Jimmie Johnson Grabs the Pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard; Second Pole of the Season for the Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Mark Martin to Start Second Making All Impala SS Front Row; Three Chevrolet Drivers Will Start in...
Jimmie Johnson Grabs the Pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard; Second Pole of the Season for the Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion
Mark Martin to Start Second Making All Impala SS Front Row; Three Chevrolet Drivers Will Start in Top-Five; 14 of 43 Drivers will Pilot Impala SS Race Cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis - July 26, 2008 - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, captured his first-ever Coors Light Pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and his second of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. It is Johnson's 15th career pole in 239 NSCS races.
The defending and two-time NSCS champion blistered the track with a lap of 181.763 m.p.h., 49.515 seconds. In six career Allstate 400 at the Brickyard starts, Johnson's previous best starting position was fifth.
Mark Martin, No. 8 US Army Impala SS, scored the second fastest time of the 43-car field to give Chevrolet the front row. Martin turned a lap of 181.393 m.p.h., 49.616 seconds tying his season-best qualifying effort of the season.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, will roll-off fifth for the 160-lap/400-mile race. Gordon is the only four-time winner in NSCS competition at IMS.
A total of 14 Chevrolet Impala SS drivers qualified to start Sunday's race.
The 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is schedule to start tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. Live race coverage will be provided by ESPN, Indianapolis Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Qualified 5th:
"Jimmie put up one heck of a lap and I knew it was going to be really tough to match or beat that lap. I knew in the first couple of corners before I came to the green, my car was a bit too loose, we got everything we could out of it. It is still a good lap but it has to be perfect. You have to got to hit four perfect corners like he did in order to be up on the pole. I will be surprised if somebody can beat what that No. 48 ran. I mean, he put four great corners together. As a whole Hendrick Motorsports and this DuPont Chevrolet team came so well prepared for this weekend. I am so proud and having a lot of fun out there.
"Doing that with the sun out there, that just tells you how good (Johnson) they were and whatever adjustments they made. We were a little bit tight all day yesterday and we freed it up and I wasn't expecting it to be as free as it was, the front end was just turning too good."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS Qualified 11th:
"We will take it, we were expecting something a little bit better than that. Really happy with the way the car has been all weekend. Just didn't get a good lap out there. I tried to put four good corners together. I sure would like to have another opportunity and see if we couldn't do a little bit better job. I think the car has a little bit more than that in it.
"We have great engines. I'm really happy with the horsepower in my car and the body and everything on the car. It's just really slick. There is a lot of hard work going into this car this weekend. It's about like you'd expect for a Daytona-type weekend. We're trying to do the best we can.
"I didn't really do much on the off week. We just kind of buckled in and concentrated on getting back into the grind. We've got 17 straight weeks and got our batteries charged up pretty good for this little run toward the championship."
ON THE RACE: "I'm really excited. It's going to be interesting to show up here with Hendrick and the type of power and type of race cars that they build and I'm pretty excited to see what kind of race we can put together.
"We've put a respectable lap time down and we'll see where that ends up and we've got the rest of today to work on race trim and we'll be working pretty hard on that."
IS THERE A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NEW RACE CAR COMPARED TO THE OLD CAR AT IMS? "No, not really. I think you will find there is a big difference once you get in traffic and around people this car seems to struggle a little bit more with front downforce. I've heard some comments from some of the other drivers to lookout for that and to work on some of those things and try to improve on those things in race trim in practice."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING ON THE TIRE TEST AT IMS 2 MONTHS AGO? "Yeah, we were able to learn stuff."
DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR HORSEPOWER? "Yeah the motors have been great. There are some tracks where motors will show up at Michigan and places like here and the bigger tracks like California and stuff, so I was anticipating getting here and really seeing what that would be like and if it was going to be a huge advantage. It's definitely going to make my job easier with the power I've got under the hood of my Hendrick Chevrolet. I'm excited and thrilled for the work those guys are doing. They've spent some long hours trying to improve and engineer more horsepower in the engines and I'm quite lucky to have that opportunity to work with the guys we have at our engine department because they brought a nice engine here that seems to be making great power. And I look forward to getting in the race and making the most of it."
ON THE RACE TOMORROW, WILL IT BE A LONG DAY? "Oh, most Sunday's are long days. We're racing in the heat and the 400 and 500-mile races are definitely not a cakewalk, so you just hope you have something to celebrate when it's over. That's the only reason to show up."
DID IT TAKE YOU A COUPLE OF TIMES TO GET THROUGH TECH INSPECTION? "Yeah, we didn't meet the requirements on the camera on the left rear. It was very, very small and the adjustment to fix it really didn't change or would change the handling on the car. So I think they were sort of in that situation yesterday and had been asked to correct it and apparently we adjusted but it wasn't enough, so we had to go through a couple of times to make sure. You try to get as much as you can so you don't want to make a big change and lose too much camber and change the effect on the car. So we worked with NASCAR to get through the tech line and I assume the last time they got through there with no problem."
-credit: gm racing