DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 2nd
How was your race car in practice and qualifying? "It's been a good day. Focusing on qualifying and things like that, I've really never worked so hard to work on just one lap before as much as I have this week. I'm trying to get better. Last week we had issues at Bristol and that was because we qualified bad. We can't put ourselves in the middle of the pack every weekend. We're trying to slowly work to get better at qualifying and I felt like I'm taking steps to do that."
Was your setup similar to your teammate Joey Logano? "We weren't. I looked just a minute ago and we were really on two different spectrums. It's tough to say why that is. Usually we're a little bit different from those guys but we've been kind of on our own agenda all day and trying to figure it out. We've been the better car in practice, usually but when it comes to qualifying, we're usually the worse of the Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars. We just kind of stay to our own plan today."
How much do you think luck plays a role in how some drivers have started this season? "I think the luck plays a factor on the guys that have had a bad start of the season because of wrecks and blown engines. I don't think it's luck for the guys who have started off good. You started off good because you've ran good these first four races. You've been solid, you finished in the top-10 and those are the guys that are in the top-10 in points. That's not luck, them finishing there. What is bad luck is the guys that have had blown motors and tires and things like that. Is it bad luck because the car wasn't setup right or what have you. The driver couldn't control that. Luck plays a factor but it's different for everyone."
Did having a shorter practice play into where you're starting Sunday's race? "It's probably good for me as bad as I am in qualifying. The least amount of practice everyone else had is better in my favor. We had 45 minutes of practice basically, but most 45 minutes are in race trim of the first practice anyway, so you had about the same amount of time in qualifying trim as you would on a regular day, it's just people had to cut out their race trim to start the day."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd
How was your qualifying run? "It was more surprising than anything else. I didn't think it was that great of a lap. I had a terrible time getting up to speed coming to the green. Thought that kind of set me up for a bad lap. I had a better (turns) one and two than I had in practice -- so I'm excited about that. It was good. I'm excited about it. I'm a little surprised about it. We have to figure out why we ran so much faster. I'm a little bit confused, but I'll take it."
How important is having a good qualifying run here? "It's huge. Obviously, being down towards the front part of pit road helps a lot. Here maybe not as much as last week at Bristol, but either way you want to qualify up front. This place is hard to qualify -- you overdrive it a little bit into (turn) one and it can really change your whole lap probably within a half-a-second -- missing a little bit. I guess I got it all out of the way in practice because I couldn't hit my line to save my life in practice. I got it right this time when it counted."
How was your short practice and qualifying? "It was pretty tough for us to see what we had for speed. The first run, everyone went out there and the track was at its best. On the second run, it was so much slower. It was hard to see on the speed charts how good we were or not. The balance changed after the first run, I felt like we weren't very good. I was very nervous before qualifying, I didn't think we were going to be top three, I thought we were going to be 20th or so. The guys did a really good job with the Home Depot Toyota and getting it faster to get me some grip off the corners. I was still loose, but it was a lot better than what I ended practice with. It was a good qualifying effort."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 8th
How would you describe your day? "I have no idea. I just can't say enough about these guys on this Interstate Batteries Camry this weekend so far. Just today, I mean we waited it out. We had the car all ready to go and all of the sudden the first lap out I decided the guys didn't have enough work today. So, we had to come in and get the backup out and we went through everything trying to make sure we had a good enough car just to get a lap on it at least in practice. Guys did a great job there and hustled along pretty well. Made some changes there for qualifying and got it pretty close to where we needed it. That's good enough. That's solid enough that we'll take that and wherever it winds up and we can race them from there on Sunday."
How comfortable are you in the backup car? "The car felt really good. They did a really good job getting it close. Laid down a decent lap. We knew we weren't going to go set a pole run. We'll take that and we can see the front from there and we'll be able to race."
Is there more pressure being in the backup car? "It's no different than where we would be with the primary. It's just we don't have a backup to go to now if we have something happen tomorrow. Worst case scenario we got two great teammates here that they still have backup cars. So, we're not worried about that essentially. It's about going out there, getting a good feel and putting everything together for the race on Sunday. We don't want to think about where we are going to get a third car from, we just want to worry about how we are going to get this thing dialed in so it can win on Sunday."
Can you explain where you might have hit water during practice? "It was more towards the center of the corner. I don't know if everybody else was, but my first lap on the race track I felt like I hydroplaned through it. I lost the front and then I lost the rear and I tried to gather it up. By the time I wrecked, it look like I just wrecked off the corner, but it was way back in the center -- it just took me that long to figure out where I was going to land."
Are the track conditions better now than during practice? "No. I can still feel a little bit down in (turns) one and two and stuff. It's a shame because it's like the seams are playing havoc with us more than it is. It's not the surface. The surface right here is fine there's no water that's going to seep here. It's through the cracks in the surface that the water seems to come through. I don't have a fix. I don't know what to do to fix it."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 14th
How was your qualifying run? "It was really loose. We couldn't get what we needed to out of it. It's disappointing to be that good early on and just not be able to even be remotely close to back it up. It's disappointing. It just didn't work out."
How was your qualifying run? "I can't really tell anything. Some of the guys talked about it after practice. I never really saw it. You're going pretty fast out there. Can't tell you that there was not any, but I don't think our problems stemmed from that."
CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 25th
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Starting Position: 26th
How was your qualifying run? "Definitely not what we were looking for. It wasn't very good. We struggled a little bit off the truck with our qualifying stuff, and then we made a run late at the end of practice and felt pretty good about it. Just went out there and just drug the ground way to hard to go fast. So, just hit the splitter too much."
What will you work on tomorrow during practice? "Race trim here is a big deal. Long runs the tires fall off -- it gets really slow. We'll just have to work on getting the car to driving good. We should be fine. These guys do a good job. We'll have a good car for here I think. We had a really good car in the fall. So, expect we'll have a good day."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Starting Position: 33rd
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 34th
How did your car handle during qualifying? "It's not handling great. We missed a lot of the first practice -- we had something wrong with the ignition or something like that. So, we missed a little bit of practice on that. We made two runs later in the practice. Then, qualifying here I didn't find the right line into (turn) one, it kind of bounced around a little bit, got a little free and tight. I got loose coming to the green. So, I ran two laps."
Did the weather set you back at all? "If we had had more practice maybe we could have fixed a couple things. With the limited practice -- I think it was a few minutes short. When you have a problem you can't recover as quickly. For whatever reason, the first two runs we made we never made a lap because it was on seven cylinders. So, we found an electrical problem. Thought we fixed it, then we found another electrical problem. That set us back. We used up a set of tires there. We didn't get to run. And when we finally made a run we just didn't go fast enough."
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 40th
TODD BODINE, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 41st
-source: toyota motorsports