Texas: GM teams qualifying quotes

Jeff Gordon -- ...

Jeff Gordon -- #24 DuPont Chevrolet
7th position


GREAT WIN FOR YOUR TEAM LAST WEEKEND Well, hopefully it showed a picture of this DuPont Chevrolet team. But I've been having a lot of fun out there. They give you such a great race car and you don't want to let that opportunity slip away. We put ourselves in a hole there and just did a great job working our way out of that hole and did everything we needed to do to win that race.

HOW'S YOUR CAR HERE TODAY? It's good. You know, we were not the fastest ones here in practice. I'm hoping that the sun coming up and the track warming up is going to benefit us. There are some guys putting some serious laps up there. We're just working on the balance. We just haven't been as good as we feel like we're capable of in qualifying at this mile-and-a-half tracks and we're doing everything we can to do better. So we'll see what we do here today.


YOU LOOKED AT YOUR REAR QUARTER PANEL AFTER YOU GOT OUT OF YOUR CAR, DOES THAT MEAN YOU HIT THE WALL DURING QUALIFYING? Well, I wanted to see. I didn't hear anything but I knew I threw up a lot of dirt there in two. It's so tight over there off of 2 anyway. The guys did a great job. We didn't slow down from practice, which some guys have. I know there are some cars that are going to go faster, but all in all a good balance with the car, good grip, considering the sun is coming out. But I did get a little bit wide off of 2. I didn't get out of it, but I thought I was going to hit, so I wanted to see if we had any damage. Luckily we don't.


I knew I had a good car when I came to the green and I wanted to put the best laps together that I could. There were some close calls out there. I thought I brushed the wall in Turn 2 but luckily I didn't, but it cost me a little bit of time. But I'm pretty happy with that (lap).

ON THE SUN CHANGING THE TRACK SINCE THE MORNING PRACTICE I felt like we were making gains all day and we were never really put our best lap out there. I was really happy with the way the car was balanced right there and the grip level, considering the sun coming out. So, I knew we were going to have a good race car. I was trying to put down a good lap for qualifying and that will hopefully put us in the top 10.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY BALANCE? What happens is that we're trying to get the front of the car to stick and turn the corner as equally as the back of the car. And if you get out of balance, one of those ends starts to scrub off speed or doesn't allow you to maintain speed. And so we're all looking for that perfect balance front to rear and it felt like we really made some gains there.

DID YOU LEAVE ANYTHING OUT THERE OR WAS THAT THE BEST YOU COULD DO? Yeah, other than getting a little bit wide out of Turn 2 and about brushing the wall, I felt like that was a really good lap for us.

ON HOW THE TRACK HAS CHANGED AT TMS Oh, this track has changed a lot - especially since the first year that we were here. The groove has widened out. It's matured. The grip level has gone away and it just makes the track a little bit more forgiving and allows us to run a little bit more side-by-side. I think we could see a two-wide race track here on Sunday and I'm excited about that.

Joe Nemechek -- #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet
9th position

The track is a lot hotter than it was this morning. I thought we were going to be pretty good. The balance is good. The Army team is working hard and I'm driving the tar out of it. Everyone else has got to deal with that and what we're dealing with. It seems like the track has really slowed up. I don't want to give away too many of the problems I had out there but, you know, there are a lot of guys that can go fast. I think the track is just sitting for two hours from last practice. It brings oil up and the rubber is on there gets hot and it cant' stick as good. Luck of the draw qualifying.

Tony Stewart -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet

That was a pretty calm lap. We were pretty loose in practice, so to come back in qualifying with a stable race car made the whole experience a little more comfortable.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -- #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
11th position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING I'm pretty happy, actually. You know, we had a pretty decent practice. I thought I could be faster but to just go out there and run a lap just to be faster than everyone didn't make a lot of sense. So, we weren't very fast on the sheet.

My lap was real good. Actually, the left side skirt hit something in practice and I drove in way deeper in qualifying and I bottomed it out real hard in turn 3. I lost.I thought I had a top 5 or an easy top 10. Easy top 10 until I got down in there.I got loose in them middle of 3 on my lap. It was a good lap. The car is good. It's sort of a step in a new direction, better direction, on the body and our aero packages. And it's showing up big time today.

