JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) "I watched all the guys before me. We went 12th, but three or four of the guys before me looked like they overdrove and it's pretty easy to do here, so I just tried to make a ...
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd)
"I watched all the guys before me. We went 12th, but three or four of the guys before me looked like they overdrove and it's pretty easy to do here, so I just tried to make a conservative first lap and then go after it on my second lap. Even when I felt like I really drove the car hard, I still don't feel like I drove it hard enough. It was a really good lap for us. The car of tomorrow was really good to us at Bristol last week. We qualified well and raced well and we unloaded here and the car was really good again in race trim. The guys did a good job to make the right adjustments for qualifying, so my car felt really stable in qualifying."
DID YOU TRY TO RUN 95% TODAY LIKE MOST OF THE GUYS AND CAN YOU REALLY TELL HOW HARD YOU'RE GOING?
"When you pull out of the pits here you get an extra three-quarters of a lap, so I just always try to -- the brakes and the tires aren't warmed up and it's one of the hardest places to get your tires warmed up coming to the green -- so I like to just try to pull out and run fairly easy on that first lap and if you don't feel like the brakes locked up or the left-front locked up, or you split the front tires, then you just try to get a little bit more after judging off that first lap. When I pulled out, my warm-up lap by itself felt really good and really solid. It didn't feel like I wheel-hopped or split the front tires and the front had a fair amount of grip, so I felt coming back to the green that you just try to drive it in a little bit deeper and then the second lap you do the same thing. It's so hard here because the key is not driving in deep, but it's so hard not to mentally be, 'If I can just drive it in and get it slowed down, it'll be better.' It's hard to do, but you just try to drive in as deep as you can and then, like Jeff said, just try to roll the center as fast and carry that momentum off the corner."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE MORE OF A GRIP ON THINKING YOU KNOW WHAT THE CAR WANTS?
"We applied a few of the things that we learned at Bristol. I think I qualified second for this race last year and spring-wise, it's completely different than what we had last year. We were kind of joking around on the truck about how much different -- this car wants so many different things -- and we actually went to Caraway on Monday and shook a car down and learned two or three things and then applied those today. It's different. Once you get in, it doesn't look different. It's just slow. It just doesn't have the grip that the other car has and it doesn't have the transition when you get on the brakes. With the other cars, you had like three or three-and-a-half inches of shock travel and with this it feels like you have a half-inch. You have more than that, but there's no transition when you get on the brakes or when you get back to the gas, so it drives a little bit different."
GIBBS HAD THREE CARS IN THE TOP SEVEN TODAY. IS IT TOO SOON TO SAY THEY'RE AHEAD OF EVERYBODY?
"I think Tony and Denny have run well here. They ran well here last year and, obviously, Tony has run well here everytime, so I don't know. I think that's hard two races in and we ran Bristol. It's so unique, maybe like Dover, and then Martinsville is so much different that it's hard to analyze that right now. I just think those guys are good at these type tracks."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TOYOTA STRUGGLING?
"I drive for Jack Roush. I haven't really paid attention to Toyota to be honest."
-credit: ford racing