Brooklyn prerace quotes

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations DeVilbiss 400 Quotebook BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1997) The following are quotes from selected drivers after first-round Busch Pole Qualifying for the DeVilbiss 400 at ...

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

DeVilbiss 400 Quotebook

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1997) The following are quotes from selected drivers after first-round Busch Pole Qualifying for the DeVilbiss 400 at Michigan Speedway:

JOHNNY BENSON No. 30 Pennzoil Pontiac

"It's great to be home in Michigan. I've been home all week with my family. I hope we've got a lot of fans here from Grand Rapids. We figured maybe we would wind up fifth to 10th, we ran 10th in practice. We ran OK in Turns 1 and 2 and a little tight in Turns 3 and 4. I was hoping the car would loosen up a little bit before qualifying, but it didn't and everything worked out anyway. This is the same car we ran at Indy and that could help us Sunday because this race can be a mileage contest. This car is a little better than the last time we ran at Michigan. The changing weather conditions weren't really a huge concern. The wind helped in the back stretch, but it hurt down the main straightaway. It's too bad we can't leave it in the garage tomorrow and take tomorrow off, but my team will feel more comfortable working on the car knowing how well it ran today. I know my team gives me 100 percent and I hope to do the same on Sunday."

MARK MARTIN No. 6 Valvoline Ford

"We got a not-so-good draw. Having to go out second at 4:35, the track is going to get faster and faster. We had the fastest lap in practice, but that was probably a lucky lap. Then we picked up another tenth qualifying, and that was probably the weather. I feel like we have made a step. We've been strong since we've been on the race track today, so I'm happy. We were 31stand Indy, and I said then that I couldn't take that anymore. That's digging yourself in a deep hole. We have been coming out of it in the race because our cars race so good and we have good pit stops and everybody has been doing a great job. For a while I thought qualifying 12th or 13thwas bad, but then I got used to that and went to Indy and qualified 31st. I thought 13th was good after that. I've been wanting to do better in qualifying. We had been working at it and not making any progress. But this should make the top 10, and that's better than we've been doing."

RICKY CRAVEN No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet

"When you've qualified as bad as we have the past two weeks, that'll do it to you. We just had to get it going. It's amazing. Andy (crew chief, Graves) made a really good call for qualifying. It made a great difference. I got down into the third turn coming to the green and I knew I had the car that I'd been looking for all day. I think the weather came to us also. We changed the air pressure a little bit and that really helped. Once Andy and I figure out what each other needs, this well be a really great deal. This is one of my favorite tracks. We struggled with the wind a little bit, but it died down before we went out, so I thought maybe it would come to us. We wasted two hours of practice today. We just couldn't find what we needed, but we found it when it counted today. We qualified third here last time, too. This is the same car. We've led laps in this car every time we've raced it this year. Hopefully that streak will continue Sunday, and we can bring the Budweiser Monte Carlo home with a solid top 10 or top five finish."

DALE JARRETT No. 88 Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford

"That's not bad. It's been a long afternoon. The guys worked their tails off. We had an engine that on the last two runs didn't feel exactly right. The last run we lost a couple hundred RPM's and we had to change an engine and get ready for qualifying. This is a good engine and the car was just super. This is an awesome race car."

JEFF BURTON No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford

"That feels like a pole. We have struggled a lot here the last few weeks in qualifying. We're running really well today. We'll take that. That will get us in the top 10 and get us ready to race. It's not the pole, but Mark and I have both struggled in qualifying while Ted has been kicking our butts. We came here with a little something different. Maybe it has taught us a little bit, and we'll get the qualifying better. Ted has been qualifying good. He's been fast everywhere. Mark is normally really good at qualifying and I've never been good at it. We copied a little of what Ted has been doing and added a few things from what Mark and them felt like they were missing."

BOBBY LABONTE No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet

"We made it back in one piece. We had a pretty good lap, better than in practice. The car handled good the whole time - the wind gusts didn't affect the handling. I hit every corner pretty good. We didn't make any changes to the car after practice. I'm glad we qualified today because it gives us all day tomorrow to work on the car. It's a big help because we'll make a lot of changes before the race new motor, sway bars, tires. If we didn't qualify today and had to do it again tomorrow, we wouldn't have as much time to get ready."

TED MUSGRAVE No. 16 Family Channel/PRIMESTAR Ford

"That's not as good as I thought it was going to be. I should have heated the motor up more. The oil temperature was kinda cool. The race track has changed a lot. The car got a little tighter. It's got to be about 15 degrees cooler and the track temperature has got to be about 30 degrees cooler than it was. The guys did good. Anytime we can get near the front here, we're going to run good. I just wish we could have gotten the pole. This is the same car we have run good with everywhere else. We got wrecked there at Indianapolis, but the guys worked really hard and put all new sheet metal on it, and it appears to be balanced the same way. Hopefully, we can stay in the top-10 and get a good run here. That's all we need to be up close to the front again and try to lead the most laps again."

KEN SCHRADER No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet

"The track was better for qualifying. It was a lot cooler. They don't get near as mad at you if you wreck in qualifying as they do when you wreck in practice. You've got to save a little for qualifying. We should end up in the top-10. We were struggling in second round at Michigan a couple of months ago. This is a big improvement for the Skoal team. We thought we were going to be okay on race day here last time, then we had trouble in the pits. We made an air pressure adjustment sitting on the line today. Right after we qualified, we radioed up to tell Andy (crew chief, Petree) that we'd done it."

DICK TRICKLE No. 90 Heilig-Meyers/Simmons Ford

"We've got a brand-new car here. I've got to thank the Heilig-Meyers people. I hope this sells some furniture for 'em. They give us a lot of support. Junie Donlavey has put together a good group of guys. We've got a bunch of new guys and a brand-new car that has never been run before. That's our best lap of the day. We'll take it. The setup wasn't near what it needed to be, but we changed everything."

GEOFF BODINE No. 7 QVC Ford

"The car ran good. It stuck good, it handled good. I guess we don't have to worry about re-qualifying, and that's good. It's been a good day. Everything went pretty smooth. We picked up from practice, and that's good. I could have gone a little harder. The car stuck really good. That's what qualifying is all about, trying to get the most out of it, and I didn't get all of it out. There's still more left here, but it's still a good run for us. We're getting back to fun."

TERRY LABONTE No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet

"That's quicker than we practiced. I though we'd pick up a little bit more than that. I had a good lap going, but I drove it into the corner too hard in three and messed up a little bit. I think that'll give us a good spot. I probably should have let off a little sooner in turn three, but that was still a pretty good lap. We're not worried about starting back there where we are, although that's not too far back for us."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup