Pre qualifying notes from the Chevrolet drivers

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park scored a career-best fourth-place finish last week at Atlanta and moved to 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He'll be driving Monte Carlo No. 021 this week at Darlington....

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Park scored a career-best fourth-place finish last week at Atlanta and moved to 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He'll be driving Monte Carlo No. 021 this week at Darlington. It's a brand new car.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

Earnhardt scored his 75th career victory last week at Atlanta. The seven-time Winston Cup champion ranks third in the series standings heading into Sunday's Mall.com 400. He'll be driving the same Monte Carlo he finished second with at Rockingham earlier this season. He also raced the car last year in the second race at Michigan and finished fifth. "Hopefully this car will be one spot better than it was at Rockingham," said crew chief Kevin Hamlin. "We've worked on the nose, but that's the only thing different."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Hamilton scored a season-best 13th-place finish last week at Atlanta and moved to 36th in the series standings. The Morgan-McClure team will be racing a brand new car this week at Darlington. Hamilton tested it recently at Bristol and unofficially broke the track record by three-tenths of a second. "We think this car will be good at Darlington, and if it's still in one piece, we know it'll be good at Bristol," team owner Larry McClure said.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Labonte finished 15th last week at Atlanta and moved to 16th in the series standings. The two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion will be racing the same Monte Carlo at Darlington that he drove to a 31st-place finish at Las Vegas. "It's last year's chassis with a new body," crew chief Gary DeHart said. "We put the new nose on since Las Vegas and hopefully that'll help it."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Waltrip started 28th and finished 25th last week at Atlanta. He's 30th in the series standings and will be driving the same Monte Carlo at Darlington that he raced earlier this season at Rockingham. "I don't see any night and day difference in the car here," Waltrip said. "If you get the front end right with the new rules, it's an advantage. If you get it wrong, it can hurt you. If you go overboard and get too much downforce, then the car is unbalanced."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Earnhardt Jr. ran this Monte Carlo at Rockingham earlier in the season and finished 19th. He's currently leading the rookie-of-the-year standings and is ranked 14th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings. He has the second-highest ranked Monte Carlo in the standings after the first four races -- second only to Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)

Gordon scored a season-best ninth-place finish last week at Atlanta and moved to 17th in the series standings. He's driving the same Monte Carlo he raced in the 1999 season-finale at Atlanta. It has a new 2000 Monte Carlo body and a new front clip and crew chief Robbie Loomis says his driver has been most impressed with it so far.

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Nadeau led laps 24-28 last week at Atlanta after qualifying sixth fastest. An engine problem on lap 135 knocked him out of the race and relegated him to a 42nd-place finish. Nadeau ranks 34th in the series standings and is driving the same car the team used in the 1999 season finale at Atlanta. "It has a 2000 Monte Carlo body and it's like brand new," crew chief Tony Furr said. "It has the potential to be a top 10 car here. In fact, it just might be the car that carries Jerry Nadeau to his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Skinner led 191 laps last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but engine trouble on lap 305 relegated Skinner to a 30th-place finish. He's 23rd in the series standings and will be using the same Monte Carlo this week that came so close to winning at Atlanta. "It was a brand new car last week," crew chief Larry McReynolds said. "We had never tested it and it hadn't even been in the wind tunnel until after last week's race. Mike always runs good at Atlanta, but Darlington will be a real good test for it. We'll really be able to tell if the car is that good or not here."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Nemechek scored a season-best fifth-place finish last week at Atlanta and moved to 20th in the series standings. The Monte Carlo he'll race at Darlington is the same one he drove to a ninth-place rain-interrupted finish at Las Vegas. "The seat has dried out and the car is running pretty good," Nemechek said. "I really like this place, and we're looking for another good run on Sunday."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Marlin finished 12th last week at Atlanta and moved to 15th in the series standings. He'll be racing the same Monte Carlo at Darlington that he drove at Rockingham and Atlanta. "It didn't slow down in practice this morning," Marlin said. "It stayed consistent, and everybody else started coming back to me."

RICK MAST (No. 41 Big Daddy's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Mast finished 21st last week at Atlanta after failing to qualify the week before at Las Vegas. He's 39th in the series standings and will race the same car he drove earlier this season at Rockingham. "We've only got two cars race ready, but we've got a brand new one for next week at Bristol," crew chief Philippe Lopez said. "We've got to get to the wind tunnel and see what we're playing with. We're playing with fire right now, and we don't know how much to add or how much to take away to get the car balanced."

KENNY IRWIN JR. (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Irwin finished 24th last week at Atlanta and moved to 22nd in the series standings. He's racing the same car at Darlington that he drove to a 22nd-place finish earlier this season at Rockingham. Joe Nemechek drove the same Monte Carlo to a sixth-place finish in last fall's race at Darlington.

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Craven did not compete last week at Atlanta. He's got a brand new Monte Carlo for Sunday's race at Darlington. "You only get five or six real good laps in practice, and the tires don't really tell you how good you are," Craven said. "We'll do the best we can and just try to make the field."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Wallace finished 37th last week at Atlanta and is 37th in the series standings. He'll race the same Monte Carlo at Darlington that he drove last week at Atlanta. "We haven't really sorted out the new body yet," crew chief Jimmy Elledge said. "We're going to run the same car the next few weeks if we can and try to get it balanced."

TED MUSGRAVE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Musgrave finished 27th last week at Atlanta and is 32nd in the series standings. The team ran this Monte Carlo at Rockingham and Atlanta. "The car worked good at Rockingham, and Darlington is a similar track," Musgrave said. "I think we'll be OK in the race. We plan on running a steady, fast pace."

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Marcis has a brand new Monte Carlo for Darlington. "It's hard to tell how you're doing here," Marcis said. "The tires just go away so quick. We had a '99 Monte Carlo at Rockingham, and we think this 2000 Monte Carlo will be better here. We're catching up with our 2000 Monte Carlos."

CHEVY SHORTS -- J.R. Rhodes, public relations manager for Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo team, had a close call in the Darlington credential office parking lot Friday morning. Rhodes backed out of his parking place and had to quickly slam on the brakes. A black wrecker almost rear-ended the PR czar. Ironically, it was wrecker No. 3.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Joe Nemechek , Jerry Nadeau , Michael Ho , Kevin Hamlin , Robbie Loomis