TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes Talladega Superspeedway


BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 9th How was your qualifying lap? “I think it’s a really good run for us. The Red Bull Toyota was the best it’s ever been in qualifying at a superspeedway. We were all kind of shocked to be honest with you. Really proud of the guys. They did a heck of a job on the car and I can’t take any credit for today — qualifying is all them. Tomorrow it’s a joint effort for sure, but today it’s all them.”

What are your thoughts about communicating with other drivers during the race? “I do think that letting the drivers talk to each other is the right thing to do. It seems weird and I know it’s driving NASCAR crazy — they like to have their thumb on everything, but the reality is the way we’re drafting now and the way the cars are — it’s dangerous when you have two guys locked together and the guy with all the motor pushing can’t see anything. You’re basically driving blind and you don’t know when you lift or not to lift unless you can talk to the guy in front of you. It’s difficult.”
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MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 15 Aaron’s/Auburn University Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 12th How happy are you to qualify into tomorrow’s race? “I’m really pleased. Bobby Kennedy (crew chief) and all of the boys at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) did a great job tuning the car. I’ve just got to tip our hat to Toyota Racing Development. They’ve really stepped up the engine end of it and got us the power we need to be right up front. Thanks to Toyota, thanks to all of the team and ‘War Eagle’ as they say.”

Are you confident you have a car that can win the race? “We had to get all of the speed that it had though and I’m a little bit nervous about how it’s going to handle, and we don’t talk much about handling here. Either the wind or the way it’s setup made it go a bunch of different directions just now so we’ll have to get a plan about what might be causing that. We didn’t do any race runs so we’ll have to see if there is anything we might know of or think of that could help it drive a little bit better. The way it sits right now it’s a bit of a handful.”

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Coloring Contest Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 14th Are you happy with your car for tomorrow’s race? “So far, yeah I’m happy with it. I qualified okay and it was an okay lap so we’ll be okay in the race. I think you’ll see a lot of similarities in tomorrow’s race to what we saw at Daytona. I think there will be a lot of similar things going on. I wouldn’t see any reason for it to be any different.”

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Baked Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 15th How was your car on the qualifying lap? “Our Bush’s Toyota was good at Daytona and this is the same car that we had down there. We didn’t make a qualifying run yesterday and a lot of guys didn’t. We were pleased with the speed that we ran. These guys work so hard in the off season and they have a pretty good baseline — we have this amount of horsepower, we have this drag, we have this, this and this and we’ll probably run this so I think we were a little better than we thought. A lot of work goes into these two laps. The crew guys deserve a lot of credit and Toyota engines worked flawless today. We had a better qualifying lap than we anticipated.”

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 22nd

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Starting Position: 26th How was your qualifying lap? “It was uneventful. It was a standard Talladega lap — shifted the gears, held it to the floor and drove around. Feels slower than normal here and I guess it’s the smaller plate. The race will be a lot like Daytona. Of course there’s a lot more room here to move around, which is good and will help. For us, we just need to get to the end of the race. We’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 29th How was your qualifying lap? “It was pretty uneventful. Our cars just don’t have a whole lot of speed. We just never seem to qualify with a lot of speed at this race track, but we always seem to race well. My guess is probably the car has a lot of drag in it and once you get around the draft it kind of takes that out.”

How much will you focus on your teammates running with you tomorrow? “Ultimately, it all depends on how you lineup on restarts. It’s kind of who you pair up with, but for me Joey (Logano) was pretty much the only guy I worked with yesterday and chemistry seemed to be good.”

KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 31st Do you feel like you have a good car for tomorrow’s race? “I hope so. I hope things run as well as they did at Daytona. There were times at Daytona where I felt like we were really good. I think we just qualified a little bit better than compared to say the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and the 1 (Jamie McMurray) that we were at Daytona so it will be a little bit better tomorrow. Hopefully everything goes our way and we have a chance. It’s going to be an interesting race.”

KEVIN CONWAY, No. 97 Extenze Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 32nd

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 34th What did you think about your qualifying lap? “I just did everything that I was told to do and hit my marks. That’s all she had. We’re not worried about that. We’ll see what happens here on race day and how well our car works with some other guys out there. We know that it’s a good race car. We feel like we’ve got the opportunity here to try to win this weekend. We’ll see how it pans out and if we can have a little bit of luck on our side.”

Do you plan to work with your teammates tomorrow? “No, actually you want to try to work with a bunch of other guys to see exactly how your car works with them. We know our cars work well with our teammates — we know how to work with our teammates. You kind of want to experiment and see exactly how many other cars you can work well with first and then when it comes down to the end of the race, you’ll just have more friends to play with.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 36th Do you plan to team up with your Joe Gibbs Racing teammates tomorrow? “We didn’t plan on qualifying this far back, but at least we’re close to each other and me and Denny (Hamlin) worked together the whole practice. We’ll try to hook up as quickly as we can and work our way up towards the front. Our cars were fast in the draft. It seems like at Daytona we weren’t real good in qualifying either. We will have to work on our qualifying package a little bit here, but the big thing is that it really doesn’t matter a whole bunch here. We can work on that.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Will there be a lot of bumping and two-car drafting tomorrow? “That’s all you’ll see — you won’t see anything else. The guys up front will definitely be two-car drafting up there and pulling away. You’ll see a lot of that today in the Nationwide race too.”

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 40th

MIKE SKINNER, No. 60 Big Red Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: DNQ

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP Racing LLC Toyota Camry, PRISM Motorsports Starting Position: DNQ

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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