INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Martin put his No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole for the fourth time this season and scored his first-ever pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Martin, who has four wins this season, more...
INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Martin put his No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole for the fourth time this season and scored his first-ever pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Martin, who has four wins this season, more than any other driver, became the oldest pole sitter for any major motorsports event in the history of the famed speedway dubbed The Brickyard. It is the first-ever pole Martin has claimed for the Allstate 400. He started on the outside of the front row in 2008.
Team Chevy drivers claimed the top-three starting positions for tomorrow's 160-lap/400-mile race. Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the only driver to race in Indy Car, NASCAR and Formula One at Indy, will start the No. 42 Target Impala SS on the outside of the front row. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS, will start third, tying his career-best Indy starting position.
Two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner and Indiana native Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Impala SS, will start seventh. Clint Bowyer put the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Impala SS in the 10th starting position.
Bill Elliott (Ford) and David Reutimann (Toyota) complete the top-five qualifiers.
A total of 15 Chevy Impala SS drivers will start tomorrow's race scheduled to take the green flag at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Live flag-to-flag coverage will be provided by ESPN TV, IMS/PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS:
WILL THAT LAP STICK? "It was a solid, fast lap we turned. The car just slid a lot more than yesterday. I got an optimum lap yesterday. That lap was far from optimum. The car was capable of more. The track takes so long to get around, by the time I got to turn three, I was scared. By the time I got to three, I had barely survived three corners and that fourth corner I just drew back a little bit. We'll take it. It was a good lap and surely will get us a good starting spot.
"It was sliding a lot more than expected. We'll take the time. I was certainly disappointed with the driver of the car. We were really good at the end of practice yesterday and thought that we might really role. I'll take it, it is a pretty good lap time and we will go racing."
POST QUALIFYING COMMENTS:
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO SIT ON THE POLE AT INDIANAPOLIS? "It just feels so good for this race team; to be driving their car, CARQUEST, Kellogg's and Chevrolet and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, all my teammates. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have been really supportive. Alan Gustafson (crew chief) and this team are just incredible. It is just a privilege to do this. It is really special.
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO ADD A VICTORY AT THE BRICKYARD TO YOUR POLE? "I am not thinking much about it. Let's talk about that after it is done. It is cool; really, really awesome to drive a race car like this. Work with such professional people. Alan and all these guys that work with this car have the biggest hearts in the world. It is a long time between now and then. We have plenty to do. We have a lot of work to do on race setup yet today to get the car good. It wasn't where we needed it yesterday in race trim. It will be good to get it on the race track. We learned some things in Q (qualifying) trim that will translate in to race trim. So we have a little work to do."
"I was miserable all morning knowing that we were at the top of the sheet yesterday and I didn't, I can take it. Okay. I can take the disappointment but I didn't want to break their hearts man. I really wanted to go out and lay a lap down. I wasn't that thrilled. I was happy with the lap time, don't get me wrong! I just didn't think that was my best lap by any means. The car was sliding quite a bit. I guess it was sliding 'cause I was going too fast! (laughs)."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS:
"The car is pretty good. We are hoping to get some more practice this afternoon to work on it some more. I had a stomach bug, about a 24-hour bug Thursday night. About the worst thing I ever went through in my life. I am feeling much better. Just getting a lot of fluids. We're ready to go.
"I am going to run all the practice laps this afternoon. Just as a safety precaution, I got Brad (Keselowski) here and he might have to get in the car for a lap or two just in case something happens Sunday where we might need him. But, it is probably all just a waste of time. But we're going to do it, just to be safe.
"We have AMP Energy and National Guard and we want to do a good job for them Sunday. This car here is the first car that Lance (McGrew, crew chief) has truly really built from the ground up and he is really proud of it and I want to do a good job for him. It is doing pretty good so far this weekend. So, I want to stick it out and I think we'll be all right.
"The AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet has been good all weekend. The team is really proud of this brand new race car. They have worked really hard to get it to drive right. It is starting off pretty good.
"AMP Energy has a new promotion they want me to talk about. AMP Energy.com is trying to put more names on our race car for Talladega. We are trying to out-do what we did last year so we are starting earlier this year. Other than that, everything is good.
"We were a little sick earlier in the week, but we are getting over that. Been working hard all weekend. Weather is out of the way so we are getting qualifying in. I wish we had run just a little quicker. Compared to Mark's (Martin) lap, we needed to be a tenth or so quicker to back up what we did yesterday."
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 1 GUITAR HERO IMPALA SS:
"Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) said I lost time in turn one and I thought I lost most of it in four.
"We kind of struggled yesterday so that was a really good lap for us. We picked up about a half of a second from practice. So happy about that. Looking forward to practice this afternoon and getting to work on it some more. We want to have a good run tomorrow."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA SS:
"That was a pretty good lap for our Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. We are pretty happy about that. We picked up from practice so that's good. We will get to work on it practice this afternoon. But that gives us a good starting spot and we will race hard tomorrow. So pretty happy about that."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS IMPALA SS:
"We lost time in turn two. The car was great coming to the green. Turn one went well I thought. We just got a little too aggressive in to two and went from the exit of turn two and my cool down lap cussing myself out for it because the car was much better than that. The guys made some great changes and I felt like the car could have been better. I am not sure we had anything for Mark (Martin). I have to look at the lap tracker to see where we are at. It should have been up in the top three or four."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS:
"We were off a little bit yesterday so we had to make some pretty big changes. I think we made some improvements but we are still fighting it a little bit and that just wasn't our best effort that lap. So, we will come from behind. The tires are good enough to where we can maybe play around with some pit strategy. Hopefully we can just get the car dialed in here in this next practice and have a car that can drive up through the field. We certainly have our work cut out for us, but we are up for the challenge."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS:
"I think we are going to be fine. The Target Chevy has been incredible. I want to thank everybody at Earnhardt-Ganassi and Target for their support. It is incredible. I love this paint scheme here. It is good memories. The car is running good so it is nice."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE/OFFICE DEPOT IMPALA SS:
ON QUALIFYING EFFORT: "It was balanced. I was a little bit loose in to two which has kind of been a common theme it seems like during qualifying today. You still have to go in there like you know it is going to stick. We went in there, I thought we had a really good lap. I was really happy with it. We picked up three-tenths from practice yesterday so I would be excited if we can stay here."
ON SUPPORT FROM SPONSOR: "We have to take care of Coca Cola, we are proud of them; they have been with us for 11 years now, so very proud of our association with Coke."
-credit: gm racing