TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes Atlanta Motor Speedway


KASEY KAHNE, No. 4 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 1st How was your qualifying lap? “It was a good lap. Coming to the green I felt like I had a good car. It got away from me just a little bit off of four and just tried to do the best I could. I was a little on the tight side so I had to slow down more than I would have liked getting into the corner, but once it did turn I had tons of grip and was able to get off turn two really well and down the backstretch — turns three and four was pretty good too. Just worked out and worked out well for us. Definitely wasn’t a perfect lap, but it must have just been a little better than anyone else’s.”

Where do you think you lost time? “It was a good lap. I just felt like I had a little too much wheel on entry. Probably slid myself down a little too much getting to the center of the corner both ends, including coming to the green. Just a little bit better, but it’s just something we’ve been battling all weekend so far and hopefully we’re getting close. That was definitely a pick up from yesterday.”
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Would you like to be the spoiler for the Sprint Showdown? “I’d be perfectly fine with it to tell you the truth. I wish I was one of those guys going for the million for what Sprint put up there — it’s awesome for charity, for a lucky fan, for the team. All that stuff is really neat. We’re not one of those guys, but we need to win if we want to make the Chase. We’re just right there on the outside looking in right now. I think we have a decent shot at winning one of these last two races. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but we run pretty well at both these tracks. Atlanta is my favorite race track and we have a great starting spot. I’d definitely like to spoil that.”

Why is Atlanta your favorite race track? “The first time I came here in 2003, I just felt like it was — I raced a majority of dirt growing up and to me it feels really similar to Eldora (Speedway in Ohio) at times when the track is real dry and all the way up to the fence at Eldora in a midget or sprint car — you kind of get some of those same similarities. I’ve always just really liked it and always felt that way. I enjoy running right against the wall or right on the white line — whatever you have to do to get the speed out of your car and you can search here. A lot of tracks you can’t search as much. Whatever you have is what you have and this place, if you’re not perfect on the bottom then you can move up six feet and your car could be way better or you can move up to the wall and it be way better or way worse. I just like being able to search — I like being able to look around and try to find the best spot on the race track.”

How much did you let off in the corners on your lap? “I actually still drove into the corner pretty hard, but when I came out of the gas I just had to apply a little brake and slow the car more than I wanted to at that point of the corner. That was the only way I was going to get to the white line. Maybe I over drove my entry a little and slowed down too much in the center and then got off the corner really good. Whatever — it worked today. I’ve ran better laps than that here before and not been on the pole. You never know what you’re going to get and the track is really slippery right now and I like it slippery. It’s good, but it wasn’t a perfect lap by no means, but it was as much as I had today, that’s for sure.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd Did you scare yourself on your qualifying lap? “For Atlanta that’s what it’s all about — how far can you scare yourself and still come back and see the flag. Certainly, it’s exciting. That’s what makes these laps so fast around here and so much fun. Can’t say enough about all these guys on this Pedigree Camry — they did a great job this weekend. Done a real nice job. Hoping this is a little bit of an omen maybe for tomorrow night and we can go win one million bucks for some race fans with us.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Did you feel like your car was fast enough for the pole? “I felt it coming up to speed there on my giddy-up — it was money in one and two. One and two was really good. Little loose down there, but not bad. Got into three and said, ‘Alright, just get it to the bottom and then when you get it to the bottom then be slow with the throttle because that’s what it needed down there.’ I was definitely fighting it pretty bad on the exit there.”

How was your qualifying lap? “It was a good lap for us. Kind of our average almost — certainly it’s a good starting spot for us. We like to be able to come out here and get good starts like this every week. Atlanta has been pretty good to us. Unfortunately, we’ve come close, but haven’t been able to win a pole. A little too loose overall through the whole lap. Especially corner exits — just couldn’t get the throttle down the way I needed to get myself going down the straightaways. Pleased with the lap — pleased with the car – – the Pedigree Camry is pretty decent. The guys have done a real nice job. Hopefully we can come out here and get ourselves a good run tomorrow and try to win one million bucks for a race fan and the Kyle Busch Foundation as well as the No. 18 car.”

