NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
ORAL-B USA 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 29, 2014
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
HOW MUCH DID THE CAR CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE QUALIFYING ROUNDS?
“Our car didn’t really change that much. I just messed the first round up really bad trying to do something that I wasn’t doing in practice. Luckily we were fast enough to be able to get through the first round into the second round. The second round we got into a little better rhythm where I wanted to run on the race track. I’ve got to thank everybody on our Jimmy John’s team they make my life a lot easier on Friday’s and this is a lot of fun.”
TONY STEWART PATTED YOU ON THE SHOULDER ANY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT HE GAVE YOU AS HE WALKED BY?
“Well after the second run he went out and radioed to me that I needed to go back and do what I was doing in practice. Just good to have that reassurance on the radio next to you.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 3RD
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN TODAY
“It was a good qualifying effort for everybody at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. It was a little bit better than we probably though we were going to be after practice. We were a few tenths off of people that made good runs in practice. But, that shows that the engineers and everybody made good adjustments after we ended the first practice before qualifying. And I was able to get through Turns at both ends better. I was pretty tight in practice. The car was really good there in qualifying. I was consistent. I guess we just didn’t get around the track as quickly as the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick, pole winner).”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 4TH
“We needed all three runs today to get better and I just as the track kind of picked up when it cooled off I got back to knowing where I needed to go. My first run was not that good because I was questioning myself about where to go. The Caterpillar Chevrolet ended up fourth. A great run for the guys. We came here and tested. I’m glad to see that paid off. Some of our teammates struggled we just have to figure out why. Overall it was a good qualifying effort. I wish we could have gotten that eighth pole here for me personally, but a good starting spot at a pivotal time in the year for us.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PANASONIC CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 9TH
“I just love this race track. It’s a very challenge track where you slip and slide and search for lines and try to manage your tires. We’ve got such an awesome race car and race team that we’re bringing every weekend. Of course right now we want to keep the momentum going and keep the confidence going. Even though there isn’t a track like this in the Chase – maybe a little similar to Homestead where you have to really maximize that grip – it’s about going out there and having some fun and hopefully competing for a win.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
“I was really loose in the first runs and we tightened it up going into the second run but it was still a little loose. On the third run for us, we tightened up again. The car was really good through turns 1 and 2 but I think I missed turns 3 and 4 on my line. That probably would have gotten us into the top 12 We’re looking forward to the race here. Last week was about as bad as it could get and we come here and we have some speed. I’m proud of all my guys bouncing back from Bristol.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 16TH
YOU WERE IN INSPECTION A LITTLE LONGER THAN SOME OTHER CARS. DID THAT IMPACT YOUR LAP SPEED?
Not our lap speed. We had a lot of friends back there with us trying to get through tech the second time. You have so much time during the session, it really doesn’t impact you. You go out and run when you can – especially at this track where you it’s one lap then you’re done because you can’t go faster. So it didn’t impact us. We just missed it on our starting balance for the qualifying session. We expected one thing to happen and the exact opposite did. We were eighth in the first session and I thought we were going to transfer into third but came up short in 16th.”
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO IN THE PRACTICES TOMORROW TO MAKE THIS CAR A WINNING CAR FOR SUNDAY?
“Just make it a car that drives well and one that you can sit behind the wheel for 500 miles on Sunday night. That’s going to be key. In the last race here, we had all kinds of weird issues. Restarts are very tricky so anything you can do to start further forward or maintain track position will help keep you out of harm’s way. That would have guaranteed us a really nice finish here last year. We’re a little in a hole starting 16th. It’s not the end of the world but plenty of room to go forward.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 20th
“I like my car in race trim. We aren’t very happy at all in qualifying trim. We improved on the car a little bit but still just needed a little more speed in qualifying for some reason. The car has such a different setup anyway. I’m not very concerned about the car in race trim. It will be fun tomorrow to be able to work on it and tune it a little bit. Looking at the times I saw everyone else run in practice, I like our speed. I think we can improve on it a little bit more. We haven’t even tried to make one adjustment yet in race trim. A lot of guys have gone in and out making adjustments. We still have a lot of gains to make on our car, and it’s already pretty good. I love racing here and expect to do well. We’re hammer down on it tomorrow.”
TY DILLON, NO. 33 REALTREE/RHEEM CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 29th
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING THAT WILL HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND?
“I think I learned that these Cup cars are fast. They are a lot of fun. It’s tough to come in for your first time three-quarters of the way through the season and expect a good qualifying effort. It was a great job by my Realtree guys. It was a lot of fun going out there and qualifying with the big guys for the first time. They really know how to lay down some laps. We’ll set our focus on race runs and making sure we can last for a long time and hopefully come out of there with a good top-15 or top-20 finish.”