|Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR|
Here is what some of the Cup drivers had to say upon completion of qualifying:
Kasey Kahne (Qualified: P1) – “Our Farmers Insurance Chevrolet was awesome right there. It was great. I tried to get a little … I went into three and felt like I could go wide open. So I went back to wide open and then I started just chattering a little bit. So, I eased off the throttle and backed down. I definitely gave up a little time doing that. So far so good though.”
Mark Martin (Qualified: P2) – “Believe it or not, that one was harder work than usual. The race track has got a lot of grip, but my car was kind of a handful there and that’s entirely too long to o holding your breath. I’m used t only having to do it for one lap, so that was a long time.”
Clint Bowyer (Qualified: P3) – “Mark Martin is a qualifying machine. If you can get even remotely close to what he runs in qualifying trim – that’s a good run for me. Just proud of the 5-hour ENERGY guys. Car is pretty good. That was actually a good pickup for us. I think it will be a good starting spot. That’s a fast lap. It’s unreal how much that get your attention. The thing kind of wiggled – I arched it bit because I saw some cars getting tight and that’s what I’d been fighting – tight off of two. Arched it real bit into one and I was a little slow getting to the gas. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.”
Kyle Busch (Qualified: P4) – “Thank everyone at M&M’s and Toyota. The guys here have done a really nice job. They gave me a really nice race car and it’s cool to wind up front like that. We’re all just high fiving each other because we’re coming back in one piece. It’s crazy fast out there. It’s not necessarily the top speed we are going down the straightaways is any different than we’ve ever been, but the minimum speed – you’re carrying so much corner speed here that it’s just amazing that you don’t fall of that much through the turns. White knuckling, baby. That’s what it’s all about.”
Aric Almirola (Qualified: P5) – “I feel like I got all I could out of it. This Farmland Fusion was a just a little too loose. It has been fast since we got here and it was really fast in race trim and qualifying trim as well. I am proud of all the guys at Richard petty Motorsports and Todd Parrott and all the boys on this 43 team. We have had a fast car since we got here and it was fast right there. It was just a touch too loose to get as much as I needed to. Man this place is fast.”
Ryan Newman (Qualified: P6) – “It was a good lap for our Code 3 Associates Chevrolet. The guys did a good job making it better. I don’t think we made it good enough; that is the problem. I think a couple other guys are going to be really fast, probably pushing the 27 second bracket.”
Jimmie Johnson (Qualified: P7) – “There is an old saying, drive it in the corner and don’t hit the brakes until you see, and there’s a few names that come about, and Elvis is the one I grew up hearing about. So, I saw Elvis again, and went a little further yet. I had a great lap. The car is very fast … We had a solid lap with my Lowe’s Chevrolet. I think we are going to be strong on Sunday.”
Brad Keselowski (Qualified: P25) – “For sure. We just missed it.” His response was to a media question about the qualifying lap not being what he and his team were looking for.
Although each response was different from the various drivers, it is definitely evident that Kansas Speedway is extremely fast and the race on Sunday will be unpredictable.
Fast Lane Poetry," which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.