Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Fifth ON QUALIFYING: "The car was decent in practice. We made one small spring adjustment for qualifying and it seemed to help. Lot of grip in turns three and four but I definitely...
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Fifth
ON QUALIFYING: "The car was decent in practice. We made one small spring adjustment for qualifying and it seemed to help. Lot of grip in turns three and four but I definitely didn't get all of it."
ON POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE IN THE RACE: I think we just have to do what we've been doing and if we get ourselves in position towards the end there then we might be alright.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Eighth
ON QUALIFYING: "It was a good pick-up from when we were here last in the spring. We're doing a couple of things differently. It felt like we were going in the right direction with things; we had a little tough time in practice getting it right but the guys made great adjustments and picked up a lot in qualifying. Hopefully that steers us in the right direction for race trim."
ON WINNING HERE FOR CHEVY AND EXTENDING THE STREAK: I hope we can do it - this hasn't been one of my best tracks. I would say it's been one of Jeff (Gordon)'s better tracks. I think of the No. 29 (Harvick) and the momentum they've got; the No. 31 (Burton) has been very strong. I feel very good for the Bowtie's chances, to be honest with you. This could be a very good weekend for them."
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 12th "We were real tight in practice and we had to free the car up for qualifying. We just went a little bit too far. I just had to get out of the gas a little bit. I hurt our qualifying effort by going faster but still it was a solid lap."
HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL? "The car feels great. We did some race practice runs this morning. I was real happy with the balance and how the car was feeling. I was more concerned about qualifying. The last time we were here we ran real good in the race so I'm hoping we can back that up and maybe be a little bit bitter this time.
DO YOU LIKE GOING THIS EARLY IN QUALIFYING? "I always rather go at the end. Usually the weather conditions are better and you get a chance to see what other guys are running. As long as we're not going too early, I'm happy."
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/Delphi Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 11th
"It was a pretty good lap for us. The Kellogg's/Delphi Chevrolet was good. I just tried to make it turn a little bit there in the center part of the corner in practice and not try to get it too loose coming up off. We achieved that pretty well here today. We'll trying to keep that as a top 10 starting spot so we can go into tomorrow and work on race trim for Sunday."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 17th
ON HIS CONFIDENCE LEVEL HERE AND QUALIFYING WELL HERE IN THE PAST: "We had a better qualifying run last time. I got loose. I got loose right there. I had about a third-place lap going into Turn Three and then got loose through (Turn) Three and Four and never could get back to the gas so we lost a lot of time right there."
ON HIS CAR: "The car was real good in race trim this morning. I'm real confident going into practice tomorrow. I think we'll be fine during the race. We're running with the same car we ran real good with earlier this year and I think we'll be fine."
Jeff Green, No. 66 Haas Automation/Best Buy Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 35th
"We're definitely not too pleased with that lap. We made some changes after practice that made me tight on exit, but did help the back end in the center of the turns. I just don't feel like I've got enough overall grip. 'Bootie' (crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker) and the guys are putting their heads together to try and make it better, so hopefully we can get it dialed in tomorrow."
Tony Stewart, No. 20 The Home Depot Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 33rd
"We picked up about a tenth since practice. I think that's pretty good. I usually don't pick up much here. We got a car that races a lot better than our qualifying today. I'm just we gained a little bit. I would have liked to have gained about three more tenths."
"It was kind of up on top of the track so it never really felt like it had a lot of grip, so we went a little more aggressive with air pressure here than we have in the past and I'm not sure if that was quite the right thing to do."
DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? "Yeah, this is a fun track for drivers. Most of the time the bigger the track the less fun you have as a driver but Michigan's always been one of those places that is fun for drivers because if your car is tight you can move down on the race track and if your car is loose you can move up. You can't always fix the car but you can help yourself out a lot of times with where you drive."
ON PASSING HERE: "No problem here, this place is plenty wide enough to go four-wide. This is one place you don't mind going four-wide if you have to."
ON YOUR LAP TIME: "We're already third so I'm pretty sure it's not going to hold up very long."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE HOME STRETCH TOWARDS THE CHASE: "We'll take it one day at a time. I mean, we're not worried about anything, we just have to go and do our job every week. Typically we've been in the top 10 in points every year since we've been in the Cup series. We're not reinventing the wheel, we just need to not have any bad luck, that's what it really boils down to. We're not doing anything different, you just cant afford to have a bad day. You don't have to have a great day, you just can't afford to have a bad day."
TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH KEVIN HARVICK: "Well, I drive his Busch car, rather his wife's Busch car. I drive for Delana, I tell everybody. It's fun. I enjoy racing with Kevin and Kevin and I are good friends, we have a lot of respect for each other. Knowing that you are racing. if it's anybody besides a teammate or Kevin. there's a lot of guys I trust out there but I really trust Kevin. We just have a great relationship and I know that when we're racing each other hard for the win like that, he's not going to do anything to jeopardize me and vice versa. So it makes it a lot of fun being able to race him like that."
DID LAST WEEK GIVE YOU MORE COMFORT TO GET A PLACE IN THE CHASE? "Not necessarily. A lot can happen in four weeks. It's a two-step goal. First you have to get in to race for it, then we've got to do the things we've got to do to win it. Last week didn't hurt. Anytime we can run in the top two you're not losing points to anybody. It's a step in the right direction. It basically boils down to this: you don't need to have a great day but you can't afford to have a bad day."
DID YOU HAVE A FEELING THAT THINGS MIGHT NOT WORK OUT? "Not really. You just go out and do your job each week. In four weeks we're going to know where we're at. We're either going to be in or we're going to be out. Worrying about it is not going to make it better or worse or anything like that. It's just a matter of taking it one day at a time. Today I was worried about working on our race practice for the first two-thirds and then qualifying trim after that. Then we do qualifying and then back to race mode for tomorrow and then worry about the race on Sunday. But you really just take it a day at a time right now."
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER THREE TRACKS LEFT BEFORE THE CHASE? "I'm pretty confident about them. We go pretty good at Bristol, we go really good at Richmond and we're getting better at California too. So we're excited about it in all reality."
ONCE YOU GET IN THE CHASE DOES IT CHANGE AT ALL? "You literally just take it one day at a time. I can't tell you what's going to happen in 10 weeks, you don't know what's going to happen in 10 weeks and nobody can predict what's going to happen. You realistically just have to take it one day at a time and adjust to the circumstances of whatever is happening that day. I mean, we could go out and have a loose lug-nut and have to come back in and that would alter the whole day for the deal. So you basically just go out and do the best you can at trying to win the race. If something happens, then you've got to adjust what your plan is for that day. We can't sit here 14 races from the end of it and say "well, this is what we're going to do and this is how we're going to do this and that". It's all about going out and trying to win races and if you can win races, the points take care of themselves. It's that simple."
SO BEFORE YOU GET IN THE CHASE, DO YOU MAP OUT ANY TRACKS THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON? "What are you going to work on? I mean, if I'm trying to win the race anyway, what can I do any different than what I'm already doing. Right? What am I going to do different there?
ARE THERE ANY TRACKS YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT MORE THAN OTHERS? "No, because everybody's got to run them too. We've all got to run the same ten races. It worked out for us last year so there shouldn't be any reason to be concerned about them this year."
IT SOUNDS LIKE EXPERIENCE HELPS. "I'm talking about it for what it is. I mean, there's no "we're going to do this, or we're going to do that," you just go out and you do what you do every week to try to win the race for the first 26 weeks. When you get off your program is when you start making mistakes. Nobody's going to try to do anything any different than what they're already doing."
-credit: gm racing