Friday, July 23, 1999. Pocono Raceway. Bud Pole Qualifying for Pennsylvania 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's a good way to start out the next three years. Our Lowe's...
Friday, July 23, 1999. Pocono Raceway. Bud Pole Qualifying for Pennsylvania 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's a good way to start out the next three years. Our Lowe's Chevrolet was never bad. We were pretty good right off the truck and kept making it a little better. We were about an eighth to 10th-place car after practice. I told Larry I went for all or nothing at Loudon two weeks ago and it bit me. I told him to tell me what he wanted to do. I told him whatever we did we'd do it together. He said we're going to be together for three years, so let's go for it. We didn't expect the pole, but we thought we could qualify somewhere in the top five or six. "I'm always nervous for qualifying. I'm nervous if we're 20th. I'm worried about making the first round. I'm nervous if we're second because I don't want to be on the outside. Qualifying is very stressful. I think I did better on this run than I did when I won the pole at Daytona. I think we were the first or second car to go out when we won the pole for the Daytona 500. I had to go through the whole pack. Today we were the 12th car and we had to go through the whole pack. I went and took a shower and had a glass of Gatorade and had plenty of water and kind of chilled out. I said it is what it is. I thought Bill Elliott had a good shot at us. I never expected Jeremy to do quite as well. Jeremy and I have a magnet. If I'm 12th, he's 13th or 11th. If I'm first, he's either first or second. I never count anybody out. "We expected to pick up. We honestly thought we could run somewhere around a flat. We made some adjustments to our Lowe's Monte Carlo to loosen the car up. The last couple of runs we made, the car was tight. Our qualifying lap, we were way up high in turn one. We really didn't have a good corner over there. Our best corner was turn three which has been our worst one for the last two times here. "I'm really proud of the guys in the engine shop. They've done such a great job. The qualifying motor John Richardson put together was awesome. It was a combination deal, not any one person. "With that many cars to go and Jeff Gordon and the 88 and I knew my teammate had a really good car, too. I really didn't expect it to hold up. Thank the Good Lord and Mother Nature that the weather stayed spotted today. When the good cars went out, they didn't have really good weather."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "It wasn't as fast as I wanted to go, but it's a pretty good run. I thought we could have run a little better. I was hoping for a flat or better. It was just a tick loose I think. I was a little late getting on the throttle in turn one. The tunnel turn was fair. I think the car had it in it. Turn three was a little loose. Mike Skinner ran a heck of a lap, but if we end up here in the top 10 or 12 or whatever it'd be great. Congratulations to Skinner on the pole. Those boys worked hard. "Our race team is getting better and better. I feel good about it. The team is great on pit stops, and we're going to have a great race car on Sunday. We gave it all we had today. This is a little different race car than we had here last time. Mike's got a different car, too, so we both should do better."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got a little too tight in turn one. I didn't know it was going to be this cloudy. This is the same car, same engine, same everything we had here last time. We tightened the car up a little bit from practice and banked on it being a little hotter. We should have a good, solid starting spot. It's a little hotter this time. We just got the car too tight this time. We just tested this car at Indy on Monday and Tuesday and it ran real good for us there. That's all we had."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was happy with the way the car handled. It was really good. It got around the corners real good. I didn't do something right somewhere. Maybe it felt too good and I wasn't going as fast as I should have been, but it handled well. I hot-rodded it, so we'll see where that winds up. This is really the first car we feel like we're on top of. It's got a new body on it, and it should be a good car. I'm a little disappointed in what I ran, but it got us in the top 25."