Gainesville: Johnson qualifying interview

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 3rd: (HOW WAS YOUR LAP?) "When I started I was a little concerned, but once I made the turn I realized nothing bad was going to happen, I pushed a little harder...the next corner,...

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 3rd:

(HOW WAS YOUR LAP?)

"When I started I was a little concerned, but once I made the turn I realized nothing bad was going to happen, I pushed a little harder...the next corner, the next corner. If I could do it all over again, I think I could run a much faster lap. If it wasn't dragging that bad, I was really worried it was going to turn me around and crashing maybe like Kyle Busch did.

"So, I'm very proud of this Lowe's team and what they've been able to do here tonite. And I think this impounding procedure will probably help this #48 team get poles. We're not really that focused on qualifying. The fact that we've got to qualify our race setup, I think will help us out. Maybe we'll get a few red hats."

(HOW DIFFICULT HAS IT BEEN TO PREPARE FOR THIS WEEK GIVEN ALL THE PENALTIES?)

"Monday and Tuesday were a little tough. We pled our case and we told everyone what happened. We hoped NASCAR understood what happened and we were shocked on Tuesday when everything came down. That's how it is, they've got a job to do. We had a jack pulled out the back of the car-it's just something we've got to live with. The thing I'm most proud of is that we've got Chad with a group of guys who know how to do this. We know and I know how to carry the team as well. We'll be in good shape. We should be very competitive; we don't want to lose him, but if we have to, we'll be all right."

(DID YOU THINK YOU HAD ANYTHING FOR THE POLE?)

"It was really amazing how much grip the track had. The temperatures were up some and the track really didn't pick up too much as the night went on. So I didn't really know what to expect when qualifying started until I saw what Ryan Newman ran. So we went out and had a very good lap. I was dragging the track really bad. I know everybody is working on their race trim stuff so we're all in the same boat. But the car was dragging the track from the time I went through Turns 3 and 4 the first time. Each corner I made, the car would drag but it stayed securely under me. It kept pushing a little bit. I think I left a little bit on the table. To do it over again, maybe we'd have a little more for Ryan. It was a great qualifying for the Lowe's team. I'm really proud of my guys for the week that we've had to step up and put a car up there in the top three in qualifying and be one of the top cars in both practice sessions makes me really proud of my guys."

(IS THERE ANY CONCERN ABOUT THE TIRES?)

"No, Goodyear has taken some steps to make sure they've brought the right tire. They had the No. 9 car and myself here earlier this year. They ran through a lot of combinations of tires. We were here for two days of work to try to find the right tire combination. We haven't had any be tire trouble to date, fortunately, and hopefully we won't have any soon."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ryan Newman , Kyle Busch