NOTES AND QUOTES Bud Pole Qualifying Lowe's Motor Speedway October 6, 1999 BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "The car was really good in practice and we put on a set of tires and picked up three or four tenths. ...
NOTES AND QUOTES Bud Pole Qualifying Lowe's Motor Speedway October 6, 1999
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "The car was really good in practice and we put on a set of tires and picked up three or four tenths. But it's so hard here. If you bobble one time it's over. The car stuck real good off turn two and three and four was typical. I was on the bottom trying to stay there. If was a great lap for us. These guys give me great cars every weekend to drive. That gives me a lot of confidence coming to the race track. It's obvious I screw up a lot because I did that last weekend at Martinsville (crashed in practice Friday), so I quit a little bit early today so I wouldn't do that again. These guys prepare great race cars and it makes my job easy and a lot of fun. We're awfully excited to be able to run like we did. Dale Jarrett won a race here before I started driving for them. They run good here all the time. I love the race track. Whether we mix together well or whatever, maybe there's something to it. When you get in a Joe Gibbs race car on Friday or in this case, on Wednesday, you know you step into a great race car. We have confidence in each other. The motor was awesome tonight. We had a great lap. It was right on the edge, but you've got to run there to go fast."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix): "Robbie (Loomis) made some spring changes and a shock change. I know the way I want it to feel and Robbie is going to give that to me. He waited until the bitter end to give it to me tonight. Our Pontiac was great. In fact, I think it could have been a little bit quicker. I knew exactly what I wanted, I just didn't know how to get there. The car drove really well.
TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "Bobby came up to me before qualifying actually. He had been really good in practice. For some reason this afternoon I was off. I don't think the car was off as much as it was me. He came up there and we talked about it a little bit. After his run, he said the track was pretty much the same as it was earlier. We really didn't change anything. We went back out and put on what we had for our fastest practice lap. We went pretty quick. It was real good in one and two. I didn't really know how good a lap we had. I went in the middle of three and four and it did a big wahoo and got really loose on me. Other than that, it was a good lap. I just didn't know what I had because of that bobble in three and four."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix): "We've got a good race car. The car has been mechanically sound all year. I've got great motors. Unless something unforeseen happens with Terry Elledge's motor, we'll be in good shape. The biggest thing is getting through the corners as good or better than anybody else. That's what wins races. You've got to out-handle them."
JERRY NADEAU (No. 36 M&M's Pontiac Grand Prix): "The track is great. It's awesome. We went out really early. We're pretty excited. We've got a good race car here. Our Pontiac is running great and the team is doing a fantastic job. I'm looking forward to Sunday's race. You've got to be flat out here. Goodyear brought a good tire here this weekend. Handling is a big part of any success you're going to have here. It's just a matter of getting a good lap in."
TODD BODINE (No. 30 Bryan Pontiac Grand Prix): "I'm actually disappointed even though we made it in the first round. We had run better in practice and I wanted to really pick up in qualifying. But I guess you can't be too greedy. I'm glad we're in the show and now we've got plenty of time to get her dialed in for the race."
DAVID GREEN (No. 45 Lucky Dog Pontiac Grand Prix): "We had run a smidge faster than that in practice. This new tire helps the car cut. James Ince and the crew have worked hard on making us cut good. Historically, here at Charlotte, it doesn't tighten up at night, it kind of loosens up. We ran close to what we ran in practice. It wasn't a fun lap, wasn't pretty. But if it gets the job done, it gets the job done."
Note: Bobby Labonte becomes the first driver to sweep all three poles at Charlotte in the same season -- The Winston, Coca-Cola 600 and UAW-GM Quality 500. It's his fifth pole of the season.
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "This team runs good every time it comes here. When I first started driving for Joe, Jimmy had the setup for here and that's what I basically ran, and we fine-tuned it a little bit. I love the race track and I won my first race here. Nobody can ever take that away from me. I guess I have a special place in my heart for it. I always have liked coming here. I worry about some places I go to, that's for sure. I like going here. I like going here.
I guess it's a combination of things. The cars are great. The motors are great. The crews are great. Everything works out good and I've got a good confidence level going into qualifying, race day or practice, whatever the case may be.
"I had no idea how fast it would go. I knew it was a good lap. What we ran in practice was a great lap. When the track cools off you hope you can pick up a tenth, maybe two at the most if you're running that good. The car felt the same. It do anything different and we didn't do anything different to the car after practice. We didn't touch it. I got on the gas good in qualifying and the car stuck. We went just a little bit quicker.
"This is a new Pontiac we've got. It's not the same one we ran here last time. I think this is the one we ran at Michigan and won with and ran second with at Indy. It's a great little race car. When we come to Charlotte everybody is pumped up. For whatever reason, when we come here we know we have a better shot than maybe we do at other places. Hopefully, we'll run good in the race. We ran good in the Coca-Cola 600. We'll try and be as competitive as we can. One lap is one lap. Tomorrow we begin to get the car dialed in for 500 miles.
"I'm a better driver on a faster track than I am on a short track for some reason. It's just one of those deals. Here and Atlanta, Michigan and Texas, fit my driving style. We've got to make sure we dot our I's and cross our T's. We can't worry about how anything else is going. We know we've got our work cut out for us. We know we can't do it (win the championship) by ourselves. If we go out there and do the best we can, that's all you can ask for. If something happens to Dale and we can take advantage of it, that's good. Their team is so good and he's driving so good. I don't think they're going to have a problem, I'm sure. If it is, it's not something they're going to be able to control. We just have to go out there and do what we can. We've got six races left and it's never over until it's over. We can't mess up either or we just get further behind if we do."