Phoenix: Vickers post-qualifying press conference

BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Second and top rookie "We unloaded fast off the truck. I knew we were going to be faster in qualifying that we were in practice unless I really messed up. I was trying some different lines and...

BRIAN VICKERS , NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Second and top rookie

"We unloaded fast off the truck. I knew we were going to be faster in qualifying that we were in practice unless I really messed up. I was trying some different lines and kind of messed that lap up a little bit. I was confident the car was better than it was in practice. I wasn't too sure how fast. This was our second time qualifying second to Ryan Newman. Last time I think we missed it by seven thousands of a seconds. I thought all night long about where we could find some speed. I felt I got everything I could out of the car. So at least I can sleep tonight. I don't know where they got that speed or that grip. The track is quick.

"As far as the race, I feel pretty good about it. We were fast in the race here last year, which was our third Cup race I believe. There in the middle of the race we lost a lot of time and a lot of ground. The car really kind of went away from us. We didn't keep up with the track and different things. Now that we know that, what we learned from that race will help us be better this time."

SO WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON SUNDAY?

"You've got to start really good at the beginning of the race because a lot of times you'll have a long green flag run early in the race that can get you a lap down if you're not careful. So that's important. It's also very important to keep up with the race track throughout the race."

IF YOU'RE FAST IN QUALIFYING, DOES THAT MEAN YOU'LL BE FAST IN THE RACE?

"No, that's not true. I know that looking back at the past couple of weeks, Ryan Newman has got something figured out for qualifying. Whatever it is, it doesn't work in the race. It doesn't work in the race and it doesn't last. It doesn't last a long run or whatever it is they can't do it to the car for the race. So we're not as concerned about that in the race. For qualifying, we'd better get our stuff together. Not only have we not found it, but 42 other people haven't found it. He'd been fast in qualifying."

WHEN YOU LOOK AT JEFF GORDON AND JIMMIE JOHNSON, HOW DO YOU VEW YOUR RACING APPROACH AND YOUR LIFESTYLE APPROACH?

"I've definitely learned a lot from both those guys. They've both become great friends and have helped me in a lot of ways both on and off the race track. I see a lot of similarities between the two of them and for anybody who drives for Hendrick Motorsports for that matter. It starts from the top. Rick Hendrick instilled that in Jeff and then in Jimmie. Jeff has a lot to do with that. It's the type of people the organization attracts. As far as how they approach a race or the media or fans or sponsors, it's very similar."

WHEN A TEAM GETS ON A ROLL LIKE RYAN NEWMAN IS, DOES EVERYONE ELSE START SECOND-GUESSING AND TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT THEIR SECRET IS?

"Absolutely. You try to find something on your own. You don't want to always follow everybody else. That can get you in trouble sometimes if you don't get the right information. But yeah, when it's something this significant that obviously they have. It's not like two or three guys are beating us by that amount. It's one person that's several tenths ahead of the field. There's something there. Newman does a great job of qualifying the car. But I think it's a combination of several things they have on that team and something they're doing. We've got to figure out what it is."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Hendrick Motorsports