DALE EARNHARDT JR, NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS: ON HIS LAP - "I was pretty happy with it. I think we got a good car judging by how we just ran. We could have done a little bit better. The car was great. The crew did a lot of work today to...
DALE EARNHARDT JR, NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS:
ON HIS LAP - "I was pretty happy with it. I think we got a good car judging by how we just ran. We could have done a little bit better. The car was great. The crew did a lot of work today to get a good comfortable car. We didn't get a great draw, so we are pretty happy with what we got. When it gets a little cooler, I think these guys are going to a little faster. We have some more work to do tomorrow to get it to run really well in race trim but I think we will be ok. I am really happy with what we have now.
ON SMOKE FROM FRONT END OF CAR: "Is that just qualifying at California. These guys work real hard to put good bodies on these things but every now and then you get a tire rub when you run that fast.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS:
"That was a good lap for our Icebreakers Ice Cube Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. When we started today, we were really really loose when we unloaded. I wasn't even able to make a lap. This is a credit to Todd Berrier and all the guys on this team. They made a lot of adjustments to make our car to tighten it up and get the balance right and then just fine-tuned it from there. Just really happy with the lap wherever it ends up.
ON RESURGENCE OF RCR "To have all the changes we made over the winter with all the teams, hopefully helped everyone. The guys had to work really hard over the winter. I feel like the motors are running pretty good and the cars are good. So hopefully it keeps going this way."
SCOTT WIMMER, NO. AERO EXHAUST MONTE CARLO SS:
"Our car actually drove pretty good. I don't know if we went out at a good time or not. It looks like these guys are picking up a lot of speed. That is definitely something we don't need. We have to get in to the race on time, I was surprised at the times the 78 and the 51 times, they definitely put down some good laps. We were looking pretty strong there for a while but if we make the race, we will be good in the race. I sure hope we make it in, we have to beat about three more cars and based on the time sheets, I think that is doable.
JOE NEMECHEK, 01 US ARMY MONTE CARLO SS:
"Everything has been good this weekend - our new Monte Carlo SS, our Hendrick engineers. This is one of the cars we tested at Las Vegas a few weeks ago and it ran exceptional out there. Ryan Pemberton just has a way of putting all the pieces together at the right time. I think we are fast. But the track is getting faster, it is starting to get a lot of shade down there in Three and Four so the times are going to pick up. I actually thought I could have run a little faster than that, but we will definitely take it, it was pretty fast."
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 96 DLP®HDTV MONTE CARLO SS:
DID YOU GET EVERYTHING YOU COULD OUT OF THE CAR IN YOUR RUN? "That was about all I could get out of it."
HAS LAST WEEK'S NASCAR PENALTY PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOU? "We'll, it's tough with a new team. We got off to a good start. We had a good run at Daytona and these guys are doing a great job. Hopefully we can have some more good runs and move up in the points a little bit."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS:
"It was a good lap. It was a little bit tight in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2, but really, really good in (Turns) 2 and 4. So I'm pretty happy with it. If it keeps us in the top 5, I'll be really happy."
ABOUT LAST WEEKEND, ARE BYGONES, BYGONES AND IS EVERYBODY COOL? "We're in California this week. That's all I care about is California right now."
DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? "Yeah, it's fun. The awesome thing is the fans out here in California get one more shot at seeing us now, which is good. This is a good place to have our second race of the year. I always enjoy coming out here."
WHAT WILL BE THE ISSUES IN THIS RACE? "You always have to worry about handling here. That's normally the biggest key. The good cars tend to get away. If you miss it by a little, it could make a big difference on where you need to be."
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: "It was a nice solid lap. In Turns 1 and 2 we were just a little bit tight in the center there. We fought that right toward the end of practice and tried to make adjustments. But it's a fast car right now. This Home Depot Chevrolet is really good and it's just a matter of trying to get a top five. If we don't get a top five and can stay in the top 10, that would be a great starting spot for Sunday's race."
HOW WAS PRACTICE TODAY? "We spent the first third of practice doing race runs and then switched over to qualifying (runs). When we went out in the beginning, we stayed fourth on the chart for a long time in race trim, so I was really excited with the way it started. Hopefully it's just as fast on Sunday."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT MONTE CARLO SS:
"Real happy with the speed. The car was a little edgy getting in so we made a few changes and it definitely helped us through the middle and great up off but made it a little twitchy getting in. Carrying that kind of speed you are going to be on the edge. We are real pleased with that lap. We drew a late number, made some good adjustments and we have a fast race car. As this sun goes down, it is just going to continue to make this track get faster and faster.
ON STARTING IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD POSITION: "It doesn't matter where you are at or how wide the race track is, track position is important and you get a better pit road spot. We always want a good lap for qualifying and be one of the fastest cars on the track. Especially as competitive as this sport is these days, you have to be up front. Just makes your race car a little bit smoother.
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS:
"What has changed is, man, we have got great race cars. I am so excited about this year. I know it is hard and there is a lot of things ahead of us we are going to have to deal with but we feel really good going into the year. All the tests we have had in our Cingular Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS this year have been really good. I am really comfortable in the cars, they drive good. They are making more horsepower. We are just doing a whole lot of things better and we just need to take advantage of it. I think we were all fairly confident coming into the year, but I have been doing this long enough. We have a lot better cars and a lot better engines but you saw a Daytona, good cars doesn't necessarily get good finishes. We have got to keep focused and just have to keep building good cars and take whatever we can get. "
"I am happy with the lap, the car drove good, I know that isn't going to have us on the pole, but it gives us a good starting spot. That is good enough."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 7 JIM BEAM MONTE CARLO SS:
"It is a terrible uncomfortable feeling having to qualify for these races. This is the toughest game in Motorsports by far. These first five races are real nail bitters for sure. I want to run harder and I want to run conservative because if the car ever slips sideways, we are going home. It is a terrible uncomfortable feeling but it looks like we are going to make the race pretty easily in our Jim Beam Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. We are the third quickest non-qualified car even though we are sitting 27th right now. I feel good about my team and all the hard work they have done over the winter time. We know we will learn stuff here at California We will have time to send our stuff back to North Carolina and rebuild some stuff and be better when we go to Las Vegas."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS:
"That was a pretty good lap for us, it was about what we ran here last year. We were just a little bit free, too free that I couldn't get back on the gas like I wanted to. This Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS has been pretty good all day. We had our adventures in the Busch Series and had our adventures here in Cup. Hopefully the rest of the weekend will go pretty smoothly for us and we are looking forward to going back to victory lane."