NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
COKE ZERO 400
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
JULY 4, 2014
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 7th
ON DESCRIBING THE FLOW OF THE FIRST QUALIFYING SESSION TO HIS TEAM
“I gave up trying to describe it to them. But I sure they want to know what’s going on. It’s a mess. You have to be in the very back and try to get a big tow. I ain’t ever seen anything like it. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 36TH:
CAN YOU DESCRIBE QUALIFYING TODAY? “Well, it’s just about being lucky as to who can make it through and who gets the right run. It’s just so crazy that everyone pulls out and doesn’t go and then stops. It is what it is. Everyone has the same conditions. It just doesn’t feel like racing I think is the way to put it because half the time people are running 40 mph. I don’t even really know what to say because it’s so messed up that I can’t explain it.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER FOLDS OF HONOR CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH:
Qualifying was a better spot for us than it would have been if we had gone on practice speeds. The new qualifying format is great. It is probably not 100% refined for Superspeedway racing yet. It was a definitely a chess game. It worked out okay because our car is still rolling.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 19TH:
DESCRIBE WHAT THAT WAS LIKE? THAT SEEMED MORE DIFFERENT AND WILDER THAN TALLADEGA?
“It was definitely interesting. Everyone knew what everyone else was trying to do. There was no way to get a small line of cars behind a big line of cars. Everybody was trying to do the same thing so it was kind of interesting. I don’t know… I think they need to look at doing something a little bit different here for next time. I wish we could get another round in because we made the top-24 and we were hoping to get a good starting spot out front and good pit spot.”
WHEN THE RCR ALLIANCE GOT TOGETHER TOWARD THE END, YOU WERE TRYING TO PACE YOURSELF TO GET THAT ONE LAST LAP. WAS THAT THE CASE? IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS HARD TO DO THAT WITH SO MANY OTHER PACKS OUT THERE.
“Yeah, it was hard to get in the right position. Again, everyone was trying to do the same thing. Everyone was trying to get behind a big pack of cars so they could get that big run, but no one wanted to go and be that big pack of cars.”
HOW GOOD IS THIS CAR?
“It’s the one we ended up racing in the 500, and it was awesome in the race. It didn’t last very long. But I don’t know. It’s hard to say. We didn’t do much drafting yesterday. We kind of did what we were doing today… we got in line, put in a lap and parked it. It’s driving good. I know it will have good speed so looking forward to tomorrow night, getting in the right spot and hopefully be there in the end to win this thing.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 20TH:
YOU WERE QUICK HERE IN FEBRUARY AND AT TALLADEGA IN MAY. I KNOW THE ENGINES ARE GOOD BUT WHAT IS THAT HAS MADE THESE CARS SO GOOD AT THESE (RESTRICTOR) PLATE TRACKS?
“It’s a combination of everything. It takes a little bit of everything on top of keeping your foot off that middle pedal, which is an important part of this as well. Qualifying went kind of the way we wanted it to but we just didn’t have control of the weather. We made the top-24 cut but in the end, our Wix Filters Chevrolet isn’t going to be on the pole so we will get ready for tomorrow night.”
IN THE RACE, WE TALK ABOUT HOW THE TRACK IS DIFFERENT HERE NOW THAN HOW IT IS IN FEBRUARY.
“It used to be 10 times different just because of the slickness of the track before it was repaved, which has been the big differential. The new asphalt kind of narrowed that gap between the February race and the July race. Overall, it’s somewhat the same; it’s just so much hotter inside the race car. You still have to deal with the track position side of it and you still can’t afford to make mistakes on pit road. A speeding penalty can end your night really easily. There don’t seem to be a whole lot of cautions here no matter what the race is, but in the end just keeping your head above water will keep you there to the end.”