Avondale, AZ - With his fifth-place qualifying effort, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, will lead a contingency of 15 Team Chevy drivers starting tomorrow's Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International ...
Avondale, AZ - With his fifth-place qualifying effort, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, will lead a contingency of 15 Team Chevy drivers starting tomorrow's Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet, qualified seventh and Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, secured the 10th starting position to give Chevrolet three cars in the top-10 starters.
A.J. Allmendinger (Ford) won the pole. Scott Speed (Toyota), Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) and Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) complete the top-five starters.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET -- QUALIFIED 5TH:
"It was better than I thought it was. All these guys going directly behind us are pretty good race cars. My car drove pretty good. I knew the first lap was the only lap after lap 1 our car would just go away really bad in qualifying trim, so I had to get everything we could and just not make any mistakes that first lap because that was the only opportunity for us. Our car lost a good two or three-tenths on that second lap every time we tried it today.
We had a pretty decent draw. The cars behind us will speed up a little bit as the track cools off. But I felt pretty good about our lap time. We wanted to get more than that. Just getting in off into (Turn) 1 it was tough to see. And it'll be like that for a little bit here in the first hour of so of the race."
ON THE ADDITIONAL 64 LAPS IN SATURDAY'S RACE "Well, it really won't make a big difference to us. The drivers and equipment and everything should be fine. It's just a little bit longer race for the fans and hopefully that's what they're looking for."
ON THE SPOILER
"We should be fine."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH :
"I thought the guys did d a great job getting the Tornados Chevrolet ready for qualifying today. Unfortunately, I didn't hit my marks the way I had hoped. We won the pole here four times and I've ran laps a lot better than what I just ran. Obviously, it was good enough for p. 1 for now, but I don't think it will hold by any means."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH :
"I thought the first lap was ok, I didn't think it was enough. I thought I got through one and two on the second lap really good. It just carried a little bit too much speed in to three, a little bit more than I anticipated and I couldn't keep it down. The car got a little loose on me and I felt like I messed up what I thought was going to be our best lap. Under the conditions, I am pretty happy Our team had a very impressive day. We started the day really far off, so we tried a few new things and experimented since we're early in the season. It's hard to do that when we have all our practices in just one day. I'm really proud of my guys; they didn't' give up and we made big gains certainly for qualifying as well. We'll see what happens tomorrow night in the race.
WAS THE SUN A PROBLEM FOR YOU DURING QUALIFYING? "It is an advantage for visibility right now going out early because it is not in your eyes and you are not really going in to shade so you can see the apex of the corner. Where later, that sun when it is in your face and the shade and you can't really see the apex, the conditions are better, the track is cooler and faster so it is kind of a toss-up."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH:
"That was better than we were in practice. I think the track is getting faster. It is good. I was expecting to start 25th or something so it's not so bad. Better than expected, so I am happy. The car wasn't good earlier today; the guys worked really hard trying to be faster."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 11TH:
"I just over-drove it on the second lap, the first lap was solid but the second lap wasn't very good. I knew I had a solid first one, but when I went to try and get more out of it, I ended up getting loose in to one."
WHAT HAS MADE THE TRACK SO SLICK TODAY? IS THERE A REASON? "It is just Phoenix. But that is what makes it fun too; it makes us work as drivers. You have got to not over-drive your car. It is very sensitive to heat and that makes us as drivers have to work harder."
-source: gm racing