DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Starting position: 1st How does it feel to make history earning the first NEXTEL Cup pole for Toyota? "It feels good to get the first pole for Toyota and hopefully this is the...
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Starting position: 1st
How does it feel to make history earning the first NEXTEL Cup pole for Toyota?
"It feels good to get the first pole for Toyota and hopefully this is the first step in many successful days of poles and wins. We've been good all day and been getting a lot of speed out of the car. All of the Toyotas have been real good lately and Brian Vickers has had some good runs lately too. The Toyota side is definitely working hard and I just can't thank everyone at Bill Davis Racing enough. Especially Tommy Baldwin, Bill Davis, Mike Brown and everybody. We've had a trying year with problems and DNFs. It's been tough being out of the top-35 because it's hard to concentrate on the races when you have to concentrate on getting into them. This is a big confidence booster for the whole team and any day where you can build confidence in your entire team and driver makes for a good day."
How much did your test earlier this week at Thomson Speedway help you here today?
"We found some things and it was a really good test. We ran two completely different set-ups in two cars and Tommy Baldwin did a great job with that entire test session. We just needed laps in the Car of Tomorrow and we're probably behind in testing that car compared to other cars, but we did learn some things there and we were able to bring those over here. The car has really been flawless all day through practice and we were able to repeat that in qualifying. It was just a smooth day and I hope the rest of the weekend goes that smooth."
"We didn't get to test our COT any at the beginning of the season mainly because we were building completely new cars on both fronts. The bigger teams were able to test more early on and I think everyone knew they were going to excel. It shows with the Hendrick teams winning all of these COT races, but I think you'll see as the season goes on that the other teams will get closer." When you went out for your lap today, did you think you had a chance at the pole?
"I watched everybody early and I saw that some of their speeds were falling off some from practice. I wasn't sure what we could run and I knew we didn't really change anything from practice. But in my situation I have to focus on getting into the race more than going for the pole. I can't make a mistake and risk not getting into the race. I was a little conservative on my first lap, but when I found out that it was fast enough to get into the show -- I gave that second lap a little more and I was able to put it on top of the board. It's a tough position to be in because you have to be cautious enough to get it, but aggressive enough to get in the race. But yeah -- I thought we could get the pole."
How much has the various Toyota engine configurations affected your program this season?
"I don't think power has had all that much to do with it and I think Toyota is in good shape power wise. In our case, I think we would have more power to throw at it if we could figure out some problems in braking and other areas, but that's normal when you're working on a new program. I don't think the power has made much of a difference one way or the other -- its just learning the cars and learning the COT."
Was there any incentive or team goal to be the first Toyota to win a pole or a race?
"I think if you ask any of the Toyota teams, they all wanted to be the first. But it's not like we set out to do it -- it is really cool to be the first, but to tell you the truth I would have been happy to see any of the teams win the pole here today. Hopefully the Caterpillar team can also be the first to win a race for Toyota."
-credit: toyota motorsports