DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 13th Was your qualifying run what you expected? "It was good. Definitely a lot better than what we practiced. We made a lot of changes. The balance is pretty good.
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 13th
Was your qualifying run what you expected? "It was good. Definitely a lot better than what we practiced. We made a lot of changes. The balance is pretty good. We were hopping in the last corner and lost a little bit of time there. You struggle with a couple of tenths there and lost a lot of spots. I'm at least pleased that we made a lot of improvements."
Will your team make many changes tomorrow for Sunday's race? "We're probably going to make a lot of changes for race trim. We thought we were a little bit better in race trim than we were in qualifying, and that's pretty encouraging."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Starting Position: 16th
How was your qualifying run? "I don't know. It wasn't what we were hoping for. We weren't quite as good as we hoped we'd be. You never know. We were the fourth car out -- we were hoping for three or four tenths more than that. We'll see. It's been a hot day. It's gotten hotter and I'm sure that affected the track a little bit."
Was it a lot slicker than it was during practice? "From practice, we seemed to have lost some grip. I don't know if that was track or what that was -- the other cars ran that I just qualified with, or whether their tire or rubber hurt us a little bit." Is there anything you can put your finger on as to why you're running better recently? "It's just been a lot of little things and common sense. Gene Nead (lead race engineer) has come in and helped us a lot -- that's about the time we got him. We got back to some basic things, and it seems to be easier to work with and race with. Just basic things, nothing magic."
What did you think of your qualifying lap? "It was okay, not great. We were a tenth off what we were in practice. We were just too loose, way too loose and chasing the back of the car everywhere. That's kind of the same thing we experienced in practice, but it seemed like the track got a lot slicker and made that a little bit worse for qualifying."
Did you find any part of the track more challenging? "Most of the turns, the high speed stuff in particular, I really couldn't carry the speed through the turns that I needed to. I was constantly chasing the back of the car."
Do you enjoy road courses? "I do enjoy road courses. I love coming to this area. I think this is an awesome area -- great people. I love wine country. This road course probably isn't my favorite, I like Watkins Glen a lot more -- I think it's a great high-speed, fun road course. I enjoy coming out here."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 30th
Why did you get a second qualifying attempt? "The tape on the cowl didn't get air through the carburetor, and we stunk all day. That's the way it ended up."
STEVE ADDINGTON, Crew Chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What happened during the first qualifying run? "The first time through they didn't pull the tape -- they always cover the cowl to the carburetor, they tape it off and you roll out on pit road and two cars before you roll out they pull the tape off. Well, they didn't pull the tape off, so it just didn't have any horsepower. Actually, it sucked the air box down on it and killed the air filter. They were nice enough to let us qualify again. We went out there and we didn't get to cool it down enough -- plus the filter was collapsed down on top of the carburetor. It wasn't a good run."
Did you have a chance to make a good run the second time? "No. The air box had collapsed from being sealed off the first time and they just told us to put tires on it and put fuel in it and go back out. So, that's what we did and we didn't get it cooled down -- plus the air filter was crushed in the air box. So, it wasn't a big plus there."
What will you do to the car tomorrow? "We'll put a new air box and stuff on it and get it fixed up to work on our race set-up. We'll do the fuel mileage thing and see how it plays out."
MICHAEL McDOWELL, No. 00 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 34th
How was your qualifying lap? "Right there we were just struggling to keep the front tires on the ground for some reason they seem to hike up a lot more than they did earlier. We'll see -- that should put us somewhere in the top-25 and we'll just have a good race on Sunday."
When you make changes on the race car, can you tell as much on a road course as you can on an oval? "Yeah, you can. It's just a different feel. It's unfortunate for this NAPA Toyota, I thought we'd run better than that."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 35th
Was your qualifying run what you expected? "We're in -- that was the most important thing. That's all I wanted. We still have a lot of work to do on the car. We're just lacking a lot of rear grip right now. That's as fast as I think the car would have went right there. There's not a lot of rear grip in it. It's tough when you're on the outside -- if we were in the top-35 we might have been able to ring a little bit more from it, but with what I had to do that's about as fast as I could go. We're in, that was the biggest hurdle I wanted to get over. I was really nervous about this weekend, just getting in the race. I'm confident that my road course skills in the race will take over a lot better than qualifying. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow, but the important thing is we actually get to do it."
How big of a relief is it to be in the race by your home town? "It's one of those where I'm not really excited or anything. I'm just so relieved -- relief and that's it. That was a big deal. I was really nervous about this. We still need a lot of work on the car but we're in."
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 39th
Knowing where you guys are going to line up Sunday, what can you guys do to improve your chances on Sunday? "We just gotta get the car driving as good as we can. Obviously, qualifying (sucked). I was fairly happy with race practice this morning in race trim. We're going to have a long way to go, but we'll just do it like we've done before."
How much of that was qualifying set up -- if you had race set up in it how much does that affect you? "I honestly don't know. The track just felt slicker to me. Obviously, there are guys that went faster than what they did in practice and we weren't one of them. If I had the answer to why that happened, we wouldn't have been in the situation we're in, obviously. We definitely don't want to start deep in the field like that because it makes for a long day -- you don't ever get a chance to take care of your stuff. You have to fight the whole day. It makes it to where you lose your equipment early in the race and you hope you have everything left at the end of the day. Y ou hope you have brakes left when you get down to the point that it really matters. We don't have the luxury of just sitting there and riding around to protect your car. You have to battle the whole way."
Have you ever started this deep in the field and done well? "I guarantee this is the worst we'll have ever started on a road course. I don't know. I'll have an answer for you on Sunday afternoon after it's over. Right now it's going to be a long way to go."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 42nd
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
Starting Position: DNQ
-credit: toyota motorsports