NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING TRANSCRIPTS
MAY 3, 2014
BRIAN SCOTT PUTS CHEVROLET SS ON POLE AT TALLADEGA
Eleven of Top 12 Starters Feature Chevy Power
TALLADEGA, AL – May 3, 2014 – Brian Scott won the pole for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, where he posted a fast lap of 48.293 seconds, 198.290 mph in his No. 33 Shore Lodge Chevrolet SS. In a wild knockout-style qualifying format consisting of three sessions, the new method for restrictor plate race tracks netted Scott his first career pole in Sprint Cup competition. His previous best start was 12th in this year’s season-opening Daytona 500. Primarily a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Scott will lead the 43-car NASCAR Sprint Cup field to the green flag in just his fifth Cup start. It also marked the 31st pole for Chevrolet at the 2.66-mile track, the longest on the circuit.
“To be able to get a pole position for the little guys Joe Falk, team owner and Circle Sport racing we are just really in a fortunate position to be part of the RCR/ECR alliance,” said Scott. It’s the same horsepower, and same group that got the pole at Daytona in single-car qualifying. I think it speaks volumes for the shop and the effort that those guys are putting forward both under the hood and across the body of these Chevy SSs. I guess they have what it takes when it counts at these superspeedways.”
Scott’s Richard Childress Racing teammate, Paul Menard, was second quick in his No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet SS. AJ Allmendinger qualified third in the No. 47 Bush’s Beans Chevrolet SS, and Casey Mears was fourth in the No. 13 GEICO Chevy SS. Austin Dillon, who sat on the pole at this year’s Daytona 500, was the fastest qualifying rookie by posting the fifth quickest time in his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS; and teammate Ryan Newman qualified sixth in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy SS. The top six Chevrolet SS race cars are powered by Earnhardt Childress Racing engines.
Also demonstrating strong Chevy power in today’s qualifying results with a seventh place effort was the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS driven by Danica Patrick, along with Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick, who qualified his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS in eighth, and Kurt Busch who was ninth fast in the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS.
With six wins at Talladega Superspeedway to his credit, Jeff Gordon put his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS in the 11th place starting spot, and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart will start will start his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS from 12th place on the grid.
Carl Edwards (Ford) qualified 10th and rounds-out the top dozen starters for the 188-lap, 500-mile race.
There will be 21 Chevrolet SS race cars in the 43-car starting field.
The Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway will take the green flag on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and bill be aired live on FOX.
BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 33 WHITETAIL CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN OUT THERE TODAY AND WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS QUALIFYING FORMAT HERE AT TALLADEGA:
“Who would have thought that? (Laughs) This is pretty special. It’s special for a number of reasons. To be able to get a pole position for the little guys Joe Falk, team owner and Circle Sport racing we are just really in a fortunate position to be part of the RCR/ECR alliance. It’s the same horsepower, same group that got the pole at Daytona in single car qualifying. I think it speaks volumes for the shop and the effort that those guys are putting forward both under the hood and across the body of these Chevy SSs. I guess they have what it takes when it counts at these superspeedways. Everything just played out. It was a lot of luck, the situation really presented itself for us. I felt like it was a little bit of payback yesterday in the Nationwide qualifying. We were the first car to go out and kind of lead the field and everybody was able to snooker us and get runs on us. The shoe was on the other foot today. We were the fortunate ones in the right position to make it work and I guess go faster than everybody else.”
;STARTING ON THE POLE WITH ALL THAT BUNCH BEHIND YOU IS THAT A GOOD THING? IS IT BETTER OR WORSE IF YOU WERE STARTING ON THE POLE AT SOME PLACE ELSE LIKE AN INTERMEDIATE TRACK?
“That is a good question. I’m not sure. I know that I’ve got that dreaded yellow stripe on my back bumper and that is going to make people kind of try to run away from me like the plaque. But hopefully they see that we have a fast car. We are going to have a good pit stall, good pit selection. Hopefully we can stay up front all day and work and learn from the Cup guys. Maybe they can gain a little faith in us and what we are capable of doing so we can be around and have some friends come the end of this race.”
IN THIS ALLIANCE IN THIS VAST GAME PLAN ARE YOU SORT OF THE SURPRISE?
“Probably. I don’t think that the way the alliance dreamt it up was going to be for the No. 33 team to be on the pole, but when you have a team effort and everybody is working together really anybody that is a part of that group has an opportunity and it worked out just right for us. Like you said, I wasn’t sure we were going to make another lap, but it came to the line and I didn’t see the red and black flags and we had a good gap of good cars in front of us and we were able to just draw closer to them the whole lap. I knew when we crossed the line that it was probably going to be the pole. It felt like a good lap.”
WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS AFTER WINNING YOUR FIRST POLE?
“It’s pretty surreal. Normally as a rookie you don’t come into this Sprint Cup Series and expect to get on the pole. But it just happened. Like I said it’s really just situational luck when it comes to this group qualifying at the superspeedways. It’s really rare that I can come in here and say I actually feel like I have more experience than at Cup guy at something and this group qualifying on the superspeedways I feel like I have more experience than the Cup guys. We did it in the Nationwide Series for one session at Daytona and then we did it in the Nationwide Series for all three sessions yesterday. I felt like I knew how it was going to work and I knew that when we started that last session it was going to be a waiting game. Who was going to get impatient first or panic first was going to head out there and then it was going to be game on and you were going to get one or maybe two laps. Like I said really it just worked out. Some guys got impatient even coming to what ended up being our good lap and passed us. The more cars you have in front of you they just punch a bigger hole there. They were two-by-two and we just had a good run that whole lap.”
