Michigan II: Toyota teams qualifying quotes

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 7th How did your car perform during your qualifying lap? "Yeah, it was ok. It was a little bit free but all in it was quite a bit quicker than what we...

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 7th

How did your car perform during your qualifying lap? "Yeah, it was ok. It was a little bit free but all in it was quite a bit quicker than what we practiced. We haven't been doing a lot of that lately. I don't know where that will end up putting us. We still have a lot of guys to go, but overall I'm proud of what the guys did and it drove pretty decent."

Are you happy with your qualifying lap? "The car drove pretty good. It was a little bit free and it hurt us a little bit. All in all I'm proud of everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing. The UPS Toyota was pretty good. We'll be somewhere decent for Sunday."

Were you surprised to run a faster time in qualifying after your practice runs earlier today? "That's pretty big. Anytime you can go out there and at least back up your time or run a little bit better. Sometimes you go out and run a practice and you can't seem to back up those times. It's all a credit to my guys and all of the guys at the fab shop. This is a newer, lighter car and we're making headway with that. It all comes down to hard work and at Michael Waltrip Racing we've got plenty of that going on."


KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 11th

Are you happy with your qualifying run? "I'm not too happy with it. I kind of messed up just a little bit. Second right now is not too bad. We'll see where that ends up. Hopefully get a top-10 or top-15 and we'll take that and go on into tomorrow and Sunday."

Did your car improve during qualifying? "Yeah, when we unloaded the Interstate Batteries Camry wasn't that great but we made a lot of changes to it and got it better. We feel like we were pretty good there. I messed up a little bit in one and two -- I just didn't get back to the gas as quick and hard as I wanted to. Overall it was a good, solid lap for us I guess. Hopefully a top-10 or top-15 start and we'll take that."


TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 21st

How was your qualifying run? "It doesn't look impressive on the chart up there, but considering we were 40th or 41st in practice it was a lot better than we were in practice. We gained six-tenths and guys are gaining from two to six-tenths so I'm pretty happy with our pickup."

What will you work on tomorrow during practice? "Just trying to get the race balance and take what we learned today early in the session and work off of that for tomorrow."

Is balance tougher here then at other race tracks? "It seems like your cars get really tight here as the runs go on. It's not hard to get it starting the way you want but it's hard to get it ending the way you want. So sometimes you have to sacrifice it being fast on the front of the run to be good later, midway through the run to late in the run to keep the speed that you want. It's kind of a tradeoff. You aren't going to have it perfect through the whole run so you're going to have to decide if you want to be fast from the front side of the run or the backside of the run."

How do you decide which is better? "We've always been kind of a midway to end of the run type car. We never showed the big speed that some of these guys do the first three or four laps. It's like once they get the new off the tires their times come to about where we are. We just give up the first four or five laps and then it seems like we're alright and then at the end of the run we're pretty decent it seems like if we get our balance right. That's kind of the strategy that we go with."


MIKE SKINNER, No. 00  Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Starting Position: 22nd

How was your first time qualifying with Michael Waltrip Racing? "You're painted in a box when you are out of the top-35 in points and you just can't take the bonsai chance in qualifying. I wanted to drive it off in there a lot deeper than I did in (turns) one and two, and picked the throttle up early. When you do that, like we have the luxury to do in the truck, if it don't stick you run a 39.40 or 39.50 (seconds) and you go to the ‘house.' I just had to be so conservative."

Would you have run differently if the team was in the top-35 in points? "It's hard to sit here and say what it would have ran. I think the car could have a run at least what David (Reutimann) ran, maybe a half-a-tenth to a tenth faster than what David ran. We lost the track a little bit right there -- there was a little sun on the race track right before we went. That hurt us, but the car had enough grip that we could have done better than that. We did what we had to do to get in the race."

What are your first impressions of the team? "Really, really good. What I liked about the car is it responded to changes. It was extremely tight when we started and we were able to free it up and get the thing a little too loose, and then we went somewhere in between. We debated what to do during qualifying and the team did a pretty good job of finding a happy medium."


DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Starting Position: 24th

How did your car handle during your qualifying run? "I don't know. We've just been kind of average all day today. We never got feeling really good. It was kind of an average lap. The first run of the day the car felt really good and balanced and then we never could get back to that feel."

What will you work on during practice tomorrow? "The same as always. Get the car balanced good and get it handling good. I know that they've got a couple different setups to throw at it. We'll see what we come up with. We didn't get to run here in the spring. We broke on lap two or whatever it was. We got back out there and ran but we didn't get much to go by on the first time around."

How much does that hurt you? "I just didn't learn anything. I came back here not learning a thing really from the first time so that just puts you behind."


AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Starting Position: 33rd

Are you happy with the way your season has been going? "It's been good. Ever since I got back in the car we've been running strong. With the edition of Jimmy Elledge (crew chief) it's been really good. I've been really happy with the progress we've been making and we just kind of learned from each other each week. We've got a really good group of guys here at the 84 side so I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year and just getting better and better. Hopefully we can keep having some good races and get solid in the top-35."

How much confidence have you gained over the past couple of months? "I'm definitely a lot more confident in the race car and just kind of know how these races are run and we've been having good cars. I'm staying much more calm during the race. I'm having a lot of fun and like I said each week we seem to improve and we've just got to keep working on those top 15, kind of right around those top-10s. As we get better at that we can focus on the top-five and maybe even contend for a win at the end of the season. It's been good."

How nice was it to know that you didn't have to race your way in today? "It definitely makes Friday's a lot easier. We're a lot more relaxed. We still have to stay focused because Sunday is the important day and we are only eight points in. We went with the same process of what we were focused on -- still working on qualifying trim and all of that but the stress of looking at that time chart knowing you had to be in a certain spot was a lot better. We're a lot better than where we're at, we just have to keep doing the right things and I'm looking forward to it."

What does your future look like? "I have no idea. I'm just focused on each race. I want to be back here at Red Bull next year. That's going to be their ultimate decision. All I can do is to keep driving until they tell me not to or until they tell me I'm staying and then we'll go from there."

How did your car handle during your qualifying lap? "It was ok. I would've always liked to have been faster. I struggle getting around Michigan in qualifying. In the race, I kind of figure this place out. We were 25th in practice and going out early I knew we were going to be ok. I backed my lap up -- some guys slowed down and some guys sped up from practice. I always want more out of it but I'm happy with it. The driver could've been a little bit better and the car could've been a little bit better but Sunday is the important day."


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 37th

How was your qualifying lap? "It sucked. We just can't get a grip on this qualifying. We're just not getting it together. We're always one way or another. We just can't get that balance right it seems like. We're just going to start in the back like we usually do and have to spend most of the race working our way back to the front." What will you work on in practice tomorrow to improve the car? "I don't know. We're fine in race trim but we just suck in qualifying. We were alright in qualifying trim earlier but we just missed a lot when it came to getting it right."


MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 42nd

BRAD COLEMAN, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
Starting Position: 43rd

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip
Teams Red Bull Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Bill Davis Racing , Hall of Fame Racing