Dover II: Chevy teams qualifying quotes

Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet (Qualified 5th) "I didn't want to remember what happened here in May when I spun out on my second lap. I told Slugger (crew chief Richard Labbe) 'I'm going to drive it just like I did then and if it ...

Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet (Qualified 5th)

"I didn't want to remember what happened here in May when I spun out on my second lap. I told Slugger (crew chief Richard Labbe) 'I'm going to drive it just like I did then and if it sticks I'll run a good lap and if it doesn't I'll crash again.' When you qualify, you drive out there like it's going to stick and if it doesn't you try to save it. You can't have in your mind 'what if it doesn't stick when you start.' I'm happy with the NAPA team. It's a great car they brought here. It's the one we raced at Bristol and ran real well with. We should be good in race trim tomorrow morning."

HOW CHALLENGING IS IT TO GET AROUND DRIVERS HERE? "It's one of those tracks a lot like Darlington where if you can get your stuff working good, this place is so fast. If a guy is slipping or skating a little bit you can take advantage of him and it's easy to pass if you get your stuff working good. That's what is so important about Saturday morning practices is getting everything lined up so you feel confident when the race starts that you'll be able to get to places where other guys can't."

Bobby Labonte, No. 18 MBNA Chevrolet (Qualified 6th)

"We needed that. It was a good run for us. We needed a shot in the arm, and that helped for sure. The guys have been working hard, and I'm happy for them. Hopefully, this will continue into the race, and we can get a win or a top-five. We've had a tough time the last few races and even though it's just qualifying, it's still a little bit of good fortune for us, which we haven't had in awhile."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet (Qualified 9th)

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH HOW YOU QUALIFIED? "Definitely. That's a great effort for us. We've had a little bit of slow go the last couple of months. An eleventh place finish is not the best finish but a step in the right direction. A good qualifying effort for us is really important. These guys are working really hard. I'm real proud of all the guys on my race team. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) for digging in deep and trying to find some new creative things. The guys are sticking together and working really hard. We're excited. It's going to be good on race day I think too."

IS IT A CHALLENGE BEING FIFTH IN POINTS? "No, it's not. It's weird not being at the top or near the top. Then when we line up on points next week with the trucks in the garage area, I'm going to be in a different spot than where I'm used to. That's fine. That's part of it. It's going to be exciting to say the least. I just hope that when it's all said and done we're right there towards the front where we need to be."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet (Qualified 16th)

ON HIS QUALIGYING RUN "It's not too bad. A little better than in practice. My car has been dancing around a little bit in the qualifying trim. I was pretty happy with the first lap anyways. The second lap got real loose and it's not going to be faster."

ON HIS CAR "We weren't so high on the (practice) sheet but I think the car is better than that. I had a second set of tires that were really loose but the qualifiers, I ran a lap on them and they seem to have a lot of grip so I'm expecting the car to be better. We're hoping it is. I think we're going to have a good race car this weekend. We came up here and tested and really had a pretty decent test. Hopefully the weekend goes good for us."

IS THERE ON PARTICULAR PLACE AT THIS TRACK THAT GIVES YOU PROBLEMS?) "The one thing I have trouble with at Dover is the concrete. Over the years it's a washboard much like an old wood deck. It's trying to get the car to be smooth and trying to get the right shocks and springs under it. It's kind of difficult. You'll get it right and then about 250 laps into the race it'll be all over place. We struggle with that. Hopefully we'll have it figured out."

(ON BEING TIED FOR FIRST IN POINTS "We're really excited about how we're doing right now and hopefully we can keep it going. We seemed to finish off the season really well. This new system might be an advantage to us if we can keep this performance up in the next couple of weeks."

Ward Burton, No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet (Qualified 17th)

"The NetZero Chevrolet team has been working really hard. We've all been working a lot of different ways to try to get our program going a little bit better. Today we came up with a little bit different geometry and it seems to have helped and the changes they've made on the car have all been positive and I've been able to give them good feedback. Hopefully we'll have that the rest of the weekend."

HOW FRUSTRATING HAS THIS SEASON BEEN? "Actually we're talking a little bit more again. One thing that you learn in life the older you get is never say never. We're working hard to do a good job the rest of the season and down the road and so on. It's frustrating. I got here by being capable of riding up front and winning races so when you can't do it, it's hard to deal with. It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's just something you have to learn to deal with. You're always going to have that in this sport so I'm getting another lesson of that this year."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet (Qualified 21st)

"It's been hit or miss all day long. One time we go there and make a good lap. The next time it's not a good lap. Right there we just got a little bit loose coming to the green and it just messed my whole lap up."

HOW MUCH DOES THE NARROW PIT LANE PLAY INTO YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS? HOW MUCH CAN PIT ROAD MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME OF THE RACE? "It makes a big difference. We'll have to really come up with some different strategy now based on where we're going to end up. That's why you work so hard qualifying here. You want to get a good pit stall. It's so narrow. So many accidents happen and so many spots are lost on pit road. We're going to have to have some good pit stops and have a really fast race car on Sunday."

Bobby Hamilton Jr., No. 32 Tide Chevrolet (Qualified 22nd)

"It's about what we ran all day in practice. We stayed in between nineties and flat and that's what we ran here. We bottomed out a little bit. Now we get done taping and go tomorrow for happy hour. Whoever can turn the best all day long is going to win the race. We got through the hardest part today which is qualifying. Now we'll get into race trim and get the Tide Chevrolet turning all day and get out there."

Tony Stewart, No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet (Qualified 23rd)

"It wasn't spectacular. It's not fast enough. We've won this thing from the middle of the pack before. It makes it a lot more fun the first two runs of the day because I pass everybody that way."

CAN YOU TELL HOW GOOD YOUR CAR IS? "We did race stuff the first half of practice. I think it's going to be pretty decent. I'm looking forward to it."

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE HIGH BANKS HERE? "I like it. We get around pretty good. You always like tracks that you get around good at."

Joe Nemechek, No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet (Qualified 24th)

"It's a new car. It's actually driving very very well. It's a lot better than what we were the first time. That's good for us. We kind of struggled the first race here so we brought a brand new car back. We did a lot of different things. We're kind of approaching it different as far as qualifying and the race. I think because of that it's making the car drive good. My qualifying lap wasn't like I was anticipating. It was a little bit too tight in the middle and little bit too loose off. Those are some of the same things we've been fighting today."

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet (Qualified 30th)

"It was OK. It was a little bit better than we were in practice. I got spun out coming in to the green. We've just been tightening up the car. We've been pretty much been loose since we unloaded it. We just got to get it better and go race."

HOW DIFFICULT IS THIS PLACE TO GET A HOLD OF? "It's such a fine line. You don't want the car tied up off the corner. You want it to keep cutting under the throttle and be able to come out of the corner but it's a fine line to do that and not be too much either way."

Terry Labonte, No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet (Qualified 38th)

"I guess I should of just took one lap there. My car was a little bit loose and I tried to go out quicker in the second lap and it just got away from me. It's too bad. We'll just have to get the back up car out and try to get it ready for the race."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Jimmie Johnson