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Mar 02, 2013 - 11:17 AM
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2013 Phoenix: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
Posted by: ASkyler on Mar 02, 2013 - 11:16 AM
2013 Phoenix: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes

MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 1st How strong was your car in qualifying? "Rodney Childers (crew chief) and all the guys on this Aaron's Dream Machine do such an incredible job. The car was right on the money. They started talking about what they were going to do to it for qualifying and I just covered my ears up and left. They came to me later and said, 'We weren't trying to scare you.' I told them, 'You just do what you do and I'll drive it.' These guys always do such a great job. This 2013 Camry is just rolling."

How was your lap? "The car was beautiful. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and all the guys that work on the Aaron's Dream Machine do such a nice job. The car was just really nice. It was a good lap. I had a lot of anxiety about it because I wanted to run hard, but I didn't want to choke, you know? The times are so close that one little slip up really costs you here, so it was a nice lap and we'll see where that puts us, but it will be a good starting spot."

How would you compare the old configuration to the new one? "The layout is a little bit different, but it doesn't change anything the way you approach it in qualifying. In a race, the backstretch is odd and does change a little bit of things, but the biggest thing is the pavement -- you have to run a really hard tire on this pavement to make it live. So, you have good grip, but as soon as it starts to slip you lose all grip, whereas on the old pavement you could just drive the car through a slide, but now you've got to keep the car straight and that's particularly difficult when you're trying to go fast."


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What would it mean to become the oldest driver to win a NASCAR pole? "No, not really. Whether I was to break that record or not, I look at Harry Gant and don't feel I measure. That's just me. Records don't mean much. I have the respect -- I was there with him and had the pleasure of racing with him and beat by him on a regular occasion. We'll always look at him as someone who accomplished more than I did. He was the guy I couldn't beat at the time. He's an incredible guy."

Why do you think the pole record was not broken at Phoenix this weekend? "This is Phoenix, it's not anywhere else. The track is older, the tire doesn't feel stickier than the last time we were here. The asphalt can degenerate. There are a lot of factors that can affect that. Everybody has had a good day with the car -- it's not been a handful of any kind. I think we went pretty damn fast today, myself whether we broke the track record or not. We might not break the track record at Vegas, but that might be because the asphalt is as old as heck. To me, it's just a non-issue. The car is fast -- it was blindingly fast at Charlotte in the winter. It's a great car, it's not important that we break the track record or not, it's important what kind of show, what kind of race we have. We have a great car to do it with. Every team in the garage has the opportunity to get an edge on the competition -- right now the window is wide open to find something. If you find something, you might be able to hold onto it for several weeks before the rest of the garage figures out what you're doing. This is an exciting time for the people in the garage area because that window is wide open right now."

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 4th How was your qualifying lap? "That lap was better than I expected it to be from where we were in mock qualifying runs. I got a little tight down in the middle of (turns) three and four so the next time down through there I just made sure to slow it down a little more to cut the center and get back to the gas sooner. I think I over slowed it down. I wasn't able to run a little faster on that second lap, but overall a good day for us. The M&M's Camry has been fast and these guys have done a great job. Left off kind of right where we were when we were here last fall -- really fast. We just need to close out the deal. Maybe we can do that here Sunday afternoon."

How was your lap? "It wasn't bad. I thought the M&M's Camry was a little bit better than that, but the guys did a great job. We picked up a little bit of time from practice, so that's always good and can't say enough about all these guys on the M&M's team from Joe Gibbs Racing. We left off right where we were when we were here in the fall and led a bunch of laps and we were fast -- led every practice session I think. Maybe doing all that wouldn't allow us to win the race -- maybe second in practice, maybe third here in qualifying if it holds up will allow us to win the race on Sunday afternoon."

Does the sun make it difficult to see in turn one? "It's a little bit more difficult, of course, just with the sun beating down on the race track it puts a real sheen on the track when you look down that way. The other -- the most tough part is you can't pick up your reference point, so you can't see those cones and everything that's on the wall or on the track to help you with your braking zones and everything. I'm a marker-type guy and a lot of these other guys aren't, so it kind of might hurt me a little bit more than the rest."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 8th How was your lap? "We backed up what we ran, so you're not going to be too disappointed with it. I definitely don't think having an early draw is going to be good for us, but it will at least put us hopefully in the top-15. I think it will be close to borderline that, but we'll see how it all plays out. We know in the race we're going to have a pretty strong car."

What do you like about this race track? "I think it's an awesome race track to drive. With the elevation changes off of turn two to turn three, it really gives the fans that are sitting in the stands a great perspective and you can see all the way around the race track. I know standing on top of the motor home watching other races this configuration is very fan friendly."

MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Husky Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 9th How did your car handle in qualifying? "That was the worst it's been all day. Not sure why -- don't know what happened there for sure. Just missed it real big in qualifying for some reason. We had a great practice session -- everything was good. Something changed in qualifying. Not sure what. We just missed the balance a lot in qualifying and just didn't get a good lap there."

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 13th How did your car handle in qualifying? "We weren't very good today. First day of school, we got an 'F.' The good news is there's a lot more days of school. We were just a little off all day. Got a lot better, just when you show up a little bit off you can't just get it back. I think the guys through practice sessions and going home and looking at what we did and going over some notes -- we'll be able to capitalize on it and be fine for tomorrow."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 14th How was your car in qualifying? "Not very good at all. We struggled today in qualifying trim so hopefully tomorrow will go better with the race trim. We struggled being really loose getting in the corner and really tight off the corners. It's like you're going off into the corner and when you want to turn the steering wheel you can't because you're loose. Then as soon as you get in the corner, as soon as it quits sliding the back, you have to turn the wheel and it doesn't do anything. I don't know -- we're kind of messed up right now. We'll work hard on it tonight and we should be better tomorrow. New car, new tire -- a lot of things are different. We just missed it today."

TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting Position: 30th

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Glad Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position: 33rd

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting Position: 34th

MIKE BLISS, No. 19 G-Oil/Plinker Tactical Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Starting Position: 35th

DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Toyota Camry, Swan Racing Starting Position: 37th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position: 41st

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