Toyota Motorsports press release
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How was your qualifying lap today? "It was interesting. I had some speed down from about the middle of the backstretch down to turn three, but everywhere else I was going against the wind pretty good. It was still a pick up from yesterday so it's a good job by the guys tuning the thing up last night and getting the most we could out of our NAPA Toyota. A lot more competitive this weekend than we've been as far as qualifying goes and plate tracks. Real happy with the job they've done."
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
What have you seen in Michael Waltrip Racing's restrictor plate program? "They have made real noticeable gains from where they were with restrictor plate racing a year ago and I'm proud of them. This car is plenty fast enough if we put it in the right position -- we could win the (Daytona) 500 with it. I'm happy -- I'm happy for my guys. I'm happy for everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing)."
How will you approach the Duel qualifying races? "I'm going to try to figure it out and try to figure out how to use all the situations to our advantage -- what will work the best for us. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday will be all about trying to figure out for the (Daytona) 500. Thursday is just about practice -- just a warm up or a heat race for the 500."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How did the wind affect your qualifying lap? "It was a little gusty out there -- the car was moving around a lot. Pretty funny -- you come off of turn four and it's like you put the brakes on. It's like, 'Whoa.' There is a pretty strong head wind off the back. We will probably be about mid- pack so that's an improvement actually from our more recent superspeedway qualifying efforts. You have to look at the bright side of it. We never thought we had a shot at the pole. It's an improvement and we can learn from that and keep going. This thing -- if you're not on the pole or the front row it really doesn't matter. The Duels is what makes this exciting -- that will give us a good pit stall and everything we need for the (Daytona) 500."
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Inception Motorsports Toyota Camry, Inception Motorsports
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Brown Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was the car in qualifying? "It was windy out there. I barely held on -- unlike last night. I had full control then (laughing). Not quite what we wanted this week for qualifying, but it's all relative. We'll have a good race car when it gets down to the Duels and (Daytona) 500 time."
Do you try to conserve the car in the Duel qualifying races? "There's really no way that you can conserve the car. You have to go out there and do your best with what you can and if a wreck happens and you get involved in it then it's just a matter of what you've got. We hope that it's a little calmer for the Duels and that people do respect their equipment and that we can all go through with a safe Duel and concentrate on making sure that we can race the same car that we ran on rather than having to go to a backup."
How do you approach the Duel qualifying races on Thursday? "You want to be smart and somewhat conservative just because the fact that you have to work at conserving your car. You don't want to have to go to a backup car for the Daytona 500 -- that's not going to make it very fun for the guys at the shop or for anybody here working on these things. We'll try to see what we can get and hopefully we can stay out of trouble."
What did you think about the drafting pack last night? "It's interesting for sure considering sometimes we're three, four, five rows deep all pushing each other because we don't know what's going on in front of us so we're trying to make that lane go and it's not going anywhere already. Then guys get impatient and just run over somebody and can cause a wreck. It can be like an accordion affect and somebody spit out the middle -- all in all it's exciting for the fans."
KENNY WALLACE, No. 09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry, RAB Racing Qualified: 30th
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 40 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Hillman Racing
How was your car in qualifying? "We picked up from yesterday. We ran about three-tenths faster so our goal was to run something in the 46s and we ran a 47.0 so hopefully -- who knows. It's probably going to come down to Thursday, last lap. For some reason, things always seem to be a little dramatic here for me."
How will you approach the Duel qualifying races? "I was in the middle of it last night and thought, 'We have only run 10 laps so nobody is going to wreck each other.' They did. I guess you just have to sort of survive first. I think depending on what happens, maybe we won't be as eager to get in the middle of it all on Thursday and just ride for awhile. Just lay back like Tony (Stewart) did. He made it work out alright."
How do you deal with the emotions of trying to make the Daytona 500? "I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I've been able to accomplish it with some major, extreme circumstances -- '07 in a car that I had never practiced -- '10 when I had to sit there and hope that somebody got me in because I had a crash. Last year, finishing second or third up front. I've experienced every emotion except missing it and I don't want to experience that."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your car in qualifying? "Slow -- are bringing up the caboose. We just didn't have speed all weekend really in qualifying trim. We just get the most we can out of it and go racing on Thursday."
What do you need to work on for the Duel qualifying races? "There's some stuff that we have to work on, but really for us it's just about controlling temperature and stuff like that. I think we damaged the engine when we got in that first incident and so it's hard really to say exactly what we had last night."
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Kroger Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
How was your car in qualifying? "It was about like we thought it would be. In practice we weren't that fast at all so it's one of those things where you've got what you've got when you get here. We tried some things, but there's not enough time and you would almost have to go back to the shop and come up with a different plan to come back with. For us, really not having any race cars back a few months ago so it's actually a real achievement to just get here. At this point in time -- we saw last night in the Shootout and we'll see it probably Thursday as well -- I think there's a little bit of an equalizer when the race starts anyway. Being we have what we have -- there's not much we can do about it. Obviously, we had to just painfully get that over with today. The guys did a good job to get to this point, but when the race starts Thursday and Sunday -- it's an equalizer and we'll see what happens."
What are your thoughts about the racing in last night's Shootout? "It was really cool to watch and I think it had some good things to it as well. At the same time, I think it's going to be a deal where you're just really going to try to focus on saving your car. There were a lot of heat issues last night and obviously it will be a day race Sunday so it will be a lot warmer. Whether or not NASCAR makes any rule changes -- we don't know yet. If they do, they do and if they don't, they don't. We'll see what we've got."
BILL ELLIOTT, No. 97 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
ROBERT RICHARDSON JR., No. 23 North Texas Pipe Toyota Camry, R3 Motorsports
JJ YELEY, No. 49 America Israel Racing Toyota Camry, America Israel Racing
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How was your qualifying lap? "My lap was pretty uneventful. Just kind of a low key day for everybody. Looking forward to the Duels -- learned a lot last night. I think our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota is going to be just fine. We're looking forward to learning a little bit more, working with my spotter in the Duels and practice sessions. Then get ready to rock for the (Daytona) 500."
How conservative will you be with the car in the Duel qualifying races? "Obviously, this is the best car and that's why we brought it for the (Daytona) 500. I'm not going to put it in any danger myself. Getting out there under these conditions is pretty much putting it in danger. Just try to keep it clean, keep the fenders on it and you have to race. You owe it to your sponsors -- this is a big race for us and we need to get up there and be up front somewhere, but you don't want to tear it up either."