Friday, April 29, 2011

Montoya Fastest in Richmond Happy Hour; Driver Quotes Following Practice

JPM tops final speed charts at Richmond
Top-5 Speeds from Friday's Final Practice Session:
#42-Montoya 125.360
#29-Harvick 125.354
#99-Edwards 125.145
#78-Smith 124.867
#33-Bowyer 124.378
slowest: #46-Yeley 113.203 & #7-Gordon 120.773
incident: #46-Yeley lost an engine early in the session.(

The teams will return to the track at 5:35 PM (EST) this evening for their scheduled qualifying session, and then won’t return to the track until Saturday for the drop of the green flag at 7:30 PM (EST).



Edwards debuted new car Friday, looking for first Richmond win (Getty)
CARL EDWARDS ON BEING SECOND FASTEST IN THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION AND LOOKING FOR HIS FIRST WIN AT RICHMOND: “Yeah, a win at Richmond would be huge. We have had a great year so far and it has been a lot of fun. Our car is pretty fast. We are going to go do a solid qualifying practice here in a minute and we will find out how fast we are in qualifying trim compared to everyone else. We did make a qualifying run which is why we were so fast on the board. This is a fun weekend. I think all the drivers like racing here as far as I know. It is going to be a fun race tonight and a good race tomorrow. We are glad to have Scotts on board. I just got a bunch of grass seed from them that we are going to plant here in the next couple of days and find out exactly how well the stuff works. I am excited. They have been a lot of fun this year. We have had some good races and hopefully we can come out of here with the points lead. We are enjoying leading the points. It is fun for everybody on our team.”

CARL EDWARDS ON WHETHER THE DIFFERENT TIRES FROM WEEK TO WEEK HAS IMPACTED HIM: “I kind of quit asking what tires were on the car or if NASCAR changed them or not because it seems like they change them every time we come to the race track. It is easy to get lost when you focus on stuff like that too much. As a driver I focus on getting my car set up and working the best it can. I know it is a challenge. It makes it challenging when you come back to a track and the tires are different and what you had before isn’t even close. There is a lot that goes into trying to predict how things are going to be with new tires. As a driver I just go drive the thing as fast as it will go and try not to focus to much on that other stuff. I used to pay a little bit more attention and it just didn’t seem to help me. It is important to understand it but if you get mad about it because it doesn’t help.”

CARL EDWARDS ON WHY HE THINKS GOODYEAR IS CHANGING TIRE RECOMMENDATIONS SO FREQUENTLY: “Is this a different kind than we ran last time? Did you ask them that? I really don’t know. You know you can go ask them, they are right outside. It is a good question really but I don’t know what the deal is. It seems like they have had very safe tires lately and that is the most important thing. I don’t know why they are changing them.”

Kenseth's car rapidly improved from first to final practice session (Getty) 
 MATT KENSETH ON WHAT TO MAKE OF ALL THESE TIRE CHANGES? “I have no idea. It is the same for all of us when we show up and I don’t know all the differences all the time. There are some tracks we have been to this year where maybe they missed it a little bit like Bristol where we had a different tire. They are always trying to make it better I think and make the racing better. I believe it is the same tire we ran at Phoenix so I don’t think it is that different. Weekends when you run good you are wishing you could run that tire more and weekends you don’t run well then you won’t want to run that tire.”

MATT KENSETH ON HIS TWO PRACTICES FRIDAY: “The last practice was a little bit better. When you really don’t get on the track again except from qualifying you kind of go off what you felt like after your last practice and we hadn’t practiced very well. This one was a little better and we made some improvements and progress to get a little hope. It was looking grim after the first session. It wasn’t looking very good."

Busch looking for third Richmond win
 KYLE BUSCH ON WHY HE'S BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL AT RICHMOND: "I don’t know. It’s just been a really good race track. Somehow we’ve been able to figure it out in the races. Sometimes we don’t practice great, sometimes we don’t qualify great, but we’ve always been able to come up through there. The qualifying stats aren’t as pretty as the race stats, but you don’t put too much emphasis on that. Certainly you’d like to qualify well and have a good shot at staying up front and staying out of trouble, but we’ve been able to make our way up through there. I think the long green flag runs suit my style pretty well and I like being able to get out there and kind of get strung out and run at your own pace — run at your own agenda.”

KYLE BUSCH ON WHETHER HE FEELS YOUNGER DRIVERS GET PSYCHED OUT BY HIM aFTER RUNNING HAMLIN'S RACE THURSDAY NIGHT: “You’d have to ask them. They might not really admit it. I would say that has a little bit to do with it. I would say they put a little bit of added pressure on themselves going against myself at that particular moment. They may have just screwed up a little bit. If people just concentrate on being consistent and running their own race and not worrying about who’s around them they can sometimes be a lot better off.

Darrell (Wallace Jr.) he ran into me under the caution coming to the green trying to force me higher up to get my right sides in the stuff. I’m like, ‘Kid, what are you doing.’ You know, I’m a little bit smarter than that. I know what’s going on here. And then he about wrecked us both. Luckily, I held on to it. But, apparently he got hit from behind. I don’t know.”

KYLE BUSCH ON IF HE FEESL LIKE A MENTOR: “Well, I can talk to them, as much as they want to talk to me. I think they’re either intimidated by me or they just feel like they don’t need the help. I’ve never talked to Max (Gresham) or to Darrell (Wallace Jr.). I was kind of the same way. I always hated calling a Jeff Gordon or a Jimmie Johnson about stuff like that. You know, those guys have their own agenda and are doing their own deals, so it’s kind of tough sometimes to feel like you’re being bothersome to them. So, I can imagine they’re the same way.”

Strong in Q-trim early
  PAUL MENARD ON WHAT HE WAS WORKING ON IN PRACTICE — RACE OR QUALIFYING: “We were working on race trim the first practice. We started off in qualifying trim. The track was cooler than it will be this next session so we wanted to get a good number and get a late draw. Probably 10 or 15 guys did the same deal. We’ll have a good draw for qualifying I think. I’m not sure anybody’s going to go a whole lot faster in the second practice. Now it’s a short practice and we’ll work on qualifying trim.”

PAUL MENARD ON HOW HIS CAR WAS IN PRACTICE?: “It was okay. Qualifying trim was good. We switched over to race trim and it was pretty good. Made a couple changes and it was not good at all. Really kind of got behind. Basically just went back to how we unloaded, reset it and it was back to being okay. We’ll learn some things here. I don’t think we’ll change a whole lot.

Bowyer looking for a return to Richmond's victory lane
CLINT BOWYER ON HIS TWITTER PARTY AND HIS SURPRISE RICHMOND WIN FROM 2008: “It was. First of all, that win was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in Victory Lane because it was a surprise, you know? We had a fast car all day long and we put ourselves up there and put ourselves in position. That’s what you have to do. But nonetheless, the right circumstances played out and we were able to win the race. There was so much! You couldn’t help but to laugh about it, you know? I could kind of see it coming, and I knew that I needed to put myself in position and then it happened, and it was like, oh my God. I could see it coming. It happened! It was just an incredible feeling and an incredible win for us. To put BB&T in Victory Lane and everybody, I’ll never forget that day. It was a pretty wild and exciting time. I was actually worried about Kyle Busch (laughs). I didn’t know how I was going to get him out of here.

“And the Twitter thing? What a joke! Oh, my. I was involved in a Twitter party. Did I host the Twitter party? I attended a Twitter party. I don’t know why we just didn’t get on the phone and talk to each other (laughter).

Ask him this question and then type this answer and then see what he thinks about this and they said this and type that. It was a mess. I was mad (at his PR representative); and I’m still upset with him that he made me even participate in such a goofy thing. I’d better not say any more.”

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