Michigan II: GM teams qualifying quotes, notes

Jeff Gordon Takes Pole For Chevy At Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. - Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, will start from the pole position for Sunday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in a specially-painted Monte...

Jeff Gordon Takes Pole For Chevy At Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, will start from the pole position for Sunday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in a specially-painted Monte Carlo SS. Gordon scored his sixth Bud Pole of the season and 62nd of his career (fifth at MIS) with a lap of 38.090 seconds at 189.026 miles per hour in dramatic fashion, as Gordon was the last driver in today's qualifying session. Gordon, driving a race car with '57 Chevy design cues to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic '57 Chevy, knocked Greg Biffle from the top qualifying spot and shares the front row with the Ford driver for Sunday's 400-mile event. Although this was Gordon's sixth Bud Pole of 2007, it will be the ninth time he starts a race this season from the pole position as three qualifying sessions have been rained out.

"We made adjustments; we were decent in practice and obviously made the right adjustments there," said Gordon. "I knew it was a good lap. I didn't know if it was good for the pole. We were carrying good momentum but I wasn't as wide open as I thought I needed to be to get the pole but I knew I was getting me a good lap. Wow. Great."

Five other Team Chevy drivers qualified within the top 10 with Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Monte Carlo SS, Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Monte Carlo SS and Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS taking the sixth through 10th grid spots, respectively. A total of 18 Team Chevy drivers will be competing at MIS on Sunday including 10 wearing the special '57 Chevy paint scheme.

The 3M Performance 400 begins Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on ESPN and MRN radio.


Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Pole Winner

"I don't know where to start. Obviously I got to thank this DuPont Chevrolet team and welcome back Steve Letarte. Man, that's awesome. We got good chemistry and I think that late draw really, really played out for us.

YOU SAID WOW ON THE RADIO ABOUT FIVE TIMES ON THE RADIO. DID IT REALLY CATCH YOU THAT MUCH OFF GUARD? "You know I was getting everything I could with it in practice. I was pushing it as hard as I could and obviously the late draw played a role and just all the little details we do for qualifying, then the fine tuning, the communication really paid off but that draw probably did most of it."


Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Sixth

"Well, I left some out there. I didn't get off of turn two as best as I probably could have. I waited a little bit too much for the throttle and then over-slowed it through turns three and four thinking that the car was going to get tight on me. Overall it was a good lap for the Kellogg's Chevrolet. Proud of all the guys, they gave me an awesome car and an awesome piece for the weekend. Looking forward to it. It's an old race car - it's 307 with a new body so I think it will be pretty good but I'm just disappointed in myself that we're not able to get a pole this year yet."


Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS - Qualified Seventh

"That was a really good lap. I got pretty loose off into turn one but aside from that I really had a strong lap and very proud of the car that we brought here. Qualifying is not my strong suit; I'd love to get a red hat today but it looks like Kasey Kahne's got a pretty good grasp on that.

"I got off into turn one pretty high. The car had such good grip in turns three and four but I got into one and it got a little sideways getting out of the center. Luckily I drifted through the corner and it was pointed in the right direction so I hit the gas."


Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 14th

"We were real good in race trim in practice, the way we were here in the last race. We went to qualifying trim and got really tight, which was odd. (Crew chief Kevin) Bono (Manion) and the guys did a great job adjusting on the car. It was really good right there, a little tight down into the corner but the center and off where it matters I was a little bit free. So it was just right and a huge pick-up for us."


Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 28th

"The car wasn't bad. We were a little tight on one end, a little free on the other end. All in all our Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet wasn't too bad and going out first it's not obviously what you want here but still two tenths faster than what we ran in practice so that's all you can ask for."


Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 29th

"I was way too loose in qualifying. The track heated up a little bit and we just didn't have it tightened up enough to run a quick lap.

"I've got a '61 Impala and I think it's cool to pay tribute to probably one of the coolest cars that was ever built in the United States. Big weekend for Chevrolet especially with the 50th anniversary of the '57 Chevy and hopefully we can put it in victory lane."


Tony Raines, No. 96 DLP HDTV Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 37th

ON RUNNING A SPECIAL '57 CHEVY PAINT SCHEME AND RECALLING MEMORIES WITH A '57 CHEVY: "My dad bought a '57 Chevy back when I was in high school and it was kind of one of those deals where we worked on it together and put a motor in it and rebuilt it. We'd play with it - it had headers and it was kind of loud. It had aluminum slots on it. A good-looking car. We'd drive it around once in a while and I would occasionally drive it to school. Usually when I did that I got into things of a mischievous nature. But it was a lot of fun.

"I almost got caught drag racing one time but I never got a ticket or anything like that - but it was close. We pretty much did all the things you weren't supposed to do in it. Usually my dad was in there with me.

"We used to cruise around the high school in the morning before school started. The baseball diamond was on one corner and I happened to go around that corner one morning with the rear tires lit up, banging gears. My coach was out there and he wasn't real impressed with my driving. That didn't do me any good.

"My dad sold it, probably because it was worth more sold than it was to us, but I'd probably buy another one at some point. I've always had special affection for them because of having had one when I was younger. Obviously the prices have gone through the roof. I should have bought one a while back, not try to buy one now."


Paul Menard, No. 15 Menards/Sylvania Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 38th

ON RUNNING A SPECIAL '57 CHEVY PAINT SCHEME: "There's obviously so much history in everything we do at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chevrolet has been such a big part of our success as an organization. I'd say it's pretty cool to pay tribute to the '57, considering the history behind it."


Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS - Qualified 39th

ON NOT RUNNING THE NO. 8 NEXT YEAR: "We were trying to help make that happen and we just really couldn't come to an agreement there but that's the way it goes sometimes in this sport. You can't have everything and you just got to be satisfied with what you do have and what we're going to be able to accomplish in the future. I'm pretty excited."

HOW MUCH IS THIS WIND PLAYING WITH YOU GUYS INSIDE THIS RACE CAR? "Well, what you don't know won't hurt ya so if you don't concentrate on it too much, you just drive it but it'll probably get ya a little loose whichever way it's blowing. It's on the nose getting in the corner it'll make you a little freer and a little tighter on the opposite end of the track but we deal with that every week. It's blowing pretty good today but our car's been pretty good. I think we'll be able to get it hooked to the race track."

ON HIS CAR'S PAINT SCHEME COMMEMORATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE '57 CHEVY AND HOW HIS CAR IS RUNNING HERE: "Our car's pretty good actually. We didn't really try real hard in practice to put any good times up. We had to take a little bit of a break there at one point but the car's good. We've been good here the last couple of trips. I think we'll be fine this weekend."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch