Chevrolet Notes and Quotes Matt Kenseth's Busch Win
DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Marcis, a 58-year-old veteran from Wausau, Wisc., failed to qualify for Sunday's TranSouth 400.
"In America you're supposed to get rewarded for your efforts in everything you do. That's the way it works in most places except NASCAR. If you don't make it in the first day, if you're not locked in, they should requalify the balance of the field. That would be fare, on top of the field. If it's hot it's hot. If it's cold, it's cold. It's equal for everybody. If they just went to the top 30 and made everybody out of the top 30 requalify, at least you'd have something to shoot for. This deal here when the race tracks go away the second day and everybody goes out there and runs 100 laps in practice, the track just goes away. You can't do any better.
"I was good in practice this morning. I was good yesterday, too. We put a great effort into it. It's just not fair. We bring a good car. We practice good. It ain't like we're putting a piece of junk in the field. We run good. We finish the races we run in. Gary Nelson says it's a time issue. It is not a time issue. That's bull. That's a frustrating response. The garage could have opened at 7 this morning and you don't need an hour and a half practice. A lot of places, you only get an hour, so it is not a time issue.
"Look at the sheet from this morning's practice. Many cars practiced more than 100 laps. They're in race trim. It's even hard to get out there to find an open spot to sneak in a qualifying lap, and the race track really deteriorates with 40 cars on it and 30 of them running from 70-100 laps. All I'm asking for is a fair shake. We're not getting a fair shake. It's just like the Charlotte deal. You qualify at night and the next day you qualify in the afternoon. That ain't fair. They talk about how equal they want things and how fair they want things. Bull.
"No one could come within three-quarters of a second of matching the first-day times at Las Vegas. What's fair about that? They keep saying it's a time issue. We've got 46 cars here. If 25 are locked in, you've got 21 cars that would need to requalify. I disagree about the time deal. The garage could have opened at 7. Practice could have started at 8:30 instead of 9:30. It's all workable.
"You need something to reward you for your efforts. Even if the top 35 are locked in on the first day, at least you'd have something to shoot for. I've always been in favor of doing away with provisionals, anyway. It's about what these people pay good money to see. They pay to see the fastest cars. That's not what they're seeing now. We finish almost every race we enter. We go out there and race. There will be cars in the race Sunday that didn't even put an effort into requalifying today. The big-money teams pretty much get in on the first day, so they pretty much reward money. When you say something to them like I just said, they'll say I'm mad because I didn't make the show. That's not the case. All I'm saying is treat everybody fair. Give us a fair chance.
"I keep getting caught by the system, and I'm saying the system isn't fair. It's disheartening. It wouldn't be that difficult for them to sit down and study it out and give somebody something for their efforts. We've made three of five races. I spent $3,000 on tires this morning trying to requalify. Sponsorship is pro-rated on making the event. You lose a lot when you don't qualify. All I want is for them to do something fair for the second round, anything as long as it's fair."
DAVID GREEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Green has been riding a bicycle back and forth from the Winston Cup to Busch Series garage.
"It took me awhile to get used to riding it, but once I did it was pretty neat. I probably need a bicycle at the race track, anyway. I've been working out with Kyle Petty over at his place. Things have gone really well there. The trainer for Petty Enterprises has got me feeling pretty good. I get wrapped up in what's going on at the race track and I lose track of having to work out, so the bicycle will probably come in handy. Larry Hederich (team owner) had the bicycle at the shop and he said we'd tune it up and see what happened. It sure has made going back and forth a lot easier. I didn't ride it on Friday because I didn't want anybody to think I was trying to be like those IndyCar guys. I'd just as soon walk, but they've got golf carts out here, so I just thought I'd fire up the old bicycle. With the drivers meeting and all that stuff, it's about a necessity. I think I'll carry it to every race from now on.
"We ended up 35th but the team is making a lot of progress and I'm happy with it. We have to take our stable of cars and upgrade them some. We had this car at Rockingham and when we took it there this spring, it was basically a year and a half old. We needed to regroup and first things first. We need to get rid of this car now and reskin it and get ready for some of that new '99 sheetmetal. Winston Cup is so competitive nowadays, if you don't bring something fresh off the griddle, then you're going to be behind. We've struggled a little bit in that department, but we've had to do first things first. We're trying to make these races and get our personnel where they need to be.
"I'm happy with the personnel we've got and the progress we're making each week. We go up a notch each week. That makes me happy. I'd like to jump five or six notches, but that's pretty tough in Winston Cup. Considering where we were in points last year, qualifying was a necessity in the first four races. We missed Daytona and that set us back, but I think we've done exceptionally well since then. Until we get to a point where we've got a little cushion either way, you can't really go out on a limb and try really, really hard in qualifying. You've got to be really conservative to a certain point. Those days will be over soon and we'll hang things out and try to have some more fun, but we're having a lot of fun now."
MATT KENSETH (No. 17 DeWalt Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"The crew did an awesome job. I felt like we had the best race car on long runs all day. I knew something was going to happen to goof it up, a caution or whatever, but the guys were fast enough in the pits and we had a fast enough race car that even pitting under the green we got back on the lead lap.
"We adjusted the wedge a little bit, made one air pressure change and that really made the car come to life. It stayed real consistent the rest of the day. Every set of tires was the same. It helped me practicing that Winston Cup car this morning. I learned a little bit about the groove out there. It helped me a lot today.
"This is a tough place to come and run only your second Winston Cup race, but them guys have a great race car over there. I just hope I can keep it in one piece and get a respectable finish out of it and try to keep the points up for Bobby.
"I was sitting up in the grandstands here three years ago off what is now turn two. I had knots in my stomach because I was wishing I had a chance to do this. It's pretty funny because about a month and a half later, Robbie called me and gave me a chance. To be standing here in victory lane is pretty cool.
"I don't know how lucky we were today. I think we were just fast enough where the guys gave me a fast race car and fast pit stops. We were fast enough to be able to stay on the lead lap even though we pitted under green. We got out fast enough to get it done. It was pretty good. We had a good car all day. In the beginning I knew we were pretty good, but it wasn't quite what we wanted. We made two minor adjustments the first pit stop and after that she was hauling the mail. I was real happy with it.
"I attribute a lot of this to running Bobby's (Labonte) car this morning. He gave me some pointers on how to get through three and four a lot faster. I changed my line down there and did some things he told me it would take awhile to get comfortable doing it. We did all that and it really helped me a lot today. Tomorrow is a little different ball game. I'm used to driving these cars (Busch) and feeling pretty comfortable in them. It's going to be a challenge tomorrow, but I just hope I can keep the fenders on it and get them a respectable finish.
"We're going to have to pit on the backstretch on Sunday, and hopefully we can get a caution so we can get Bobby out of the car without losing a lap and can just run respectable. They've got a real good race car here, so I just hope I can do my job and get a respectable finish."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 19 Yellow Freight Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We just had a rough day today. The Yellow Freight Chevrolet was pretty tight at first, then we had it a little too loose, and then had it corrected pretty well. Coming back down the stretch, I thought we were going to have a pretty good day. But the car didn't cut me enough slack in the corner and I got pretty high in the marbles and brushed the wall with the right-hand side. That hurt the car. We were pretty much out of it after that."