NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
OCTOBER 16, 2015
KEVIN HARVICK FOURTH-QUICK AT KANSAS
Five Team Chevy Chasers Qualify in Top 10
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – October 16, 2015 – Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Kevin Harvick, led the way for Team Chevy in knockout-style qualifying with a fourth place time at Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Harvick, a former winner on the 1.5-mile track, who is currently one of six Team Chevy contenders currently in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, was able to rebound from a poor showing in an earlier practice session to turn a lap of 194.756 mph in his No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS.
Four other Chevy Chasers qualified in the top 10: Jeff Gordon was sixth fast in his No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS, Martin Truex, Jr., will start seventh in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevy SS, Kurt Busch was ninth quick in the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, and Ryan Newman will start 10th in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy SS.
Also currently in the hunt for the championship is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified 15th in his No. 88 Halo 5: Master Chief Chevrolet SS.
Brad Keselowski (Ford) was the pole winner, Carl Edwards (Toyota) was second, Kyle Busch (Toyota) was third, and Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was fourth to round-out the top five qualifiers.
The 267-lap/400.5-mile Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m., ET on Sunday October 18. Live coverage will be available on NBC, MRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER/JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 4TH
AFTER A BIG SCARE IN PRACTICE ARE YOU GOING TO SLEEP A LITTLE BETTER KNOWING YOU HAVE A CAR THAT HAS SOME SPEED?
“Oh yeah I’m going to sleep way better. I’ve wanted to throw up for the last four hours because the car was really driving very well. The guys went through everything and did a great job of getting everything straightened out on our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevy. Luckily I was driving the Xfinity car today and I got my mind off of what was going on over here. I think being able to have the car run pretty well over there and stay in that rhythm and have all the guys give me all the information where we could make up a little bit here and there really helped us throughout the day. That is a win for us. We thought we were going to have to race our way from 25th so to be fourth is a huge improvement.”
DOES IT FEEL LIKE THIS WAS YET ANOTHER OBSTACLE THIS TEAM HAS OVERCOME?
“Well we talk about it every week and there is going to be something that is presented to you on a weekly basis. Whether it is practice this week or something that happens along the way it’s always something that you have to overcome. It’s all in how you react and these guys are reacting great.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 3M CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 6TH
IT SEEMED LIKE YOU GOT BETTER EVERY RUN:
“Yeah it is something that we have been lacking a little bit in this three-round qualifying, especially on the mile and a half’s, great effort by Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and the team on this 3M Chevrolet. That first time out I thought I put down a good enough lap, but when we got knocked down to 19th or 20th we got really nervous, so fortunately that worked out. Then the second run pushed the car really hard and got on the splitter. We got it off the splitter and the speed just kept coming from there, so, yeah great car. I love this place. I love driving laps around this place. The car feels awesome so that is a tremendous qualifying effort for us to start sixth.”
HOW WAS THE CAR IN RACE TRIM TODAY IN PRACTICE?
“We really just made a couple of runs and just kind of getting some baseline information for tomorrow. I felt like we learned some things that helped us for qualifying and we learned some things in qualifying that are going to help us for tomorrow’s practice and get it tuned up for Sunday.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 9TH
HOW DID YOU MAKE IT TO THE FINAL ROUND AND GET THE LAP YOU GOT?
“We did everything good in (Turns) 1 and 2, just a little bit tight through (Turns) 3 and 4. Eight guys were a little better than us. All-in-all the Haas Automation Chevy is fast. We are doing our homework and we will keep chiseling away. Now it’s about long green runs. I think we have seen some of that trend here in the Chase and with Kansas you can go further on tires than you can on fuel. We have to work on that tomorrow and make sure we have the balance right on the No. 41 Chevy.”
DID YOU MAKE ANY RACE RUNS TODAY?
“We did a couple today just to shake down the car and get a gauge on track grip level. And to have one change that we want to get out of the way that way we go into tomorrow with not having to worry about that so early in the morning with morning practice tomorrow.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 HALO 5: MASTER CHIEF CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 15TH
“I was tight in the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4 all day. But we were trying to work on it and we had some pretty good laps I thought. We just barely missed it. We are getting a little bit better we are starting to understand somethings that we are seeing in the qualifying package and how to get one set of tires to run a little bit better that next run and in the third run and doing somethings. We are trying to get better. I like some things that I saw today and I think the car has good speed. We just ran around the bottom today. Once this thing widens up it’s coming to me.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 25TH
SECOND FASTEST IN PRACTICE TODAY, BUT UNABLE TO TRANSFER TO THE SECOND ROUND IN QUALIFYING. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHY THAT HAPPENED AND WHERE THE SPEED WENT?
