SRT Motorsports — Dodge Sprint Cup Qualifying Results – Kansas

[media-credit name=”” align=”alignright” width=”158″][/media-credit]Saturday, March 21, 2012

Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

American Muscle

STP 400

Post-Qualifying Quotes

Dodge PR

A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 1st CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP?  “A great lap with the AAA Dodge.  I didn’t think that the lap was amazing.  It was OK.  When Todd told me the lap time, I was shocked by it.  Everybody on the AAA Dodge has been working hard.  We’re not where we want to be yet.  We’ll start up front, the best that I’ve ever started here before.  I know that I need to be better than I’ve been.  We’re getting closer.”

WAS IT A PERFECT LAP?  “No (laughs).  I was tight going into Turn 3. I drove it down in there hard and stayed on the throttle.  It was a bad lap.  I thought that it was decent.  We’ll take it.  I’m happy.”

HOW’S YOUR CAR IN RACE TRIM?  “It’s getting better.  We fought loose and tight yesterday.  The wind was playing a little bit.  We have a fast racecar.  We’ll be good tomorrow.”

DOES THIS POLE MEAN MORE TO YOU THAN OTHERS?  “Yeah.  I definitely think that anytime that you do something together, especially when it’s our first-time thing, it’s really important.  Like I said, we still have to go out tomorrow.  If we go out tomorrow and struggle, it’s not going to mean as much.  Ultimately, to get a pole together, we were close at Bristol and to get one here because it was actually a little bit surprising for myself, it’s always a good thing.  It takes little things to build momentum.  It’s not one giant thing.  It’s just little things at a time.  Hopefully, a top-10 run tomorrow. Hopefully, we get the chance to win the race.  Just a solid day tomorrow, just little things to keep building one.  We’re getting closer.  We’re definitely not where we all want to be right now, running up front every weekend.  Every step we’re getting closer. Todd Gordon and I are gelling together as driver-crew chief.  The whole team is gelling.  More than anything, I just love being a part of this race team.  I put a lot of pressure on my shoulders to go out there and win races, win poles for these guys, because they’re so use to it.  I put a lot of that on me.  To get a pole like this and get in the Shootout and just keep building the momentum, it’s a big deal today.  The important day is tomorrow, but today we’re the best. That’s all that matters.”

ARE YOU GUYS GETTING CLOSER TO THAT RACE WIN?  “Yeah, we’re getting closer.  We just need to get faster throughout a whole race.  We’re still working together and I think that’s what people don’t really understand.  It’s tough to be a brand new crew chief in the Cup Series along with a driver coming to a race team for the first time.  To figure out what we need together and things like that.  The good thing is that the Penske organization builds fast racecars.  Dodge is a huge supporter or ours.  We know when we do figure it out, we have the potential to win a lot of races.  It’s just tough getting to that point.  I put all the pressure on my shoulders to be there now.  The great thing is that Mr. (Roger) Penske and everybody in the organization is patient.  They’re like, ‘It takes time.’  It’s just because these guys deserve it.  They’re use to running up front. We’ll get there.  It’s a lot of work.  We’re not quite there yet.  But when we do get there, we’ll have the chance to win a lot of races.”

YOU HAVE THREE DODGES IN THE TOP 11:  “To me, it’s a combination between Dodge and the Penske organization. They build fast racecars. They’ve been fast all year.  Maybe the results don’t show how fast the racecars have been.  Myself and Brad have had little things come up that the team has to work on and figure out.  The cars are there.  The speed is there.”

A LOT OF GUYS SNADBAGGED IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY.  YOU WENT OUT FOR QUALIFYING LATE; WERE YOU JUST THAT FAST?  “I thought that it made a difference.  We wanted to sandbag, but we put such a good lap up on my first race run, it kind of messed us up. We knew going out early (for qualifying) would probably be better.  It was even more of a surprise that my lap being as good as it was.  It shows that we have a fast racecar.  In a race run right now, we have to work on the consistency of it.  We got a fast couple of laps, but we kind of fall off a little bit too quick and then we maintain right there.  We have to keep working on the car.  We know for one lap that we quick.”

IS THIS THE BEST EQUIPMENT THAT YOUR’VE EVER BEEN IN BEFORE?  WHAT HAS DRIVING ROGER PENSKE’S EQUIPMENT TOLD YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?  “It’s the stability of the race team around me.  I know it’s there.  Because of that, I put more pressure on myself, because I know the equipment is there.  Brad (Keselowski) and Paul Wolfe show it every weekend.  It’s a constant battle working on patience for me.  I’m definitely not very good at that.  It really helps to have Mr. Penske and everybody be so patient and not expect (it) right away.   They know it takes time. And for me, it gives me more confidence going into a race weekend just because I know the organization that I’m around, the equipment that I’m around and I know the sponsors that we have and everything that goes into it.  For me, I’m just trying to work on patience.  I want (it) now.  These guys deserve to win races.   They’re use to it.  I want to win races for the whole organizations.  I think it’s a constant battle that I’m trying to work on.”

GIVEN THE FUEL SYSTEM ISSUES LAST WEEK THAT BRAD HAD, ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOU’VE FIGURED OUT WHAT THE PROBLEM IS?  “I know that we have the best people around it trying to figure it out.  I won’t lie.  Until you have “X” number of races that there’s no problems, you’re always going to have it a little bit in the back of your mind. Everybody is working hard on it trying to figure it out.  I think that (they) pinpointed what happened last week and they’re still working on it.  It’s still in the back of my mind.  Hopefully nothing happens.  I don’t really put too much thought on it because those guys are on it. As soon as it happened, they had that car back to the shop as quick as possible, had it torn apart, had the fuel cell (out), everything that went with it and they’re trying to figure it out.  That’s all that you can ask for is to have the right people working on the problem.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 11th “The Miller Lite Dodge felt good. The track is just getting slower with all the sun on the track later in qualifying.  I thought that the car drove pretty well.  I probably could have driven it a little bit harder.  We’ll have a solid starting spot for Sunday and that’s all that matters.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS TIRE MANAGEMENT TOMORROW?  “Important, but everything at Kansas is critical.  Pit stops, tires, you have to have a fast car.”

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CAR IN RACE TRIM?  “Yep.  I think we’ll be good when the track gets hot and slick.  We’re ready.”

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 12 SKF Dodge Charter R/T) Qualified 10th “A solid lap for our SKF Dodge.  I had a slight problem in (Turn) 3 when the car got too free.  I had to pedal the throttle a bit and scrubbed some speed off our lap.  We had a hiccup with our setup by not having the correct (fuel system) mapping in our setup.

We had our race trim mapping versus qualifying mapping which cost up probably two-tents. It’s all about how the car rolls through the center of the corner here at Kansas and I probably tried to get too much out of the car knowing we had the mapping issue.  I’m happy to have the SKF Dodge in the show.”

HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU SPEND IN RACE TRIM IN PRACTICE?  “We spent the entire first session in race trim just trying to get comfortable in the car.  It’s been almost six months since I’ve been in one of these cars on an intermediate track.  We wanted to get some seat time and shake the car down.  I’m really happy with the car.  We’re in the show and get to race on Sunday.”

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