NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
QUICKEN LOANS 400
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
JUNE 13, 2014
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
BEFORE THIS KNOCKOUT QUALIFYING CAME INTO PLAY SIX NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POLES. YOU KNOW HAVE THREE WITH THIS FORM OF QUALIFYING:
“I think that is just a credit on our Budweiser and Stewart-Haas race team for putting fast race cars on the track. When you put it together with the Hendrick Motorsports engine package it creates a lot of speed and it makes coming to these place a lot of fun. Really excited to start on the pole and get that first pit box and hopefully we can put the whole day together on Sunday.”
WAS YOUR CAR JUST THAT GOOD BY ITSELF OR DID YOU TRY TO FIND SOME AIDE AS WELL?
“We just kind of wanted to go right at the beginning of that session. The second session I got too close to the No. 88 coming to the green and I felt like it hurt my lap. We just tried to get a clean lap that time. The car actually ran the fastest that it had. I think clean air for us was probably a better decision.”
YOU CAN’T HOLD YOUR BREATH AROUND HERE THAT LONG, CAN YOU?
“You know, it’s actually the opposite. You just have to relax and really pay attention to not overdrive it because it’s so easy to miss your line on the entry to the corner. So, I’ve just got to thank everybody on my Budweiser Chevrolet; and everybody from the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop. You put those two packages together and it creates a lot of speed. My guys are doing a great job and we just have to keep doing everything we’ve been doing, and we have fast race cars.”
HOW FRUSTRATING HAVE THE WEEKS BEEN WHEN YOU HAVE THE FAST CARS AND YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO COME THROUGH WITH THE WIN?
“Well, it’s just part of it. In my career I’ve won a lot of races that I probably shouldn’t have won and lost a lot that you should have won. So, it’s a vicious cycle and we’ve had flat tires two weeks in a row and really fast cars to go along with it. But, you just have to keep plugging along week by week, and that’s where the experience in this sport, and a lot of these guys have been around this a long time. Monday morning, you’d better forget what you did last week because you’ve got to worry about the week coming.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND
IS THIS A MATTER THAT EVERY DEPARTMENT AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS TO WORK HARD AND GET EVERYTHING OUT OF THESE CARS WHEN YOU ARE GOING THIS SPEED?
“Absolutely, you’ve got to get through the corners, but at this place you’ve got to get down these long straightaways and I think it’s just a full combination of all the hard work of the body, the chassis and the set-up as well as that great horsepower from Hendrick. Hendrick engine on the pole, obviously that is what it takes to be on the front row here today. We are pretty excited. We put up a heck of a lap that I thought was just another great effort by this Drive To End Hunger Chevy SS team. Just not enough to get Harvick those guys are really tough right now.”
YOUR CAR IS EXCEPTIONAL IN RACE TRIM, AND NOW ALSO IN QUALIFYING TRIM
“The car is just really solid. I’m really proud of all the guys and all the hard work they’ve put in as well as the engine shop. At a place like this, the only way that Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS is getting around here that fast is that you’ve got to have a lot of power under the hood. The engineers are doing a great job with the bodies and getting the cars through the corners as well. It’s been a fun day. I struggled here last year and boy, these last two weeks have just been phenomenal qualifying sessions and cars for us. You’ve got to take your hat off to (Kevin) Harvick and those guys. They are just superfast, especially when it comes to qualifying. We gave it a great effort but not quite enough to get those guys. But we’ll certainly take this second place and take it into Sunday with a lot of momentum and a lot of excitement.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/SUPERMAN CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 3RD
HOW WAS THE CAR IN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING? WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR SUNDAY? “I’m real happy with the qualifying effort obviously, especially in the transition from the second round, to the last round. We’re making some good gains on how we need to adjust the car to find the balance we need as continue to cycle the tires each qualifying run. That is something we really needed to improve our qualifying efforts. The car has real good speed. The car is pretty comfortable. Both cars – the Nationwide car and the Cup car – seem to be very competitive. We’ll get a chance tomorrow to really work on our race trim package for the Cup car tomorrow. We ran a little bit of race trim this morning. The track wasn’t ideal, but we understand some balance things we need to work on, and some things we can do to ease the work load tomorrow. So that’s good. We’ll see how the car feels in practice, and how confident we are. That determines how we will start the race, and how well we can do Sunday.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
“We just actually got through (Turns) 1 and 2 really good on that last run I was out. I think I overshot (Turn) 3, which I had to lift all the way out and gave up too much speed getting back to the throttle. So I would say I got through 1 and 2 so well that I thought there was a lot in 3 and there wasn’t. So I ended up pushing the car and making it a little too tight and we lost a little bit with our Farmers Insurance Chevy. But there is still a lot of speed in the car. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and working on it and getting prepared for the race on Sunday. It’s a pretty good track and we should run really well here. Our engines and cars are really strong.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES