JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO - Qualified 2nd: ON IMPORTANCE OF STARTING UP FRONT AT NHIS: "Pit selection is really important and just to put yourself in position to lead a lap and get bonus points. Although there are cars who can...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO - Qualified 2nd:
ON IMPORTANCE OF STARTING UP FRONT AT NHIS:
"Pit selection is really important and just to put yourself in position to lead a lap and get bonus points. Although there are cars who can come from the back and work their way to the front doesn't mean it is easy and doesn't mean you aren't going to get caught up in something. You would always rather start up front.
ON SURPRISE OF HOW FAST THE LAP KEVIN HARVICK TURNED TO CAPTURE POLE:
"He was on my radar. He was good in practice, I think he was second or third and they have been running strong. I didn't know I was going to get beat that bad. I knew we had picked up from practice and I was happy. Of course, anytime you go out there and you put a good number up, you can't help but get your expectations up a little bit. It was a bit of a letdown to not get the pole because I haven't gotten a pole this year, but in all honestly, anywhere up front is good. That front row is a great starting place. It is a huge improvement for us from the last time we were here. The car is driving good so I am happy. If I can gone out last and qualified second and been off by a tenth or whatever it was, then I would have been happy, But when you are up there on top and get knocked off, then you are a little bit disappointed."
ON HAVING RACES WHERE THERE IS NO QUALIFYING:
"My thing is we all go in to the Duals (Twin 150s) at Daytona sweating it because that is our Daytona 500 car and we don't want to put a scratch on it. You go out there taking big risks to be tearing up your race car and having to have a lot of work ahead of you to start the race. I think because these are stock cars and we bump and bang and rub as much as we do, if that were the case on more weekends, you would see grinders and tools in the garage prior to race day. I think it is cool they do the Duals at Daytona but to do it more weekends than that other than maybe the All Star weekend, I don't think we would all like that very much."
ON WEAKEST POINT OF QUALIFYING LAP:
"I didn't get to see my lap on TV so I don't know what the pace chase or whatever we call that thing is. I did watch Harvick's lap and saw where it went green up off. I felt like I could have gotten into the corners a little bit deeper and could have squeezed the throttle a little bit harder. But all in all, I was very happy with my lap. You've got to give credit to those guys. They did their job. Kevin did his job. It was a heck of a lap. I didn't think anybody would run a .79 today, I'll be honest. Yes, it went green off of Turn 2, but it doesn't mean that he didn't also run faster in Turn 3 and 4. That thing is a little misleading at times. It's a little bit delayed. And at the same time, it's not always as accurate as what we'll get from the telemetry and the segment times."
CAN YOU DESRIBE YOUR FRAME OF MIND NOW GETTING READY FOR THE CHASE COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, AND WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO SUCCEED?
"We're fired up as a team. We've made a lot of changes. What Kurt (Busch) is going through now is what we did last year. We did a lot of testing and changes and trying experimental things last year; what we liked and what we didn't like when we hit on some things and when we missed some things. But I think it got us more prepared and it's obvious because we're in the Chase this year. For us, it wasn't disappointing because we just missed the Chase because we weren't competitive. We weren't battling for wins. We weren't consistent enough to be in the Chase. This year, we've got to step it up another notch. But what a huge improvement over last year. A lot of crazy things can happen in these last 10 races. Are we the best or the fastest car out there? I'm not sure. But I think we've got a lot of potential to be great and to be consistent and to do some things that a lot of people might not think that we can. So, we'll just go out there just like we did today and work as hard as we can to get the car the best every single lap and do the best we can and hopefully not make mistakes and see where we end up."
WAS LOUDON THE MOST CHAOTIC RACE OF THE CHASE THE PAST 2 YEARS?
"This is a little bit like a short track because it's not an easy place to pass, so you'll see some bumping and banging and things happen. Crazy things are capable of happening any weekend. And will they happen this week? You've got guys who are battling for a championship. You've got guys that are trying to get themselves back into that form where they need to be to win races. You've got guys in the back of the pack trying to get into the top 35 in points as well as guys trying to get to 11th. So there are several different races going on. It's not just 10 guys out there racing. Any time you have that, you can have some craziness."
-credit: gm racing