BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: NOTE: Labonte's qualifying lap of 179.432 miles per hour broke the track record of 177.924 set last year by Dale Earnhardt Jr. He wound up 4th in the final rundown. "It was...
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
NOTE: Labonte's qualifying lap of 179.432 miles per hour broke the track record of 177.924 set last year by Dale Earnhardt Jr. He wound up 4th in the final rundown.
"It was really good. We had a good car all morning in practice and the guys worked real hard to make it better every time we went out. I hope we got the most out of it right there. It was the best lap we had all day. I thought I had a good lap in, and I hope it sticks somewhere up front."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 7th:
"We made it better, but just not quite good enough. I got through Turns 1 and 2 pretty good but I just missed a little bit in 3 and 4. We tried to free the car up a little bit and it helped, but we probably could have gone a little bit more. Bobby put up a heck of a number, and he's been strong all year at tracks like this. Not far behind him, and maybe we can hold onto a good top-5. We have a good solid effort and a great car. We picked up a little bit from practice."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 24th:
"I was kind of disappointed in the driver. I just got a little bit too tight up off Turn 2 and had to get out of the gas and lost a little bit of time. It was still a good lap for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, and that should get us a decent spot."
YOU WILL MAKE YOUR 100TH CAREER START ON SUNDAY. ANY THOUGHTS? "Yeah, it should be 101, but I got thrown out one week. It's pretty cool. It doesn't take long to get to 100."
WHO'S KEEPING TRACK, RIGHT? "I guess just me."
JASON LEFFLER, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 6th:
"I've always loved coming here to Kansas. There's a lot of great race fans here, and I have to thank Tony Furr and everybody at NetZero, Pontiac and Hendrick Engines. You can't do it without the horsepower. It's going to be a good starting spot for us and I'm looking forward to Sunday."
WERE YOU SHOCKED THAT JIMMIE JOHNSON GOT INTO THE 29-SECOND BRACKET? "No. You could tell by the lap Bobby Labonte put down earlier that someone was going to get there. This is a good starting spot for us. I'm sure we're going to end up somewhere in the top 10, and track position is very important. Hopefully we'll be able to keep this NetZero Pontiac up front on Sunday."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 32nd:
"Well, we needed to pick up from practice. We missed just a little bit, but we'll be OK for tomorrow. We're actually preparing ourselves for practice tomorrow and we are talking about a few changes that will help the Tide Pontiac. The race here is pretty exciting. I'm glad that we're racing in Kansas City. We qualified ninth the first year and 20th the second and we never really got to finish the job. Both years we've had our share of problems, but I'm looking forward to Sunday."
HAS THE TRACK CHANGED THIS YEAR?
"My first impression is no. The fast way around is still on the bottom, but I think you may see a difference tomorrow. I think there'll be a few options and that will play into the drivers' hands, because you always like to have options."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 20th:
"I didn't think it was too bad. I was hoping to pick up a little bit more than what we practiced. Both laps were consistent. The Valvoline Pontiac was good off the truck so we haven't really changed a whole lot. We'll see where it's going to end up for tomorrow's race."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
Won the pole position with a track record speed of 180.373, bettring Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s record of 177.924 by 2.449 miles per hour:
"I'm very proud of my race team and of that lap. There are a lot of benefits to qualifying well. Track position is very important. I didn't think we'd go this fast. I'm really happy with the engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports and the bodies and everything that goes into it. When we walked in here today, Chad (Knaus, crew chief) had that look in his eye. He was ready for a pole. Hopefully we have enough to keep it. Rusty Wallace is going to be tough, but this was a great lap and I've got to thank my guys for working so hard."
WITH SUCH GOOD MOMENTUM GOING FOR YOU, DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO CATCH MATT KENSETH IN THE POINT STANDINGS?
"I hope so. Last week we had a chance to make up some points, but unfortunately it didn't work out for us. We're just going to keep our heads down and pay attention to our game and see where we end up."