CHEVY NSCS AT HOMESTEAD: Qualifying Notes & Quotes

2013-11-16


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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

FORD ECOBOOST 400

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES

NOVEMBER 15, 2013

 

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 6th:

"I had been arguing with myself for an hour or two as to where to run in turns three and four. That was the first time I've run on the bottom all day. It was a little too loose off both ends but definitely was a decent lap for us."

 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR SUNDAY? 
“Well you know this has been a great race track for us.  I feel really good.  We spent more time with our car in race trim today than we did in qualifying trim because that is what we have done all year and it’s worked for us.  Really happy with our car in race trim and the qualifying stuff was okay and I just didn’t really know where to run in (turns) three and four there because I wanted to run high, but nobody was making lap time up there.  I had to abort at the last second and we ran low and I think that was the right decision.  Just a little too loose on both ends, but the car is running good.”

 

THE CLOSER YOU GET TO SUNDAY ARE YOU GETTING JUST A LITTLE BIT MELANCHOLY ABOUT THE FINALITY OF LEAVING RCR? 
“I think last week winning brought a lot of that to a head.  I think Martinsville brought up more of that than probably thinking about things that you have done and there is no reason to fuss and fight in the last few weeks here to end that way as much as we have done together.  As many things as we have been able to accomplish it’s been successful for both myself and Richard and everybody who has been involved. 

 

“We just have to end it with a good note this weekend and have fun with it.  And shake hands and hopefully be able to go hunting and doing all the things that we do outside the race track and have fun with it.  I’m still happy with the decision that I made and I think everybody is going to be better for it and we are going to move forward and race hard.”

 

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A CAR FOR SUNDAY THAT CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE IF MATT KENSETH AND JIMMIE JOHNSON FALTER? 
“We can win this race.  We can for sure today.  Maybe not tomorrow because our car is fast and I feel really good about the way that it felt and the way that is was driving.  I feel really confident in the car and obviously there are going to be guys that have the cars, but I feel confident that we have a car fast enough to win this race.”

 

JIMMIE JOHNSON - NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 7th:

"It was a difficult set of circumstances qualifying at night when you practice during the day. But I think we did a nice job adjusting the race car. We had a nice car in qualifying and a decent run."

 

A LOT OF GUYS TALK ABOUT SEARCHING FOR DIFFERENT LINES. WHERE IS IT COMFORTABLE FOR YOU?

"Anywhere. This track has so many options and that's the awesome thing about it. In qualifying you don't have a lot of time to sort it out. It's really just one lap. Come race time, this place is so much fun because you can really run anywhere on the track and try to find a place to get your car to handle right. Qualifying is done and we'll go into race practice tomorrow and look forward to racing Sunday."

 

"We have a good points lead which helps in some respects. The test session we had here a couple weeks ago has led to a comfortable day today. That helps put the nerves at bay. But come Sunday, the nerves are going to be there. You can't hide from them. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've accomplished.

 

“The reality of what you are trying to do will be there today for me - or anyone that is in that championship position. Everything has been good and smooth and hopefully it stays that way for us."

 

IN REGARDS TO HOW HIS QUALIFYING POSITION WITH AFFECT PIT SELECTION: 
“I don’t know how many holes there are on pit lane, but usually about five to six range is where you start running out of the clean in and out.  So hopefully we can stay where we are at to have that opportunity, but if not again top 10 is really the goal that we shoot for each week in qualifying.”

 

HAS THIS BEEN A COMFORTABLE DAY FOR YOU OR A WRESTLING MATCH? 
“It’s been a comfortable day so far. Everything has been pretty calm and good.  The car has been comfortable and the car has had speed in it.  All in all a strong day.”

 

HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? 
“Not bad the car was good.  A strong qualifying effort. For us our goal really is to be top 10 in qualifying each week.  Poles are definitely a bonus and something that we truly appreciate when we get them, but it’s not my strong suit.  Anytime we are in the top 10 we are pretty happy.”

 

THE WAY THINGS HAVE SHAKEN OUT I GUESS IT’S NOT TOO SURPRISING THAT YOU THREE ARE ALL KIND OF RIGHT THERE TOGETHER: 
“We knew it would be that way.  Last weekend was kind of an odd weekend for the No. 20 they had a tough day.  But the No. 29 won and we finished third so I think that is what you see out of teams that are fighting for a championship.  We will all be running around each other all day Sunday.”

