NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER:
YOU RACED YOUR WAY INTO THE CHASE LAST YEAR WITH THAT LAP ARE YOU ON THE WAY TO DOING IT AGAIN?
“Well this is only part of it, but that’s certainly a great run and we’ve had a really good AARP Drive To End Hunger, Hunger Action Month take action and we just did. I’m excited about the day that we’ve had. Our car has been good in race trim and certainly been good in qualifying trim. When those guys start laying down laps like they were laying you just don’t know what it’s going to take how much further you can push the car and weather it sticks. It did the things that I wanted it to do. The first lap was sort of a feel out lap and the second lap was going for it. It stuck good, turned good, and got off the corners good. I felt like it was capable of it and then they came over and said it was. The sun is going down and clouds are out anything can happen with these cars that are coming up, but all in all really nice day. It was a great moment for us to get this weekend started right.”
CAN YOU COMPARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW TO HOW YOU FELT HERE LAST YEAR?
“Well we had a good qualifying run last year I believe. We actually had a good start to the race. Then it all went downhill from there. We really had some revelations when we were here testing a few weeks ago of some things that we had to work on. I’m so glad we did that test because we have made some huge strides and not only from last year some of the issues that we had, but earlier this year when we didn’t run very well here at all and I think they kind of came to the front of what was kind of maybe hiding underneath and we solved some issues and I think we made our car a lot better. It’s been reacting really well so far this week. We still have a little more work to do.”
FIRST POLE OF 2013 IS SIGNIFICANT FOR THE RECORD BOOKS HE NOW MOVES AHEAD OF DAVID PEARSON WITH 21 YEARS IN A ROW THAT HE HAS HAD AT LEAST ONE POLE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
“That is amazing. I didn’t think it was going to come this year I’ll be honest. Qualifying has not been very good for me and for our team this year. Very proud of this one, boy, it comes at a great time. We know how important making this Chase is. We know how important that number one pit stall is and starting up front. ‘Whoo’ I can breathe now. Don’t forget it is hunger action month so take action go to drivetoendhunger.org to help out this great cause. I’m so proud of this race team. That was huge. To have to go out there and beat the No. 78 you know what I mean there are just so many story lines you don’t know where to begin. So many things that are going to happen in this race this is just step one. Very proud and happy that this moment came and that we are stepping it up when we need to.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND:
HOW BIG DO YOU THINK THAT CLOUD COVER WAS HELPING YOU?
“We will take the cloud cover and we will take those adjustments we made. That lap came out of nowhere. Awesome lap. I don’t know where it will end up, but that is big time team stuff when you are off in practice and you have to throw quite a few changes at it and it makes a good reaction to the changes. The car handled really well there for qualifying. I don’t know where that will stack up, but that was nice for us to have to come from behind in qualifying practice.
“I think we are okay for the race, so real excited about that lap. These Furniture Row guys and this Chevy we will keep plugging along here we are in good position.”
HOW FAR BEHIND WERE YOU IN PRACTICE? HOW MUCH ADJUSTING DID THEY HAVE TO DO?
“Well we were 19th overall. We might of got blocked on one of our qualifying laps. So it might of hurt us by a tenth or so. So that was 15th, 15th is the right end of where we have to draw the line. We have to stay ahead of (Martin) Truex and all those guys. 15th is the worst we want to be.”
IT WILL BE THE EIGHTH TIME THIS SEASON YOU HAVE STARTED ON THE FRONT ROW. THAT IS A CAREER BEST. YOU WERE 19TH IN QUALIFYING TRIM IN THAT FINAL PRACTICE HOW DID YOU PULL IT OUT THERE WITH A SECOND FASTEST QUALIFYING TIME?
“We just threw a couple of things at it and it stuck. There are days when you make changes and it doesn’t necessarily translate into speed. Just got to thank these guys, these Furniture Row guys keep working, we keep finding things and qualifying has been strong for us this year. I’m glad that we could lean back on some of the knowledge we had from earlier this year. I didn’t think we would get the outside pole, but man that is what eight outside poles, it’s crazy. It’s just cool to be in position. Now at the start of the race we are right there with (Jeff) Gordon and we will settle in and race our 400 laps.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU STARTING ON THE FRONT ROW TOMORROW NIGHT?
“Well since (Jeff) Gordon is on pole he will lead probably the first lap. If we were on pole we would have lead the first lap and that is a two point swing. So we will see how that shakes out. We want to make sure we pace ourselves, do the right thing. We will have a good pit selection that will help our guys. From there we just have to go back over the notes on today’s practice runs and then look at what we did here in qualifying to pick up that speed and see if we can use any of that to add to tomorrow night. We are feeling good about this. I love these challenges and right now (Jeff) Gordon and I are one-two.”
ON HOW IMPRESSIVE SS HAS BEEN THIS SEASON:
“It’s fast. The way they allow us to take all the fuel out of it; the center of gravity is so low that when you are at a smooth track like Richmond, you can really gain from that center of gravity difference. I’m just impressed by the changes we’ve made; and to have a shot of being in the top-10 in qualifying. In practice, we were just off when we switched over to Q trim. A bit surprised, but to be able to make changes like that, and get a good reaction out of the car, that is big time team stuff.”
REGAN SMITH, INTERIM DRIVER FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 10TH:
WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND AND WHAT DOES JIMMIE (JOHNSON) HAVE TO WORK WITH TOMORROW NIGHT?
“Well, it’s been a great experience for me. Number one the seat time has been awesome and numbers two getting to hop in a car after Jimmie does in a test session and then feel what he looks for out of his race car. He’s got a great car tomorrow night. I know they were real happy in the test, we were happy at points this afternoon.
“Qualifying trim I was like a fish out of water for a little while there. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) did an awesome job with the Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevy before I hopped back in it. It was good. I didn’t quite get all of it, but proud of these guys for working with me all day and all weekend.
“They will have the regular guy back tomorrow. Hopefully they are doing good with the baby back home. Hopefully things are going well there and look forward to watching it.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 7TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “It wasn’t a bad lap. We’ve struggled being fast on our second lap, and it seems like most guys can go quicker on their second lap. We seem to always have the fastest first lap, but just can’t get the speed out of the car on
the second lap. It wasn’t a bad lap I don’t think. It was better than I expected.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 12TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “It was okay. We haven’t been that good this week to be honest with you. We really struggled in practice. It’s okay. It didn’t drive as good as I wanted it too, but it’s not bad.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS, QUALIFIED 24TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “We have just been struggling on short-run speed. That kind of goes along with all year with a couple of exceptions. We’ll see how we shake out. It’s not where we want to be. But I feel confident that we have a good long-run Quicken Loans Chevrolet.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 16TH:
“I got loose there on the first lap getting off of (turn) two and that kind of put a little damper on our second lap. I thought we were pretty close in terms of setup, but as it turns out, we could’ve used another adjustment and tightened the car up.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 36TH:
“The rear of the car was a little jumpy. We picked up from practice, but were hoping for a better lap with the GoDaddy Chevy. Well be ready for tomorrow. I appreciate the hard work of the GoDaddy guys today. They put a lot of effort in.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES