STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Levi Garrett Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: This is the first time since '99 a manufacturer has swept all four poles at restrictor-plate races. Chevy did it in '99 and Pontiac in '98. "Poles here came by a lot of hard work from...
STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Levi Garrett Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: This is the first time since '99 a manufacturer has swept all four poles at restrictor-plate races. Chevy did it in '99 and Pontiac in '98.
"Poles here came by a lot of hard work from the team and Dodge, Ernie Elliott and all the guys in the motor shop. We came and tested in the spring. We didn't come back for this race. We made some changes and we felt like we were going to be a little bit better for qualifying. This morning in practice, that's pretty much all we had. We felt like we had a shot at a top five. Chad (crew chief Knaus) and the guys made some decisions to make some changes after practice. It paid off. We got a lucky draw, too. We got a late draw and it cooled down a little bit and maybe the motors made a little bit more horsepower. Everything sort of went in our favor today.
"We missed qualifying by two thousandths of a second with our backup car at Bristol. We just missed it at Michigan. We went back to Michigan the second time and were running in the top 10 when it started raining. We're still learning with the Dodge program, still learning as a team, jelling together. This was the first year with Chad and myself. If you look at the last eight weeks, we've run really good. We may not have finished, but we cut tires running in the top 15. We broke transmissions running in the top 15. All-in-all, we've come together as a team the last seven or eight weeks. It takes time for a new manufacturer to come out. For us being a single-car team, I think we've competed pretty well at times with the multi-car teams and sponsorship dollars that are out there.
"I've been running the Hutchens device all year. I think it's an intelligent decision. I still don't think it's up to NASCAR to have to make it mandatory. I think the drivers should have enough sense to run 'em. It's a proven fact, it decreases the forward. It's a proven fact, the Hutches and HANS works. I don't think it should be up to NASCAR. I think it's a smart decision. I don't think it's NASCAR's decision to say you've got to do this. They're not responsible for us. I think it's good. I think the open faced helmet should also be outlawed, but everybody's got opinions. Some people like the open face, some people don't. Somebody don't like the head and neck restraints. I personally do. I'm going to do everything in my power to make me as safe as possible. If it's something as simple as wearing a head and neck restraint system, we're certainly going to run it.
"I don't think any of us know at this point. We're in front of a lot of sponsors right now. We're meeting with people every week. I've got the best owner in the business. Mark (Melling) has told me if somebody else comes along and wants to talk, then you've got to listen. I'd like to stay with Melling Racing. They're a good organization. They gave me a chance when nobody else would. This certainly didn't hurt to come here and qualify like we did. Hopefully we can end the day on Sunday with a good finish and attract some more attention. Maybe some of these meetings we've had will turn out. Right now, we don't know where our future is. I know Melling Racing is going full bore ahead. We're building cars. We're doing everything in our power to get ready for next year and everything is on go for next year. We've got to have a sponsor to do that. At this point, I'm not sure."