Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya Qualify Second and Third at The Glen Watkins Glen, NY & ...
Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya Qualify Second and Third at The Glen
Watkins Glen, NY – Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, and Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet, will start second and third respectively tomorrow in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Five-time Watkins Glen International race winner Tony Stewart, No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, will start sixth and Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, will roll off ninth to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 starters.
Carl Edwards (Ford) won the pole. A.J. Allmendinger (Ford) and Kurt Busch (Dodge) complete the top-five qualifiers.
A total of 15 Chevrolet drivers will take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND:
ON THE QUALIFYING LAP: "I really felt like I got through turn one and the esses really good and I thought I got through the bus stop good, it just didn't feel good through the carousel and then the brakes faded just a little bit coming back towards the pits here and I think they call it six and seven. Good run for our McDonalds's Chevrolet. It's been a great year and it's so much fun when things go well and we were eighth in practice. I think that will be a top-five today. Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) and all the guys did a really good job and I really love road racing. I feel like there's a lot of pressure on me when I come here because I always talk about going go-karting and most of the karters give me a hard time if I don't do well. It makes me feel good for the go-karters in America and I qualified well."
HOW MUCH EFFORT DID YOU PUT INTO QUALIFYING YESTERDAY VERSUS RACE SETUP?: "We did all race stuff in the first practice and a little bit of race in the second -- thought we were pretty good. Then we just switched straight to qualifying trim. I picked up a second just from my first to my second run and we didn't change anything on the car. You have to try to be aggressive and not try to push it over the line. The lap that Carl (Edwards) ran is really, really impressive because my car, I felt like that was a pole-setting lap. I ran my lap and I'm like, 'I just don't know that it can feel much better than that.' That says a lot about how good that 99 (Carl Edwards) car is this weekend."
HOW ARE THE MIDWEST OVAL AND DIRT RACERS BECOMING ROAD RACERS?: "We all think we're road racing aces until Marcos (Ambrose) comes out and runs with us. It's amazing the talent that he has every weekend, but on the road courses he really is above the rest of us by a fair amount."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD:
ON THE QUALIFYING LAP: "It was a good lap. I didn't make any mistakes, but at the same time it's hard to try to get a hold of it. If you make one mistake here, you go from maybe running a 30 to running an 80. It was a good lap. So far we are good and we are pretty much where we ran yesterday. The track is supposed to be a little bit faster. We ran about the same time and I think it was a pretty decent lap. It has tons of speed and it's nice to come here to the Glen and be competitive. It has a lot of history, this race track, Formula 1 came here years ago and stuff so it's pretty cool."
WHY DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR SEAT?: "I always get a little bit of bruising on my left shoulder so I am going to change the seat a little to see if it gets better. It's not a big deal, it just bothers me."
HOW WAS THE RACE CAR IN QUALIFYING?: "This Target Chevrolet was really good. It is a very good car and it has a lot of speed in it. It's nice. It's good to come to a road course and be competitive."
DID YOU SPEND MORE TIME ON QUALIFYING OR RACE SETUP YESTERDAY?: "We did the whole first practice race setup and we thought we were really comfortable where we were on the car and then we went to qualifying setup. I think track position is good and getting a good pick for pits is pretty big."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE DIRT TRACK LAST NIGHT?: "It was cool. The little mini sprints I thought were really cool. The big ones, I have seen them before and they're real impressive, but the little ones were pretty cool."
DO YOU THINK THE CHANGES TO THE TURNS WILL LEAD TO MORE AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?: "I think it's good in a way that you are probably going to get less cautions and more racing so that is going to be pretty cool."
IS THIS A TRACK THAT OWES YOU SOMETHING?: "I don't feel like that. I just think everywhere I go, we do the best we can and try to win and see what happens."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OLD SPICE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH:
ON THE QUALIFYING LAP: "I think not being in a rhythm from yesterday still and just having a lot of time to sit and wait. It's still going to be a much better starting spot then where we were last year. Pretty happy with that and that will get us a starting spot that we need."
ON SHARING INFORMATION ON SETUP WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: "I was happy with mine at the end of practice yesterday. That's the great thing about the relationship that we have with Hendrick Motorsports is that we share the information back and forth and we feel like it makes all six of our cars better. It's nice to have a day where we're contributing like that and there's going to be a day down the road and there's been days in the past where we've had to rely on those guys too. That's what the teamwork is all about."
ON THE CAR DURING QUALIFYING AND THE LAP: "It was solid. I think I left a little bit out there, but the car itself was really good so I am really proud of Darian Grubb (crew chief) and all the guys on this Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet. They've done a great job and really worked hard yesterday. I wasn't very happy with it at the end of the first session, but Darian made some really good changes during the break that we had and it really worked out good for us. I am really happy with the car that I have for tomorrow."
WHAT DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY?: "We just struggled with grip, overall grip. We seem to find a way to get both ends of the car some grip in the race track, which is hard to do so I was shocked the second session how good it really was."
ON THE DIRT CELEBRITY RACE: "We're good. It cost us a race car last night, but I think the guy that broke the steering or made the left turn in front of us feels worse than anybody about it. It's fun. I love running my Sprint car and real appreciative to Jimmy Carr (team manager, sprint car program) and the guys that come and travel across the country following or chasing me around and let me run that thing. Had a lot of fun and had Gene Haas there last night and Bobby Hutchens and a bunch of the guys from the 14 car were there. Just sorry I didn't get a chance to run the main for them."
