Loudon II: GM drivers qualifying quotes

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 38th, will start 37th (provisional): "This car hasn't been able to take a set all day, for whatever reason. I don't have too much grip, and maybe I have too much front...

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 38th, will start 37th (provisional):

"This car hasn't been able to take a set all day, for whatever reason. I don't have too much grip, and maybe I have too much front brake and the rear brakes are too heavy. I thought I could have backed it in there, and if I didn't think I would hurt myself, maybe that might have been the thing to do."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 6th:

"It's not an advantage to have an early draw. Everybody would love to go as late as they possibly could because there's all the cars out there running around. We might have went up on air pressure a little too much; the car was pretty chattery on the first lap and that's the lap we had to get up and go. But it's better, way better than we've ever been here before in qualifying. I'm just happy to get a good starting spot. It's real important to start up front anyway. It takes a lot of the work out of it when you don't have to drive up through the field. I don't care where we start. I know the car is going to be good and we'll get to the front whether it takes all day, or just a few laps."

JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 25th:

"The track has changed a little. We were a little loose in practice and still struggling with that same little bit loose. I think the track set between when the Trucks finished and we started. It's just a little bit slippery."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 22nd:

"It's the normal slipping and sliding for me. I normally don't qualify all that well here. We'll have to wait and see where we end up. It's definitely a lot slower than we practiced, and we were 16th in practice. It may stay in the top 20. There's a couple of guys out there that I thought we'd beat and we did. We'll see where the Valvoline Pontiac ends up at the end of the day."

ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 17th:

"We did the same thing here last time, and if you overdrive the car on the first lap, you don't have much tire left. What we tried to do was save the car as much as possible on the first lap and improve on our second lap, which we did. I thought we'd be a little better than that. I thought we'd run an .80 or a .90, something like that. We stayed about the same. A lot of the guys dropped off and our intent was to pick up and run something close to what Dale Jr. ran. This is going to get us in the show good. These cars handle a lot better when you're at the front of the pack. We'll take it as it goes."

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 32nd:

"It sucked, basically."

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 5th:

NOTE: Waltrip eclipsed teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take the top spot and held the pole for a while until Ryan Newman knocked him off. Had he kept the pole, it would have been his first since 1991.

"The car really came in. The first lap, it was out of control. I'd been wanting to be free all day long, but Slugger [crew chief Slugger Labbe] reminded me that we have a tendency to get loose when qualifying starts. We kind of compromised, and I was a little bit loose, but not too bad, and I hung on. We're first so far, and I'm proud of that. We'll start good."

DID YOU NEED A GOOD RUN AFTER THE THREE STRAIGHT UNFORTUNATE EVENTS YOU'VE HAD? "We had three bad runs and we need to put together 10 good ones to climb back up in the points and finish the season the way we started. I want to tip my hat to Mr. Bahre [track owner Bob Bahre]. Bob and his crew here. The track is great shape. I think we saw the best race ever here in July, and the fans in New Hampshire are the best in the whole country and I know Mr. Bahre is real proud to give them a good track. Thank y'all."

RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 21st:

"It's pretty easy to be disappointed. It's more difficult to be realistic. We didn't run that well in practice, we improved and that's probably all we should expect. The competitor in you wants to be on the front row, but we're missing a little bit. We have all day tomorrow to find it."

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO PUT ON A GOOD SHOW FOR THE FANS HERE? 'It's really important. I get two chances a year, and honestly, at least in Winston Cup I haven't delivered like in the Busch North Series and the Busch Series. We're determined to get a win here and spend a week celebrating."

JOHHNY SAUTER, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 30th:

"That's a lot better than we were in practice. We struggled a little bit, but just couldn't find out what was wrong. We found out that we had thr wrong gear in the car, and got that straightened out. We pretty much made a guess at it, but it was a pretty good deal for the Kodak Pontiac and all the guys. It looks like we're going to be in the show and I'm pretty stoked about that. This is the first weekend I've raced the Winston Cup car and haven't had to run a Busch car or a Truck, so it's pretty cool. We'll race our ass off. We were really good here in the spring, and we have a lot of what we had in the Busch car here when we ran from the back to the front, so I'm pretty confident about it. This is only a 300-lap race, and a lot of these Cup races are a lot longer than that, so it's close to what a Busch race is. We learned a lot for what we needed chassis-wise. We had a little more time to apply what we had in the Busch car to this car. My only fear was making the show, and it looks like we're in. I know we're going to be awesome on long runs."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 8th:

"That wasn't a bad lap for us. We didn't have a chance to qualify here in the spring, so the setup we used for the race worked well for us, as we were able to win. We worked it over into our qualifying setup today and it's been in the top five for us. Hopefully, we'll be able to stay in the top five or seven and have a great starting spot for the race on Sunday."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN THE FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON AND THEN COME BACK FOR THE SECOND? "It can work either way for you. If you come back and you aren't running well, it can be pretty frustrating. The team has done a great job and I have to thank everyone on the Lowe's team for working as hard as they do to give me great race cars. At Dover, it worked well for us to win the spring race and come back and win in the fall, and we just hope we can carry that momentum on this weekend."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 7th:

"I can't complain too much about that. We picked up just a tiny bit from practice and a lot of guys weren't able to back up what they ran in practice. I'm pretty happy with it, but at the same time, you look at what the 12 car ran and say, 'man, where are we? We're a long way off those guys," so we have a little work to do there. But it was a real solid day for the DuPont Chevrolet. Hopefully, we can make up for what we lost here last time."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 13th:

"As the sun goes down, the track tends to lose a little grip, so the cars that were tighter in practice will probably pick up a little bit more. Our car was a little loose, so we weren't able to get the throttle all the way down up off the corner. Still, it was a pretty good lap for the GM Goodwrench car. Qualifying is not my strongest suit, so if we're anywhere in the top 15, we're good to go."

DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? "Yeah, especially since they brought in the new pavement. You don't have a bunch of sealer built up and you can make a mistake and get out of the groove a little bit and recover instead of just wrecking. I apppreciate everything the Bahre family has done. It makes it a lot of fun to come to the track and they've done whatever it's taken to this point to make the track right."

TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd:

"It was a good run for us. We picked up a little from practice, but we really haven't done anything since we unloaded. We haven't adjusted on it any. It was good right off the truck. We just practiced a little bit there and we had a great run."

MIKE SKINNER, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 14th:

"I left a little bit on pit road. I got everything there was to have out there on the track from the U.S. Army Pontiac. I made a decision to put another pound of air in the right side tires. We kept going up earlier in the practice, and that made it a little better, a little better and a little better. I just stepped over the line a little bit. The car got exceptionally loose getting in and coming off. It was just a little too free everywhere. You can't get the pole ever week, but at least we have one [last week at Richmond].

THIS TEAM HAS MADE BIG STRIDES THE PAST FEW WEEKS. "It's just a matter of jelling. They don't know me and I don't know them. Ryan and I are starting to learn each other and learn the shock program a little bit. We don't have a book of knowledge together. We're just starting to acquire that book of knowledge. It's like anything when it gets started. It doesn't just click right away. Hopefully we'll race a little better every week. We raced really well last week. We got a couple sets of tires that were a little off from what we had been running, but that's racing. We weren't the only ones that had that problem That will give us a good starting spot and we'll race them from there."

HERMIE SADLER, NO. 02 goteamva.com PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 36th:

"We're disappointed with how we ran. We ran quicker than that in practice, and for some reason we seemed to have gotten loose right there.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Ryan Newman