Loudon II: GM teams qualifying notes, quotes

Juan Pablo Montoya Blisters a New Track Record to Win the Pole at New Hampshire; Tony Stewart Gives Team Chevy Front Row for Race No. 1 of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Loudon, NH - Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS, started ...

Juan Pablo Montoya Blisters a New Track Record to Win the Pole at New Hampshire; Tony Stewart Gives Team Chevy Front Row for Race No. 1 of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup

Loudon, NH - Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS, started the weekend of the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by blistering a new one-lap qualifying record to win the pole for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Montoya, who is seeded 11th of the 12 drivers in the 10-race battle for the championship, laid down a lap of 28.545 seconds, 133.431 mph to score his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) pole.

Two time NSCS champion Tony Stewart put his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala SS second in the starting order of the 43-car field. Seeded second in the Chase order, Stewart scored his 12th top-10 starting position of the season.

A total of 14 Team Chevy drivers qualified to start Sunday's 300-lap/317.4-mile race.

Bobby Labonte qualified the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Impala SS in the eighth position. The sixth Chase seed, Jeff Gordon, will start the No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Yellow Ribbon Impala SS in the 10th spot on the grid.

Other Team Chevy Chase contenders qualified as follows: No. 1 seed, Mark Martin will start the No. 5 CARQUEST /Kellogg's Impala SS from the 14th position. Jimmie Johnson, the third place seed, will roll off 16th behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS. Ryan Newman, the 10th-place seed, put the No. 39 US Army Impala SS in the 18th starting postion.

Kurt Busch (Dodge), Denny Hamlin (Toyota) and Carl Edwards (Ford) complete the top-five qualifiers.

Sunday's race is scheduled to take the green flag at 2:00 p.m. EDT with live coverage on ABC TV, PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

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JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET IMPALA SS -- Pole Winner

HOW GOOD WAS THAT QUALIFYING RUN? "It was really good. We really nailed the lap. Both laps were really good. In practice we were faster and I wasn't too happy with the lap there but I really nailed the lap. I was surprised with the sun came out and I'm like oh, man, but I went out there. And everybody on the Target team is doing such an amazing job. These motors are amazing and it's just great. Everything is running so good. It's nice to see.

YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CAR WILL BE ON SUNDAY? "We'll have to wait and see. It's one of those deals where you've got to be patient and be smart. We did some race runs (in practice) most of the morning and we only did two qualifying runs. I think we'll be in pretty good shape."

WHAT'S THE LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE WITH THIS TEAM HEADING INTO THE CHASE? "I don't know. It's great to see everybody on the Target team. These Chevy motors just run so good. EGR and everybody has just done such a nice job with the cars. When they're this good they become pretty easy to drive, to be honest, and handle great."

HOW MUCH DOES THIS BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE KNOWING THAT YOU HAD THE FASTEST LAP IN PRACTICE AND YOU BLOW THEM AWAY IN QUALIFYING AND NOW YOU'RE SITTING ON THE POINT FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY? "Oh, I think it's a big thing that you get a good pit selection. We talked about that before the weekend started. It's nice to make a run this good. I think we've got great cars every week. And the tracks coming up, I think they all should be pretty good. With a little lady luck on our side, we'll be fine."

DO YOU THINK YOU CAN GO OUT NOW AND WIN RACES IN THE CHASE, OR ARE YOU STILL LOOKING AT THE TARGETED FINISHING POSITION? "I think when you get a shot at winning you've got to take the win, you know? Right now, you can't give any points away, so I think that's going to be very important. But at the same time, you've got to be smart. You might want to race against the 9th, but from 10th you're not going to win the race.

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TONY STEWART, NO 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2nd:

"I am really happy with how we qualified. Really proud of Darian Grubb (crew chief) and these guys. They did an awesome job on the Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. If we qualify good here, we normally race good here. So I am pretty excited about today so far. This is the best I have qualified here for a long time"

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Qualified 17th

"It was a decent day so far. I didn't get the lap I was looking for but practice went really well. The car responded to everything we're doing so we'll just keep plugging away and see what we can do."

