Charlotte quotes 1st round qualifying

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Coca-Cola 600 Quotebook CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 1997) Selected driver quotes from after first-round Busch Pole qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

Coca-Cola 600 Quotebook

CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 1997)

Selected driver quotes from after first-round Busch Pole qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

JEFF GORDON No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet

"This is a great moment for this team. I want to take my hat off to Ray Evernham. I had a great lap, but I had a great car also. We got a new car, and it's a great car. It ran very strong at Texas. We've got to work hard this week to keep it up front Sunday. The 600 is a very tough race, but we're looking forward to it. We drew 18th, and I felt like that might be a disadvantage. Ricky Craven made a great effort, and I thought he had me, but it's great to have two Hendrick Chevys on the front row. That team and Ricky really deserve it. They've had some tough times this year. All they need is a little momentum, and they'll be right up there Sunday, I'm sure.

"We need to get together and work hard and try to show 'em what we've got on Sunday. It's great to be on the pole here. It's nice to be in the Busch Clash. This is our first pole of the year. We've been working hard to get on the pole. We had a great lap today and the guys really did a great job with the car."

RICKY CRAVEN No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet

"There was nothing pretty about that lap, but that's all we had. The guys have done a tremendous job all year. We had things disrupted in Texas, and now I feel like we're really back on track. It's nice to start second. Jeff's my pal, but he's beaten me here three times. I've had enough of it. I'm glad he's on the pole. This is the first new car we've had this year, but we've got a bunch more being built and it's going to pay off. We kind of had our minds set on the pole, but we came up a bit short. It's nice to be outside pole and be disappointed. This place has always been good to me. I think the run we had here last fall was the best we've had in our career. I led several laps and could have won the race. I'm looking forward to Sunday."

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

"That's a little quicker than what we ran in practice. I saw the track picking up. Everybody looked like they picked up about three-tenths from practice, and that's exactly what we picked up. We got a good time in. We're happy."

JEFF GREEN No. 29 Cartoon Network Chevrolet

"I owe it all to these guys who believed in me and brought me over here. They gave me an awesome car to qualify an know we can work on our race setup. I just wanted to be in the top-25. I got a little loose up in one and two and it hurt me a little bit, but it was still a good lap. I'm proud of it. Hopefully we can carry this over into Sunday and have a good run. I knew I had to hang it all out I wish we could have had a little more, but we'll get 'em on Sunday. I don't know how much under control it was, but it was a great lap. I think I left a little on the track, but you've got to do that sometimes. We didn't want it brought back on a hook."

JOE NEMECHEK No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet

"We just wanted to get the car qualified. We're so far back in the points, we got caught at Sonoma and didn't have a provisional. We'd been good in practice all day, and I was going for the pole, but I made a little mistake. I can't say enough for all the guys in our engine shop. The whole Team SABCO is working good. We're starting to click. I'm having fun, and that's what it's all about."

KEN SCHRADER No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet

"That was a good lap but we left something laying out there. We didn't roll the dice enough. The car was tight. We were just too conservative. We should have freed it up but we knew more than a pole we needed a good starting spot. We struggled with the car we brought here for the Winston Open. So this is a different car. This one is real good."

BOBBY HAMILTON No. 43 STP Pontiac

"It was a real good run. It drove perfectly. That's the best race motor we've got right now. The beauty part of this is that we'll pull this motor and put our practice motor in. I'm real happy with our power. We unloaded fast, and the thing has been fast all day. We're pretty happy with it."

DARRELL WALTRIP No. 17 Western Auto/Parts America Chevrolet

"That was right off my latest album right there the greatest hits of Darrell Waltrip. I'll take that. I hung on to it. I wasn't going to lift. I had to go for it tonight. It was big. We picked up about a second from practice I think. We've got a good starting spot for out 700th start. I hope that it'll be real special Sunday and we'll have a memorable race."

TERRY LABONTE No. 5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet

"It (setup) is a whole different deal for the race, so I think we'll be okay. It handled good down the straightaway but it was off a little in the corners. We just couldn't get the car tightened up good enough. I'll think we'll be okay for the race. We were pretty fast, but we were just a little too loose. We made some changes on it, but we were still off a little bit. I wasn't happy with it. If you're not on the pole, you're not happy with it."

BILL ELLIOTT No. 94 McDonald's Ford

"That's not bad. We're better than we were the last several times here. This team just keeps gaining on it. Every week we're a little bit better and a little bit better. I feel like we can have a good race Sunday afternoon."

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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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Ray Evernham