NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
Newman Puts Chevrolet SS on the Pole at New Hampshire
Team Chevy Drivers Capture Four of Top-Five and Six of Top-10 Starting Positions
LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 20, 2013) - Ryan Newman is known for his talent of winning poles, and today in qualifying for the Sylvania 300, he did just that with a record-setting lap of 27.904 seconds/136.497 m.p.h. It is his second pole of the 2013 season, and the seventh time the driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS will lead the field to the green flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). In 2002 and again in 2011, Newman started on the pole at NHMS and won the race.
Also breaking the old track record were the second and third place qualifiers, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS.
Kurt Busch qualified the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS fourth fastest to give Chevrolet the four fastest starters in the 43-car field.
Richard Childress Racing drivers Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Sylvania Chevrolet SS and Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualified seventh and eighth respectively to give Team Chevy six of the top-10 starters in Sunday's 300-lap/317.4-mile race that is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. ET with live coverage on ESPN TV, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and PRN Radio.
Other Chevrolet Chase contenders qualified as follows: Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS - 11th and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS - 17th.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) completed the top-five qualifiers.
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
THIS IS RYAN'S 51ST POLE IN HIS NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CAREER. THIS IS HIS SECOND POLE IN 2013. HE HAS SAT ON THE POLE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE SEVEN TIMES. THIS WAS A TRACK QUALIFYING RECORD 136.497 MPH. TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT:
"I've sat in here several times and probably on at least six other occasions and said this was the birth place of track position and I strongly feel that it is in qualifying well and having that number one pit stall at the start of the race up front in clean air and all the things that go along with it. More important is the confidence to know that you have the fastest race car or at least can make it the fastest race car. Our Quicken Loans Chevrolet was good today. The guys did a really good job. We unloaded in qualifying trim and kept making it faster and faster and faster and we really thought Kasey (Kahne's) lap was going to be tough to be and I really didn't feel like I had a lot of speed in my lap. I felt ike it was balanced. But the speed just kind of comes with the track cooling down compared to practice and a really good run for us. I'm happy to be on the pole and to get my 51st pole and to do it at a place where it's really tough to pass."
WHEN YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO GIVE 100 ON BOTH LAPS EVERYBODY SORT OF CHUCKLED. BUT IT TURNED OUT THAT WAS INDEED THE CASE BECAUSE EITHER ONE OF THEM WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR THE POLE. DID YOU FEEL LIKE AFTER YOU RAN THE 27.93 THAT THERE WAS STILL SOMETHING LEFT OUT THERE?
"I had no idea I'd run a .93. I hit the chip on th back straightaway and didn't in practice, but I ran a .33 in practice. That could have been a .32 for all I knew. The question that they had asked me was are you geared up for being quick on the first lap or second lap. I was more focused on being as good as I could be on both laps and then I would tell you afterwards which lap those pressures came in and obviously it was 300ths to the better on the second lap. So, the guys did a good job with our Quicken Loans Chevrolet and I'm just happy that we're in this position in a place where it probably means the most."
CAN YOU JUST GIVE US AN UPDATE ON MODIFIED PRACTICE THIS MORNING
"I'll let you know if you'll let me go qualify (laughs). No, it was pretty good. It's the same old program to come up here and have fun. We made the car definitely better than we were in the first race. I think we were 10th or something in practice. But I don't look to be able to set it on fire and win the pole. I think we're going to have a better long-run car. We kind of showed that in the first race."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND
POST QUALIFYING PRESS RELEASE TRANSCRIPT:
YOU WILL BE IN GOOD SHAPE AS YOU START THE SECOND RACE IN THE CHASE HERE ON SUNDAY.
"We had a really good lap. We went out pretty early and I feel like I missed just a little bit off Turn 2; didn't quite get enough there. We got through Turns 3 and 4 really well. I felt strong there in practice and in qualifying. I'm looking forward to practice tomorrow and working on it and trying to decide on a better package on what he had that first race here. We were off the first race. A lot of cars were. We were one of them. We came back and tested as a company and hopefully we learned some things and picked up some speed since."
