TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes
Dover International Speedway – May 31, 2013
1st, DENNY HAMLIN
2nd, MARTIN TRUEX JR
3rd, KYLE BUSCH
4th, MATT KENSETH
6th, MARK MARTIN
15th, CLINT BOWYER
26th, BOBBY LABONTE
27th, DAVID REUTIMANN
32nd, MIKE BLISS
34th, DAVID STREMME
36th, JOE NEMECHEK
38th, TRAVIS KVAPIL
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight/Autism Speaks Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 1st
Are you pleased with your qualifying run?
“We’ve been qualifying pretty good, which has really helped out our cause with our race finishes. Overall, I’ve been happy with everything. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in how to qualify better. It’s all helping out our cause for the moment.”
How has your return to the race car been since your injury?
“It’s going well. I feel like we’re hitting our stride. We’re running really well at all different types of race tracks. Overall, I’m pretty happy. We still need to get those race wins. Not going to panic because we got some great race tracks ahead of us. Right now everything is going status quo, I guess you could say.”
Will the heat be a factor on race day?
“It’s better for us to have conditions like this. I think it’s easier to try to track tune. It’s better to have conditions like this. Obviously, when you practice in the same conditions you’re going to race it’s better for the team.”
Were you surprised you ended up with the pole?
“Well, I thought that all the really strong cars were later in the field. Especially the last two were very strong. I really did. When I ran the lap I didn’t — I wasn’t in love with it. I thought fundamentally I didn’t do that great of a job. I knew the track conditions were really bad. We were sixth in practice and we were only a tenth off of what we ran in practice. In the back of my mind, I’m saying I’m preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Obviously we were just counting down and saying, ‘Can’t be any worse than sixth, can’t be any worse than fifth, we’re on the front row, watch out here comes our teammate,’ kind of feeling. It’s cool that we’re giving our pit crew yet again a huge advantage when those guys are already the best on pit road.”
Do you do anything to stay comfortable in the car?
“We have some lumbar support. We have some air bags in the seat itself to help with comfort. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same. I did switch up my belt configuration to help as well. I think overall I’m pretty comfortable right now, really as comfortable as I’ve been and with that extra lumbar support it definitely helps.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 2nd
How was your qualifying lap?
“It was a good lap for us, for sure. You always want to come here and get the pole. I love this place so much and have so many fans in this area. Nonetheless, solid run for our NAPA Toyota. The guys did a really good job. We were off a little bit in practice, we were only 11th quickest and just couldn’t quite hit on the balance and that was a definite improvement over what we had there. The track was hotter, it was slick and pretty dang hard to drive, but the guys did a pretty good job getting the balance right to where we had good speed and proud of them for that and now we can go work on Sunday.”
Are you happy with your qualifying results?
“Yeah, I’m proud of the guys on the NAPA team, they do such good job for me and we weren’t sure what to expect with the heat and the track being so slick. They did a good job. The car was better than what it was in practice. We made good adjustments to get the balance right and it wasn’t an easy lap by any means, but we were able to get enough speed out of the car to have a good lap. We’re close enough to the front we can work on Sunday and go get them in the race.”
Was your qualifying run what you expected?
“Happy with the run. Obviously, we had a decent practice. We were 11th quick. We were off a little bit with the car. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and the guys did a really good job on the NAPA Toyota to make the right adjustments. We knew the track was slick, obviously after watching Nationwide practice. I probably left maybe a little bit out there. This is a place where if you try to get too much you can be 30th. So, I was a tiny bit conservative in one spot where I had trouble in practice. Otherwise a great lap. The guys did an awesome job for me. Definitely, proud of the effort. Looking forward to working on the car tomorrow and getting ready for Sunday. Starting up front is very, very important everywhere we go, but especially here with this pit road. Great job by my guys. Looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 3rd
How was your qualifying run?
“It was fine. We were just a little too tight and I had to slow up a little bit through turns three and four and just missed out getting another pole for us this year. Great effort by the team and guys. They did a really good job of having the car snugged up just enough for me there where we made a good lap and we were top-three, so we’re pleased with that. It will give us a better pick at pit selection there and we can see the front.”
Why do you think the Toyota teams have been good in qualifying at Dover?
“It just seems to work out that way, I guess. I think if you go back and run through — I asked my guys in the hauler, ‘Why do we even qualify here, it’s the same four guys up front, same five guys in the same five spots each time except for probably Jimmie Johnson is the only one missing there.’ Denny (Hamlin) has always — he’s gotten a lot better here the last few times. (Martin) Truex is always good here. We’re always up front. (Matt) Kenseth has been a front runner here, Dover is one of his favorite race tracks and Jimmie as well. It is what it is.”
Are you worried about the engine issue you had at Charlotte?
“Well, what’s explained to me each and every time I break, that there’s no fix for it. It is what it is, sort of the luck of the draw. The bummer is that I keep picking the wrong straw. I hate that it keeps happening to us and our team, but like I said, there’s nothing.”
What do you think of the success that Darrell Wallace Jr. experienced getting the pole for the Truck race?
“I’m really proud of Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.). I thought yesterday during practice he did a really good job. I guess he’s not quite feeling well, he looks okay. He did a really good job in practice yesterday and we had our team debrief and I thought Bubba handled himself really well through that and what all they did through practice and their changes. Then, today he went out there and got up on top of the wheel and laid a lap down. It’s cool to see and real proud of him. Hopefully he keeps his truck up front today and we can see him battle it out for the win. We’ll see what happens in the next two-and-a-half hours.”
MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 4th
Are you please with your qualifying run?
“It was pretty good. It will be a top-five or six. Just knew what I needed to do and just couldn’t — so just a little off. Really I was pretty happy with it. I honestly thought this morning we were going to have a shot at the pole today. In practice in qualifying trim we were just off. Race trim we were pretty happy, but qualifying trim we made one run way to loose and one run way too tight. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) did a good job of getting between that. The track changed just a little more than we anticipated.”
Were you surprised how slick the track was during qualifying?
“Probably not as a big surprise as some. I got to watch a lot of them go. I got to watch a lot of them sliding around a little bit, so that probably didn’t hurt.”
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 6th
Are you pleased with your qualifying effort?
“It was crazy. I just — kudos to Rodney Childers (crew chief) and everybody that works on the Aaron’s Dream Machine. The car was really spectacular there. A little tight in the middle, but really made some time up getting off the corners. This thing just rides so rough from the middle of (turns) three and four off, that it shakes in the car so hard that my head against the head rest — it bounces my head around so much that I have to pick it up off the head rest. It’s all good, man. It’s fast and now we’ll just work on it tomorrow and try and get it good in race trim.”
How ‘on the edge’ do you get in qualifying?
“It’s amazing the adrenaline rush you get qualifying these cars.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position: 15th
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Scott Products Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Starting Position: 26th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Starting Position: 27th
MIKE BLISS, No. 19 Plinker Tactical Toyota Camry, TriStar Motorsports
Starting Position: 32nd
DAVID STREMME, No. 30 Widow Wax Toyota Camry, Swan Racing
Starting Position: 34th
JOE NEMECHEK, No. 87 Royal Teak Toyota Camry, NEMCO Motorsports
Starting Position: 36th
TRAVIS KVAPIL, No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, BK Racing
Starting Position: 38th