Saturday, August 31, 2013

Atlanta qualifying quotes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
ADVOCARE 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
AUGUST 30, 2013

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
ON HIS LAP: 
“I was really expecting to run in the 20’s to be honest with you.  I ran in the 40’s in practice in the heat.  It just bottomed out and with the cooler conditions the track grip bottomed out and I had to get out of the gas in (turns) one and two.  It’s okay.  I mean I can’t complain I’m third.  That is probably a top five start.”

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED FIFTH
ON HIS LAP AND TRACK CONDITIONS: “I’m a little bit concerned that the conditions are going to improve here and that we may have just been right there on the edge of when the track is going to get better.  The car has been really good all day.  Gosh, I’ve been so happy. That backs it up because it wasn’t a perfect lap, but still decent lap.  I got through (turns) one and two I thought really good and (turns) three and four just a little bit too tight.  I’ve been so thrilled with the car all day.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/RACE2ACHIEVE.ORG CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED EIGHTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
“I think we finished eighth.  That was a real good car.  The car had a lot more speed than that in it.  There was such a huge difference between the track I think in practice and qualifying that I really underestimated what kind of race car we had.  Got to give Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and my engineer Kevin (Meendering) a lot of credit because they had the car ready.  The car was really good real fast.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S DOVER WHITE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 10TH
HOW CHALLENGING WAS IT TO FIND THAT FAST LINE HERE AS THE SUN BEGINS TO SET?
“There’s nothing like taking the line in qualifying you didn’t run in practice. That was interesting. And the first time through, that seemed to work pretty good. So, it’s so hard to tell. I think the track is going to pick up some more speed. If we can stay in the Top 10, that will be good. The lap felt nice. I just don’t know how it’s going to stack up. I’m encouraged because we’re right there with Kyle (Busch), but the temp just seems like it’s dropping. I don’t know if it was because it was in a hot car and got out and now it feels cooler, or what; but it does feel like the temps are coming down a little bit.”

CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON BABY WATCH?
“It is getting close. And I’m really just going off my wife’s pulse on it all and she’s pretty calm and relaxed about it. We’ve had weekly doctor checkups and everything is going great and it looks like we don’t have anything to worry about right away, although I’d love for something to happen this weekend or next weekend and but everything is great. Mom is healthy and baby is healthy and we’re just kind of waiting for when No. 2 decides to come out.”

WHEN IS THE DUE DATE?
“Chicago weekend. “Richmond and here is real easy. It’s easy for me to mess with the situation being locked-in. Chicago, it gets kind of tricky there and there is no one more focused and committed on the No. 48 winning a championship than Chani, and she is like you need to be in that race car and do your job. So, that’s letting me sleep well. And I clearly want to be there for the birth of our second daughter.”

IS REGAN SMITH THE BACK-UP FOR THIS RACE?
“Yeah, it must be. Yeah it is kind of convoluted with Regan and James and how things bounce around; so yeah, I’d think it would be Regan.”

WHAT IS YOUR CHASE OUTLOOK AT THIS POINT?
“The tracks in the Chase are really good for us. The last three, four or five weeks, we’ve had a lot of different things go on. We have very fast race cars; the majority of them. I’ve blown tires and blown an engine, two different things there that have kept us from scoring points and then potential wins. But, I feel like we’ve got great race cars and great tracks in the Chase. It would be nice to have a little momentum leaving here and going into Richmond, although this race track and Richmond, we don’t have a track like either one of those in the Chase. Although momentum is key and important, if we don’t have the best Atlanta or Richmond races, we know that those 10 tracks in the Chase and really good for us and that’s where we’re really focused.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 E-Z-GO CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 15TH
ON HIS LAP:
“It looked a little worse than what it really was. You somewhat know what you have in the middle of the corner. I was just trying to keep the wheel as straight as I could and trying to leave skid marks off the corner. I didn’t feel like it was that good of a lap. I think it’s going to turn out okay and there’s been some good cars go. But it was pretty interesting. It’s such a fun race track.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 ASPEN DENTAL CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 17TH
DID THIS DRAW HELP YOU?
“I don’t know if the draw helped us, but it was a definite improvement over practice. I think we’ve beat as many guys now with 30 cars left, as we did in practice. So it was a definite improvement for our Aspen Dental Chevrolet. Not the lap that we wanted, but a huge improvement, which is what we needed.”

MARK MARTIN, NO. BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 27TH
YOU WENT OUT EARLY. DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT BE A DISADVANTAGE?
“Yeah, well, it’s not going to help any. The guys did a good job on the car. It felt good. I don’t feel like it was a spectacular lap, but it was a decent lap, respectable for what the car could do. It was definitely early. And it’s going to get real fast as we go on. So, we’ve got a good race car. We’re all comfortable working together now. We’re starting to get kind of in a groove. Last week was really tough and no time; and we’ve had some testing time now and a good day today. The wonderful thing is we get this evening to think about it and tomorrow to get a little bit more dialed in. So, I’m enjoying working with these guys. They’re a good bunch of guys and they’ve made me feel real comfortable.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/BEAUTYREST CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 32ND
ON HIS LAP:
“We ended up on the tight side and we’ll end up 30th.”