ON GOING OUT EARLY AND SETTING SUCH A FAST TIME THAT HELD FOR MOST OF THE QUALIFYING SESSION
"I thought that was a really strong lap for going out at that time. I think the track definitely cooled down; the temperatures cooled down some, so the track obviously did too. There was a little bit of shade out there. I think the time we put down with an early draw was solid. Like I said, I think I could have gone a little quicker if I would have hit Turn 2 a touch better that second lap. Whether it would have been the pole or not would be tough to say, but I think I could have picked up a little bit myself. So that just shows that our Great Clips Chevy was strong. We have a strong car for the weekend."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
YOUR RACE TEAM IS KIND OF PICKING UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF LAST WEEK AT CHICAGOLAND THAT HAS TO FEEL PRETTY GOOD:
"Well it just feels good that we are picking things up. It's been an up and down season for us there is no question about that. If you ever want to peak you want to do it when the Chase comes around. Just sneaking our way into it and now having the type of performance we had last week and today has been a great day from practice to backing that up with qualifying. This is a great way for us to not only get this weekend started, but to get the Chase started. We are pretty excited right now."
THERE WAS A SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR FIRST AND SECOND LAPS WAS THAT BY DESIGN?
"No, I really was planning on when I went into the run and took off from pit road I was really going to try to get it done on the first lap. I came off of turn four just wiggling, sliding and I thought ‘okay well maybe I can make up for it in (turns) one and two'. Then I got off of (turn) two really bad and at that point it was just all about regrouping and trying to put a second lap together. The last time we were here we did it on lap one. All day today I've not been able to get it done on lap one. It's a strange thing.
"Maybe it's just a slight change in our set-up. I'm not really sure what it is. The car is good it just takes that first lap for the temps to get up and the grip to be there. We struggled with that today. I was really nervous. I was shaking when I got out of the car just because that first lap was so hairy and on the edge. The second lap I just had to really try to get the car to run really straight and not make any mistakes, but knew we had a lot of ground to make up.
"When they said I was third, boy, I was really excited because I knew we certainly weren't anywhere close to that on the first lap. I wish now I would have designed it that way though because I wouldn't be shaking as much right now. I wish that I would have just thrown away the first lap you know that is something I like to do and we do that a lot of places. But it's not something I've typically done here."
IS THAT A CONCERN IN RACE TRIM TOO IN TERMS OF RESTARTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT OF GETTING UP TO SPEED ON LAP ONE?
"Always, it's always a concern here at New Hampshire. This place is very tricky on restarts because of the lack of grip. You just don't have the banking to get the grip and get the car into the race track the way you need it to when those tires are cold. Yeah, it's something that we worked on a little bit when we were here testing. It's something we will be working on tomorrow as well. As fast as the times were qualifying I thought that the grip must be there so I thought it would be there right away, but it wasn't. I'm just glad it was there on the second one."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR IMPROVEMENT ON QUALIFYING? OVER THE LAST FOUR RACES YOU HAVE QUALIFIED IN THE TOP 10. ARE CERTAIN THINGS CLICKING?
"I would say it's a combination of I think that earlier in the year with the new car we made some adjustments or tried to guess which direction to go in for qualifying. It seemed to bite us a little bit. We were getting extremely loose going to qualify from practice. I think we have just found that we need to tighten the car up a little bit more than what we anticipate. I think some of it is this car and just the balance change when you tape the grill up and go put it into qualifying trim and the cooler track and tires. Then I think the other thing is we have been to some tracks that are not only good tracks for us racing, but qualifying. Atlanta, here, Richmond, so like I said if you are ever going to get the momentum and get things rolling this is the time to do it. Pretty excited things are going the way they are going for us right now."
HOW BENEFICIAL WAS TESTING HERE?
"I will let you know on Sunday when the race is over. I mean testing is always beneficial, but it can give you some false sense of security or some information that can lead you down the wrong path. What typically happens when we come here and test, I did the tire test this year here and did our Hendrick test and it's amazing just how much grip there is when we are here testing. Then you go out to practice and there is no grip. A lot of it is the other different series that are here putting different rubber on the track just makes for different conditions. I think we learned some good things that are going to benefit us in the race. But we didn't do any qualifying runs when we were here. I didn't expect it to impact our qualifying."