JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "Phoenix is a flat, fast race track and it is tough to win there. I thought we had a car capable of winning there last year and then the rain came. We weren't able to see what we had...
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"Phoenix is a flat, fast race track and it is tough to win there. I thought we had a car capable of winning there last year and then the rain came. We weren't able to see what we had for them at the end, so each time we go there we learn more and more. It's one of those tracks where we don't go testing. We go and learn as much as we can each and every race. It seems like we gain on it each time we go. Hopefully we'll gain a little bit more than we did the last time we were there and we'll have a shot at winning. That was pretty strange out there last year. The rain came and it was big. I guess that's the way it happens when you're in the desert. It rains pretty hard."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak Max Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I always run well at Phoenix. That place is about like Rockingham is to us. We're usually a top 10 car there. We broke a motor in qualifying out there last year and had to start 40th. We just stood on that time. It's the same deal, you can't give away that hour's worth of practice on Saturday.
"The only flat track I think I do well on are flat tracks that are slick. Some tracks we go to don't necessarily get slick, just like Martinsville. The time it really got slick, we won it. The other times it hasn't got that slick and we weren't that good. Phoenix usually gets slick because it's so hot out there and the sun beats down on it. If I consider myself a certain type driver, it would be a slick track driver, not necessarily flat or banked, it seems I run pretty good at the tracks that are slick, whether it's Rockingham or Darlington or wherever.
"I actually think the last three tracks left this season will be good ones for us. That's what we're hammering on. We're trying hard to put a win together. We met yesterday and I told them we need to pull out all the stops out for Phoenix. We met for half a day trying to figure out which car to take, going through everything possible we could to make the right decision. We're going to take our Richmond car. We had it there last year, and we've come a long way on it. It was new then. I don't think it's ever finished out of the top seven or eight. We haven't run it that much. We were torn between that car and the new car we had at New Hampshire. We really liked the way that car qualified, but we decided to carry the one that raced the best.
"We need to qualify better at Phoenix this time. It's just like Rockingham (started 35th). We came up through the field, but that uses up the car. I've learned something about Rockingham when it's green. None of the other people will do it, but when they drop the flag I can go. If we had started up front, we would probably have led the race. Phoenix is one of the tracks where I usually qualify in the middle of the pack. Then if the track gets slick, we start going to the front.
"We need to start qualifying better. We've got to fix the whole package to qualify better. We usually race pretty good, but we've got to fix the car where it will qualify strong and race strong. We're shooting to win one of these last races. We want a pole and a win. We can do it at any of the next three tracks.
"We're getting good pit stops now and it's making a difference. The team finished fourth last week in the pit stop competition at Rockingham, and that's a big feather in their caps. They've been working hard on that this year. It carried over into Sunday. They had some real good stops. I came in one time with Dale Jarrett and went out a straightaway ahead of him."