Qualifying quotes Michigan International Speedway Tony Stewart ...
Michigan International Speedway
Tony Stewart #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
It was a great lap, obviously. The bad thing is I don't know if it's going to hold up. You've got guys like Ryan Newman and Ryan will really put up a good lap. He'll put up a number that nobody's ever seen here for sure. But, I'm really happy with the way it ran. Zippy and the guys did an awesome job. We came here a couple weeks ago and tested and felt that it was the first time that we actually made some big gains. If it drives like it did in practice and drives like it did in qualifying, I think we'll be fine.
Bobby Labonte #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet
Yeah, it was a great effort. All the guys did a great job yesterday. Tony and Greg came up here and tested and they found some stuff that really worked for them. We applied that to our car in the second practice and it's a good deal for the race car and enabled us to go a little bit faster than we probably would have. So, hopefully it's really good for tomorrow.
Brian Vickers #25 GMAC Chevrolet
It was pretty good. I was real proud of the GMAC Chevy team. We had a good car in practice yesterday and worked real hard on it. I made one qualifying run to get a feel for the qualifying trim. We had a good qualifying lap. I think we could have been a little bit better, but we'll take it. It's a good starting spot.
TALK ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENT IN THIS TEAM OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS It's been phenomenal. This whole HEndrick organization, from the top, the Hendrick family and what they've done for us. Giving #5 and #25 the opportunity. Everyone in our whole shop. Our sponsors, GMAC, Ditech.com, Chevy, Garnier, they've been phenomenal. We're just starting to feel all of that. The building is great but the people inside is what really matters. I keep saying that, but it's the truth. Phenomenal car last weekend, we've got a great car again this weekend. We're excited.
Robby Gordon #7 Menard's Chevrolet
COMMENTS ON QUALIFYING It was good. We were definitely finding the balance of the race car. The program is getting a lot stronger. We'll see how it holds up.
TO WHAT CAN YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS FINE QUALIFYING LAP? I think a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication from the guys and my race team building cars, bodies, chassis, etc. And the engines. It's kind of ironic that we show up at our first Menard's race of the year as a primary sponsor, where he produces the engine and we maybe sit on the pole, or at least going to have a good qualifying effort. I'm real excited about that.
ENGINE DEVELOPMENT COMMENTS Yeah, we're actually on phase three engines right now. We actually have a phase four engine a couple weeks from now.
Jeff Gordon #24 DuPont Chevrolet
Yeah, I'm real happy the way things are going for us. We've focused a little bit more on qualifying this weekend because we haven't been qualifying good on the impound tracks. Guys just brought an awesome DuPont Chevrolet this week. The car is just so well balanced and has got good grip. And, you know, the car was real good for race trim. We made a run for qualifying and I don't know how I could have gotten much more out of it. There is a lot of grip out there and I ran as hard as I could.
YOU LOVE COMING TO MICHIGAN. DO THE LONG CORNERS GIVE YOU MORE OPTIONS IF YOUR CAR ISN'T HANDLING WELL? There are just characteristics of this track that are just awesome, and you don't always know why race tracks turn out the way they do. Long straightaways, unrestricted track and the sweepy corners. Just the bankning, the angle of the banking in the corner, for whatever reason you can run the bottom, the middle, the top. I wish we had more race tracks like this.
Joe Nemechek #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet
My qualifying lap here was a pretty good lap. I might have been a little bit too tight. You know, when you qualify in race trim, the problem I've been having all year has been that I've been too loose. So, we kind of overdid some things to try to compensate. I think we went just a tick too far. Getting off turn one, had a lot of smoke come up in the car. New tires with the soft springs we have up in the front, the tires hit the fenders. It just hit the fenders hard on that lap. But, I gave it all I had.
COMMENTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFYING UP FRONT Well, we struggled a little bit here the past few weeks in qualifying, so I definitely want to get this back on track. The team has been working hard. We actually brought our Martinsville car here. This is the car I ran at Martinsville. We raced our Richmond car at Pocono last week, so what the heck? I thank all the guys at the shop for all the chassis and the bodies. They've been making all the right decisions. The guys are pumped up. We had a great week at Pocono. If they would have had another restart, who knows if we could have gotten up there. But, we were there at the end in contention and that's what it's all about. Coming here to Michigan, we're just right there. I have faith in them. They can bring whatever they want and I'll drive the wheels off it.
Jimmie Johnson #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
COMMENTS ON YOUR QUALIFYING LAP Good. We drug the track pretty bad in three and four and lost some time there, but hopefully it's going to be top 10. But, I know we've got a kick-butt race car.
