NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Qualifying Quotes - Saturday, July 28, 2012
TONY STEWART (No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet): “Terrible. I should've been on the gas on the exit and was trying to knock the fence down. So instead of being on the gas late-exit, I'm off the gas, and that doesn't work here.”
DAVID STREMME (No. 30 Inception Motorsports Toyota): “This is a surprise. We ended up getting better in Turns 1 and 2. We had really struggled there. It will be great for us to make it. We were strongest in 1 and 2, and we were loose in 3 and 4. It was typical Indianapolis, just your tires give way a little bit there (3 and 4). This is a big relief.”
DENNY HAMLIN (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota): “You’re going to fine-tune your Pocono setup for here this weekend. The setups are very similar. But, really, the corners are different. You have to work on every single one of them. Between here and Pocono, it is so weather-sensitive on how fast you go. We’ve seen it here in the past. How fast you go depends on how much cloud cover you get or the conditions. It’s something that you can’t control. All you can do as a driver is hit your marks and make sure you can get all you can out of your race car on that particular day.”
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet): "Not bad, top 10. I'm happy with that. I thought it was going to be better than that from the way we practiced. I thought we had more speed in, but you never know when this sun comes out and the track temp goes up. The car had good balance, just a little bit too free on exits in the corners. I just couldn't quite get the throttle down all the way as early as I wanted to. All in all, it was a pretty solid lap.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet): “Real tight car. Didn’t drive good. We didn’t have good qualifying balance in practice. We didn’t have it today in qualifying, either. Cars got good speed in race trim, which is fine, but not real comfortable in qualifying trim and not real fast. It’s been frustrating because we put a lot of effort into qualifying trim, but we’re just not where we need to be this weekend. Just a little frustrating.”
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge): "I was holding on quite a bit. The car's just been a little bit difficult. We can't quite get it to pick one direction to the corner. We're not loose or tight. We're loose, then tight, then loose again. We're just having a hard time finding some stability in the rear of the car at this point in time so that we can work on the front a little bit. It never gets to a point where it stays underneath me. All in all, we're going to have to be smart about the things we do and try to have a good run as best as we can tomorrow." (On the difficulty of how Turn 1 and Turn 3 handles in a stock car compared to driving an Indy car): "It just magnifies it. For as much as I always thought the corners were different, when you get to these cars that are heavier with less downforce and down slow down quite as well, they slide around a little bit more. So the appearances of the corners that are different from each other stick out a lot more."
KYLE BUSCH (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota): “Denny (Hamlin) laid down a heck of a lap. The M&M Camry has been good since we unloaded. We definitely have some speed, and the will likely be the best starting spot we've had here in some time. We'll take what we have now and just keep plugging.”
GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 3M Ford): “It was a pretty good run. I missed Turn 3 or Turn 4 a little bit there at the end. I’ve been good there all day long, and my car just didn’t get to the bottom, just killed me there. It was probably a couple of tenths. I don’t think I’d beat Denny but certainly would have been maybe second or third right now.”
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet): "We were 10th after first practice, so I was hoping we could shake it up a little bit better than that. It was a good effort for our Quicken Loans Chevrolets. This is a big weekend for us. From a points standpoint, very critical. We need to have a good finish. That's a good starting spot, and that usually gets you a good finishing spot."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet): "It was a really long day. Just haven’t had the speed and can't find a good balance on the car. Right at the end of happy hour, we got pretty good balance and not very good speed, and that's kind of where we are right now. So we will just have to wait and see. It will always come down to fuel mileage and track position, so we will do the best we can.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevrolet): "A solid run for run us. It was just a little too loose to challenge for the pole, but a great lap. And we've had a great day on track, period. I feel really, really good about my Kobalt Tools Chevy for the race tomorrow. I'd love to be a four-time winner, and that's the goal for tomorrow." (On the new Kroger Super Weekend format): "It's a win-win for everybody. I think it's great for the fans. Then you think of teams and drivers that now have a chance to compete here at this historic track: I think it's good for everybody. There will be some big feathers in caps after winning here for the GRAND-AM race, whoever wins today in the Nationwide race and then we know what tomorrow's about for the (Sprint) Cup guys."
CARL EDWARDS (No. 99 Fastenal Ford): “It was a good run. It's what we needed after what we've been through these last couple of weeks, to come together around our new crew chief, Chad Norris. To come out here and have a good solid run like that is great. I know (ailing crew chief) Bob Osborne is watching at home. It was a test for our whole team to change course and come in here and put us into what, I think, will be a top-five starting spot for us.”
MATT KENSETH (No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford): “I hit the wall the first lap getting into (Turn) 1 a little bit and then hit it again getting into (Turn) 3, so I didn’t get through there great. I’d been struggling quite a bit today. I thought (Turns) 1 and 2 was OK, and I was looking at my entrance to Turn 3 and making sure I got a wide enough arc to just scrape the wall a little bit. We were already getting tight anyway, and that just killed that end of the drive.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Target Chevrolet): “We kept getting better. This is one of our better cars. The car is still tight.”