Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/17/14
TALK YOUR QUALIFYING LAP AND ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK FOR SUNDAY: “It was good. The track is really good right now. It’s lost some of that black color that it has to it. It’s turned grey, but it still has a lot of grip and it’s smooth. I actually look forward to more rubber getting on the track tomorrow morning in practices and then through the race tomorrow. Looking to Sunday should be a good show. It’s a cool track. I always enjoy racing here. It’s fast right now.” YOU HAVE BEEN COMING ON STRONG. A GOOD RUN HERE AND A WIN AT MICHIGAN WILL DO WONDERS FOR YOUR CHASE AND CHAMPIONSHIP ASPIRATIONS: “Yeah I mean it’s all about trying to get into that Chase and being consistent, trying to win races when we can. It all helps to make the Chase. We are pushing hard for that. We had a tough break last week right at the start of the race we had to fix that problem. Ran the rest of the race and the team did an awesome job; the guys have been doing a great job. I screwed up at Dover and lost some points there. Charlotte was good; Darlington was good, we are right there so yeah we want to run well on Sunday. Won here, it’s been a while now, but we won here a long time ago. It felt good. Hopefully, we can do that again.” WITH THE SPEEDS HERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO SORT OF PAMPER THE ENGINE AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT WITH ENDURANCE AND ALL THAT IN MIND? “I think that the Hendrick Engine company they do a great job of preparing and being ready for these races. So we know where we are at, how many laps we can run prior to the race and we have a ton that we can still go. I feel really good about it. I feel good about the reliability and all that. We just go for it. I think you race as hard as you can the whole race and try to keep track position. Passing is going to be difficult at times and then other times I think on longer runs you are going to be able to move around and get by cars fairly easy I think if you have really good speed.” LAST JUNE MARCO (AMBROSE) RAN THE RECORD QUALIFYING LAP HERE. THERE WAS SOME TALK THIS WEEK THAT RECORD MIGHT FALL AGAIN. THE GUYS AT THE TOP OF THE CHART CAME CLOSE BUT DIDN’T GET IT. COULD YOU JUST TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TODAY AND 12 MONTHS AGO: “Well, I would say between the tire and the track surface maybe losing a little bit of grip. I would say the tire probably plays a pretty big part in that. To come as close as Carl (Edwards) came today, Kurt (Busch) was right there and then we were behind him. To come as close as those guys did to the qualifying record that shows how fast the car is here. The race the speeds will be up for sure. I remember qualifying that first time here you didn’t have to lift you could just back out of the throttle halfway then go back down. It was a lot easier than today to do that. There was just more overall grip in the race track and the tire that first time we came here. Those things have changed a little bit, but the track feels really good, really smooth, it’s opening up. It will definitely open up more throughout tomorrow.” A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING TODAY ABOUT JASON LEFFLER’S DEATH EARLIER IN THE WEEK. CURIOUS WHAT YOUR TAKE IS ON SORT OF THE STATE OF SAFETY AT THE DIRT TRACKS AND SOME OF THE SMALLER TRACKS? “I think Jason was a really good friend of mine. It’s really just unbelievable to see that going on. Just watching social media throughout the night, kind of seeing where it was going and then to know that he had passed was heartbreaking. It was really tough. For myself I just to this point I’ve thought more about…I’ve known him since ’99. We did a lot together. At Indianapolis and then as he moved to Charlotte I followed him down to Charlotte not long after. He was a guy…he was a big part of me getting to drive for Steve Lewis. Jason and I became friends so that was a big part of my career was driving for Steve and we went on that way. He was always calling and trying to help me drive those midgets and do whatever he could because he was so good in them. I just think about that. I think about over the last couple of years the time I’ve spent with him, whether it’s in the winter time and we are enjoying ourselves or at the track. Last weekend we traveled together. He was in a great place. He was super excited this week he was running four out of five nights in his sprint car for a guy in Pennsylvania who gave him great equipment and a great opportunity. He was loving it. He was at our shop Monday morning working out; he had Charlie (his son) with him and was working on something’s for his sprint car and stuff. See him and talk to him it’s just unreal that he is not with us anymore. Freak things happen. It was just a tough wreck the way it all happened. I don’t know as far as our teams go I talked to all of them yesterday. We do as much as we can with sprint cars with the safety with trying to have the best seats just to contain you left, right, shoulders so all of our cars have that. All of our drivers do and just keep as fresh of parts in the cars as you can. Things still happen its racing. It’s basically anything we do, anyone of us does each day it can happen. I just feel for his family and his son.” YOU ARE AROUND DALE EARNHARDT, JR.’S TEAM A LOT DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT TEAM IS READY TO WIN A RACE NOW? “Yeah I feel like he’s always like every week he is right there. He is one of the guys that he has got speed. When he won here last year that was his last win, he could win here again. He was really good here last year; nobody was even close to him. Yeah, they are always right there they are consistent they are in that top-10 and if they just hit on it perfect he could win here on Sunday.” -Team Chevy PR
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