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RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS- Qualified 18th

"These first 26 races these guys on the U.S. Army Chevrolet have done a great job and that wasn't the lap we were looking for by any means. We backed up what we ran in practice, but that wasn't good enough either. The car felt really good in race trim. We were one of the few guys that did some race trim laps, so we'll see if we can polish it up tomorrow."

DID YOU BELIEVE YOU COULD BE A CHASE DRIVER AT THE START OF THIS YEAR? "Believing it and actually living it out and doing it is two different things. Yeah, we believed; but yeah we're fortunate that we've got a lot of great people at Stewart-Haas Racing that work together to be able to achieve what we wanted to believe in and that's making the Chase."

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS -- Qualified 17th

"It was a decent day so far. I didn't get the lap I was looking for but practice went really well. The car responded to everything we're doing so we'll just keep plugging away and see what we can do."

ARE YOU FEELING PRESSURE ABOUT THIS FOUR STRAIGHT? "No, it's the first time on track and I've had the question asked of me more times than I'd care to hear and it's making me wonder if I should start worrying (laughs). I've just got to go do my job, that's all and if we do our jobs then it will fall into place."

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KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS -- Qualified 12th

"That should give us a decent starting spot, but I'm a little disappointed. We were second-fast in practice and we hoped we could back that up in qualifying. I just got too loose off of (Turn) 4 and I didn't want to get out of the gas, so I ended up spinning the tires a little. Still, it's been a good day for the Shell-Pennzoil team and I think we're going to be really good Sunday."

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CASEY MEARS, NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 19th:

"I feel like the track has lost a little bit of grip. We made some changes after practice. A couple of our teammates were running pretty good so we looked at what they had and made some changes in that direction. It seemed to be ok, we backed up what we did in practice and I do feel like the track has a little bit less grip so, I guess overall you can say we picked up. We'll see how we stack up. I am proud of the whole crew on the Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. Everybody is working hard. We had a really good car here last time, so I am looking forward to the race."

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/NATIONAL GUARD YELLOW RIBBON IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 10th:

"I am really happy with the DuPont/National Guard Yellow Ribbon Chevrolet. It has been a pretty decent day, our qualifying effort was a little bit of an improvement from practice. I am fairly optimistic about what we have for Sunday.

"The car had some areas where we were better than in practice. I just slid the back end around a little bit too much in three and four. It has been a great week and so far a good day for our team.

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE HERE? WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET? "We'll really be having to prove it by starting 10th because we started second I believe, or third, the last time we were here. That track position was really important. The double-file restarts are pretty crazy and we had a strong car. I think if we have a as strong of a car as we did then, then I think we have a shot at moving up to the front. We are going to have a little bit of work to do. I feel good about the whole effort of the team. Recently they have just been on top of their game, we have been having a lot of fun together and just executing in all the areas that we need to. I look forward to continuing that."

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MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 14TH:

"It was a good run. I am pleased, it certainly could have been worse. I slipped off of two and wasn't able to go like we needed to go there. When he told me it was a 99 and we were 13th (at that point), I was actually very pleased. We'll work on race setup tomorrow and see if we can get it more comfortable, a little bit better. This race track is not my strong suit. We have seven that are out of the 10 and one lotto. This one and Martinsville we ran sixth at last time, but it is still not my strong suit. All those others are though, so we'll come here, race hard, fight hard, collect everything we can and then go somewhere that we can put a whippin' on 'em."

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BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 71 TRG MOTORSPORTS IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 8TH:

"I hope we get to race on Sunday. We still don't have enough money to race. We are still looking for a little bit to race on Sunday. Hopefully this will do it. We have a dinner to go to tonight, so maybe some things will come out of it. I am really excited about the run that we had. Slugger (Richard Labbe, crew chief) did a good job. I changed air pressure a little bit and screwed up my first lap some. I knew getting in to three the second lap was definitely going to be better. I was just hoping it was going to more than the normal 2/10ths sometimes. It was. Really proud of all the guys on the TRG Chevy. It was a lot of fun."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing , TRG Motorsports