Toyota Motorsports Charlotte All-Star qualifying report

Toyota Motorsports

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 1st How was your qualifying lap? "It was just a whole team effort -- that's what it boils down to. The guys unloaded with a really good M&M's Camry today and we just kept playing with some things on what we wanted to do for the race stuff and then what we wanted to do for qualifying stuff. We knew we'd be pretty quick here -- we felt like we had a good shot for the pole. Going out last -- that always helps. I think we have a little bit of a system going on here for this place -- that's two in a row for us. Just proud of everybody -- Dave Rogers (crew chief), Wes (Sherrill, car chief) and everyone on this team for getting it to be a really fast race car to sit on this pole for the All-Star race tomorrow night."

What is your strategy for the segments? "Being able to start first obviously gives you a better shot at leading some laps here off the beginning and trying to win that first segment. That would be really good for us. You do that and then it sets your pace for essentially the whole night. From there on out all you have to do -- not all you have to do, but you have to stay out of trouble and then make it to that final segment and take the realign in segment four before you come down pit road for your final pit stop. Then trying to come off pit road still in the top-four or five spots to have a shot for the win. I feel like that's what it's going to boil down to is being within position there for the restart of the final 10-lap segment -- being in the first four at least."

What makes you so good at restarts? "There's a lot of different things, but asking a simple question like that, I'm not going to tell you. I could make it a very complex answer. You've got to know what's going on around you -- know your surroundings, who you're restarting with, where you're restarting, whether you're the leader or second, whether you're inside or outside. It's just all about situations and trying to figure out how to maximize your opportunity in the situation you're in."

How much better was the race track for your qualifying lap? "I don't know that it was a whole lot better -- maybe a tad because we saw in open qualifying that AJ Allmendinger ran a heck of a lap. He ran a really fast lap time. That was right there with the best of them. We feel like that was probably going to be somewhere -- might be somewhere around what the pole time might be next week for the 600. Basing off of that and what we ran, I don't think lap time was much different."

How much do you want to win a Cup race at Charlotte? "This track I don't have a win at in a Cup car -- we're definitely trying to break through that threshold and this is my favorite race track. We definitely want to win. To do that you just have to put a whole night together and I haven't been able to do that here in the past. Last year we ran a really smart race and a good race and we come up just a little bit short. Hoping that the lessons that we learned from there can be a little bit different this time and help us out to try to come home with a win."

DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What does this event mean to the race team? "This event is so exciting for all of us because every week the entire team is involved, but this week it just puts emphasis on that team effort. Like Kyle (Busch) said, hats off to our engineering group for their work during the week preparing for this event -- our team and preparing the race car and Kyle for a phenomenal lap. Pretty sure we got the fastest lap on the race track. Then our pit crew got it done. It puts us on the front row to start the race. Winning a segment is a big benefit - - the way the format is so hopefully this gives us a chance to get that done early. Then we have some options at the end of the race to use that strategy."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd How was your qualifying run? "Well, it was a struggling day for us, as you know if you were around me earlier -- you reaped the wrath of it. We're going to start better than we ever have for this race. We usually race pretty well. So, excited about our day and how it turned out. It didn't always start that great. Still. I feel like I gave up a little bit here and there, but overall decent and solid lap for us."

Did you leave a little out on the track? "We had to wholesale our car with our setup. I was very apprehensive of running it in the corner at 205 (mph) -- not knowing what I had. I did my best to try to give it all it had, but the pit crew definitely held us up on this one."

What will you do for a million dollars to win a race? "I'll do everything I can -- that's for sure. This race is always so much fun to participate in because there's really no down side from a driver's standpoint."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 12th

MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 16th How was your qualifying run? "We got a penalty. It was a good run for us. A good stop. Just oddball qualifying."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Tags busch, hamlin, martin, rogers, toyota