Kyle Busch #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet
It's plenty fast, but I wish we were faster, though. It's alright. The Kellogg's Chevrolet runs really good in race trim. We didn't run all that well in practice yesterday, so we weren't too optimistic about a pole run today. We're glad we got it in the Truck Series and go after them. We're real excited for tomorrow.
YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY A VERY VERSATILE DRIVER. WHY? Just growing up in Las Vegas, I raced my first three races ever on three different race tracks. It's all about diversity, driving different cars. I've run everywhere from Las Vegas to Irwindale, Lake Havasu City, Salt Lake City. I probably ran ten different tracks within my first two years of racing. Plus, after that, I got into racing different types of cars just to see what was out there-Legends, sports cars, modifieds, late models, dirt modifieds. Just everything you can get behind the wheel of, you want to do, just so you can get different experience and know what that's about.
Mike Bliss #0 Net Zero / Best Buy Chevrolet
It was good. The race track is just fast. It's got a lot of grip (compared to) yesterday. I'm just scratching myself on the head thinking I should have gone faster. Track was there. I didn't know what to expect. We were loose yesterday, but the car was really, really good. I think I should have gone faster. But, it's impound and you don't want to do anything stupid. I don't know. But, we're in the race.
Kevin Harvick #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
That was our first qualifying attempt of the weekend. It was loose. I was really good in one and two, but had to check up and almost spun out getting into three. The GM Goodwrench Chevy always races well, so its all good.
We worked on race setup yesterday. With the impound rules, it is so important to have it right in race trim. We think we are really good for tomorrow.
Scott Riggs #10 Valvoline Chevrolet
You know, the lap was real good. We made some changes there in the last part of practice. Started to really help the car. I thought we'd be a bit faster than that today. I thought that it being a bit cooler today, overcast, I thought I'd use a lot more throttle today, so I thought I was going to be faster than that. But, we'll see where it holds up. It's not where we start, it's where we finish. We're looking for a good solid finish here.
COMMENTS ON THE TRACK Yeah, I love Michigan. Michigan and Fontana are places I'm always fond of. There is a lot of room on the race track to work with. You can find where your car is working the best and a lot of racing room for everyone to race hard.
Michael Waltrip #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING? Well, we go the pole last week, so anything less than that is a little bit disappointing. I'm just real happy about my car for the race. I didn't think I qualified like I should have, though.
WAS THE TRACK TEMPERATURE ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECTED? I expected to be up front, and I'm not. It didn't handle the way we wanted to, and I didn't do everything I could, I guess.
Dave Blaney #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet
We were just too free to really get after it. We just kind of had to take what we could get. We seem to be doing that a lot on these impound races; we can't seem to get it tightened up to qualify. We'll keep working on it. The main thing is to just get good tomorrow.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
It was a lot better than yesterday, just not fast enough. I mean, I don't know else I could have done. I think I ran the car about as long as it can be run.
WE HEAR YOU'RE A BIT UNDER THE WEATHER. HOW ARE YOU FEELING AND WHAT'S THE GAME PLAN FOR TONIGHT TO PREPARE FOR TOMORROW? I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I think we've got a pretty decent car as far as the race goes. I think we've got to figure out how to qualify a bit better. I think I'll be alright.
WILL HOW YOU FEEL AFFECT YOUR RACE TOMORROW? I don't think it will bother me. You know how it is, when you get in the car you don't really think about it.
STEVE HMIEL HAS SAID YOUR TEAM TRIES TO SET THE CAR UP MORE FOR RACE THAN QUALIFYING I really wish that we never impounded anymore next year. But I don't know what they'll do, because the impound makes it hard to get the car tight enough to qualify if you want the car loose enough to race. Because, you've got to start out loose in the race, already, because it's going to get a little tighter when you run. Then you're going to tape it off and have it loose for qualifying. It's just, I don't know. I don't think the impound is suiting me, but it's suiting some other guys well. We'll figure it out.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO PANIC FOR YOU FROM WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR WITH YOUR PERFORMANCE. HOW HARD IS THAT TO KEEP FROM SEEPING INTO THE TEAM I don't know if I panic. I just want to have people around me that I trust and I want to go to the race track and race. We've been doing that here lately. We had a pretty decent car at Pocono coming up before the flats and all that. I think we'd have been.if we can just get in there and finish one, that will be a big help to this team. And, you know, historically this race track hasn't been a big one for me anyway, so we're just trying to make the best of it.
COMMENTS ON THE CHASE The Chase is real important, but we've got to run good before we get there. Just one thing at a time. We've got to run good, then we'll worry about the Chase. We're not competitive and coming to the track and we're hitting and missing. We can't really get bent out of shape about the Chase because we haven't got the cars right in the first place. The guys working on these cars, man, they're going all they can do. They are a great group of guys. We haven't just hit on it yet.