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "This is the car I ran here last spring and we finished in the top 10 with it. It's a good race car, and it was really good today. Maybe we can get a good finish out of this thing. John Hendrick said he was going to get me a cloud for qualifying. I just hope he gets rid of it now. The car was good off the truck. We normally pick up a couple of tenths for qualifying. We put all the voodoo stuff on it. It got loose in three coming for the checkered, but other than that, it was a good lap. We still have half a season left to race, and I'm totally focused on that. So is the race team. All the other chips will fall where they may. I'm not worried about that. I'm just worried about winning a race in this car this year. You come in thinking you're building something for yourself down the road longterm. That situation doesn't pan out. We've got a lot of work in this deal, and we've run good all year, but that's part of this business and I accept that. Every team I've driven for has been short term, so I don't know what a long term deal is. I go out and race every race like it's my last race anyway, so there's no difference. There's a couple of things out there I'm interested in. There's a lot more that I'm not interested in. I want to be in a situation that's as good as I'm in now. If I can't be competitive, then I'm not interested. Those deals are few and far between. There's not that many really, really good deals out there. We'll see what happens."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were good in practice. When Skinner put down that .80, I didn't know about that, but we figured we'd get us something good and solid. I knew we'd be OK. I was a little surprised it held up for third. A lot of good cars were going out after we did, and you couldn't be sure what the weather would be. The clouds were so-so for us. That's about what we were going to run anyway. They said a lot of winners come from the third starting spot here. I hope I don't ruin that stat. We've got a good car, and that was a pretty good lap. I think we'll be in pretty good shape for the race. This isn't our Brickyard 400 car yet, but I suppose it could be. If we could win here Sunday, it'd be hard not to take it to Indy." Friday, July 23, 1999. Pocono Raceway. Bud Pole Qualifying for Pennsylvania 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 3.
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "That's a big improvement from what we did here last time. We just seem to run well here. The guys have a great race setup. That gives us confidence that we've got a shot at winning. I feel pretty good about that lap. That's about what we ran in practice. I thought we could go faster. It felt like a faster lap. I bobbled a little bit in the tunnel turn in practice, and I thought I hit it pretty good this time. We'll have to get after it, but that's a lot better than we were here last time. We started 17th here last time and we're seventh now, so that's a pretty big improvement. Track position really doesn't mean that much here. If you've got a good car, you can come up through here. Qualifying is still important everywhere we go. You don't want those lead guys to get out. You never know when you're going to go green for long runs, and you don't want to get behind. This is one track that I maybe wouldn't be too nervous about starting further back. We're going to have a pretty good starting spot this time. Let's just make sure I don't have to come in for any unscheduled pit stops during the race. It wasn't a bad lap. Some guys picked up from practice, and we didn't pick up as much. All in all, I did what I wanted to do. I hit all three corners pretty good. Maybe I wasn't aggressive enough because the car felt great. I thought it was going to be a better lap than it was. Last time, we thought we had a shot at the pole here, and I ended up getting real, real loose and started 17th. The lap felt good and clean today."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I thought I was going to be a lot faster than that. I thought I had a shot at the pole. I was good through turn one. We were off a little bit once we got off turn one. I know Mike Skinner had a killer lap there. I thought we were going to be pretty decent. We had about half a track of cloud, and I drove it in there. There's no question about that. We just missed it by a little bit, but we picked up from where we were in practice. Sterling and I are running about the same. This is a new car than we had here last time. We tested this one at Indy and it ran real good. When it came time to step up today, we did what we had to do. That's quicker than we ran in practice. Any time you can pick up, that's good. We'll take it and try to finish the race now."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I didn't get through turn two quite as good as I needed to. I didn't get through turn one like I wanted to, either. It bottomed out a little bit. It was an OK lap. This is a different car than we had here last time, and I think it's going to race good. This is a good car. It's got a good body on it. It wasn't as good as I thought the lap would be. I felt like I left a little bit out there, but it was still a good run for us. I think we're back on the track here. I ran this car here once last year and it ran decent. We ran this car at Loudon, so we thought we'd bring it up here. We'll work hard on our race setup on Saturday and go from there."
DAVID GREEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We made an adjustment to tighten up our car and it got a little cooler and I think the track tightened up. We got a little bit too tight, but we didn't lose as much as I thought we would as bad as it pushed."