JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
ON HIS LAP:
“I was really expecting to run in the 20’s to be honest with you. I ran in the 40’s in practice in the heat. It just bottomed out and with the cooler conditions the track grip bottomed out and I had to get out of the gas in (turns) one and two. It’s okay. I mean I can’t complain I’m third. That is probably a top five start.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED FIFTH
ON HIS LAP AND TRACK CONDITIONS:
“I’m a little bit concerned that the conditions are going to improve here and that we may have just been right there on the edge of when the track is going to get better. The car has been really good all day. Gosh, I’ve been so happy. That backs it up because it wasn’t a perfect lap, but still decent lap. I got through (turns) one and two I thought really good and (turns) three and four just a little bit too tight. I’ve been so thrilled with the car all day.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/RACE2ACHIEVE.ORG CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED EIGHTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
“I think we finished eighth. That was a real good car. The car had a lot more speed than that in it. There was such a huge difference between the track I think in practice and qualifying that I really underestimated what kind of race car we had. Got to give Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and my engineer Kevin (Meendering) a lot of credit because they had the car ready. The car was really good real fast.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 10TH
HOW CHALLENGING WAS IT TO FIND THAT FAST LINE HERE AS THE SUN BEGINS TO SET?
“There’s nothing like taking the line in qualifying you didn’t run in practice. That was interesting. And the first time through, that seemed to work pretty good. So, it’s so hard to tell. I think the track is going to pick up some more speed. If we can stay in the Top 10, that will be good. The lap felt nice. I just don’t know how it’s going to stack up. I’m encouraged because we’re right there with Kyle (Busch), but the temp just seems like it’s dropping. I don’t know if it was because it was in a hot car and got out and now it feels cooler, or what; but it does feel like the temps are coming down a little bit.”
CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON BABY WATCH?
“It is getting close. And I’m really just going off my wife’s pulse on it all and she’s pretty calm and relaxed about it. We’ve had weekly doctor checkups and everything is going great and it looks like we don’t have anything to worry about right away, although I’d love for something to happen this weekend or next weekend and but everything is great. Mom is healthy and baby is healthy and we’re just kind of waiting for when No. 2 decides to come out.”
WHEN IS THE DUE DATE?
“Chicago weekend. “Richmond and here is real easy. It’s easy for me to mess with the situation being locked-in. Chicago, it gets kind of tricky there and there is no one more focused and committed on the No. 48 winning a championship than Chani, and she is like you need to be in that race car and do your job. So, that’s letting me sleep well. And I clearly want to be there for the birth of our second daughter.”
IS REGAN SMITH THE BACK-UP FOR THIS RACE?
“Yeah, it must be. Yeah it is kind of convoluted with Regan and James and how things bounce around; so yeah, I’d think it would be Regan.”
WHAT IS YOUR CHASE OUTLOOK AT THIS POINT?
“The tracks in the Chase are really good for us. The last three, four or five weeks, we’ve had a lot of different things go on. We have very fast race cars; the majority of them. I’ve blown tires and blown an engine, two different things there that have kept us from scoring points and then potential wins. But, I feel like we’ve got great race cars and great tracks in the Chase. It would be nice to have a little momentum leaving here and going into Richmond, although this race track and Richmond, we don’t have a track like either one of those in the Chase. Although momentum is key and important, if we don’t have the best Atlanta or Richmond races, we know that those 10 tracks in the Chase and really good for us and that’s where we’re really focused.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 E-Z-GO CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 15TH
ON HIS LAP:
“It looked a little worse than what it really was. You somewhat know what you have in the middle of the corner. I was just trying to keep the wheel as straight as I could and trying to leave skid marks off the corner. I didn’t feel like it was that good of a lap. I think it’s going to turn out okay and there’s been some good cars go. But it was pretty interesting. It’s such a fun race track.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 17TH
DID THIS DRAW HELP YOU?
“I don’t know if the draw helped us, but it was a definite improvement over practice. I think we’ve beat as many guys now with 30 cars left, as we did in practice. So it was a definite improvement for our Aspen Dental Chevrolet. Not the lap that we wanted, but a huge improvement, which is what we needed.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 27TH
YOU WENT OUT EARLY. DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT BE A DISADVANTAGE?
“Yeah, well, it’s not going to help any. The guys did a good job on the car. It felt good. I don’t feel like it was a spectacular lap, but it was a decent lap, respectable for what the car could do. It was definitely early. And it’s going to get real fast as we go on. So, we’ve got a good race car. We’re all comfortable working together now. We’re starting to get kind of in a groove. Last week was really tough and no time; and we’ve had some testing time now and a good day today. The wonderful thing is we get this evening to think about it and tomorrow to get a little bit more dialed in. So, I’m enjoying working with these guys. They’re a good bunch of guys and they’ve made me feel real comfortable.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 32ND
ON HIS LAP:
“We ended up on the tight side and we’ll end up 30th.”