CURRENT POINT’S LEADER WILL START THIRD
BROOKLYN, MI – August 17, 2012 – Jimmie Johnson piloting the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will take the green-flag from the third starting position for the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday. This will be Johnson’s 15th top-10 start at the 2.0-mile speedway in the Irish Hills.
Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne driving the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet will start fifth. Paul Menard in the No. 27 Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet will start 10th.
Mark Martin (Toyota) earned his 55th career pole, Carl Edwards (Ford) will start second, Matt Kenseth (Ford) qualified fourth, Trevor Bayne (Ford) was sixth, Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) will start seventh, Marcos Ambrose (Ford) eighth and Landon Cassill (Toyota) was ninth to round out the top 10 starting spots.
The green flag will wave for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday August 19th, 2012 at 1:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD:
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP TODAY
“It was a solid lap. Qualifying isn’t, historically, my best lap of the weekend, but we’ve been qualifying much better here the last couple of months and I’m real happy about that and the ease it brings to the start of the race and the options it gives you on pit road. It’s sometimes tough to overcome in a race when you qualify in the twenties. So, I’m very happy with the effort and of course we wanted to be a little faster and get the pole, but it was just a great day. I have nothing to complain about.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE DRIVING THE VOLT YESTERDAY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF RACING HERE IN DETROIT WHICH IS CHEVROLET’S HOME TRACK
“Yeah, each time we come back in the fall, Chevrolet has me at the Dream Cruise and at different times Jeff (Gordon) and I have been there to kind of start the Cruise. We were there yesterday at the GM Performance tent display, checking out some stuff out and doing interviews. I think he was doing something with the Corvette and I went to the Volt plant. It was a great experience and there are a lot of dedicated race fans in the whole plant. There was a lot of cheering and there were people in there everywhere. I could hear them yell and cheer and scream; and I signed a bunch of autographs. It was a great experience. And as I talked to the other drivers today, everybody was up here doing stuff. So, a lot of people and the other manufacturers were taking advantage of us being here in town, too. So, it’s good. I’m glad to have Chevrolet working us up here and using us to boost morale at the Volt plant. It was cool for me to be here and see where my car was actually made. I met some of the people who built my Volt, so that was cool too.”
WHAT MAKES MARK MARTIN SO FAST IN QUALIFYING?
“What keeps him going is his love for the sport. He’s a racer through and through. He was tempted to walk away at least once, and I remember the big farewell tour and all the shirts and hats that were made for him to retire and he couldn’t do it. I think that just tells us all how much racing means to him and defines him and is a part of him. That’s what keeps him going. We all know about his dedication to fitness and nutrition and I think that keeps him sharp and on top of his game at 53 years old. And you can’t take away the fact that the guy has a ton of his raw talent. That’s why he is Mark Martin. At this stage of his career and running a limited schedule and to be 53, I really look at it and say what he has done in the last 15 to 20 years from a physical fitness and nutritional standpoint is what keeps him sharp today and keeps him out there going fast.”
ON THE SPEEDS, HOW FAST WERE YOU GOING ON THE STRAIGHTAWAYS TODAY?
“I don’t know because we didn’t have the data on the cars. I know rpm and I know lap time, but without the data acquisition on the cars we don’t know. We put it up there for the drivers so you can see the mph clicking up as you go down the straight but I don’t know what it was.”