CONCORD, N.C. – Behind the wheel of his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/Sealy Chevrolet SS, Kurt Busch posted a quick lap time of 27.661 to qualify second for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This will mark his fourth top-10 start of the 2013 season, and his sixth in 26 races on the 1.5- mile D-shaped oval.
Three-time 600 winner Kasey Kahne qualified his No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevy SS, sixth quickest. Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet SS qualified ninth followed by Ryan Newman, No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS in 10th; giving Team Chevy four of the top-10 starting spots.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will roll off the line from the 11th position in his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy SS was 12th, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS starting 14th. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet SS will start 15th. Danica Patrick, No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS was the top qualifying rookie. She will start Sunday’s race from the 24th position.
A total of 17 Chevrolet SS drivers will take the green flag for the 12th race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was the pole winner, Matt Kenseth (Toyota) – third, Mark Martin (Toyota) – fourth and Clint Bowyer (Toyota) – fifth to round out the top-five qualifiers.
Live coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 will be provided by FOX TV, PRN Radio and Sirius XM Channel 90 and coverage will begin at 5:30 pm ET.
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SECOND
HOW FAST WAS IT AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? “I didn’t do my job. That just shows how good this team is right now. These Furniture Row guys are on it. They keep brining piece after piece to the race track. I couldn’t be happier for them and more proud of them. Todd Berrier (crew chief) and these guys it feels really good right now. I left some on the table in (turns) three and four, but I nailed (turns) one and two. I felt really good about it going down the back straightaway and I had a conversation with myself ‘how hard do I drive it into (turn) three?’ I just I still didn’t quite hit my marks in (turns) three and four. That just shows how good this car is right now.”
ON HIS LAP: “This car is fast. I threw away some time in (turns) three and four. I didn’t do my job. This team is on it. Todd Berrier (crew chief) has got these guys lined up. Everybody is pulling the rope in the same direction and each week they keep bringing car after car after car that is fast to the race track. I’m really proud of these guys.”
CAN YOU WIN WITH THIS CAR SUNDAY NIGHT? “I don’t know yet. We focused 100 percent on qualifying trim today. Tomorrow is off we will come back on Saturday and hit it hard. We have three hours of practice, but we have to keep our miles limited because it is a 600 mile race. I haven’t even gotten into race trim yet, but we know we’ve got some good things going right now.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED SIXTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: “Yeah it was good. It was close a little bit off of what Denny (Hamlin, pole sitter) could run. Still the car felt good. Felt good earlier today and tonight. It will give us a good starting spot for Sunday. See how Saturday goes that is when you make your car. Hopefully, we get it right.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BAD BOY BUGGIES CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED NINTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: “It actually didn’t feel that good. We were way off in practice and after as well as we ran last week you kind of expect a little more. That was a good qualifying lap. I went through (turns) one and two I thought as good as anybody probably did. I gave up a lot in (turns) three and four, but it’s still going to be a pretty good lap.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 11TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP: “I think we could have run a little better. I didn’t realize the track was as in good of shape as it was. I gave up a little bit of speed the first half of the lap. The car drove good. The second half of the lap the speed was there. The drivability was pretty good in the car.”
AFTER LAST WEEK’S ALL-STAR RACE YOU WANTED TO BE A LITTLE BIT BETTER. HAVE YOU MADE SENSE IF YOU ARE BETTER OR WILL YOU NOT KNOW UNTIL YOU GET UNDER THE LIGHTS? “We definitely got some things on the shelf that we feel like we can work with. Some tools we can work with since the race to try to be better. Try to be prepared to improve the car in practice and stuff. We will just have to see once we get here Saturday. Get to work really what kind of issues we are dealing with and what we need to work on. All these guys have been studying all week on scenarios and what we can do to improve and get a little better than we were last week. We definitely should have run better than we did last week.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 12TH
DID YOU GUYS WORK A LOT ON QUALIFYING OR RACING TODAY? “Yeah, that is all we focused on today with that short practice session. Knowing that Saturday is going to be good weather wise we worked on qualifying. I was very happy with my lap. Hopefully, that will keep us in the top-five. Obviously, early is not a great thing, but I think we have a good chance for a top-five if not a top-10. We know this Lowe’s Chevrolet always races a lot better than it qualifies.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 24TH
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP: “Qualifying at this time of day will get quicker and quicker as the track gets shaded more and it cools off. The earlier you draw the worse it is. I feel like that was probably the most comfortable and consistent the car had felt in qualifying all year really. I feel like we made some gains on the balance of the car through practice. Obviously, being here last weekend helped and we put in a better time than we did last weekend. All things going in the right direction.”