PAUL MENARD KIND OF TALKED US THROUGH THAT HE VOLUNTEERED TO BE LAST. RYAN NEWMAN WAS GOING TO BE FIRST, YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE WITH THE GOAL TO GET YOU IN THE RACE. WHAT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR ROLE AND INSTRUCTIONS? ALSO, DALE, JR. TWEETED TO YOU CONGRATULATING YOU, BUT YOU WILL BE MORE OF A TARGET ON THE PAINTBALL COURSE. DO YOU TAKE THAT AS AN OMINOUS WARNING?
“No. Our plan was to just work with the team and to do what the team was doing. We knew kind of what order and where we were supposed to fall in. As we started coming around we were dragging brake and we were really trying to get spacing and get drug back to where (Ryan) Newman had the run and the situation that he liked. So I was dragging back and we were even coming to the line still waiting. (Paul) M
enard was supposed to be behind me and he ended up he kind of went around me and got a run. I guess he didn’t feel like we were going to get another lap. Really that just played out to our benefit where he was up there and we were able to get a better sniff of air on everybody.
“We have been playing paint ball at Dale, Jr’s house and last time we played I think I shot him three times after he was already out. He just didn’t get off the court. I guess I continued to shoot him. Maybe that was target enough for me when we go back to the field.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 RICHMOND/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 BUSH’S BAKED BEANS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 3RD
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5TH (TOP ROOKIE QUALIFIER)
YOU TALKED ABOUT RYAN NEWMAN BEING THE GUINEA PIG. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
PAUL: “I think Richard just elected him. Made a call there. It worked out. Ryan has won at the plate tracks. He has the most experience of all of us, so it just made sense. We knew that him being the first guy, he’s not going to win the pole. I kind of volunteered to be the last guys because I felt like I probably have the fastest car and was able to push guys. I figured I wasn’t going to be on the pole either. So I left it up to the guys in the middle. Brian Scott had to race his way in and that was our number one priority was to kind to put him in the middle to help him get in the race. Then from there, stick to our plan.”
WHO DECIDED TO INCLUDE ALL THE AFFILIATES IN THE RCR GROUP?
AUSTIN: “For RCR, I feel like to compete with Hendrick, Roush and all those guys, and to have an edge; we have to use all of our affiliates. Just like AJ said, we have to use them at every track, and we are working toward that and trying to get better to broaden what we have as a team. Moving forward, that is what we have to do, and it obviously paid off for us today.”
HOW HAS THE RCR TECHNICAL ALLIANCE WITH RCR BENEFITTED YOUR TEAM ALL SEASON LONG SO FAR?
AJ: “It’s just been amazing for our whole No. 47 race team. With the new rules package, the ride height rules – everything going into this season. There are so many variables for us to try to figure out. To have that alliance not only to have fast race cars and fast motors in general, but to have all the engineering help, and the notes and everything that RCR brings, and really opens their doors for us to have. It is just a huge help to our race team. Without that I feel like we could easily be lost trying to figure out where we are at. I think slowly we are getting there with our results showing that. Last week we had a sixth. Even though qualifying doesn’t matter here, to get all of our sponsors – Bush’s Baked Beans – and all of the sponsors that we have on this race car, just to get the exposure, and show we can slowly start working to race with the bigger teams is a big deal for us. At this point in the season, I couldn’t be any happier with where we are at, and with the help that RCR has given us, and where I think our race team is getting to.”
AJ AS ONE OF THE RELATIVELY SEASONED DRIVERS UP HERE IN THE TOP FOUR OR FIVE AND STARTING THIRD, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A GOOD AS GOOD A SHOT AS ANY TO LEAD FIRST LAP AND MANY LAPS?
AJ: “Does that mean I am old? Has it been that long already? I am seasoned? Like fine wine, I get better with age.” (LAUGHS)
AUSTIN: “Old is not bad, it is when you are the rich kid that is bad, you know.” (LAUGHS)
AJ: “Dang…I’d rather take being the rich kid. Back to the question.” LAUGHS
PAUL: “You should try being old and rich.” MORE LAUGHTER
AJ: “I think for me, I haven’t had the best results here. If we can fall in line, and, as these guys said, having six or seven alliance cars – RCR cars – starting up front. I would be just happy to fall in line and run there for a while. The easiest way to try to miss the wreck is to be up front. It’s great if we go out there and lead – fantastic. If not, if we can fall in line and start pacing the race and stay there, I’m happy with that.”
HOW MUCH OF THE CAMARADERIE CARRIES INTO THE RACE, AND WHEN DOES IT BECOME I WANT TO WIN, AND NO MORE TEAMMATES?
PAUL: “It’s always about teammates. You just don’t want to screw one of them up. Our plan going into today was to work together, and if it worked out and you got put in a position where you couldn’t where Martin (Truex, Jr.) were in the first session. We had some slower cars jump in front of us, and we had to abort and do our own thing. I made it and Martin didn’t. Our plan worked for the second session and the third session. In the race, it is going to be the same thing. You are going to work with your guys when you can. There are going to be times when you get separated, and you are going to have to go and do your own thing.”
AUSTIN: “You work with them as long as you can. I think we will have another meeting like we had before qualifying probably and figure out how we can keep our sponsors and cars up front as long as we can. These races are so crazy things happen, and you just have to do whatever man. Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) is probably one of the best here, and told me you have no friends when you get out there. But I feel like our guys are working well together, so we just need to work well, and at the end you just have to go and do what you can. It gets crazy.”