Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/15/14

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, poses during NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 4, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 5th How was your qualifying run? “It was okay. I slipped up a little bit in a couple areas. I knew after the lap I had yesterday, it was going to be really hard to back that up. I just didn’t exactly hit a perfect lap. We started sixth last year and hopefully we’ll win up there. I think we’ll definitely end up in the top-10 somewhere. We’ll be fine.” What do you think about the new qualifying format? “It wasn’t any change. Still need some tweaking. I think it was the thought — the idea was there. The execution after what we saw with the tire falloff probably wasn’t the best thing. I think it would be kind of neat, if we’re going to run three laps — if we’re able to run three laps, we need to run three laps and have a combined lap total as your lap.” MATT KENSETH, No. 20 Home Depot Husky Tools Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 6th How was your qualifying run? “Our speed was okay. I had a really, really sloppy lap my first lap, so I felt like I did a poor job and my second lap I hit it right, but we were kind of setup more to run one lap — so just wasn’t the speed in the second one. I was hoping for a better job by the driver, hitting all his marks, but I think it will be okay.” Do you like the new qualifying procedure? “Sure. It gave you a chance to try to recover and do a second lap. Even though I missed three corners, I couldn’t go any faster my second lap and it gave me the opportunity if something happened to run a little more. It was a little more fun.” What would it mean to get a road course win? “You’re asking the wrong guy. I don’t know. To say you had one — you try to win each and every week you come out there. I think it’s important to win every week. Obviously, you want to try to go out there and try to race for a championship. I don’t even think I’ve had a top-five. I’m the wrong guy to ask about it. We drive real hard, but haven’t had the greatest of results in the past.” KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 9th How was qualifying? “It wasn’t very good. Couldn’t get what I needed out of the car — it just felt like I was slipping and sliding a lot too much and just wasn’t able to get the speed we hoped for. Not enough grip out there to be able to get what I needed out of the car for a faster lap time. It’s a little frustrating in that respect. We backed up our practice time. It might be good enough for top-10, but we’ll be lucky for that.” What did you think of the qualifying format? “I think it’s alright. I don’t think it matters much either way. I think it’s probably going to take the same amount of times as it would normally. It actually hurts us more than it helps us by running us all together because you don’t have the TV time. You’re not able to get — to look back on your lap and where you gained or lost your time because there’s five cars out there at the same time that TV tries to cover.” What does it mean to get a road course win? “I think it’s cool. I think it just sort of diversifies you more in how good you are at the ovals versus road courses, short tracks superspeedways — all that. Fortunately, I’ve got a win at all type of speedways — which is good. We’re still trying to fill in the voids I have at the other tracks I haven’t won at yet. It seems to be fun to race road courses for me anyways. I enjoy it.” MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 14th What happened during your qualifying run? “Something burned up in the race car. The last few turns of the lap, I definitely screwed up because I had smoke flying and it smelled really bad and I was like, ‘Oh no, what’s going on here.’ So, my concentration was kind of messed up. I think we’re going to be okay. It looks like it was just part of the wiring harness for the cool box, which we didn’t even use today, but we’ll use tomorrow. So, hopefully it’s not a big deal. Hopefully it’s something we can fix. We’ve had a pretty decent car this weekend and typically the last few times we’ve been here, we’ve qualified well and that really threw me off there. I was hoping to have a much better lap than that today. Hopefully, we’ll be okay for tomorrow.” What happened to your race car during qualifying? “The wiring harness for something burned up. I think it’s not that big of a deal, it’s not catastrophic as far as electrical for the engine or anything — which is a good thing. On the other hand, it did kind of mess my lap up. I was hoping to have a much better lap than we did there. We’ll just see what’s going on with it, we’ll fix it up for tomorrow and we’ll have to go racing tomorrow from 14th.” DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing | Starting Position: 17th How was your qualifying run? “We had laid down a smooth lap, but it wasn’t very fast. There’s a lot of little different things that we changed — wholesale stuff overnight. Turning a little bit better. We thought we were okay in race trim yesterday, but our qualifying was a little off. And it was a little off again today. Just try to adjust it and make it better. But, we still fought some of the stuff we did yesterday. Everything seemed okay. It just didn’t have the speed we needed.” Do you like this qualifying procedure? “Yeah. I like it. I think it makes it a lot more interesting. It goes by faster. When one car goes out there it really takes about three or four minutes for the car to just get qualifying over with and can take hours. This gets to the point. The fastest cars are always going to be up front here. So, it works out well.” Is your race car fixed after yesterday’s incident? “They did an amazing job fixing it. Obviously, with the damage that we had, it was looking like a backup car. But, they did a good job putting it back together and really was able to get me out there for laps at the end of practice yesterday. That was all hopefully beneficial and we can capitalize tomorrow for it.” How is your health? “I feel okay. There’s nothing that I feel — outside the race car at this point — that would affect me any.” BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Kingsford Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing | Starting Position: 20th What did you think of the qualifying format? “I don’t think I ever did in the Busch (Nationwide) Series — I don’t think I ever did that. It was pretty cool. It takes the pressure off of one lap. The tires really work pretty good for the second lap — better than I thought they would. It seemed like it was incident-free for us. I saw that somebody spun out or a car might have gotten into the wall earlier. That’s the risk you take or something could happen. I guess we should do it more.” JASON BOWLES, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing | Starting Position: 34th Note: Brian Vickers is participating in the Nationwide Series race at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wis.) today and is scheduled to compete in the Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday What did you think of the qualifying format? “I’ve done it in Nationwide before, so I’m used to it. It’s not a whole lot different for me. It’s a little different for these guys. It is what it is.” What’s your role this weekend with the No. 55? “I’m just here to make sure the car is decent for Brian (Vickers). Just do a decent job and make sure his car is ready to go on Sunday.” Is the car ready for tomorrow’s race? “I think so. It’s not bad. It’s tough not having any experience in a Cup car and then coming here and doing this. But, I think we got the car pretty decent and I think it will drive good for him tomorrow.” -Toyota Racing PR  

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