Daytona 500: Pontiac Racing qualifying notes

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "I'm very pleased with that lap. We didn't expect to be a pole contender when we got down here. They just kept tweaking on it and tweaking on it. We had a good test and they got it good. We knew we ...

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I'm very pleased with that lap. We didn't expect to be a pole contender when we got down here. They just kept tweaking on it and tweaking on it. We had a good test and they got it good. We knew we still didn't have a shot at the pole, but we wanted to have a good, solid time. I think that will shake out decent."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU FELL OFF A LITTLE BIT FRO\M PRACTICE... "A little bit? That was a ton. We didn't even touch the car. We went through tech with no changes, put the (restrictor) plate on it and there you go. We'll have to race our way in."

DID THE WARMER TEMPERATURES MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY? "No. The Chevrolets still went two tenths faster than they were yesterday and we were four tenths slower, so I don't know. We'll just see what the Valvoline Pontiac does in the '125s' and go from there."

STACY COMPTON, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We've got a lot of work to do. It's a little disappointing, but the guys worked awful hard on that A.J. Foyt Conseco Pontiac. We were decent in practice. We practiced decent down here, but not where we wanted to be, for sure. We'll work on it a little bit harder and see if we can get it a little bit better for the next week."

WILL YOUR EXPERIENCE HELP YOU GET INTO THE DAYTONA 500? "We certainly hope so. I think these guys will get us a good race car before it's all said and done. As soon as we do that, I think we'll be OK."

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I'm really happy. I didn't think it would even run that [fast], but the guys did a great job."

DO YOU THINK IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU START THE QUALIFYING RACES? "I don't think so. But, every time I think I know what's going on I get a little confused and mixed up and backwards. Hopefully, it will be a good starting spot for us to where if it is hard to pass, we can stay up there. But, I think it's still going to be Daytona. I think if you've got a good car you're still going to be able to get to the front."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I'm really happy with that. The guys worked real hard. It's a deal where we didn't practice that, so they went back in there this morning and changed a couple things and added the stuff that will usually help us out a little bit. But, we picked up a lot more than we thought."

HOW HAVE YOU FELT IN THE DRAFT SO FAR THIS WEEK? "Our Bud Shootout car working pretty good this morning, so the draft, as far as that one goes, is pretty good. It's not all bad. It's different than last year, but still, yet, it's OK."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
DOES QUALIFYING MEAN MUCH HERE? "It's probably going to mean more this year than it did last year. Qualifying has probably gotten more important in 2002 than it was in 2001, because in 2001 you could start dead last and be running in the top 10 in five or six laps. Now, especially this track, handling makes a big difference. It is going to play a bigger role here this year than it did last year."

DO YOU STILL FEEL THE PONTIACS NEED SOME HELP? "We're still a half-second off [the pole], even as good as we qualified. We would like to be able to pick that up. I don't know how we'll do it right now. We can't do it this weekend, but we'll work our hearts out to do it for Talladega, and back here and back at Talladega again. The only bad thing is that everybody else is probably going to pick up a little bit, too. "We're not as close as we'd like to be, but qualifying one lap is one thing. When we get in the race, if we get our handling package good and get everything going right, maybe we can be OK."

IS THIS QUALIFYING RUN A BIG BOOST FOR THE TEAM, KNOWING THAT YOU DIDN'T EXPECT TO QUALIFY THIS WELL? "It really is. We were 28th in practice yesterday, and the '29' didn't practice and all that, so I honestly figured we'd be 30th in qualifying. We picked up a lot and I'm encouraged about that."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers A.J. Foyt