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Allstate 400 Post-Qualifying Quotes

Martin on pole for NASCAR at the Brickyard
Saturday, July 25, 2009

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MARTIN TRUEX JR. (No. 1 Guitar Hero Chevrolet): "Our run was pretty good. You know we're probably not going to end up as high in order as we want, but from practice yesterday that was a big pick up for us. We kind of struggled yesterday, so it was a good run, and I'm proud of the guys for all of the changes overnight."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge): "The first draw would have been great if we had been able to go this morning. Now the track is warmer, and we've lost a lot of the rubber. I didn't think that we were going to have a pole run, but the car was very good. It got a little bit loose through Turn 1, so I had to give up a little bit in the other three turns to make sure we had the car in one piece so we could go race on Sunday. I am just looking forward to getting out there and get racing. Not a great qualifying effort, but it will be a bit better than if it got rained out." (How important is the final practice for you?): "I thought our car was pretty good in race practice yesterday. A little more time on the track will help us tweak on that, plus we'll put a little more rubber on the track. I don't think we're going to have a problem with tires. We ran 18 laps on a first set, and everybody said that was about twice as far as we've ever been able to go on a set of tires." (What did you do while you were waiting around today?): "We got on eBay. We were looking for bumper boats so we could take them out on the lake and beat the crap out of each other; racin' stuff. There is nothing worse than being at a racetrack when it is raining. You can't leave. You can't go out and run. You've just got to find something to occupy your time."

CLINT BOWYER (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet): "It was a good run. We were a little bit looser than we were yesterday in practice, but that was a good lap for us. I think I could have run a little bit faster if I was a little bit snugger. The lap that Mark (Martin) put up was pretty stout, so I'm proud of our effort."

MARCOS AMBROSE (No. 47 Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota): "It's a real thrill to be in the race. This is one of the special places we go to. I've watched a lot of races here at Indy, and I never thought for one second that I would get a chance to run around here, especially at over 200 miles per hour. It's just a real thrill. I've come a long way in my career and my life. When you can come to a place like this that is so famous, with so much heritage, at this level of competition, you know you've done something. I'm really proud just to be here to compete with everybody. I remember watching Rick Mears dominate quite a few races. I remember Danny Sullivan spinning to win back in the 80s and the Andretti family. There's just a lot of history here and a lot of great races. A lot of famous names have come to this place. It's great to say you've done laps around Indy. It's been a lot of hard work to get to this point. Nothing is for free in life. We've been working extremely hard to be ready for our moment to shine. When I got the opportunity, that's all I asked for, is to be given an opportunity to be here at a good enough level to really show what I could do. It's working out for me so far this year. I'm real excited about it. I feel like we got a lot of good stuff rolling here with our group. We're just going to get better and better."

CASEY MEARS (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet): "It (qualifying) wasn't at all what we wanted. It was really loose into Turn 2. I lifted early because I was a little bit loose in practice. We tightened the car up a little to make sure I didn't get too loose, so I rolled out of it (corner) early. It (car) touched the bottom. It will make for a long day (Race Day). You don't really get the good pit stalls, and you're stuck in traffic."

MARK MARTIN (No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet): "I like the time. I told them off of (Turn) 4 it wasn't going to be good. I was sliding a lot. It takes so long to get around here, that by the time I got to 4, I had gotten scared. I probably didn't go as fast through that turn as I might've. I was just trying to get back to the line. It was not what I expected out of our race car for handling. It was definitely fast. It's going to be good. I would be shocked if that was the pole based on how much I left out there. You never know." (How difficult was it waiting this morning?): "It was pretty difficult for me. We posted the quickest time in practice yesterday, so expectations were high. I hate to disappoint. I can handle the disappointment, because I've had a lot. I love my team so much; I'd hate to disappoint them. I've been wanting to get out there and do the thing and see how we do. It was a good time. Certainly, I will take it."

BRIAN VICKERS (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota): "I think we've got a really good car here. I thought I had a good shot at the pole, but the weather played a huge factor. The track was 14 degrees hotter when we went out than when Mark (Martin) went out. That's tremendous. I think if we'd gone out at the same time, we'd have had a chance at it, but we didn't, and I think we made the best of what we had."

DAVID STREMME (No. 12 Penske Dodge): "We picked up a good amount of time. We've worked on the car, and got it a little better. I think the track is slowing down a little bit with the sun, but there's not much difference (in track conditions). Goodyear just brought a great tire. It's good to be back in Indiana with this weather. The storms were here, and I just knew they were going to be gone."

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge): "The track was a little slicker than yesterday. I was sliding around, and I just kind of drove too hard. I tried too hard to get a good lap. I think if I would have slowed down a touch, it probably would have gone a couple tenths quicker. It's still decent. You know, we can have a good practice here this afternoon, and that's what it's all about, getting ready for tomorrow. If we can do that, we'll put on a good show in the Allstate 400 tomorrow."

