Toyota NSCS Talladega Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes

by Official Release On Sat, May. 05, 2012

[media-credit name=”” align=”alignright” width=”163″][/media-credit]TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes Talladega Superspeedway – May 5, 2012


MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 Aaron’s Color Your Way Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position:  9th What does this type of qualifying result mean to you? “Well, it’s cool because of my team.  This reminds me a whole lot of when I endurance race.  You have these teammates — you don’t want to let them down.  Mark (Martin) has done such a great job and Brian (Vickers) did a great job and now I’m in it, so it’s my job to do a great job so I can keep up the momentum and get these guys a great finish on Sunday and keep that car toward the front.  Hopefully get them a win, certainly that’s the goal.  We won here before and I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything.  I still feel I’m as good at this as I once was.  I can be as good as I once was.”

Did you have a chance to meet Junior Seau? “I got on a plane and went to San Diego on Wednesday for a NAPA appearance and on the way there, I heard that Junior (Seau) had died.  I met him one time and he was just a really vibrant, gregarious, fun guy.  He’s like, ‘Mike, I love that race.  I love that NASCAR.  Mike, that was fun — I love it.’  It was really cool to get to know him a little bit and I was in San Diego when it happened and I drive the No. 55 and I just thought it made a lot of sense to do something to say, ‘Rest in peace Junior.’  That’s the motivation and hopefully he is peaceful now.”

Are you excited to get back into pack racing on Sunday? “I’m pretty excited.  I had fun in Daytona in my race.  I figured it out, I was fast and I was happy.  When I won here, it was in a pack and hopefully we can have success again like that.  The two-car deal, it wasn’t the worse thing I ever did, but I must not have been very good at it because I either wrecked somebody or got wrecked about every time.  Last fall here we finished top-10 and we got a chance to start in the top-10 again and hopefully get these guys a good finish.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position:  15th How was your qualifying lap? “That was a good time for our NAPA Toyota.  We did all race stuff yesterday (in practice) and we’re kind of in race trim now, so you never really know.  Qualifying is not really a big deal here if you can’t sit on the pole.  I felt like that wa s a pretty good lap for us — pretty competitive.  The past few years here we’ve been mid-30s and it hasn’t been very good qualifying so I think this was a step in the right direction for us. I feel like the car will draft well tomorrow.”

Is it a challenge to go back to pack racing? “It’s not really a challenge — your water gauge reminds you constantly.  You really have to pay attention to that water temperature and the water pressure.  It’s very critical to keep the water in the car until the end of the race.  If you don’t, you won’t have a chance to win.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position:  21st What is your outlook for Sunday’s race? “It’s definitely going to be a hot, slick day out there.  It’s going to be a lot of fun to man-handle these things somewhere around 200 miles per hour for 500 miles.  We’ll see how it all unfolds.  The M&M’s Camry has been good — just need to make sure it’s better than all the rest.”

What makes Talladega a slick race track? “The asphalt is getting some age on it now.  It doesn’t have the grip that it had once before when it was new.  You just slide around a little bit and you do what you can to try to setup your car.  A lot of guys try to go for speed, but you also have to have some handling and have some comfort where you can make some maneuvers through the race.”

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position:  22nd How was your qualifying lap? “The track seems to have lost a little bit of grip from what it has been in the past.  I think handling will be a little more instrumental than what it’s been.  I think tires throughout a run will be important.  I think the complexion will be very similar to what it’s been, but we will have the big pack and I think handling will be an issue.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position:  24th Do you notice a difference in manufacturer at superspeedways? “You really don’t notice the manufacturer difference as much as the rule changes.  They have really changed the rules up on us with no more two-car packs and stuff like that.  I got pretty good at that two-car pack at Daytona and Talladega.  I’m looking forward to making the best out of the rule package we have now with the Alabama colors that we have on the car. It’s been a good weekend.”

What is your outlook for tomorrow’s race? “We’ll see what the pack brings tomorrow and see what our temperatures are going to be.  See what we’re going to be able to manage for that.  It’s weird coming down here and practicing and qualifying from the past because there’s so many unknowns going into the race.  Before you had a pretty good grasp and handle on all that.”

DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Stock Car Steel and Aluminum Toyota Camry, Inception Motorsports Starting Position:  27th

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position:  30th How much will you focus on keeping the engine cool in the race? “It’s really hot out so keeping these things cool is going to be super important.  Qualifying just kind of is what it is.  We’ll race our way up tomorrow.”

BILL ELLIOTT, No.  97 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports Starting Position:  36th

JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports Starting Position:  37th

ROBERT RICHARDSON JR., No. 23 North TX Pipe Toyota Camry, R3 Motorsports Starting Position:  39th

LANDON CASSILL, No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting Position:  41st

TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King Toyota Camry, BK Racing Starting Position:  42nd

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Bush’s Brown Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing Starting Position:  43rd

JJ YELEY, No. 49 Stock Car Steel and Aluminum Toyota Camry, America Israel Racing Starting Position:  DNQ

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