JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CROMAX PRO MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 1ST: "This Dupont Cromax Pro Chevrolet has been awesome every since we unloaded off the truck. We do that because of a lot of hard work by the guys at the shop on this race car...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CROMAX PRO MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 1ST:
"This Dupont Cromax Pro Chevrolet has been awesome every since we unloaded off the truck. We do that because of a lot of hard work by the guys at the shop on this race car from the aerodynamics to the geometry and of course under the hood with this Hendrick Motorsports horsepower. They are making it a lot of fun for me out there right now, the car is just driving great, I am enjoying myself, enjoying the California sun. I am hoping when the sun goes down, the speeds don't pick up too much. That is a real good lap for right now, but guys that you don't think will pickup, pickup. The guys that drew late numbers, they are going to be the guys to beat. The wind has picked up a little bit, so that can affect. Once that sun goes down, it is going to be hard to beat some of those faster cars that go later." (more to follow)
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 13 CERTAIN TEED/GINN RESORTS MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 26TH:
"A little bit loose going in to turn one. It is a tough qualifying effort for us. We are about a half of a second off of where we practiced. I got a little bit loose there in turn one and got in a tough spot. We have a car capable of winning the pole and it did the wiggle there and here we are in a tough spot. Most of the time we can ride through some of that stuff, I have to be the race on Sunday so my options are to conserve that lap and get one more and do a better lap on the second lap, that is what I had to do."
PAUL MENARD, NO. 15 MENARDS/QUAKER STATE MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 22ND:
"The first lap was just real conservative. I just wanted to get one down in the books and then concentrate on the time. Our intermediate program has come a long way since last year. Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) and the boys had an awesome, awesome off-season. We learned a lot at the Vegas test that has kind of applied here. The pressure is off now so we go run in happy hour and so good laps in and make our car drive good. And race 500 miles on Sunday.
"We didn't make a single race run, it was all qualifying runs. Gotta get in this weekend, especially after last weekend so we can make it in the top-35 in points. We have to do that to make races especially since Quaker State came on board with Menards to helping us out. It is cool to get them in the show and have some fun on Sunday."
JOHNNY SAUTER- NO. 70 BEST BUY MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 31st:
"I'm stoked. I mean, I can't say enough. I didn't even know my car was blue this week, so we've got Best Buy on the car. This is huge. Out of the first five races, this one was the big question mark to me, because California has typically never been a great place for me. I'm fairly confident Bristol and Atlanta will be pretty good. This is awesome. It's too close for comfort, but we get to race on Sunday, and that's awesome.
"This is one of those places that's so big, that if you're off a little (on your setup), you're off a lot. All day long, we've been struggling a little bit. We missed the first half of practice (going through inspection), so for 'Bootie' (Barker) and the guys to get this thing in the show with only six laps of practice, that's big. My Hendrick motor is awesome. Once we get through these first five races, I'm going to be a lot happier. It's nerve wracking. So many cars are showing up every week, it's just hard to get through inspection.
"I pretty much spend the entire time (in practice) worrying about my car and it being all it can be. After practice, I'm looking at the sheet and I don't even care who's fastest, I'm looking at the 'go or go home' cars. I can't even say anything right now. I'm definitely aware of what everyone else is doing, and I'm glad we're as fast as we are."
JEFF GREEN - NO. 66 YELLOW TRANSPORTATION MONTE CARLO SS - QUALIFIED 16TH:
"I'm very happy with that lap. You know, Harold (Holly) and the guys spent most of their time in the off-season working on our down force package. We knew we had made some big gains, and this just proves it. The car really handled great, and I was able to drive it off really deep in the corners before I let off. It worked out really well for us. Track position always seems to be pretty important at this place, so it's nice to be able to start near the front. I'm excited about going to the intermediate tracks this season, and with there being so many of those, I think it puts us in a great position."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 8th:
"I am really proud of everybody on the Cingular Chevrolet team. We worked on race runs mostly, we made a couple of qualifying runs. The second one in practice was just horrendous. I couldn't go anywhere. The guys did just a great job. That is what is great about this team. Every time I sit in this car I am pretty convinced it is going to go fast. It gives me a lot of confidence. This is a good place to start."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 6th:
"I messed up, I got in to one a little bit too deep and it ruined our chances at a pole. The Jack Daniels Chevrolet is pretty good. It is the same old girl we brought here in the fall and ran third so it will a good start to the season after Daytona!
"If you get out of Daytona with the fenders on, it is the start of your season. If you don't, you chalk it up to its just Daytona. I am really looking forward to this race, I think we will be strong."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED 4th:
"We'll take that. Pretty good place for our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet to start. We didn't do a lot of work in qualifying trim so we are really looking forward to Sunday's race. It will be a busy weekend for us, but I like being in a car or truck so it all good."
-credit: gm racing