Scott Riggs -- #10 Valvoline Chevrolet
14th position

We hoped we'd be a little better than that, but you're never really satisfied unless you qualify first. We came here with our best car, the one we had at Fontana and Atlanta, but when we got out on the racetrack today, we were pretty tight. I felt like I got all I could in Turns 1 and 2, but I think I lost some in Turn 3.

I think we'll be happy with the Valvoline Chevrolet on Sunday. I know the guys on the team will come out here tomorrow and get her dialed in. I love Texas-- it's a fun, fast track. I've had a lot of success here in the Craftsman Truck Series and in the Busch Series so I'm ready for Sunday to see if we can bring home a solid finish.

KEVIN HARVICK -- #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
17th position

That was the best lap this GM Goodwrench Chevrolet has been all day. It was still too free, much like it was toward the end of practice, and I had to peddle it off of Turn 4. Texas is all about how you hit it and if you are off even a little, it looks like a lot. We backed up what we ran in practice, so I'm happy. A lot of people couldn't do that today.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
18th position


NORMALLY CARS GO LATE ENTRY INTO THE TURNS. TODAY THEY LOOK LIKE THEY ARE GOING IN LOWER. IS THERE A REASON FOR THAT? No, you're definitely seeing it right. We talked about it, between myself and my teammates. We're trying to understand the line that we need. I've been trying to arc it in like I typically do and I've been having trouble getting it to turn today. The straighter I drive in, the sooner the car touches the banking and starts to turn. But at least you're getting into the corner with some speed. So, it is changing. I'm not really sure why, and it is different.

IT APPEARS TO BE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST Yeah, I think this track has so much grip, you better go into the corner straight and the track will turn. Guys are still running great lines. We'll drive it in deep and see what happens.

A LOT HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT JEFF GORDON'S COMEBACK AT MARTINSVILLE, BUT YOUR TEAM HAD A GREAT COMEBACK AS WELL Yeah, it was a tough day. We lost three laps ourselves, one of them on a pit stop where we just didn't get out in front of the pace car. Two of the laps we were passed. Fortunately we got our laps back and had a good finish. We were happy to work through it and the crew guys and Chad and myself.the end of that race felt like we won the race! So, it was a good day, good to work through some problems and come out with a good finish.

Michael Waltrip -- #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
21st position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? It was decent. We were just a little bit tight. We tried a whole bunch of stuff during practice and had to guess on our qualifying setup a little bit. We never really did get it the way I wanted it. So, we guessed and we only missed it a hair. I think if I didn't have the push.you know, everyone is getting loose and the times are slower because of that. I repeated my time and I pushed. I think we're on the right track.

Brian Vickers -- #25 GMAC/ditech.com Chevrolet
24th position

Not what we wanted. We wanted a good pit stall but the car was just not going where we needed.

YOU HAVE A NEW ENGINE IN THERE? Yeah. The engine seemed fine. It was great power-wise and we should be in good shape with it.

Boris Said -- #36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet
40th position

I am relieved -- now you know why I had few sleepless nights recently. I overdrove the CENTRIX Chevy in qualifying and almost paid dearly for it. But right now I will be racing on Sunday and that's all that matters. I am sure I will get a better handle on this track after Saturday's two practice sessions.

Jeff Burton -- #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet
41st position

We have been having a tough time since we've got here. Everybody's been working hard. We just haven't made a lap yet that is respectable and that wasn't either.

Mike Bliss -- #0 Coast Guard Chevrolet
42nd position
Note: hit wall during qualifying

EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED Drove the thing right into the wall. We hadn't been tight all day. I got in the gas and it just took off, off of two. It's off camber there and sometimes you can get too high and it won't recover. Now I say I wish I would have lifted, but you hate to lift on qualifying. Now I probably wish I would have lifted. It's real surprising. We hadn't been tight all day.

WILL YOU GO TO A BACK UP CAR? No, it's just sheet metal. I probably could have kept going, but I don't know. It's just frustrating but we had a great car up to this point.

Terry Labonte -- #44 GMAC Chevrolet
43rd position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? Not too good. It could have been better.

It was very loose. It was good in practice. We made a practice qualifying run and we were really loose. We thought it was the shocks we had on the car, but it could be a set of tires.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Boris Said , Joe Nemechek , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Mike Bliss , Brian Vickers