SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -qualified 27th: "There are definitely a lot of learning curves here besides the wall being a little bit different and taking away a little bit of the race track and the tires being a little ...
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -qualified 27th:
"There are definitely a lot of learning curves here besides the wall being a little bit different and taking away a little bit of the race track and the tires being a little different and the cars being a little bit different. I think all of us are trying to learn as hard as we can on the Valvoline Chevrolet. I tell you, if I could have just put lap one and two and put piece of those together, I would have had a good lap there. I just couldn't get what I needed to get on the first lap through Turns 1 and 2. We really did a good job on the second lap, but it was too little, too late."
HOW MUCH PRESSURE IS PUT ON ALL THE ROOKIES WHEN THEY ENTER INTO THE CUP SERIES? "There are a lot of great rookies in the series this year and we're all fighting for that Raybestos Rookie Challenge and trying to get that award. I guess I put a lot of pressure on myself because I want to perform and besides, I'm pretty competitive. I probably put more pressure on myself than anybody else could."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 12th:
"We ran some race practice this morning and not too much qualifying-type of runs. I got through Turns 1 and 2 as good as I thought I could -- as good as I did in my practice run. In Turns 3 and 4, I might have screwed up a little bit. That would be my fault. I might have run out of talent. Other than that, it was a good lap for us. Again, these guys did a good job. We struggled last weekend, so it was good to come back here and have a good practice and a good qualifying run so far."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - qualified 36th:
"Well, we'll just have to do like we did last year. We started 31st last year and that didn't prevent us from winning. This Tide team has been behind me for over three years. But it looks like we're going to start back there again and work our way to the front."
HOW OFTEN DO YOU RE-LIVE THAT WINNING DAY HERE LAST MARCH? "I really enjoyed it. I appreciate the fans here in Darlington and what this race track represents and means to the sport. The problem is the world we live in here is about next week. Every week, it's about the next race. I haven't been able to think a lot about it lately, but I'll be telling that story for many years and we'll always win by .002 seconds and really appreciate that."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVRLET MONTE CARLO - qualified 2nd:
"I was real happy with my race car today. Tony Jr. and the Budweiser team gave me a great handling car. That was a pretty good lap. I'm pretty happy with it. I'd like to try it again. I think I could have beat it. But the car was great. I gave up just a little bit as a driver, but the car was awesome."
ON BOUNCING BACK AT ATLANTA LAST WEEK FROM A POOR PERFORMANCE IN LAS VEGAS "It was fun to win at Atlanta. I've always really liked that race track. It's been one of those tracks like Darlington that's been a cornerstone of this sport for so many years so it felt great to get a win there. It shows just how mature we are as a team to bounce back and get such a great run. Hopefully we can keep it going again this weekend." More to follow
JOHNNY SAUTER, NO. 30 AOL CHEVROLT MONTE CARLO - qualified 24th:
"Darlington is a pretty dirty race track. It was a little dirtier than it has been in the past and I just missed pit road, plain and simple. If I was smarter, I would have just taken the second lap and just rode around the bottom and coasted around, but I didn't. I thought I could get it in. Obviously, the race track was dirty. It didn't do too much damage to the AOL Chevrolet. These guys have already pretty much got it fixed. We'll race this car on Sunday."
WHAT DID YOUR OWNER, RICHARD CHILDRESS, SAY TO YOU? "He said it was all right. The best of the best have missed pit road here. Dale Earnhardt did it twice in one day and actually did it back to back. It's just one of those things I'll have to be conscious of on Sunday. I'm glad I got it out of the way today."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - takes a provisional start:
"Well, I got into Turn 1 a little bit aggressively. I knew that's what I had to do to qualify but it just didn't stick. The back end of the car came out and I got into the wall. It didn't hit it very hard. The guys will fix it up and we'll be ready for tomorrow.
"A year ago here, we started in a back-up car with no practice and basically started last. We got all the way up to fifth. So, we'll be all right."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - qualified 9th:
"That was a great lap. I've just been wall-happy here lately and this is not a good place to be wall-happy. But hopefully we got it out of the way early. It was a great lap. Where I brushed the wall didn't really slow me down or anything. But I was doing everything I could to stay out of it much earlier than that. For the whole lap, I was basically sideways. But you're just digging so hard, you're trying to get everything you have. But I was quite loose the whole time. We've been tight all day and we certainly fixed that. The car was pretty free. We were just doing everything we could to get that thing back here in one piece. I'm glad it was a good lap."
ON HIS SUCCESS AT DARLINGTON "I've just become fond of the race track and this track has been good to me. The guys have put amazing race cars out there on the race track for us and put us in position late in the race to pull off victories. I think you really have to respect this track. You have to be patient with it. You have to know when to go and when to conserve. We've done a good job with that over the years."
ON THE SEASON THUS FAR: "Points-wise, we're in good shape. But I don't even think we've even come close to our full potential yet. I think this race team is really going to shine. I don't know when, but I think it's coming. We've got to improve a little bit on our performance. We need a few breaks to go our way and we can battle for wins."
ON THE SAFER WALLS AND THE SET-UP FOR THE CAR ON SUNDAY "Well, it's certainly already affecting the bodywork on the right side (laughs). That 30 inches that the soft wall picks up on the track is really quite a bit here at Darlington and you already run right up against the wall here. I'm happy to see soft walls at these race tracks, I just wish we could do it without losing 30 inches on the race track. But it will make for a very interesting Sunday for passing and side-by-side racing."