CHEVY NSCS AT BRISTOL 1: Qualifying Notes and Quotes

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FOOD CITY 500
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
APRIL 15, 2016

JIMMIE JOHNSON LEADS TEAM CHEVY IN QUALIFYING AT BRISTOL
Three Chevy SS Drivers in Top 10

BRISTOL, Tenn. – (April 15, 2016) – Jimmie Johnson was fastest among the Chevrolet drivers qualifying for Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.  The six time NSCS champion posted the sixth fastest lap with a lap time of 15.173 secs and average lap speed of 127.997 in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS.   Johnson leads all active drivers with 12 short track victories.

Kevin Harvick posted his fifth top-10 qualifying effort through eight races by posting the seventh fastest time of the third and final session in his No. 4 DITECH Chevrolet SS.  AJ Allmendinger earned his second top-10 starting spot of the year, but second straight at a short track in his No. 47 Bush’s Beans Chevrolet SS.

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Carl Edwards (Toyota) was the pole winner, Matt Kenseth (Toyota) qualified second, Joey Logano (Ford) qualified third, Denny Hamlin (Toyota) qualified fourth, and Kyle Busch (Toyota) was fifth to round out the Top 5.

The action from Bristol Motor Speedway will get underway at 1:00 pm EST on Sunday afternoon April 17. Live coverage will be available on FOX, PRN Radio, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.

 

POST QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES:
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 6th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“I’m excited about how comfortable the car has been, the speed that we have had in it.  Practice sessions can be quite frustrating for us here and qualifying sessions.  To be off to a good, calm, smooth, fast start is really good for us.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 DITECH CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 7th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“I’m really happy with where we qualified as bad as it drove on entry.  We just had a loose into the corner that we hadn’t really expected.  They made some good adjustments and we were able to salvage a decent position and get a good spot.  Hopefully, we will make it better than it was in race trim in practice tomorrow.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 9th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“Overall, just getting better in all of qualifying.  We have made the second round every race so far, which heck, we weren’t even close to that last year.  I think we have made the third round at least close to half.  It’s a big deal.  We are just getting more speed in the cars, trying to learn how to get through these three rounds of qualifying.  The guys that do it every weekend they know what tire pressure, what to do to keep up with the race track as the tires go off.  There are definitely a couple of cars that are way quick, but to be top 10 at Bristol in qualifying is a huge deal.  Everybody gets lapped pretty quickly here, so hopefully we can stay up front and keep working on the car.  We have some room to improve for sure.  It’s getting good.”

TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT THAT TOP 10 STARTING POSITION IS AND THE PIT SELECTION:
“It’s a real big deal around here.  Especially, if early in the race it can go green for a while, if it does and the leader puts down a lot of lap cars and it kind of just ruins the rest of your race.  Starting up front is a big deal.  We’ve got to get the car a little bit more comfortable in race trim to make sure we stay up there, but anytime, especially, on these short tracks you can start up front it just makes that first half of the race a lot easier.  It’s like if you get through the first three quarters on the lead lap it just seems like even if you are only half decent you can still get a really good finish out of it, especially around here.  It’s a really good Friday to start.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 TARKETT/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 14th
WHERE WAS THE CAR AND DID IT GET BETTER FROM RUN TO RUN?
“The first run I felt okay about. It was a little bit tight. We did something there to try and free it up and actually hurt in other places. It didn’t really help where I needed it. So, I was just trying to do something right there at the very end; kind of a long shot and it was actually better. So we gained some knowledge for tomorrow, for sure. I was really close. I feel really good about our Tarkett/Menards Chevy. We’ve got all day tomorrow to work on it.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 13th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“I thought we were really good in practice. We ended fifth or something in the first practice.  Made two or three runs on the same set of tires, the balance was really similar.  The last few times we qualified here the track went really loose so we tightened up a little bit and I was just too tight that whole time.  We couldn’t get the balance back to where it was.  That is a little frustrating just because we thought we had a better car than that, but 13th is still okay.”

DID THE TRACK RESPOND ANY DIFFERENTLY IN THE LANE YOU CHOSE TO RUN?
“Yeah, after watching the Xfinity cars you kind of wonder do you run the top or the bottom? What is going to be the best?  Thankfully, the bottom was still good that is where we practiced at.  The track got a lot tighter than what we fought in practice.  Historically here typically it always gets looser.  We adjusted to be a little tighter and we did a really good job adjusting because we were really tight that whole time.  We have had a really good car. When we unloaded we were really good on our race runs and then with the qualifying trim we were pretty good.  I’m disappointed with 13th, but it’s not horrible.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 KELLEY BLUE BOOK CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 19th
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT
“I just need to get off the corner a little better. I think I messed up my lap a little bit. I got in there a little too hard and on the gas too long. We’ll keep working at it and try to get our car a little better tomorrow afternoon.”

 

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 20th
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU?
“Just how much the track tightened up, probably from the Xfinity practices. A little bit more rubber on the track and we definitely drug the left front through the center and couldn’t really back-up what we did in practice.”

TY DILLON, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 34th
*Involved in an on track accident during qualifying.  The team has decided NOT to go to a back-up car.

TOUGH QUALIFYING EFFORT OUT THERE, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED?
“Yeah, probably one of my most embarrassing moments in racing. I was coming off the corner there and getting up to speed and I clipped the apron and I slid and got loose and slid into the No. 38 car.  It destroyed our right front and took away any good shot we had at a real qualifying lap.  Not what I wanted to do in stepping into this No. 14 ride with Bass Pro Shops and Stewart-Haas.  I thank them for the opportunity and I feel bad that I tore it up in qualifying and we are starting in the back of the field.  But we will work on it and race back up through the field.  We have been doing that the entire year.  I am just disappointed in myself in making a mental mistake in getting up to speed there.  Just real disappointed, but we will come back tomorrow, forget about it, and go forward.”

YOUR TEAM TALKED ABOUT GOING TO A BACK-UP CAR.  DID YOU FEEL ANYTHING WHEN YOU WENT BACK OUT THERE THAT MIGHT INDICATE THE NEED FOR A BACK-UP CAR?
“Yeah, it just didn’t have the speed, it was real tight feeling.  The aero is really messed up.  These guys are the best in the business so they will get it fixed.  Whether we have to go to a back-up or not, we will be alright.”

 

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About Chevrolet:
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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