Talladega II: Toyota teams qualifying quotes

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 9th How do you have your car handling for Sunday's race? "I think we're pretty happy. We made a few changes from happy hour practice until now. We're really...

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Starting Position: 9th

How do you have your car handling for Sunday's race? "I think we're pretty happy. We made a few changes from happy hour practice until now. We're really happy with the car in drafting - especially leading. We weren't quite as happy with it sucking up behind cars, but we really seemed to lead a group of cars well. Honestly, that was the very first qualifying lap that we made all weekend. So, I think we're pretty pleased with that."


DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 19th

What do you think has caused this recent hot streak for your team? "I don't know if you'd call it a hot streak, but it sure is a whole lot better than we have been, for sure. Being as that we're not even two years old yet - two seasons into this deal - we've definitely grown by leaps and bounds at Michael Waltrip Racing. That was the backup car that we just ran, and it ran basically the same time that our primary did off the trailer. I'm pretty happy about that. I'm real proud of my guys for thrashing and getting the thing together. They did a great job. Hopefully, we'll have a good piece here for Sunday."


MIKE SKINNER, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team
Starting Position: 21st

How good did you get your car in practice? "It's driving perfect, I'll tell you. We struggled with both of our Red Bull Camrys a little bit pulling up, but when Brian (Vickers) and I got together, we seemed to work together really, really good. Hopefully, that'll pay dividends down there towards the end of the race. I did not do a perfect job qualifying. The car darted around with me a little bit, and I chased it a little bit. That probably cost us a little bit. This is one place that qualifying is not near as important as racing. It's 500 miles - it's a long race. Hopefully, the 84 and 83 (Brian Vickers) get hooked up towards the end."


DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing
Starting Position: 29th

Do you have a car as good as the one you finished third with last year? "It's hard to tell how our car is here. You can go out there and race practice in the draft, and you just don't know. I thought my car sucked up well and drove really good. It's really hard to tell. You can take a car that can finish third and you can easily finish 23rd with it, just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It's capable of a good finish, no doubt."


TONY STEWART, No. 20 Subway Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 35th

How is your car after the incident in final practice? "It's hard to tell, but I'm real proud of my guys. I know they were here until eight o'clock last night working on it. I'm just really proud of these guys on this Subway team this week and everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) that came down to work on it. Just very, very proud of my guys."

How was your car before the accident? "We were happy with our car. They said it wasn't anything mechanical -- it was all cosmetic. We have a great body shop and we have a lot of great guys that are more than capable of getting this thing where it needs to be. We just need to see where we shake out."

What is your strategy for tomorrow? "You assess it from lap to lap and you just watch what's going on around you. If everybody is calm and patient and you're comfortable where you're at -- if you're around a bunch of guys that are impatient and get in a big hurry then you want to figure out whether you need to go forward or backwards. You don't want to be around those guys."

What would it mean to get a win at Talladega? "We haven't gotten one in a Cup car ever here -- I think there's four places that we haven't won a Cup race at and this is one of them. You obviously want to win at the tracks that you haven't won at and it would be pretty cool to say that you won at every race track that you've been to. This is a big one."

Do you look at the races you should have won this season and think about what else you could have done? "You do at the time when it's over, but you go to the next day and worry about the weekend coming up. You can't change what happened the weekend before so you're always looking forward. You always second guess when you don't get the outcome you want and you always question whether you did the right thing or not. I don't think there's a driver in the garage area that doesn't think that there's something they could have done a little better to change the outcome."


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 37th

How was your qualifying lap? "It was pretty uneventful -- it's pretty easy to qualify here. We had a bit of a wreck here yesterday so in order to come back here and use the same car it was a good effort by the team."

Were you able to get back on the track after the incident? "We didn't mess up anything mechanical, we just pushed the nose in a little bit, but everything looks good on the car. It looks just about as good as new."

What is your strategy for tomorrow? "I've been a little bit successful here the last couple times here and it's just been trying to stay up front and doing everything I can to keep my track position. I've tried the strategy of lying in the back and for me I can never get it to work because when I start to go to the front that's when the big wreck happens. I either wait too late or what have you. For me I'm going to try to get to the front just as soon as I can."

Does it cheapen the race for the fans when drivers fall to the back? "A little bit -- that's why you see the single file racing here up at the wall is to keep guys from trying to pass you on the high side. Everyone is just content to run. A 100-lap race here would do just as much as a 160-lap race -- there's no difference. Everybody is only going to race hard for the last 30 (laps) anyway."

How do you describe the last 20 laps here? "It's just crazy -- here and Daytona -- how the intensity picks up. It's like everyone is out there racing for their life. It's amazing how close we get and the things that we'll try those last 10 or 15 laps. A lot of time we get away with it, but sometimes we don't. There's situations where you're bouncing off of each other and you wonder how you're not wrecking every single lap. Sometimes you have someone make a mistake only by an inch or two and it will cost about 20 race cars."

Is this race the 'X-factor' race in the 'Chase?' "The 'Chase' guys are usually up front every single week and they're the ones that got in the 'Chase' and based on performance they're the ones that are going to finish in the top each and every week. Every now and then you will have three or four guys outside of the 'Chase' mix it up in the top-10. Most of the time you are going to have six or seven 'Chase' guys in the top-10. Here, you can have a disparity. You can have eight cars that are not in the 'Chase' in the top-10 because everyone is going to run up front, everyone has an opportunity to run up front and lead laps. I think this is why it is such a wild card because even if you don't have a wreck you can have a guy that maybe performs the best during the day finish 30th. And that is simply because of the draft."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 40th

How was your qualifying lap and what do you expect for tomorrow? "It didn't go too good and don't expect much better for tomorrow."

Are you concerned about your spotter, Jeff Dickerson, might not be able to come tomorrow? "Spotters are very important here. It would be nice if he was here and if he's not then we'll just have to deal without him."

Is there any strategy for you tomorrow? "It really doesn't matter. You can try to lead every lap, you can try to hang back and six out of the seven times I've run here I've wrecked doing that so it doesn't really matter where you run because you can get caught up in anything. You just have to go for broke."


KEN SCHRADER, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing
Starting Position: 30th

KENNY WALLACE, No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 14th

MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 25th

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Brian Vickers
Teams Red Bull Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Bill Davis Racing , Hall of Fame Racing