REED SORENSON (No. 43 Valvoline Dodge): "It was a good run for us. Starting up closer to the front is where we want to be. You can have a very good car and come from the back, but it makes for an easier day if you start closer to the front. Anytime you come to Indianapolis, it's great. I'm glad to be back here. I'm having fun. The tires are great. We tested here a month ago, and we didn't see any issues with the tires. We're pretty quick on new tires, and they fall off about one second after 10 laps, but that's normal here. I think we'll have a great race."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 34 Taco Bell Chevrolet): "We only did one qualifying run (Friday). We were really tight, so we made some massive changes, and it was really, really loose. I definitely didn't get the run in that we'd hope to get in. It's really disappointing. We're a little bit on an island. We only had a little bit of practice, and we didn't really get any information. We just work through it ourselves, and hopefully the practice tonight will give us some ideas. We'll probably get really good balance." (What's a really good race for you?): "I think consistency and moving up through. If we finished top 15, it would be huge. A top 10 would not be short of a miracle. The competition is so deep and tough. It's like no other racing series. We're just trying to move along. It's where the teammates work together, when one gets stronger, they get everyone else stronger. We need to find some teammates and work together to learn some stuff quicker. Track position is everything. I think Goodyear is going to give us an opportunity to at times stay out because the tire comes right back when it cools down."

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 96 Ask.com Ford): "I totally screwed up Turn 2. I tried to go too fast. I didn't lay it right on the brake to get it (car) to turn. On Race Day to win, you have to have a good car and good, smart pit stops like you do everywhere else. It takes a good race car. We'll just have to wait and see what we can do from back there."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet): "I had a stomach virus earlier in the week. It took a lot out of me. I am taking a lot of fluids, and trying to get right for this weekend. It should be fine. I've taken a couple of IVs, and I feel better. I just want to make sure I have enough fluids on Sunday. Dehydration is all I worry about." (What about your run?): "This is a brand-new race car. It is the first car Lance (McGrew) had built with the team. He is real proud and excited about it coming to the race. I wish we had run a little bit quicker than that, but we feel pretty good about our chances. We're going to get a little practice this afternoon to learn about the car, and make it better for the race."

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Johns Manville Toyota): "We messed up. We knew we were going to go faster, and we killed the front splitter. Hit the ground pretty hard, and it went straight. It's unfortunate. We were very fast yesterday in practice. It's a little deficit putting us back there, but we'll fight hard. We got a good race team. We'll fight hard and get our way back toward the front on Race Day. I come here with a lot of passion to run good, but obviously when you have qualifying runs like today, you get really frustrated. We were like 12th in practice and a good opportunity for a top-10 qualifying, and we just made a mistake. It's disappointing. We'll continue to learn from our mistakes and get better. We crossed the start/finish line pretty much 200 rpm faster than what I ran in practice. I was probably doing the same thing in Turn 2. I just bottomed out the front splitter. We still have a good race car. We just got to tune on it a little bit better."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 21 Motorcraft Ford): "I keep saying it over and over again, these guys (Wood Brothers) have worked so hard on this stuff. I'm proud to get in this race car when we come to the racetrack. With Ford Motorcraft helping us put together this deal, I'm just so proud of these guys. We were here for the tire tests, and we really learned a lot. We were relatively quick then and had a pretty good race car, and we just kept whittling away at it to make it better." (About the race): "We'll just have to see a little bit here today (in final practice.) I'm still just a little bit dumbfounded. Looking back to just about a year ago, even six or eight races ago, the way we turned this deal around ... they just keep giving me better stuff. It makes it easy to drive a race car."

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet): "It was not the run that we wanted with the Haas Automation Chevrolet. It felt good; I just thought I was going to be faster than I was. It's a big race. We had practice yesterday, and kudos to NASCAR for (scheduling qualifying), especially for the go-or-go-home guys and giving them an opportunity to get in one of the biggest races of the year. I feel pretty good about the car. I think that we were better in race trim than we were in qualifying trim. Hopefully we get a top-20 starting spot out of that. Hopefully the sun comes out and cooks the racetrack, and we can take advantage of our draw." (How frustrating is it to wait?): "It's a little frustrating. You just have to stay focused, relax, hit your marks, and do your thing. I just didn't do it fast enough."

MAX PAPIS (No. 13 GEICO Toyota): "Tight, just too tight."

DAVID REUTIMANN (No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota): "Just judging from our runs from Friday, it's a big pick up. We're still a little bit on the tight side, but all in all, it's a pretty good run. The track definitely got warmer. The car didn't feel as good as what (speed) showed on the board. When they told me what I ran, I asked them again to make sure I heard them right. I'm really proud of everybody. It's all right to feel good for one lap, but we need to feel good for the whole race and that's going to be the challenge. It never hurts to start near the front here. It's not the easiest place to get around or the easiest place to pass. We'll see what race day brings."

