NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
PURE MICHIGAN 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 15, 2014
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – POLE SITTER
“I don’t know how to make it much better than that. This entire Axalta Chevrolet crew just did a phenomenal job. Our first qualifying effort today, and practice, was not good. I’ve been hearing a lot about tire chatter and we had it big-time. The next run out we made some adjustments and it was better. That whole qualifying session, from the first one, second one, and third session, the car was just near perfect. The first one I just didn’t drive it hard enough. The second time I finally did and we made a little slight adjustment there. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and the guys just did perfect. This is exciting. To be running this good and have cars that are this great; back-to-back poles from Watkins Glen to Michigan, we’re having a lot of fun right now.”
WHAT’S THE SECRET?
“A really fast race car. I mean, it’s a team effort. You’ve got to give your input. Those guys are just really smart and making great decisions. We’re trying to catch these Penske guys and the Stewart-Haas guys in qualifying on these big, fast ovals like this. We obviously made some improvements. This is a really good race car. This is our Brickyard 400 car, so it’s a fast one. And let’s hope we can keep it going fast all day on Sunday.”
DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A CAR THAT COULD GO OVER 206 MPH WHEN YOU ROLLED OFF THE HAULER THIS WEEKEND?
“I knew that we were really strong here the last time we were here and what our team is doing right now it’s just phenomenal how they continue to improve race cars and just the whole effort. I’m just so proud of them. You don’t go around this place like that, that fast without a really good race car. Thanks to Axalta, Drive To End Hunger, Pepsi, Chevrolet, everybody that made this possible. I’m so excited about the way our race team is performing right now.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 7TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“I feel good about it. We unloaded with some speed we did one race run and felt confident that we are in the ballpark and switch over to qualifying trim and just did a few runs in practice. Our first qualifying run in the session I just way overdrove my entry and just got really tight. We freed the car up quite a bit and go better from there.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 8TH
*Top Rookie of the Year Contender Qualifier
“Very pleased with our starting position, off the truck I felt we had a really good car. The first few laps we were on top of the board for a little bit there and then people came out on their second run on tires and were able to pick up speed and we just went straight to qualifying trim. The car was good. We ran the same lap time all three sessions. Ran four laps I think and they were all within four or five one hundredths (of a second). It’s pretty cool to be that solid. To get to that next little bit you just have to keep developing everything. It’s cool to see all of RCR’s cars in the top 12 today. That was really big for us. I love this track and I have kind of circled it for one of the places that I would like to get a victory at. We are working hard on that and hopefully have another solid weekend.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU NEEDED A LITTLE BIT MORE TODAY?
“I don’t know I felt like I hit pretty good laps and would be a few tenths off. I don’t know we were definitely not as good in qualifying trim as we were in race trim with our Target Chevy. Excited about Happy Hour or however many practices we have tomorrow to try and make our race trim even a little bit better. I think we are pretty good there. Not too concerned with qualifying 13th which is still better than I thought we would end up today. Just sucks we missed out on the final round. Didn’t think I would get to the final round, but then being that close you are kind of upset a little bit. I think all I needed was five thousandths of a second or something like that. Just barely missed out, but Target Chevy is fast. I just have to keep working at it and try and get a win this weekend.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 14TH
YOU’VE HAD SPEED TODAY JUST COULDN’T MAKE THE FINAL ROUND WHAT KIND OF A RACE CAR ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE ON SUNDAY?
“I don’t know I haven’t done anything with the race car. We were in qualifying trim the whole time in practice. Obviously this is qualifying so tomorrow is all race runs. I don’t think we were all that fast in practice we just unloaded in qualifying trim off the bat. I think that we did enough stuff to learn what to do and what not to do for qualifying. I think that is why the GoDaddy car was better in qualifying because we were only 20 something in practice. Good improvements and the fact that the car went faster every run until the last one, which isn’t really fair because we didn’t have time to cool everything down but I thought that the adjustments were good and that we made improvements. That is all you can ask for.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 25TH
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST ROUND?
“We were a little loose on that second run. We made a good lap on the first run and expected to go out there and pick-up two or three tenths and the back end was just moving around a lot and real loose and I guess just couldn’t get into the throttle like we needed to. But I’m real happy with the car in race trim. We’re actually pretty happy with the car in qualifying trim; it was just a little bit disappointing and we’ll just deal with it from there.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 27TH
ON HIS LAP:
“It’s hard for everybody but at the same time you still want to qualify well. I just didn’t do a very good job of adjusting to the rhythm of everything, you know. Coming here is a really hard place to come after being out of the car for a while and the rhythm of a Q-lap. Every time I got better, but then the last time I wanted to try to get some more and drove in too hard into (Turn) 1 and got the front tires shaking and vibrating and didn’t get through (Turns) 1 and 2 very well. Anyway, I think that’s more me than it is the team. I think tomorrow will be a whole other ball game where we can run and I can get a rhythm and I can give them a lot better information. Today we had a problem and we didn’t get as many laps as I wanted. I feel good about where we are and I think my car is really good in (Turns) 3 and 4. And I think I’ve just got to get my head straight and right where I want to.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 30TH
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CAR YOU HAD IN JUNE AND THE CAR YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW?
“We’ve just had a vibration with our car; really a shake, a violent shake through the corner. And we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it. We made it better, and it certainly went faster, but just not enough. We’ll go back to the drawing board and dig-in deeper and see what’s going on.”