Have you ever had so much on the line for one race? “No, not really. There is certainly a lot on the line. It’s something that I’ve been looking towards the whole summer. When Sprint announced the Summer Showdown program, it was something that I really wanted to be a part of and fortunately we were able to win a race there and get ourselves an opportunity to come here to Atlanta to race for the three million dollar prize. That’s important to us as well as getting another win — that’s important to us to kind of seat ourselves a little bit higher for when the Chase starts. Help us along in that respect too. Certainly, there’s a lot that could be at stake tomorrow night.”

BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team Starting Position: 4th How was your qualifying lap? “I thought we were better than that. It was a good run. The guys on the Red Bull Toyota did a good job — probably one of the best cars we’ve had in a while. Really proud of that. Think we’re going to be really good in the race tomorrow too. I guess I’m satisfied – pleased, but not satisfied.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 8th How did your car handle during your qualifying lap? “I was expecting it to be a little better than that. I had a really good lap other than I got down, had a good one and two, got into three really good like I needed to and got to the throttle real aggressive through the center and I was feeling really, really good about it. Then I just hit one little bump wrong and it bounced my front end up about a foot and once you lose that little strip of grip down there you get in that slick stuff and I slid all the way off of four sideways and just cost me some time. We’re talking a half a tenth there and we’d be up right on the front row. Good job to all the guys on the NAPA team. We’ve got a good car this weekend and looking forward to a good run tomorrow night.”

How do you expect the track to change when the temperature drops? “We’re not real sure, to be honest and I don’t think a lot of people really know. It’s one of those deals where you’ve got to guess right on it. I feel like we’re in a good position with the car. We got up to the end of happy hour where it was real adjustable from loose to tight to good. Hopefully we have enough adjustability that whatever it throws at us we can be ready for it.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Charter Communications Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 13th How was your qualifying lap? “It was good. The car’s really good I race trim we feel like qualify were so-so. It wasn’t what we expected, but it’s still not a terribly run.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 Charter Communications Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) How do you adjust to changing track temperatures? “Well we’ve been here the last couple of years and it’s been kind of the same thing where we practice during the day and race at night, so we know what those differences are. We just hope to hit it right when we gamble on the adjustments to what the race track is going to do at night.”

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 16th How was your qualifying lap? “The lap felt okay. That was the first one we made since we’ve been here. We didn’t feel like we were close enough on race trim stuff to enable us to do qualifying stuff. That was it — that was our one and only run. The guys did a good job. The track is getting cooler and the track is getting faster so not real sure where we’ll end up. The guys did a good job so hopefully we will have a decent starting position for Sunday.”

Is it difficult to setup the car for qualifying during the day when the race is at night? “You qualify during the day and it’s hot and slick. This place is pretty slick anyway. It wears the tires pretty quick. Just mainly concentrate on getting the Aaron’s Dream Machine kind of comfortable and knowing that what you practice in today is not even close to what you race with. Really, what we practice in yesterday evening is going to be a little closer. It’s a crap shoot for anybody — it’s tough to anticipate what’s going to happen.”

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Best Baked Beans Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 23rd How did your car handle in qualifying? “It was too tight in the center and we were a little free yesterday. We tightened up the center and got a little too tight probably and then it’s too loose off. Just can’t seem to quite find a way to connect the dots between entry and middle exit right now.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 24th How did your car handle in qualifying? “It was too tight and we couldn’t get any speed out of it. Just got down in there and pushed the nose too much. Just couldn’t pick up the gas hard enough and was waiting on it too long. That’s what we’ve got.”

How challenging is Atlanta Motor Speedway? “This is probably one of the toughest race tracks we go to. It’s just so finicky of a race track. You have to be right on your mark and right on to be fast. It takes some time to get used to and get a feel for it. Getting the car there is a whole new challenge, but one of the toughest race tracks to go to for sure.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 66 HP RACING Toyota Camry, Gunselman Motorsports Starting Position: 28th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 NEMCO Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 34th

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Germain Racing Starting Position: 38th

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