DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 28th: "We only got about 50 percent of the adjustments out of it we needed. We started in race trim this morning and only got into qualifying trim late in practice. If we had started...
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 28th:
"We only got about 50 percent of the adjustments out of it we needed. We started in race trim this morning and only got into qualifying trim late in practice. If we had started earlier and had a lot more time to work on it, I think the car would have been faster. The car was okay. The track is a lot better grip right now with the temperature and being overcast. But I'm really happy for the team. We were really, really in the muck this morning. We were working really hard to figure out the tire this morning. I'm really proud of my team. To be able to get a lap like that, I'm really happy for my team. I'm not really sure how good it's going to be."
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 16th:
"This is because of the guys I have behind me. Gil Martin and the guys on this ole Jack Daniels Chevrolet have really been giving me good cars and I am really excited about this year. Last year was a learning year and we did just that. Fortunately our sponsors and Richard (Childress, team owner) were patient with us I really like we are set and ready to win our first race and be a part of the Chase at the end of this year."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 25th:
"I am just glad it is over, I'll be honest. I thought Daytona was one of the worst tires we have ever ran on but I will guarantee you that this is definitely the worst Goodyear tire I think I have ever been on in my entire nine years of driving Nextel Cup Series. It never ceases to amaze me on how they can always trump their ace on how bad they can build tires for us. I am just glad I don't have to qualify any more now.
"I've held my breath for every lap I've been here. At least I didn't have to do that when I was here testing (in January). We were probably running a little too quick during the test, and the harder tires we've got now probably compensated for that. It was a lot faster than we all needed to be going, but you didn't feel like you were going to wreck every lap, and that's the way it feels now. You'll know in about 15 laps what kind of race we're going to have. You just go out and try to make your car drive as good as you can. There's not much else you can do. That's what we do every week, wherever we go. You don't know if the conditions are going to be conducive to running side-by-side. You don't know if we going to be all strung-out. You just never know until you get in the race. It doesn't matter. You can't prepare for it. It is what it is until you get to the race."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 23rd:
"It is going to be an interesting race with this hard tire and smaller fuel cell. This has been one of the more stressful qualifying sessions waiting for qualifying because we weren't all that good earlier today. I think the weather changing a little bit has helped, But good changes for our Lowe's Monte Carlo and all-in-all a good lap for us."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 12th:
" I hope we are going to be pretty good Sunday. We have had our struggles since we unloaded but we are a lot better now in the Kellogg's/Carquest Chevrolet. The guys did an awesome job making it better so I can at least try to drive it. On my qualifying lap, I just kind of committed to the top, that might have been the little bit that hurt us where I think Kurt (Busch) ran the bottom. It is a good run for us, I am happy with that. Good job for Kurt and all those guys but I think last year he qualified well but never really raced well so we will have to see if they can turn that program around (LAUGHS).
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS - Qualified 5th:
"A good car at testing, wouldn't be a good car now with times and this race track being so different now. We worked a lot on race trim in practice. This is going to be a huge challenge for all these teams because these tires are exceptionally hard. Which, by-the-way, is the only thing to do with a new race track that will eat up normal tires, you have to bring a tire which it too hard. But it is going to be a huge challenge for all the teams. But that is our job to do it better than everybody else. That is what we do, we compete. We worked really on on race setup and I think we learned a lot with our Cingular Chevrolet. I got into three and four really, really well on my Q run but I didn't hit one and two. There are some people coming that are going to hit both ends. On the second lap, I didn't think I would be faster. Typically I want to go for it one lap and get it done with, I went in one and two again pretty decent I thought, but I couldn't get through three and four decent. I didn't think it would be better but I figured if I didn't try I would never know.
ON THE NEW LAYOUT: "I'm proud of these race track owners for trying to make improvements and what they've done in the infield for the fans is remarkable. The layout is going to be okay but it's going to take a while. Old race tracks are better than new race tracks. The only problem is you've got to have new race tracks to get old race tracks. The race will be good for the fans and that's all that matters."
-credit: gm racing