WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THERE’S NO PIT ROAD SPEED: The drivers have had one 15-minute session to work on their new approaches to and exits from pit road for tonight’s All-Star qualifying event. So how’d it go?
“It was chaos,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “It was borderline humorous at times what you were seeing out there.”
Earnhardt said he got as much as he could out of the short session, but that he’s still expecting tonight’s session to be a crapshoot for most drivers.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of people all over the place as far as how they approach coming onto pit road and leaving pit road, but we’ll try to do the best we can,” Earnhardt said.
Former NASCAR driver Ward Burton fondly remembers his experiences coming down pit road with no speed restrictions, and he said he thinks today’s drivers are so skilled that they won’t have too much trouble acclimating.
“A few of them will slide right through their pits, but probably not too many,” Burton said. “The biggest thing is the transition from the banking down onto pit road. They’re probably better off to be conservative coming in and concentrate on running a good couple laps and getting out fast.”
NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY 200 POLE WINNER NOTES
JEB BURTON (NO. 4 ARROWHEAD/KANGAROO EXPRESS CHEVROLET): “I am lucky to be driving for such a great team. These guys work hard for me. They believe in me and give me great trucks every week. They have been making me look good. (What’s it like to be on pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway?) It’s really cool, coming here as a little kid. It’s a dream come true. I have got an awesome race team. It feels really good for all the hard work me and dad have put in for the last three or four years trying to get a ride. I finally got one and the results are there now. It’s really emotional. No matter what happens tonight, we have had a heck of a two days. (Pressure for tonight?) I think the pressure is really off now. I know we have the speed here. We got the pole, so I know we are going to lead a lap and get that bonus point and hopefully get a top-five tonight. (How do you race tonight?) Smart, I am just going to take my time and run it trying to stay out of everybody’s trouble, and hopefully be there at the end. I think staying out of trouble and giving everybody a lot of room. We’ll take our time and after the last pit stop, go racing. (On having family here) The whole family is here. It like a hometown track, and it’s really cool. So we are trying to get the trophy. I think we have proved to everybody that I belong in NASCAR. Hopefully that is opening some doors. I look forward to the future.