Pontiac Racing Loudon Saturday notes

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: [Benson starts 15th on Sunday and was fastest in Saturday's opening practice session.] (DO YOU LIKE RACING HERE?) "Oh yeah, I like racing here, but it's a difficult place. It's flat and it's...

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
[Benson starts 15th on Sunday and was fastest in Saturday's opening practice session.]

(DO YOU LIKE RACING HERE?) "Oh yeah, I like racing here, but it's a difficult place. It's flat and it's slippery. It seems like every time we come here the sealer is always a little bit different and this year is the same thing. I guess they used something that was similar to what they use at Richmond and if that's the case, then it will probably be pretty good. I hate the fact that they put it on there every year, but at the same time I understand it."

(HOW COMPLICATED DOES YOUR JOB GET ON SUNDAY TRYING TO PASS HERE?) "It makes it tough, especially the first part of the race. But as time passes and the sealer starts to wear off, the groove starts to widen out - it's still very difficult to pass here, but you can get it done if you've got a good enough race car.

"It's just a matter of time. You've got to get through a lot of stuff. You've got to stay on the lead lap, you've got to have good pit strategy and the whole nine yards. It's possible to get to the front, but it helps to be starting up there."

RON HORNADAY, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
[Hornaday starts 11th on Sunday and was 12th fastest in Saturday's opening practice.]

(WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO PASS TOMORROW?) "I think a lot of these guys are going to have their cars so freed up that you'll be able to get them a little loose with aerodynamics and try to drive underneath them coming off the corners. Hopefully, you put the right gear in the thing to get it up off the corner without turning too many RPM so the motor stays together.

(WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD RESULT FOR YOUR TEAM TOMORROW?) "We'd rather crawl right now than take a leap. We'd rather just stay up top. We need to start finishing in the top 10 and then when we do that we can look at the top five and then start looking at winning a race. It wasn't a plus when we missed Daytona two weeks ago, but it did buckle everybody down, including myself, to where we're looking a little harder at the whole package."

NEWT MOORE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
[Moore's driver, Ken Schrader, starts eighth on Sunday and was third fastest in Saturday's opening practice.]

(ON THE TEAM'S IMPROVED QUALIFYING EFFORT AND HOW IT IS IMPACTING THEIR OVERALL PERFORMANCE) "Qualifying sets up everything we're trying to do for the race. We found what the car liked yesterday in a little bit of a run and we decided to go ahead start there. This is totally different than anything this team has run in the past. It's got a lot to do with what James [Ince] and them are doing on the other side of our shop (teammate Johnny Benson's team). We're kind of working toward what they're doing.

NEWT MOORE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

"Qualifying helps, but actually we've done better when we don't qualify as good, though, if you look at all of our charts. We're just looking forward to tomorrow because we get to start so good. We don't have to pass so many cars. Track position is big here, if we can play the game and play the right deal

"But our qualifying has gotten better and we're working hard on it just because we don't want to start so far back. Once Kenny [Schrader] gets inside that top 10, he's just different. He runs harder. Not saying he doesn't run hard when he's 20th, but when he's in the top 10 he can see the front and when he sees those guys up front he knows he has a shot." (WHY DO YOU THINK YOU RUN BETTER WHEN YOU DON'T QUALIFY AS WELL?) "I think it puts us in a little bit more of a 'concerned' mode to do better. But I think we're overcoming that because now we realize that you can't relax when you qualify in the top 10. You haven't won the race, yet. And I'm not saying that when we win a race that we're going to relax, either. I think it's just taught us as a group about how to think a little bit. Some of us tend to get a little bit relaxed and we're not going to do that. We sure aren't doing it here. Every minute we're going to do whatever we've got to do to make it happen."

(WHAT WOULD BE AN ACCEPTABLE FINISH FOR YOUR TEAM TOMORROW?) "A top five. We've got some top 10s and top 10s are great. But I think we've got a shot, qualifying this good. At Pocono, we had a carburetor problem and it knocked us out of a top five. We had nothing for the '24' and the '28' there, but we had a top five car. I think a top five here is what we're expecting. If we can get up there in the top five, I think we've got a shot at it. Look at Elliott Sadler at Bristol. Nobody even thought about him and he pulled it off. Last week, Robert Pressley ran good. It can happen. We just need to get up there and if we come out of here with anything less than that, we'll be disappointed. We were disappointed yesterday (in qualifying) with eighth."

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Robert Pressley , Johnny Benson , Elliott Sadler