NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
BANK OF AMERICA 500
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
OCTOBER 10, 2013
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER:
IT WAS EXCITING TO WATCH. HOW EXCITING WAS IT TO DRIVE A LAP LIKE THAT?
“Man, that was awesome. It’s been a while since we’ve had a pole here at Charlotte as well as doing it in that fashion. The way that the draw was today, there’s a lot of fast cars going late in qualifying. But when you didn’t see the lap times picking up as much as we thought they were going to, I didn’t know if that late draw was going to really be a big factor. But I saw that the guys ahead of me were putting down good laps and I knew the grip was there and what the car did in practice. And the guys just did an phenomenal job on our Axalta Chevrolet all day long making good adjustments. The car just did everything I wanted it to do.”
SO MANY GUYS’ TIME DROPPED OFF BETWEEN TURNS 3 AND 4, PARTICULARLY OFF TURN 4. YOUR’S DIDN’T. YOU REALLY GOT OFF THE CORNER GOOD. DID YOU FEEL THAT?
“Well we got through (Turns) 3 and 4 good in practice. But I thought I was a little bit tight. They freed the car up a little bit and I thought there was a little bit I could do to help my car in (Turns) 1 and 2. As long as the guys helped it turn in 3 and 4, I thought it would be a good lap. There was a lot of speed and a lot of security and it allowed me to have a lot of confidence.
“When I went through (Turns) 1 and 2 as good as it did, I thought all you can do is be committed at this point and hope that it sticks. The front end just kept cutting and I knew a lot of guys were getting tight and I just kept pushing the throttle down and it just carried great speed. But I didn’t know if it was going to be enough and then I found out how close it really was and that was pretty amazing.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2nd:
TELL US ABOUT THAT QUALIFYING LAP. YOU MISSED IT BY ONE. DID YOU LEAVE SOMETHING OUT THERE?
“I felt like I didn’t get everything in (Turns) 3 and 4. I knew from the way things were going and the way practice was that I needed to try to get everything that I could n (Turns) 1 and 2 and not get tight coming off of Turn 4 and I probably lost the pole right there. I’ve just got to thank all these guys on my Jimmy John’s Chevy. They’ve done a great job. We knew we needed to qualify better in the Chase. We knew we needed to run better on the 1.5-mile race tracks and they’re capitalizing on last week and doing that. We would really have liked to have the pole tonight. But everybody knows how we have qualified in the past and to be on the front row is a great benefit for us.”
WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE TRACK TONIGHT?
“We ran about the same time, maybe a tenth faster, than what we did in practice. Or just a touch faster. Once we saw where the session was headed with everybody saying they were going slower, as a driver you kind of know what you need to push forward and what you don’t. I just didn’t want to be 25th and make mistakes. The race is no problem. It’s the qualifying sessions for me that stress me out.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 4th:
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?
“That was really nice. I was really happy with that lap. Great pick up we made some good adjustments to get the car right. I’m not sure many guys have picked up two almost three tenths in the session so we did the right things. I’m excited.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 QUAKER STATE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5TH
ON HIS LAP:
“Turns 1 and 2 were way better than I did in practice, but worse than (Turns) 3 and 4. So that’s why I kind of equaled out. I just got a little tight off and I couldn’t go back to wide-open soon enough. It was still a good lap for our Quaker State Chevrolet. It’s just not quite where I want it to be.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 6TH
“Our National Guard Chevy was pretty good all day and I thought we made some good adjustments in between practice and qualifying. I think I underdrove Turn 2 a little bit. We had a real right car through that corner and I just feel like I underdrove it a little bit.”
HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO DO MUCH WORK SO FAR IN RACE TRIM?
“Yeah, we ran a couple of runs early and thought that we had a good handle. We were really in the ballpark and really happy with how the car came off the trailer. That is a good sign for us.”
TALK ABOUT MAKING YOUR 500TH CUP START THIS WEEKEND:
“Yeah, it’s not that big of a milestone to me. I just hope I’m around for at least 250 or 500 more. I’ve really been blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do. I feel thankful every weekend to be able to get in some of the best cars in the series. I really mean that from my heart.
“It’s truly been a dream career for me and I never took it for granted that I would be driving race cars all my life and be able to make a living doing it. I’m real thankful and it makes me reflect on that kind of thing.”
HAVE YOU HAD A GOOD BIRTHDAY?
“It’s been great. Getting older is not awesome, but it’s all how you feel I suppose.”
HOW OLD DO YOU FEEL?
“I feel 20. I feel good.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 7th
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR LAP?
“I had a good lap. I didn’t nail (turns) three and four. I thought I had a pretty good (turns) one and two, but a good run for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet. I think we were 23rd in practice and we are sitting fourth right now with less than a handful of cars to go I think. Good effort I obviously wanted a pole, but coming from 23rd a pole would have been a really big surprise.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, HO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 8th
HOW WAS YOUR LAP?
“It was okay. We really thought we had a little more in the car. But to be honest our Target Chevy is pretty good. I had to bail a little bit in (Turns) 3 and 4. I was just surprised to run a .91. I was really good through (Turns) 1 and 2. (Turns) 3 and 4 have always been a struggle here. We’re a lot better than we used to be, but I got there and it turned and I’m like oh yes, and it turned and I got on the gas and kind of missed the bottom. I got too much throttle. I was too keen.”
WHAT WOULD A GOOD SHOWING HERE DO FOR YOU?
“These guys work really hard and we’ve got about five weeks or six races left, or something like that. I’m having a good time. We have a great bunch of guys. I think we have a great relationship and we all want to have a good ending of this. And so we’re working hard. I’m excited about next year and IndyCars and everything, but I’ve still got to keep my mind on what I’m doing right now.”
BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 33 SHORE LODGE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19th:
“I don’t really remember much of it. I remember I was not breathing as well as I normally do (laughs). It was exciting. This Chevy SS has a lot of power and it’s just fun to get behind the wheel obviously to enjoy this moment and make my first Sprint Cup Series start is really cool. I’m proud to do it with Chevrolet. And happy to be doing double duty. We have a really good Camaro in the Nationwide Series. This car, I think, is going to be good when we go into race trim. The guys have done a phenomenal job. They’ve given me a car that I can learn a lot in and the car is obviously better than my ability now.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 51 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 21st
IN YOUR SPRINT CUP SERIES DEBUT, HOW HAVE THINGS GONE SO FAR THROUGH PRACTICE AND NOW YOUR FIRST QUALIFYING EFFORT?
“It’s been a lot of fun working with all the guys. I feel like our Target
Chevy is pretty good. We just got a little too free there in qualifying. We were good in (Turns) 1 and 2 and in our mock run; and tight in (Turns) 3 and 4. We just kind of got 3 and 4 good but loose in 1 and 2. I just couldn’t connect to the gas like I needed to. Maybe this is good enough to be 18th. We’ll see.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES