CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 2nd
How strong was the car in qualifying?
"It's nice to have three shots at it – this place has always been tough for me the first time out. We get to run the first run, work on it a little bit, second run and work on it and for me, that was the best run that we had all day. I was real proud of my guys and everybody worked together really well. My plan with Denny (Hamlin) almost worked out perfectly, but he didn't spin early enough to keep Kurt (Busch) from getting me. It was good – the car is fast. This is fun. Hopefully, we can get a good pit stall, good starting spot and hold off these guys on the restarts."
Do you see a lot of progress with Joe Gibbs Racing in recent weeks?
"The last few weeks have been great and they have been very encouraging. This practice session was good, qualifying was good and it seems like every time I look up at the board all of our Toyotas are up there towards the front. It is good. This place is really a pretty good test of your equipment because it's so fast and you have to have a lot of engine power and you have to have good downforce and side force and all those things. Right now, it appears that we're moving in the right direction."
Are there various options to get around the bumps in the tunnel turn?
"That's a good question, I haven't explored it. I think you'll see a lot of that in the race. Guys will be trying everything. I think I saw Jimmie (Johnson) running below the line a little bit in practice. To me, if they could just go ahead and take some bumps like that and put them over in the other corners too, it would be even better. It adds something. As long as it's not breaking parts, I believe it gives us an opportunity to setup passes. We'll see how it goes in the race, but it could be one of those things where you might have an opportunity to take advantage of a guy's trouble that he has through there. I say that and then I'll probably have the worst trouble through the bumps, but to me it's okay to have that character. They're on the big side, but that's okay."
|Edwards celebrates his first win for Joe Gibbs Racing two weeks ago at Charlotte|
What was it like winning at Pocono back in 2005?
"I guess ignorance was bliss there. It went well. We prepared so much for this event and I leaned on my teammates really hard and Kurt (Busch) at the time. Everybody helped me a ton, I came to this race with really no expectation and then we had a great battle with Brian Vickers and we won the race. It was huge and it meant a lot to me, just because of how tough this place is. Since then, we've had some struggles, but it's still always been one of my favorite race tracks. It's as close to a road course as you can get on an oval. It's just fun and hopefully we can do that again."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 8th
What happened when you spun in the final round of qualifying?
"I just got loose, that was the biggest thing. I was going for it. I felt I had a car that had plenty left in reserve to go for it and I tried. I thought our FedEx Camry was very strong and I'm very optimistic that we have a great car for Sunday. Knowing that you can only go back to like 12th makes you just put it on the line a little bit more in these qualifying sessions. I went for it and just stepped over that line a little bit."
How significant are the bumps in the tunnel turn?
"The bumps, it's amazing how they've changed over the course of the year. When you think about how wet the East Coast was over the winter, it's the opposite here and it freezes. With that, it gets compacted and it expands and we have pretty big bumps over there. Thinking about it, when you're around other cars, it's going to be tough for the guys that are two-wide in that corner, but I think that it could provide actually some passing opportunities possibly if guys get to mixing it up over that bumps."
Where were you on the track when you spun?
"I was in the center of (turns) one and two and I was just going for it. I had it set in my head that I was going to go for the pole and run as hard as I could and just stepped over the line a little bit."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Crispy Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 10th
Did you feel you could have improved your time if you had the chance to finish your qualifying lap in the final round?
"I don't know that we would have sat on the pole. We have a great M&M's Toyota Camry – the car is really good. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys brought a good piece so I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday. We weren't able to finish our lap. It certainly would have been nice to start further up front and have better pit selection than what we do, but that's the way the game is played and that's the way ours was played today. We'll take it and get ready for Sunday."
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 19th
How treacherous is the tunnel turn?
"The tunnel turn is just really, really bumpy. They said it got really hot here last weekend and it started heaving and it has some massive, massive bumps in it. It's one of those things – it's the same for everybody and we'll have to figure it out."
DAVID RAGAN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 21st
How was the car in qualifying?
"Our Aarons Toyota, we picked up a little bit of speed from practice but just not enough. We had a decent balance so I'm just kind of scratching my head on where the overall speed was but this place is a tough place to get a hold of sometimes. The good news is it's Friday not Saturday afternoon so we've got a couple more practices but wish we could have qualified a little bit better but we've got something we can work with tomorrow."
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Jack Link's/Big Machine Records Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 23rd
How was the car in qualifying?
"We picked up speed in one and two in the first session. There was a little bit of a cloud that lap and then the sun really came out by the time we got to the second round. It just got slicker and couldn't get enough rear grip to make it go. We'll keep plugging away tomorrow in practice on this Jack Link's Toyota and work on getting her right for Sunday."
JJ YELEY, No. 23 Dr. Pepper/Heinz Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Starting Position: 37th
JEB BURTON, No. 26 Maxim Fantasy Sports Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Starting Position: 40th
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Starting Position: 41st