Jeff Burton, No. 30 America Online Chevrolet HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL AFTER BEING IN A NEW VEHICLE? "It drives well. I like the way the car drives. We've been working real hard to get it to turn a little better. It's real comfortable. It's real ...
Jeff Burton, No. 30 America Online Chevrolet
HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL AFTER BEING IN A NEW VEHICLE? "It drives well. I like the way the car drives. We've been working real hard to get it to turn a little better. It's real comfortable. It's real predictable. It goes down the straight away well. For the first stab at it with me driving it, I'm really impressed. I think there's a whole lot to build on. I think we'll be better tomorrow than we were today. I think we'll be better next week than we are this week. We'll keep building to get better and better."
DID NOT HAVING A QUALIFYING RUN HURT YOU? "I don't think so. I'd like to think we'd be in a higher starting position had we qualified but you never know. We're starting 28th. We ought to be able to win from there. Where we start shouldn't preclude us from being able to win. I thought we had a better car than where we're going to start but it is what it is. Again I think we can win from where we're starting."
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN STARTING WITH A NEW TEAM? "I think the biggest thing is getting to know each other and talking the same language. When I'm talking about the car being loose, how loose does that mean. There's a lot of communication that we've got to learn between us. I think it's gone relatively well. When you consider we worked together for one test, we have a total of three laps on Friday, a test on Wednesday and a test today, I think it's gone real smoothly. I'm real impressed with this team. I think they're very professional. I think they have the capabilities of doing what needs to be done. I'm pretty excited. I was real nervous coming here this weekend because there were so many unknowns. One lap in the car and all that nervousness went away. I realized it's a race car and all the things you need to do to win are the same here that they were where I was. We just have to get it done as a team and I think we can."
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR GOALS FOR SEASON? "An overall goal is do things so we can position ourselves to contend for the championship next year. We're obviously not going to do that this year. We need to get a lot higher in points than we are today. We need to go to Daytona at 20th in points or better. That's one goal. The other goal is just to build and learn so when we start next year we're further along than we are right now."
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
ON HIS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE TEAM AND BOUNCING AFTER THE LAST FEW RACES "The last couple of weeks haven't been what we wanted. Even with the new system in place we can take the chances. Some of them worked, some didn't. I'm very proud of this race team. We have a lot of tests coming up leading into and getting ready for the final ten."
ON A LAP AROUND MICHIGAN "The track gets tighter on the long haul. With the tires you have to start off really loose. The first five or ten laps until all the pressures come up are usually pretty hairy. You have your hands full on a high speed race track. As the race wears on everybody seems to favor the top to keep the momentum up and keep the straight away speed up. You grab off to corner really far and let the car slide up to the top and keep the gas up. The exits are where it's interesting. You're running on a race track fast you're able to pick the gas up so early in the corners and carry it for so long you really run out of race track off of Two and Four. It's a good track though. The lanes are moving up. You're going to see the races continue to be higher and the lane being higher."
BEING THE HOME OF ALL THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BRING HOME A WIN FOR CHEVROLET IN MICHIGAN? "This week has been crazy for me a lot like the weekends I have at Lowe's Motor Speedway or when I go to Fontana. That's my home track. My sponsors and Lowe's and Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports know how important that is for me especially in Fontana. So when we come to Michigan I know how it important it is for Chevrolet. I really hope we've got everything together go to make them look how they need to on their home turf especially with the other manufacturers being here. Hopefully things work out. The Lowe's Monte Carlo is in good shape. We'll have to see if we can have a bowtie in Victory Lane."
ON STARTING UP FRONT WITH JEFF GORDON "It's good especially starting a race when everybody is lined up on points. Everybody has a lot to lose that's around one another. I think you'll see more of a laid back start. The first couple of laps everybody will fall into place and get situated. When you have somebody that has it by qualifying effort that's in the points and that's afraid to lose touch with the leaders early in the race you see some crazy moves and maybe some early wrecks because of that. Since we're lining up by points, I think you'll see a pretty easy start and everybody will fall in line and race clean of f the bat."
HAVE YOU STOPPED TAKING CHANCES? "Yes and no. We learned some things that we felt would work. Still through this whole season we've only used two tests to this point. WE use race weekends, race days, race practice to develop our cars to stay on top and lead the points right now. We have a lot of test sessions left. We're going to go out and test New Hampshire, Homestead and Phoenix. We'll really perfect our package there. Right now we're still taking some chances. We did figure out a few things that didn't work. We got that behind us now and we're moving forward."
ON BRISTOL)"You never know what is going to happen there. Talladega is in the final ten so you have that one to worry about and also Martinsville. Bristol is going to be very stressful on the teams from eight to 12, whatever that split is for making the Chase for the Championship. For the top teams, I think the guys that are outside that window, that may be a little bit easier for us to breathe and we don't have to be as aggressive. When you get in that final ten with Martinsville and Talladega, it's going to be stressful everyone. Luckily right now we're not in that stress zone."