NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
5-HOUR ENERGY 400
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
MAY 9, 2014
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
ON WINNING THE POLE:
“Just have to thank everybody on my Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for all that they do. It was ‘Freaky Fast’ today so just have to put it all together tomorrow night when it counts. The pole is great, these guys have done a great job for qualifying. It makes life a lot easier when you can have pit stall one. Hopefully we can have a good night tomorrow night, but the weekend has gone good we had a great test here a few weeks ago and everything has carried right over.”
CAN YOU SENSE THE SPEED THAT YOU GUYS ARE GOING FASTER THAN YOU GUYS HAVE EVER GONE HERE AT KANSAS?
“It feels like you go faster through the corner than it does down the straightaway just because of that sensation of speed. As soon as you hit the banking it feels like the car accelerates. You can definitely feel the speed, but that has kind of been the way that these Gen-6 cars have been since we have had them on the race track this year. It’s been fun.”
THAT CAR LOOKS FAST, NO OTHER WORD FOR IT.
“Yeah ‘Freaky Fast’. I just have to thank everybody on my Stewart-Haas race team and everybody from Jimmy John’s, Budweiser and Outback for all the effort that they put into this car. My qualifying record hasn’t been great, but they have really done a good job at getting our qualifying stuff situated after the first four or five weeks to the season to come here and sit on the pole. I thought I had screwed it up. I never got through (Turns) three and four like (Turns) one and two. I felt like I got through (Turns) one and two all three laps pretty good, but three and four was a little bit too tight. I got a little bit concerned, but all in all it worked out okay.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA COATINGS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
IT’S TRICKY JUST TO GET THE TIMING RIGHT
“Yeah, I’m probably most disappointed in the first run out because I thought it was a good lap and I obviously didn’t push it hard enough; didn’t drive it well enough to get us in that first time. And when we had to go back out and put extra laps on the tires and extra heat in the tires, it just affected us from that point forward. I’m disappointed in that. I’m disappointed that we didn’t go faster. I really thought in practice we had a car that would have easily qualified in the top 24 for that first round and made it into round 2 just to start working on how we could sit on the pole and be in the top five. I did not expect to be here in 13th or 14th. It was certainly tight; really tight. It was unbelievable the times and how tight they were and how much faster it was. Our car is really good, but I thought it was going to be better than that.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 14TH
ASSESS WHERE YOU GUYS WERE AT WITH YOUR QUALIFYING SESSION:
“It’s definitely an improvement over the last couple of weeks. We will look at the positive there and take that. We felt like we had a car to get to the final round and just came up short. I ran my fastest lap of the weekend so far, but it wasn’t enough to get us there. We have got to do a little more work in qualifying trim to get it, but I feel really good about our Lowe’s Chevrolet. We have been very strong in practice and tomorrow night’s race is going to be different. It’s the first time under the lights for everybody here. So we will learn a lot tonight watching the truck race and then go racing tomorrow.”
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT THAT MEANS RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS? DO YOU HAVE A HUNCH OF WHAT THAT WILL MEAN OR IS IT KIND OF A WILD CARD?
“We kind of get trends that certain tires show us and certain surfaces, but still until you get out there and live it and experience it for yourself you are just guessing until then.”
WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE KEY TO WINNING THIS RACE?
“I don’t know. Nobody has been here at night before. So we will all learn a lot watching the truck race. We will just kind of take it as it comes. The car has been driving good. I hate that we didn’t advance to the final round, but definitely an improvement of where we have been the last couple of weeks in qualifying. We will go racing. We have a really fast car so I’m looking forward to tomorrows race.”
JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 BRANDT PROFESSIONAL AGRICULTURE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 18TH
ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE QUALIFYING SESSION
“I think the biggest challenges are that it was super hot and sunny in our practice session. The sun is going down now and obviously the race tomorrow night is at night. Every time we went on the track in practice, we slowed down because it was so hot. And then in qualifying we ran six or seven runs and we got faster every time and my fastest lap was my last lap. It’s definitely an interesting dynamic but such an incredible race track.”
HOW’S THE CAR FOR TOMORROW
‘Our Brandt Chevy is pretty good in race trim. We felt like our qualifying trim was going to be questionable as to where we were going to end up. So, to come out of here with a career best starting spot of 18th, and to know that we’ve got a really good car for the race, I think that’s really good. But, we’re all kind of shooting in the dark I guess if you will because we’re going into a night race and none of us have ever raced here at night. So, I think we’re all looking at this qualifying session and how we’ve gone faster each time and we know that tomorrow night’s race is just going to be absolutely insane speeds. So that’s going to be cool.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19TH
“I think it was pretty cool to see people go faster as you ran on tires. Our car was decent. We got better and better. It was a bigger improvement from practice to qualifying for us as a team. I was happy with that. We’ll just have to find some speed at these other tracks we’re going to. We are a little off I feel like. (Ryan) Newman was good and that’s good for RCR. We’ll just have to look at his stuff and ours and see if we can change a few things for the race.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 22ND
STEVE LETARTE SEEMED PRETTY POSITIVE ON WHAT YOU GUYS HAVE LEARNED NOT ONLY IN KNOCK-OUT QUALIFYING TODAY BUT ALSO EARLIER TODAY IN RACE TRIM:
“Yeah I liked the car in race trim a lot, but we needed a lot of left-front grip and then when we went into qualifying trim we were way off and really slow, about three-quarters of a second off. We made a lot of changes in between that last practice and this qualifying session. It helped the car a lot, but we still need to find some more. We need a little more speed and then that is all in the front-end of the car and once we get the car turning a little bit better it will be alright. I don’t know it is going to be real hard to pass here, but our car was moving up the race track in practice and liking it. I like the fact that we are going to have more than one option as far as grooves in the race I think.”
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 26TH
JUST MISSED IT 26TH FASTEST WHAT HAMPERED YOU THE MOST?
“We were just too tight. We fought it all day long, haven’t really been able to make any difference with the car. We have been struggling a little bit. We ran three laps. We made three runs that were all within like four one thousandths. Just all we have had today, just too tight got to get to work on it tonight.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 9TH:
“Our whole camp was s
tellar today and that’s definitely a tribute to everybody at SHR. It was a great effort across the board, and I’m so proud of all our guys. Our runs in the GoDaddy Chevy in each of the sessions were really consistent. I think for me, the biggest thing has been listening to my teammates – Kevin (Harvick), Kurt (Busch) and Tony (Stewart) – and taking their advice. We had our meeting before qualifying, and I think that was a big help. I learn a lot when I talk to them, and I took what they said today and used it on my laps and I think it showed. It was definitely a good day.”