Pocono II: GM Racing qualifying quotes, notes

Long Pond, PA -- After winning the pole last weekend at Indianapolis and going on to score the race win, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, captured the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole today at Pocono Raceway. Johnson will lead...

Long Pond, PA -- After winning the pole last weekend at Indianapolis and going on to score the race win, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, captured the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole today at Pocono Raceway. Johnson will lead the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 to the green on Sunday, scoring the 16th pole of his career, his third of the 2008 season and his second at Pocono Raceway.

Mark Martin, No. 8 Steak-umm Burgers Impala SS, will start on the outside of the front row alongside Johnson.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, scored the fourth fastest time of the 43-car starting field for 21st race of the season.

A total of 14 drivers will wheel their Impala SS race cars in the 200-lap/500-mile race scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Live coverage will be provided by ESPN, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite radio.

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JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 1st:

"That was a great lap for us. The car was really comfortable. I knew coming to the green that I was going to be in good shape. We got the balance right for all three turns and this Lowe's Impala was really working great. We had a really good practice session this morning, but we felt like could improve the car. The guys made some great decisions and it pretty much paid off.

"We really improved on things since last spring and where we are on the race car. I think we've gone in the right direction. There has been a lot of hard work throughout all of Hendrick Motorsports and it's nice to see it coming together. I'm glad I did my job and hit my marks. It's a very technical track, a lot like Indy, where it's easy to miss one of the corners. We got a great lap and feel really good about that. We didn't do any race practice so I'm not sure how we'll be in the race, but I have a sneaky suspicion we'll be all right.

"Today is just one day of many for the weekend. Tomorrow is another day with race practice, then the race on Sunday. We had a slow start to the season. Took our lumps. At Las Vegas, we were three seconds off the pace and my race car wasn't even wrecked. We have definitely worked hard over this year and I am very proud of this race team and where we are today."

IS IT EASIER TO HIT YOUR MARKS ONCE YOU GET THROUGH THE FIRST TURN? "Once you hit that first one down there in Turn 1, truthfully, it's more like if you make it through (Turn) 1, you're happy you made it through and then you go oh yeah, I've got the Tunnel Turn (laughs). And then you make it through the tunnel and think oh, yeah, now there is (Turn) 3 and then there's that little patch you have to deal with and where you're at, so it's a very technical track. You really don't breathe normally until you're off of (Turn) 3 coming to the stripe."

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MARK MARTIN, NO. 8 STEAK-UMMS BURGERS IMPALA SS, QUALIFIED 2nd:

"That was a really good lap. I want to give credit to ECR Engines, great horsepower under the hood. This is a real tribute to Tony Gibson and everybody on this No. 8 team. I want to say hey to all our soldiers out there. It's just a real privilege to drive this race car. It's really fast. It was fast last week. We couldn't keep the right rear tires on it so maybe this week it'll be a different story.

"In the beginning, Tony and I were just trying to get on the same page. We were missing it a little bit. but now when I tell him I need a little bit of this, or a little bit of that, he's got it down pat. Things are really going well. It's so smooth. I really like Tony Gibson. He's a great leader of people and he makes this even more fun that it already is. It's a pleasure to work with him. That's really special. And I really want to give a shout out to those big monster engines they're putting under us. That last week was really obscene, and this one feels really good too.

"Maybe this is our lucky Sunday. I would love to go to victory lane with these guys."

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

"It was a good solid lap. All three corners was a pick up from practice. I just can't tell you how proud I am of this DuPont Chevrolet team. Last time we were here we qualified way in the back I don't even know where and to come out these last couple of weeks on these big tracks and be as strong as we've been. I doubt that will be the pole, Jimmie (Johnson) is going to be tough. There's a couple of other guys but that's still a really solid lap for us and a good pick up. I'm very happy, got a good race car for this weekend.

"We really went back to where we started with the car. We rolled off the hauler and the car was pretty good, then we got off a little bit. So we just put it back, there were places I was a little tight, places I was loose. It just seems like that setup we started with was the best one, I felt like I could drive in to some different braking points and get back in the gas a little bit different and pickup a few tenths. Which is about what we did."

IT SEEMS LIKE THE ORGANIZATION AS A WHOLE, JIMMIE'S RUN LAST WEEK, IS CATCHING ITS STRIDE RIGHT NOW. "Yeah, I just hope it's not too late. I don't think it is but we're lacking those bonus points and that win. As far as team and speed and all that is concerned, we got it right now and I'm pumped about that."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports