Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pocono Driver Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes

Ragan's best finish at Pocono was fifth-place in 2008 (Getty)
DAVID RAGAN – QUALIFIED 15TH: “Hopefully that will end up in the top 15. We thought we had a legitimate shot of a pole run or top-five run, and I think the track is a little bit warmer now than it was maybe 20 minutes ago, but I missed my marks a little bit through the tunnel turn. The car got a little bit tight, but, other than that, it was a pretty solid lap. I think our race car is gonna be close for Sunday. We’ve got some little adjustments to make to try and make it better. It’s an OK lap. You’re never completely satisfied unless you’re on the pole, but I think that will give us certainly something to race with. It’s a lot better than 25th.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – QUALIFIED 27TH: “That’s not what we wanted. When you’ve only got one lap it’s hard to really know what you’ve got out there. I tried, but I just got a little loose off of one and lost a lot of momentum.”

GREG BIFFLE – QUALIFIED 16TH: “That’s a relief. It was really good and it’s really good to see it brightening up out here. I was a little unsure of the grip level, so I probably didn’t take full advantage of what was out there. I got about seven-eighths of it. In one and two I probably could have got the gas down a little bit sooner and could have carried a little more speed through the tunnel, but in three I think I was right on the money.”

CARL EDWARDS – QUALIFIED 4TH: “I went down in turn one and Bob said, ‘Man, that was a little scary,’ so there’s a lot of grip out there. I’ve got to give Ryan Newman some trouble. I actually beat Ryan Newman in qualifying here at Pocono, so that’s huge. I’m proud of my lap. I’ve got to say that Joey Logano’s lap was a very, very fast lap. Mine felt amazing, so he did a really good job and now we’ll go race. It’s gonna be great. We’ve got Ortho, Aflac, Ford, hopefully we’ll get them a win.”

Kahne and Busch both look to be strong
KURT BUSCH - QUALIFIED FIFTH: “It was a decent qualifying effort. I told Steve (Addington, crew chief) we could really be scratching our heads if we were back 25th or so. To be fifth, that’s a great start. We’ll get a good pit box selection. In race trim, we’ve been struggling. This car has been tight with us all weekend. We’re going to jump out of our setup and go to Brad Keselowski’s (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) setup. He went through a rough wreck earlier this week; it’s great to see him in the car, pushing hard. These young kids, they’re made like rubber bands, they can bounce back from anything. So we’re going to have to go to his setup to get our car freed up enough to try and win this bad boy on Sunday.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI - QUALIFIED 13TH: “We had a really good Turn 3, a decent Turn 2, but the car bottomed out too much in Turn 1. We were really good yesterday in race trim, so we feel pretty good about that. We’ll have to fight through some traffic tomorrow. We’ll do what we can.”

PAUL MENARD - QUALIFIED 7TH: “It was a pretty good lap for the CertainTeed/Menards team. That gives us a good starting spot for tomorrow’s race. It’s good to get that behind us and now we can focus on continuing the momentum from last week’s (Brickyard 400) win.”

JEFF BURTON - QUALIFIED 8TH: “We are happy with that lap. The track is getting faster and faster. We feel good about that lap. We were a little behind in qualifying trim yesterday, we were really happy in race trim but weren’t where we wanted to be in Q trim. We made a lot of changes this morning and that got us a lot closer. The car drove good and that is ok.”

3 straight Pocono Top-5's for Harvick
KEVIN HARVICK – QUALIFIED 10th: “The last couple of years we’ve had our cars handling really good and as you get into the race there is a lot of fall-off in the tires. But our Budweiser Chevrolet has been really good in race trim. We only made one qualifying run at the end of the second practice yesterday. Qualifying has been a struggle for me. The cars are like this pretty much every week but it’s few and far between that I get all of it out of it. But still, a lot left out there; but a good lap for us.”

CLINT BOWYER - QUALIFIED 14th: “Hopefully that will get us near the top-15. Starting position and track position on a track this side is key. Hopefully we an keep it there.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY - QUALIFIED 16th: “It felt like it was a really good lap. This is one of the tracks that you come to that when the sun goes away or cools off, you pick up so much grip. For me, it was right between needing to shift and not needing to shift. I did two qualifying runs in practice and shifted in one and didn’t shift in the other and I felt much better about downshifting. I did that all three corners there and the engine certainly is over-reved when you come out of the corners, but it seems like the car accelerates really well. This has been a really tough track for me. Turn three has been really hard and I had the goofiest line of all time coming through there because I want to run low and everyone else runs high. The more worn out that pavement gets on the outside; the better it is for me because I just haven’t been able to figure it out. But, it was a good run for our Bass Pro Chevy.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA – QUALIFIED 22nd: “I think our Target Chevy is pretty good here. We’ve done a lot of work. We unloaded a little bit off from where we needed to be and we did a lot of changes. I think the biggest road course thing is downshifting now you know, with the gear they allow you to run now. There is a big benefit if you know how to use it and myself being a road racer, it always helps.”

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