 

WHAT BECOMES THE CHALLENGE OR FOCUS FOR YOU FOR TOMORROW? 
“Just making sure I have a good driving race car that can run from top to bottom.  Comfort is going to be key and based on past years if you can maintain track position all day long it’s great. 

 

“But in my five times trying to win a championship or did win a championship there was some adversity that was thrown at me through points of the race.  So tomorrow’s goal is yes, have a fast car, but have a car that I’m comfortable with, a car that I can run anywhere on the race track and if need be and if we do have a caution situation put us down a lap have something that I can be comfortable in traffic with and go race.”

 

IS A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT YOU WERE DOING TODAY WHAT YOU WILL BE LOOKING FOR TOMORROW IN SOME WAYS? 
“Definitely, our goal was to just be in qualifying trim today, but with a chance of rain tomorrow we opted to open up in race trim and it took a couple of laps to explore and to run some lines that I ran during the test session.  Just to have it so I wasn’t cold turkey on Sunday if tomorrow is a wash out.”  

 

 KURT BUSCH - NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/WONDER BREAD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2nd:

"We got a pole earlier this year at Darlington. It was very special day because it really turned our season in the right direction. Now we want to finish as strong as we can. One lap is good for qualifying but I'm going to give these guys everything I have for 267 laps on Sunday night to see if we can't win with this Furniture Row Chevy."

 

YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LAST RIDE WITH THIS TEAM?

"It's been a great season. A lot of good things have happened. A lot of things have been learned internally with the team, as well as with myself. This year has been very successful. Who know we would have this many top-fives, this many top-10s from a single-car team out of Colorado?"

 

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED

LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE OB A POLE RUN UNTIL YOU GOT TO TURN 3. WHAT HAPPENED?

“Well, I don’t know. I didn’t know I was running that good (laughs). I don’t know if I needed to run a little bit higher.  We ran a higher line in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I don’t know if that would have helped or not. We just got real tight in the middle of the corner.”

 

YOU’VE BEEN SO CLOSE TO A WIN

“We really haven’t run that good here. I don’t know that we’ve been that close here in a long time. We’ve got some pretty decent cars and we’ve had some speed here before, but I don’t know that we’ve been that close to winning a race here at this track.”

 

I GUESS YOU’VE BEEN CLOSE IN THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO HERE

“Yeah, but every week is different and every track is different. That was a frustrating qualifying effort.”

 

DO YOU FEEL LIKE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS THIS WEEKEND THAT YOU CARRY MOMENTUM?

“I really don’t know. I hope so, but there are a lot of changes in the off-season; a lot of new rules and stuff we don’t even know about and that changes everything. So, there are no guarantees you’ll be as good as you want to be when it starts over next year. We’re going to work hard and I’ve got a lot of confidence in my team and the group we’re with. But a lot of things can happen in the off-season.”

 

JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 14th

"It's a really strange racetrack. Normally it gets cool like this and everyone picks up a ton. But the track hasn't picked up much. You feel like you grossly under drove the car. I hit all my marks and did everything I wanted. I just didn't feel like I was nearly as aggressive as I needed to be. But on the other hand, if I had been then I may have been a lot slower. You watch people and everyone is missing their marks. I went out and made sure I hit mine. We picked up about two-tenths from practice which is going to better than the average pickup, I think."

 

THIS IS YOUR LAST RACE WITH RCR. WHAT HAVE THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS BEEN LIKE?

"I'm having fun. I enjoy this team. We've had a good time together. We haven't had the performance we wanted but I strongly believe in this group - I really do. The hardest part for me is that I'm walking away from a group that I feel really good about. I feel like we're going to be a lot better next year than this year. That has been hard. But other than that, I'm at peace with everything. I feel good about what I've got going on. Hopefully in the next several days I can talk about it. I'm excited about my future. And I'm excited about these guys' future, too. I like this team and feel really close to them."

 

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY IT’S GO TIME CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 24th:

DO YOU LIKE THE MULTI-GROOVES? IS IT MORE CHALLENGING FOR A YOUNGER DRIVER?

"It allows you to do different things with the car based on the line you run. The one thing is that there are so many lanes to choose from that it makes for a lot of passing. If you're a little off, there is nothing you can do about it. (Other cars) they run high; they run low on you and go find a spot. So you really have to have the car dialed in."

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