JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 3M CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 23RD:
YOU’VE WON HERE SO MANY TIMES. DO YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY NOW AFTER QUALIFYING 23RD?
“Yeah, that’s going to be challenging. We’re known for qualifying really well here. This year, we’re really struggling with this package being consistent. The first lap was not bad. The second lap, I just couldn’t keep the back end underneath me getting in the corner. Twenty-third is not good. That is not at all where we want to start, but it’s a long race. We’ve got a great team and between pit road and pit strategy and adjustments and me searching around the race track, I feel like we’ll be able to get up front. But, first you’ve got to get the car dialed in the way that we need it to run different multiple grooves on this race track. And pretty soon that top groove is going to come in at some point and we’ll have to be ready for it.”
SOUNDS LIKE YOUR CAR DIDN’T REACT TO THE HEAT CYCLE AFTER THAT FIRST ROUND:
“We kind of managed a good lap there in the first round but I was dealing with a lot of the same characteristics. When the tires did get that cycle on them it just wouldn’t do the things that I needed it to go quick. You only have one lap to get it done and with the tires you just can’t go right back out. There is just not enough time to cool them down enough. My first lap in the second session, I knew I was in trouble. I went in the corner and I got real loose and then the car got real tight in the center and I knew that lap was done. I was hoping to do something on the next lap but it wasn’t any better. We tried to go back out there but it just wasn’t there.”