JOEY LOGANO (No. 20 Home Depot Toyota): "The car just wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be out there. I think we were a little bit tight off the corner, and it snapped right before the fence and kind of made it tough. (My first time at) Indy is awesome. This is one of the coolest racetracks I've ever been to, so it makes it a lot of fun to be out there. I've just got to keep working on it and figure out some things we can do to see how we can make the car a little bit faster, and we'll be all right."

SCOTT SPEED (No. 82 Red Bull Toyota): "I went into (Turn) 1, and I kind of lost a little bit and didn't quite get to the bottom. The rest of the lap I was like, 'All right, we just need to get this thing in the show.' We've had a fast car all weekend. I'm sure we'll be all right for the race. Luckily, we get another practice in this afternoon. We've done so many laps at this track it is certainly one that has a lot of tricks to it. The more laps I'm getting here I'm learning quite a bit more than you usually learn at a track. So, we'll see. All things are looking good so far. Not only on the racetrack, but this was always my little America. Every time I came back into America, it would always be to here when I was racing in Formula One. Now that I've been here and living here for the last few years, everything seems a lot different now that I'm back here for a race. So it has a lot of weird little idiosyncrasies to it, but so far it's been great."

JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet): "The track is in good shape, and the tires are good. Across the board, we have everything in line for a good race. I think everything is pointing in the direction of a good race." (Was it frustrating waiting out the rain today?): "No, we are kind of used to it. At least this way, everything is packed into one period of time in qualifying and then turning around to qualifying right away. It's the way we work, hurry up and wait. Usually we go through the cupboards of the bus and eat way too much. Today, I was motivated and went for a run."

KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet): "Fast race cars are why everyone's here; that's why sponsors put their names on the side of the cars and why we show up at the racetrack. We're competitive people. I wouldn't put it past us to run in the top five and be right there on Race Day. At Chicago, we had a top-10 car and the bottom of the power steering reservoir fell out. At New Hampshire, we ran well and got in the middle of the melee up there. Stupid stuff like that has happened to us. It's been one thing after another. Add that on top of the cars not running well, we've been in the middle of all these crazy scenarios. It really piles on because the results don't show up on Monday morning, and you wonder what in the world is happening. I'm proud of the progress our team has made over the last four or five weeks. We're here to race here and do the best we can. We will continue to work as hard as we can together."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet): "We didn't qualify very well. We've got to really get the car working well in traffic and well balance. I think the speed is there; we just need to fine tune it. It definitely wasn't our best effort. Its little fine-tuned things that make your car comfortable and go fast here. We haven't really had it since we went into qualify trim. The car was good in race trim. We've qualified terrible here and done well in the race. It's not the end of the world. I think I've forgotten how to qualify here. You've got to get everything right to qualify well here. You've got to four corners that are all unique and different. The wind plays a little bit of a factor here, as well as the car and the engine. Everything has to be just right. We just haven't been able to do that recently. We've had great results in the race still. I still feel good about what we've got for the race. I would have been fine not qualifying." (What do you expect from a race where now the tires may outlast the gas?): "I still think the grip goes away. Even though the tires don't wear out, the grip does change. It's still going to be a strategy race and a driver's race. The car has to be set up. I think we are going to get back to what we used to have here at Indy. It's a very challenging racetrack, which makes it very exciting." (What do you think of Mark Martin's season?): "I am certainly impressed, but I am not surprised. Mark Martin is an incredible talent. I have always thought that he was one of the best talents I've raced against. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I knew he could be a great asset to that team when they talked about having him there. I was a big supporter of it. I think he has exceeded any expectations that anybody had, including himself, knowing Mark. When you put him behind the wheel, Alan (Gustafson), and all the guys on that 5 team at Hendrick Motorsports, they are doing everything right. They have the momentum and the confidence. That's what it takes. That's what a lot of us are searching for as the Chase starts, so we can go and do battle with those guys."

TONY STEWART (No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet): "I am happy with that lap. With as warm as it is, it is a pretty strong lap. I was a little bit free on the entry to (Turn) 2." (How frustrating is it to wait all day for qualifying?): "I can sleep in all day, anyways. I just slept in while it rained. It's a good chance to catch up on some rest. It's hard when you know that it is going to get hot and get warm and you drew a late number. I am pretty satisfied with that qualifying effort. If we can stay in the top five or six, that will get us a good pit selection for Sunday, and that is what we need. I don't know why qualifying here becomes more stressful than it needs to be. When you can have a good run like that, it gives us a lot of good momentum going into happy hour and tomorrow. This place is not a track that gets grooves three- or four-wide. You know that you've got to start up front. You don't have to, but it helps if you do."

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