Phoenix: GM teams qualifying quotes, notes

Avondale, AZ -- Mark Martin, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS, scored his third pole of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season taking the number one starting spot for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. It is the 44th pole of his career, but the...

Avondale, AZ -- Mark Martin, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS, scored his third pole of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season taking the number one starting spot for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. It is the 44th pole of his career, but the first for Martin at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, leads the point standings leading in to Sunday's race and will start fourth for the 312-lap/312-mile/500-kilometer race set to start at 5:30 p.m. PDT (8:30 EDT).

A total of five Team Chevy Impala SS drivers captured top-10 positions in the 43-car field. In attrition to Martin and Gordon, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala SS, will roll off in the sixth spot.

Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Impala SS, will start ninth. Winner of the past three PIR NSCS races, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, will take the green flag from the 10th starting position.

Team Chevy will have 15 Impala SS drivers in the field, more than any other manufacturer.

Live coverage for the eighth (8) race of the season will be provided FOX TV, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

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JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS -- Qualified 4th:

"I'm happy. I'm very happy with the DuPont Chevrolet. I hope we can stay up there. There are some good cars left to go, but man, I'm so disappointed because I was really giving up the first lap. I didn't really push that hard.

WHY DID YOU DO THAT? "Well, I just really felt like I could get it done on the second lap. But the car came in pretty good on the first lap and when I tried to go a little harder I just got real tight on the second lap. So, that's kind of the way things go sometimes, I guess."

MORE ON THE LAP "I'm very please with the results. It didn't really feel as good as that lap was. I typically throw away the first lap and really get after it on the second lap. And that's worked good for me over the years, but today it didn't. The first lap was the one that was the one to go on and man, now I wish I would have put in a little better first lap. To be that close you know, you get a little disappointed. Mark (Martin) put a great lap up."

ON TURNS 1 AND 2 IN THE SHADOW, AND BRIGHT SUNSHINE IN TURNS 3 AND 4 "It's got a lot of grip. The track temperature is down pretty good. The problem is with all that shade and you have the sun brightening up the rest of the track so when you go down in there, you're sort of blind. We actually came prepared with a bunch of different ways to try to block that sun and get into the shade there. We had that part figured out pretty good today. We just need to free the car up a little bit and we'll be real good. I'm looking forward to the race on Saturday night."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Jimmie Johnson , Regan Smith , Mark Martin