“We made a little bit of an adjustment to free up and I think the track got freer just too much. You try to and carry enough speed to run wide open and I got loose the first lap really bad. We tightened up and it still wasn’t enough. I wish we would have had another run at it because our American Ethanol Chevy is really fast. It is just going to stink coming from the back Sunday, but we have a fast enough car to get some track position and be fine.”
DO YOU LEAN ON THE FACT THAT YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE?
“Yeah we will be fine. We will be able to get some track position kind of like we did at Michigan. We started 43rd there and ended up fourth, so we will try and do something like that and make our way to the front.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 HALO 5: SPARTAN LOCKE/CESSNA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 28TH
WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE NO. 1 CHEVY IN QUALIFYING?
“It actually didn’t drive that bad. It was a little bit tight. I think if you look at everybody’s lap times, honestly the whole field, the track has so much grip and you use so much throttle the runs all feel really good. It’s just some guys are going a little quicker than others. Traditionally when we qualify you are either super loose or super tight and you are out of the throttle a long time. Here you are in the throttle so much it is hard to pick up any speed. I ran, I think five or six qualifying runs today and I ran the exact same lap time almost every time out. I’m trying to drive the car harder and I feel like I’m driving it really hard. It just doesn’t seem to have enough speed and unfortunately for me we have EFI (electronic fuel injection) now and you can go back and look at throttle traces. And reality comes out where I am getting out of the gas a little too much, but it feels good and it’s interesting that you feel like you are driving it super hard just not able to get enough.”
ARE YOU CONFIDENT WITH THE RACE SET-UP GOING INTO TOMORROW’S PRACTICE AND SUNDAY’S RACE?
“No, not yet. We unloaded in race trim today, both the No. 1 and No. 42 were quite a ways off in race trim. The No. 42 car got a little bit better in qualifying, Kyle (Larson) has done a really good job there, but we are going to try something different tomorrow. Our 1.5-mile program hasn’t been where it needs to be. The No. 42 ran pretty good last weekend at times in the race and I thought we did as well, but this is such a different type racetrack. It’s a lot different tire and it’s smooth, it’s a totally different set-up than what we had last weekend. So, we are going to go work on that. The pace slows down so much in the race, even though it’s still going to be 70 degrees or 60 degrees on Sunday when you get in the race the pace slows down a lot. I don’t know that it evens it out, but I feel like that benefits me a little more than others.”
CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – Involved in an on-track incident during qualifying – QUALIFIED 38th
“I just got loose that is for sure. We were a little bit tight in practice and we loosened it up a little bit for qualifying here and just got loose. I got back wide open and when it snapped, it snapped pretty hard and just didn’t have a whole lot of time to catch it. Unfortunate, this hasn’t happened a lot to us, but we are finally starting to get going here. I think our GEICO Chevrolet team is getting going pretty good. We have had some pretty good speed the last couple of mile and a half’s. We had a little bit of a mishap earlier this morning that set us behind, but I felt like the car was going to have really good speed. That part is unfortunate because I’m sure our back-up is good, but I don’t know if it has as much detail as this one does. Hopefully, the guys will get that thing ready to go and we will be okay for Sunday.”
HOW IN THE EDGE ARE YOU IN QUALIFYING HERE?
“Not everywhere, but at this particular track it gets a little bit more edgy. We have a really hard tire, so it either sticks really well or releases really fast. I just got loose and hit the fence. I think with this combination how much we are in the gas and the hard tire when it does get loose it’s just hard to gather up.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET SS – Qualified 29th:
“The GoDaddy Chevrolet was tight in (turns) three and four on the first run and we tried to make an adjustment to loosen it up a bit, but we were unsuccessful and unfortunately didn’t make it to the second round. We’ve got two practice sessions tomorrow, so we’ll take what we learned today and work hard to prepare for Sunday.”
Team Chevy racing photos are available at: http://media.gm.com/product/public/us/en/gmracing/photos.html
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