Chevy's Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Bud Pole while DEI teammates Michael Waltrip and Steve Park qualify 3rd and 4th (respectively). Richard Childress Racing joins with Kevin Harvick 2nd and Robby Gordon 5th to give Team Monte Carlo the top five ...
Chevy's Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Bud Pole while DEI teammates Michael Waltrip and Steve Park qualify 3rd and 4th (respectively). Richard Childress Racing joins with Kevin Harvick 2nd and Robby Gordon 5th to give Team Monte Carlo the top five starting spots.
BOBBY HAMILTON, NO. 55 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I don't think you can be satisfied with that time, but it's a lot better. We just got behind. We're real appreciative of the rules change NASCAR gave us, but it's unbalanced. It's just going to take us a little while to get that. It feels pretty good untapped. When we tape it up, it's almost like we don't have enough rear to match it. But we'll work through all that. I don't know how this will end up, but it's a lot better than it was in practice."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW/DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It wasn't too bad. I've got to thank this whole UAW/Delphi group. Rick Hendrick and all these guys have been working hard trying to give me good racecars. This is the same car we had here last time, but with a big improvement over what we did last time (finished 29th) we were here. I'm looking forward to a good race run and hopefully that will give us a decent starting spot."
JEFF GREEN, NO. 30 AOL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was pretty good. I think the track will change some as it cools off late, but we're happy with that."
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"That was a pretty good run for us. We picked up quite a bit from practice. Our car was pretty loose in practice and we made some adjustments on it and it was a little bit tight. So, we went the right way on it.
AS THE TEMPERATURE COOLS DOWN, WILL THAT MAKE THE CARS TIGHT? "I don't know. Hopefully it won't make a whole lot of difference between now and the end.
DO YOU SEE ANY DIFFERENCE ON THE NOSE CHANGE YET "It's made my car loose. But hopefully it'll be better for the race. But for qualifying, we can't run the set-up that we used to run, which means we're going to go back and work on our chassis. It puts more on the front, but we have it taped up too. But we're trying to make up for it at a lot of by going back and look at our chassis set-ups. But for the race, we will hopefully see some change in traffic."
STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I just drove it for all it was worth and the Pennzoil Chevrolet was just great. I'm just really glad to be here. I must have bee concentrating so much that I when I got out of the car I was huffing and puffing and took a big breath. I know I can hold my breath for 38 seconds. We didn't get a clean lap in practice, but the guys made really good calls setting the car up for qualifying. It was still a tick loose, but loose is fast here at Michigan. We just signed a contract for next year with the Pennzoil team and I think that confidence really showed out there today. I can't thank the guys enough. We know how to win and we're going to show that in the future. It gives me confidence and it gives the team confidence. It's nice to be out of the rumor mill.
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We stopped pretty early in practice, but we thought we had a good car. My teammate (No. 30 Jeff Green) dropped some oil down there in turn 4 and we almost hit the well (in practice). I think Jimmie Johnson got into it too. That one got my attention and scared me a little bit. We decided that if we were going to push the car that hard, we'd just do it one more time for qualifying. When I saw (Bill) Elliott pick up a half a second, I thought if we could do that we'd be right there as well. The car felt pretty good. I probably should have pushed it a little harder on the first lap. On the second lap, I overdrove the car."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We picked up a little from practice, but it's not what we wanted and it's not where we need to be. I think we'll be good on Sunday. We have a good car and that's the main thing."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We've had some weird things going on in qualifying. We broke a motor last week at Watkins Glen. We crashed at Chicago. We crashed here in practice when we got in some oil that the No. 30 car put down. But the best thing about it is that this Lowe's team never gives up. We've (always) got a great hot rod waiting for me in the trailer. I actually think we're going to be better off on Sunday with this racecar, which is the one we had in Pocono. But the one we crashed was the one I won with in California."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The car just pushed down there in turns three and four. It didn't really slip; it just pushed. I gave some gas to it and gave it everything I thought I should have as a driver, but it just didn't quite stick in the front end. So I guess it really did slip. The front slipped, not the back. I'm just a little disappointed in that. But we've had five poles this year - and someone has knocked us off of all five of them and I wound up second every time. We'll have to see if that happens again."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLT MONTE CARLO:
"I wasn't sure what happened when I wrecked during practice. After researching it, we found out there was oil on the track from one of the other competitors. We pulled out the back-up car ad ran one lap. It drove good. The car was probably better than I drove it today. I almost didn't go out to qualify. I am still a little groggy from the crash. The team needs everything we can get right now, so I knew I had to go. Chris (Carrier, crew chief) and the guys did a great job of getting the car ready. We don't have the same suspension package under this car. This car is the car we tested at Indy. I liked it then, so maybe we will race good on Sunday."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It wasn't perfect. I got loose in (turns) three and four, but it was a really good lap for the Bud team. I made a commitment this week to bear down this week and do what I can to help this team. We're just trying to get ourselves back into Victory Lane where we think we ought to be. This is just kind of one step in that direction.
DID YOU HIT TURNS ONE AND TWO PRETTY GOOD?
"Yeah, I nailed that corner. I thought I had three and four awful good, but the car cooled down a little bit and got me a little free but it was still a great lap. The late draw definitely didn't hurt as cool as it is now. It was a great job by the Bud team and by DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.). All the cars up front in the top five are Chevrolets. We've got a Childress car (No. 29, Kevin Harvick) on the outside pole and they ain't bad company either. (MICHAEL WALTRIP SAID HE REALLY WANTED THAT POLE) "We'll he's had five he's lost this year. But that team is going to have lots of poles to celebrate in the future, I can guarantee you."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It's pretty cool to have a teammate and a couple of DEI cars up there. It's a good start to the weekend for us. We unloaded good. Now we just have to try and finish it off.
DID YOU WANT TO GO AFTER DALE JR?
"This track is pretty weather sensitive. Luckily for the guys who drew up front, it wasn't hot today because the later you go, the better off you're going to be. We had a good draw today and well take it. We'll take the good and roll along with it."