's mostly cosmetic damage. I just didn't know if I should finish the lap off. We'll work on her and get her better."