DO YOU HURT FROM THE DIRT RACE LAST NIGHT?: "No, just my pride. We had so many of the team guys there that you never want to go out there -- we made five laps total so didn't get a chance to really show them what we could do in one of those things. Had a lot of fun last night, it was pretty cool."
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?: "They talked to the guy that had the problem and he said the steering broke. When we went down the front straightaway you could see him actually going off the race track in turn one and then by the time we get to turn one and came blasting around there, he's coming down across the track and we had nowhere to go. I think he feels worse than anybody about it. It's part of racing and it happens. That's why I like having Jimmy Carr as a crew chief. He really makes me focus on the safety side of it and making sure I have good, proper seat in the car with good headrests. I came out here today and feel just fine."
WILL THIS BE A TAMER RACE THAN SONOMA?: "You don't get in (to the Chase) by just going out there and wrecking your car. You have to remember, this sport has been going for 60 years and guys didn't get into winning championships by going out and wrecking every week and wrecking into people every week. That's not how these guys are going to get into the Chase. The stuff at Sonoma is a situation where you've got pretty good speed straightaways and then you've got very tight corners that are very low speed. It gives guys an opportunity to kind of lose their minds and put themselves in positions that put other guys in a bad spot and that's how they get wrecked or they wreck somebody else. Here at Watkins Glen we're running faster and we get strung out a little more and there really aren't any of those opportunities. You make a commitment to passing somebody, you're not going to see three-wide going into a braking zone. We were seeing four-side at Sonoma. This will be a little more what we're used to."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH:
HOW HAS YOUR CAR PROGRESSED THROUGH PRACTICE AND INTO QUALIFYING?: "We're going in the right direction. We kind of found a road to go down at the end of practice yesterday and we stuck with that today. I think we need to make some small changes for our race stuff. Yesterday I was 13th on the board and knew that I could find three or four tenths by some things on my side. Then today went well. I still feel like I could have done a couple things a little bit better, but all in all a lot of progress and to show up as far off as we did. With the tire test that Jeff (Gordon) was a part of, it's just kind of mind-boggling that we could have been that far off, but we were and we kept out heads down and worked very hard on our race cars. Making up ground, I hope we can make up enough tonight before the race starts tomorrow with some ideas and thoughts that we can be where we need to tomorrow."
IS IT CHALLENGING TO ONLY HAVE THE PRACTICE FROM YESTERDAY TO WORK FROM FOR THE RACE?: "In all fairness, we had a lot of practice yesterday and thankfully we did and worked through a lot of changes. It may have worked in our favor if we had a night to think on it and come back with more race practice today. Kind of like our normal schedule, but outside of that, we had a lot of laps yesterday and we used a lot of those minutes and all that time on the track to make our car better. Fortunately, I spun out early and the little bit of damage it cost us some time, but I'm really proud of the effort we put in yesterday to get this Lowe's Impala back in competitive form. Hopefully, we're better tomorrow."
ON THE QUALIFYING LAP: "So far, so good. We were pretty far off when we unloaded and we made a lot of good changes and have closed the gap some. Need to go a little more, but much better than yesterday."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 16TH:
ON THE RACE CAR DURING QUALIFYING: "I felt some real positive things in the car for sure. The car turned a little bit better to the left that I was expecting. We gave up a little on the lefts, but I saw some things that have some real potential and very happy about that. Thank Steve Letarte (crew chief) and this entire DuPont Chevrolet team for working so hard. While that is going to be about a second off the pace, it's certainly a big gain from yesterday. Have to thank Tony Stewart and all the guys at Stewart-Haas for helping us out. I think we found some things that are going to be a big gain for the race tomorrow and something to work on in the future so I'm excited about that."
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?: "I'm happy compared to yesterday. Yesterday we really struggled and that's the best lap we've done since we've been here. I know what it's going to take to qualify up front and it's going to take a lot more than that. We just have to wait and see what some of the other guys run. We were working through a lot of issues yesterday and I think we found some things that were definitely a positive."
IS THERE A SPECIFIC RANGE YOU NEED TO QUALIFY HERE TO DO WELL IN THE RACE?: "I like to think that top-six or eight. This is one of those tracks where track position is real important, but it also depends on how the cautions fall. This is one of those tracks and road courses in general are real strategy-based. If the caution falls at the right time for you then you can catch a lucky break and not have to start up front and still make some pretty amazing things happen. We don't ever give up on it until that checkered flag waves."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 20th:
"The car drove better in the esses, I just messed up in turn one and hurt my lap. I hate it for our guys, because we deserve a better starting spot than that. We will race hard tomorrow, we have a really good car."
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 24TH:
ON THE QUALIFYING LAP: "That was a good lap for us. I feel like I got 100 percent of the car. Unfortunately, I didn't bring anything special to the table and I'm a little disappointed in that. The car has been a little bit off this weekend and we battled to get it where we are and we're pretty proud of the gains we've made. We know we have some more to go. I could have messed that lap up, I didn't. I wish I would have brought three-tenths to the table, which I would expect to be able to do. I expect that of myself and I don't feel like I did that. A little disappointed in that. All in all, we're fighting hard for it."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 41st:
HOW WAS THE LAP? "It's not good. We're not good this weekend. This is the worse car I've ever had here by far, a couple of seconds off. Normally, we're mid-pack at worse here and we're just not good. The other guys (Hendrick Motorsports teams) have gained a little bit over the past 24 hours. We all showed up pretty bad. I guess we're putting the same stuff in that they are, but it's not working."
-source: gm racing