NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
SAVE MART 350
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 24, 2011
Three Team Chevy Drivers Score Top-Five Starting Positions at Infineon Raceway
SONOMA, Calif. – (June 24, 2011) – Jamie McMurray will start on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Fellow Team Chevy driver Paul Menard, No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet, will roll off third for the 110-lap/218.9-mile/350K race, the first road course of the season.
Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, will start fifth in the 43-car field for the 16th race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, will start ninth to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 starters.
A total of 16 Chevrolet drivers will take the green flag at Noon P.T. (3:00 P.M. ET).
Joey Logano (Toyota) won the pole. Denny Hamlin (Toyota) completed the top-five qualifiers.
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT: “It was actually a solid run for us this evening, especially after the way we unloaded. I’m not a road course racer by any means, but I enjoy coming here. The guys worked hard to get us a top-10 starting position so we should be ready to go on Sunday.”
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 DURACELL/MENARDS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD
JAMIE – TALK ABOUT THE STRATEGY YOUR TEAM PUT TOGETHER COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND: “I was actually a little bit nervous coming here because we didn’t go do a road course test before this weekend’s race. So you don’t really know if what you are going to unload with is going to be close. We unloaded and the car was really good right off the truck and just had a really good day. I was shocked when I saw the lap times that guys were able to run when I was in line waiting to go. Once really just leaving over here at the half-way point in the track on my get-up-to-speed lap, I couldn’t believe the grip that the track had. I was really happy with our results today.”
PAUL – TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT COMING TO THE ROAD COURSE AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON AND THE STRATEGY: “Definitely track position is important and we didn’t expect, when we unloaded this morning, I did not expect to qualify in the top-five. We struggled for grip all practice long. Hit on a couple of things toward the end of practice and made a few adjustments before qualifying. The car actually drove really good right there. Looking forward tomorrow to work on some more. We have a lot of practice tomorrow to try and figure this tire out and get it better for Sunday.”
PAUL-HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL RACE ON SUNDAY? DID PRACTICE TODAY GIVE YOU AND INDICATION OF HOW YOUR CAR WILL BE? “I will let you know tomorrow morning. This tire gets really slippery after a couple of laps, we have to figure how to keep the drive off as good as possible. It is never going to be perfect. But we just have to work on the things we can work on. The car turns good, try to get the grip off the corners. I think everybody is going to fight that come Sunday.”
JAMIE – HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL RACE ON SUNDAY? DID PRACTICE TODAY GIVE YOU AND INDICATION OF HOW YOUR CAR WILL BE? “I think it is going to be really interesting on Sunday because the tire falls off a second in four or five laps and what is going to be curious tomorrow to find out is if it falls off another second in the next 10 laps. Because if it does, you will be able to put tires on. It won’t be the typical road course where you pit with 35 laps to go or whatever your fuel window is and then stay out and stay out. If the tire falls off the way that it did today on Sunday, there will be some different strategies going on and you will be able to pass guys fairly easily because even on new tires, it is really hard to get a hold of the race track now. It is really worn out this year.”
JAMIE – WHAT KIND OF SHAPE WAS THE TRACK IN? “I think it was significantly better than what we had in practice. I mean normally when you are qualifying here, it is hard to back up your time from practice. When we do our practice runs, you leave from here and you get the whole lap to get your tires warmed up. Then when it comes time to qualify, you come from the backstretch and you just don’t have enough time to get enough heat in the tire. But today it was different. I couldn’t believe the grip in turn 11 the first time coming by so the track was in good shape.”
PAUL – CAN YOU TELL US ANYTHING ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS YOU FOUND TO GET SO MUCH BETTER? “No, I can’t. (LAUGHS) They were a step in the right direction, I’ll say that. Some promising things that we can work on for tomorrow.”
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