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Danica Patrick talks Atlanta

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
ADVOCARE 500
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 30, 2013

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed the first practice session, the addition of Kurt Busch to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 and other topics.  Full Transcript:

HOW DID PRACTICE GO? TYPICALLY OPEN WHEEL DRIVERS DO WELL ON THIS TRACK BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ONE SPECIFIC LANE AND IT’S FAST: “You know I think that it’s not an easy track.  It’s slippery so grip is at a premium and balance is at a premium.  We struggled with that at the beginning.  We were trying a whole different set-up and it really didn’t work.  The very last qualifying run was a little bit better. I finally felt like the car was in the track a little bit.  Hopefully, that means that we will be able to make it even better that amount again for qualifying.  I really think it has a lot to do with the car.  When it’s the slippery you don’t just go out and hold it wide open.  There is a lot of moving around and adjusting for the car and the balance.  It’s about that.”

YOU LIKE HIGH SPEED TRACKS.  HOW DOES THIS PLACE SUIT YOU? “I don’t know if I necessarily like high speed tracks.  I think it’s being able to work with the car and make it better.  I feel like I’ve had good success on everything in stock cars from real short tracks like Martinsville to big tracks like Daytona and road courses in Nationwide.  I used to think that I had a sort of track that I was best at, but I think it just has to do with where the strengths of your team are and where you just make progress on the weekend.  It could have been easy to melt down a little bit in practice and get everyone upset and take ourselves out of the game, but we all stayed calm.  We worked hard and our last run was our best run. That is the kind of stuff that we need to pull us through the weekend.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KURT BUSCH JOINING STEWART-HAAS RACING IN 2014?“I am glad that came out officially.  That is always nice when we there is a yes or a no to it, but it all happened pretty quick as everybody knows.  I’m looking forward to it.  Kurt (Busch) is a great driver, very fast and I’ve always gotten along with him.  I feel like we are going to have a pretty fun team.”

ARE YOU GLAD THE TEAM LINE-UP IS ALL DONE FOR NEXT YEAR? “It is nice.  I think it helps from a team perspective to get things in order and in line for the year because there is going to be a lot that we are going to need to get organized everything from space at the shop to airplane space.  There is a lot for the team to get in order and this gives us the appropriate amount of time to do it without having to skirt around making it look obvious.”

IT’S A VERY BOISTEROUS TEAM SOME OF THESE GUYS ON THE TEAM…“There is a girl too.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR TEAMMATES FOR NEXT YEAR? “I think they are all great drivers and I think I have a lot to learn from all of them.”

DOES IT TAKE ANY OF THE PRESSURE OFF OF YOU AS FAR AS IF THE TEAM DOES STRUGGLE THERE IS ANOTHER VOICE THERE? “I think the best part about having more drivers is one we are going to start hiring people.  We are going to get some fresh ideas and perspectives in.  We are just going to have more brain power.  There are going to be more crew chiefs, more engineers, more of everything and then when you have a line-up like we do there is a lot of experience there especially those other three guys.  I feel like it’s going to help our team from top to bottom.”

DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO SEE ANY OF GENE’S (HAAS) PRESS CONFERENCE THIS WEEK? “I read a little bit here and there, but I didn’t see much of it.  I was back in Indiana with my family.  Obviously, Gene (Haas) was in a position year’s back where he was the team owner and had drivers.  Then obviously the Tony (Stewart) equation came in where he becomes a partner and I think he got excited about wanted to kind of have his own driver again.  So be it.  Again, I’m all about bringing great drivers into the team.  It’s good for everybody, especially good for me.”

HAS HE BEEN A LEADER IN THE TEAM OR JUST STAYED IN THE SHADOWS?
“I guess from my perspective, I feel like in general, he kind of trusts that the right people are in the right places. And Tony (Stewart) and Brett (Frood) and Eddie (Jarvis) and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli) and everybody know what we need as a team. But, then again, I wasn’t around back when it was his. So, I think he’s been a little more on the silent side from my perspective. But he’s definitely been there and whenever we’ve talked, we’re always talking about the car and things like that. So he’s just passionate on sports.”

ON FANTASY FOOTBALL:
‘Yeah, I was just saying today that you ought to do our Fantasy Football and Ricky (Stenhouse) said I think that’s all done. Everybody’s done their draft. But we put one together today is the point. So there are 12 of us on the team now or in the division or whatever, so I think we’re all a little lazy and we’re auto draft.”

SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO PICK?
“Let’s face it. I’m a football fan, but I’m not really sure I can put a whole team together from all the different teams. Now, if we’re just talking about like the Bears, Packers, Lions, and those teams, I’ve watched them enough that I could probably pick out some good ones. But I found that last year doing Fantasy Football at JR Motorsports, I found that I learned a lot more about a lot of other teams and a lot of other players because I had to pay attention to other people. So, I’m actually looking forward to auto draft because it helps me learn about other teams and other divisions. So, I’m excited because it’s really fun to do in the winter and I like it.”

HOW BIG OF A BEARS FAN ARE YOU?
“I go to games every year. I’m a big Bears fan for sure. I always watch their games. I even get nervous for their games. That means that’s a fan, right? I’m sure I’m not the biggest fan but I’m a big fan for sure.”

WHEN YOU HAVE PLAYERS FROM OTHER TEAMS PLAYING THE BEARS IN THE FANTASY DEAL…..
“It almost makes me not want to have anybody from the Packers. Because if I have players from the Packers, that means I’ve got to cheer for them. It’s tough.”

WHO IS IN YOUR LEAGUE?
“It’s like Ricky and I and a bunch of our friends and some family. So, yeah we’re trying to come up with a team name and we couldn’t.”

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