Loudon: Toyota teams qualifying quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 10th How did the track change following the rain delay? "I think the track was definitely a little quicker after the rain delay and after the first couple...

AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Starting Position: 10th

How did the track change following the rain delay? "I think the track was definitely a little quicker after the rain delay and after the first couple cars ran and cleaned it off. It could have been a little better, but this was a good job for all the guys. We kind of struggled in practice. We had some problems and the car wasn't very good to start with so we had to work on it. We got it decent at the end. This was probably one of our worst tracks last year even though we made one of the races, we were never very good. It was definitely a big turnaround, a lot better to start up higher than where we were in points if we were going to start if it rained. We would have liked to have been a little better, but we'll take it."

How much more confidence do you have in qualifying this year compared to last year? "I think all the ‘go-or-go-homers' grouped up together is a lot better. We have better race cars so I don't feel like I have to go out there and go 110-percent and just leave it on the edge to make the race. That makes it a lot easier and you kind of relax. I would still like to get into the top-35 so we don't have to do this crap anymore."


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 12th

How did your car run in practice and qualifying today? "The track definitely seems to be pretty good. The tire that we came back with seems like it is relatively close to what we've raced here in the past. Anytime we can come back here with the same tire and the same car is good. We can use information that we've got in the past. With these conditions it's been tough all day because the sun has been popping in and out. And then right here in qualifying right before we set our cars on the grid the track cools off and gets cloudy. I think that's why you see a lot of the times didn't pick up like they normally would on any other race track. It's just because everyone tuned their car into the sun and clouds popped in. It's been good. Hopefully we'll get this race in on Sunday."

How much does overcast or sunshine affect how you set-up the car? "It changes quite a bit. Definitely the cooler conditions then the more the track has grip and the tighter it makes your car. Really it's a tough balance especially when the sun bounces in and out of the clouds."

What did your team do to the car to get the pick up you had on your qualifying lap? "It was a good pick-up for our whole FedEx Ground Toyota. All we could ask for was to pick up -- we usually lose time when it comes to qualifying. It's been a real bad year when it comes to qualifying so we'll take this effort and move onto the race."

Are you more comfortable driving at flat tracks? "It seems like our FedEx team always seems to excel on those shorter, flat tracks. A lot of it has to do with the package that we have and we feel like we're a little bit better right now on the shorter tracks. We don't have our big track stuff exactly figured out, but really we are just trying to take advantage of the strong points that we do have." What is your mind set when you are coming into a weekend when rain is possible? "We look at the schedule and we look to see whether we're going to get race practice in tomorrow because that's important. No matter when we race, Sunday or Monday, either way we need to have plenty of race practice. We kind of gauge how much qualifying and how much race practice we do from week to week based on the weather."


TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 28th

Did you make changes in first practice? "When we went to do our qualifying runs we switched over a little earlier than normal and that got us a chance to probably make two more runs than we normally would have made. I think as the end of practice came, that gave us a chance to just get it better than waiting too long like we normally do."

Does the fact that the ‘Chase' starts here in September make it more important to have the set-up right this week? "I've just been trying to hit it any week, not just here. I wish it was that easy that you could just pick which weeks you wanted to be good. You try to be good every week. We have just been trying to find something that keeps the car balanced and gets us where everybody else is right now."


J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
Starting Position: 30th

How did your car handle after the rain delay and what was your strategy? "The DLP HDTV Toyota Camry was really loose in the center. The second lap I got the best I could and still really left a lot out on the race track just not being tight enough. You listen to the guys that go out before you. Some guys are tight and some guys were loose and you just kind of hope that you hit it on the right setup. The most important thing is that we've got two practices tomorrow to work on Sunday's race and start rebuilding for this year."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Red Bull Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Hall of Fame Racing