DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 6th How hard is it for a driver with a car for the pole to hold back in order to make the race? "It's difficult, but I can't to get locked in to the top-35 so...
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 6th
How hard is it for a driver with a car for the pole to hold back in order to make the race? "It's difficult, but I can't to get locked in to the top-35 so we can go for poles instead of just trying to make the race. I messed up a little bit. I was a little bit too aggressive going back to the gas. We should've run a little bit quicker. I'm not sure we could've run what the 88 (Earnhardt Jr.) did, but we should've been better than that."
What changes can you make with this new car if you're off when you unload? "It depends on how far off you are. We're not above cutting the front clip off the thing to make it better, if that's what it takes. It's always helpful in the time you have if you're pretty close when you unload. That's a huge benefit to any race team. I don't care who you are. We unloaded and we were pretty close here, and we're locked in with a pretty good starting spot. We're just going to get a good pit box and go on Sunday."
Can you talk about the success you've had at Texas, and the improvements the team has made? "I've had some pretty good runs here in the Cup Series over the years. I'm just really proud of this Red Bull team and this Toyota Camry. We just keep building and building. I'm trying to build a house for my buddy AJ (Allmendinger) so when he gets back in this car, he has something to drive. Ricky (Viers, crew chief) and the guys are doing a really good job getting this car better. The problem now is that we're an hour-and-a-half behind in race trim, so we're going to have to work really hard tomorrow to catch back up to those guys."
Did you get everything you could have out of that lap? "I really didn't. It's a shame because when you're out of the top-35 in points, you can't gamble. If I was in the truck, I would've held it on the mat over there in turn two. I lost grip and I was afraid I was going to hit the wall if I didn't roll out of the gas a little bit. When I did, it not only killed the corner, it killed the whole straightaway. You've lost all of your momentum whenever you have to lift off the throttle coming off the corner. It is what it is. We're going to be here on Sunday, and that was our first goal."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 14th
Did you think you got everything you could've out of the car during your qualifying lap? "It was pretty good. Obviously, we didn't get enough there. The track got more grip there than we expected. We just missed it and were on the tight side there. Our car came to run really good and better than I thought it would. I just underestimated the grip on the race track."
What kind of adjustments will you make for Sunday's race? "It will be a total different set up we'll have for the race. We are really not into qualifying anyways. We'll take our starting spot. It's better than where we started on a lot of the mile-and-a-half tracks this year."
What do you think about Michael McDowell's wreck? "It definitely makes you think as a race car driver how hard you want to drive into the corner. Whether that had a little something to do with how hard I drove (during my lap), it probably did."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 20th
How was your team able to pick up speed from practice to qualifying? "We didn't have the car right and that's where we really leaned on our teammates. We felt really good about what David (Reutimann) had for a car and set up. He was way faster than us. We studied a little bit and figured out what the differences were and made them a whole lot alike. We had a conservative run. I was a little bit too tight and was really felt with the way it felt but didn't get all I thought I had there. It was a good improvement and a decent starting spot. We'll have a different philosophy when we go at it tomorrow and give ourselves a chance to learn."
What are your feelings with the safety of the new car after seeing Michael McDowell's accident today? "You appreciate the effort, not only by the team but by NASCAR. Tony George was instrumental in the creation of the SAFER barrier. I just have to tell you that millions of dollars were spent to try to make a car -- through the passion of Brett Bodine and Robin Pemberton and the passion that NASCAR has in that car -- to make the track safer was costly. But, when you see in a wreck like that it sure does make you feel good about what we've accomplished."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing Starting Position: 29th
How is your car handling here this weekend? "We felt pretty solid in practice and I thought we could run a lot quicker than we did. The car was a little tighter than I was expecting and was out of the throttle a little in the corner. As fast as the track is, just a little out of the throttle costs you a lot. We were two-tenths from where I thought we could run. It's all right. First goal is getting in the race and we squeaked that in."
J.J. YELEY, No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, Hall of Fame Racing Starting Position: 33rd
What kind of changes can you make to this car during practice to improve it in race trim? "You can make some pretty substantial changes to make it better. We unloaded in race trim and really kind of missed it. We really didn't do much to it to go out and qualify. That means we were way too tight when we started. We're light years ahead of where we were at Atlanta. The car is definitely better. We still have some big changes we need to make to get into the top-10 in qualifying. We have some parts ordered and we're working on some R&D and some testing to try and figure out what some of these guys are doing to get the cars freed up enough to turn."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 40th
How are you feeling after your qualifying accident? "I feel upset for the Aaron's Dream Machine guys. I came off of four on that first lap and I just felt a little bit off. Like something wasn't right. I went into one and I didn't know if it was the oil dry or something happened, but it's real unfortunate. I hate to make that much work for the guys back at the shop. Fortunately I'm okay. I got to see that replay and it wasn't very good. I'm thankful for everyone back at the shop that makes these cars safe. That's one of the worst wrecks that I've seen in a while and I'm not excited I had to participate in it, but we'll pull the back up out and get in race trim tomorrow. We'll be fine. I feel great, nothing broke and I didn't pass out -- just wish I didn't over correct out there. We'll have to go back and look at it. I'm not sure if something happened or if I just lost it there. It didn't feel right. We ran six-tenths off what of what we ran in practice, so I think something might have been off. I'm just happy we'll be all right and we'll get out there and go for it tomorrow."
What happened out there? "I came off turn four, and something just didn't feel right. I told the guys, 'Man this thing is really tight and I'm going to run another lap.' Then I got down in there and it started to pull right on me. I tried to gather it up and as soon as I turned back to the right the front tires hooked up and started rolling down from there. I didn't lose consciousness -- I felt every roll down the hill. For me to walk away from a wreck like that is unbelievable. I'm definitely going to count my blessings tonight. Thank God for this opportunity to walk away from that wreck."
-credit: toyota motorsports