Richmond Team Monte Carlo; notes, quotes, and tidbits

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race his Martinsville Monte Carlo at Richmond. Park started 19th and finished 25th at Martinsville. He started ninth and finished 16th last week at California, and Park is 21st in the...

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Park will race his Martinsville Monte Carlo at Richmond. Park started 19th and finished 25th at Martinsville. He started ninth and finished 16th last week at California, and Park is 21st in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings (NWCS).

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

Earnhardt will race a brand new Monte Carlo at Richmond. He tested the car before the season started at Las Vegas. "We think it's going to be a good car," Earnhardt said. "Richmond is a great track, and it's been a great track for us through the years. We're going to get after it. We need to start picking it up and putting some pressure on those guys ahead of us in the standings." Earnhardt started 35th and finished 17th last week at California. He's fifth in the NWCS, 132 points behind leader Bobby Labonte.

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

Hamilton will run his California Monte Carlo at Richmond. He qualified 12th and finished 18th with the car last week. "Bobby liked the feel of the car at California," team owner Larry McClure said. "We just decided to take it from coast to coast and run it again. We turned it around in two days, and it's ready to go again." Hamilton finished fourth last year at Richmond, and he's currently 25th in the NWCS.

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

Labonte will be running a brand new Monte Carlo this weekend at Richmond. It's the fourth time this season that the Gary DeHart-led team has debuted a new Monte Carlo. Labonte is slated to make his 647th consecutive start on Saturday night. Labonte finished 33rd last week at California and ranks 12th in the NWCS.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Waltrip will race his Martinsville Monte Carlo at Richmond. Waltrip scored a third-place finish at Martinsville, and he finished 30th last week at California. He is 27th in the NWCS.

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

Earnhardt Jr. will race a brand new Monte Carlo at Richmond. He's fresh off a Thursday appearance on Wall Street and a 12th-place performance last week at California Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. is 22nd in the NWCS.

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

Gordon will race his Martinsville Monte Carlo at Richmond. It's car No. 2434. Gordon won the Pontiac Excitement 400 pole position in '98 and '99 with the same chassis. Gordon finished fourth at Martinsville earlier this season and 11th last week at California. He's seventh in the NWCS.

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

Nadeau will race a brand new Monte Carlo at Richmond. It served as the team's backup car at Martinsville. Nadeau finished 13th last week at California Speedway and moved to 30th in the NWCS. Friday, May 5, 2000. Richmond International Raceway. Team Monte Carlo Tidbits for cars competing in Saturday night's Pontiac Excitement 400.

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

Skinner will race a low-snout Monte Carlo at Richmond. It's the same car he ran at Martinsville, where he finished 19th. It's the same chassis that sat on the Richmond pole last September. This is the first race in 2000 where the 3 and 31 teams will run different chassis.

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

Nemechek will run his Martinsville car at Richmond. He finished 17th at Martinsville and 20th last week at California. Nemechek is ranked 26th in the NWCS.

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

Marlin will race a brand new Monte Carlo at Richmond. He finished 32nd last week at California Speedway and ranks 17th in the NWCS.

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

Irwin will race a brand new Monte Carlo body at Richmond. He finished 42nd last week at California, and ranks 28th in the NWCS.

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

Craven will race his Martinsville and Las Vegas Monte Carlo at Richmond. The team tested it earlier this week at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.

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

Wallace will race his "favorite car" at Richmond. He qualified second with it at Martinsville, but the throttle stuck on the first lap and he ended up 42nd in the 43-car field. "We fixed the car, and it's better than ever," Wallace said. "This car is my baby. I love it."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Bodine will attempt to qualify for his first race of the season since an injury in February at a Craftsman Truck Race in Daytona. Bodine tested the car a few weeks ago at Richmond, and he finished third with it last year in the fall race at Martinsville.

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Marcis will run a Monte Carlo with a brand new body at Richmond. the 59-year-old veteran says he's determined to qualify for Saturday night's race. "We've got to get after it today, but I'm confident we can make the field," Marcis said. "It's not a lot of fun packing up and going home."

TODD BODINE (No. 91 Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Bodine finished seventh earlier this year in car owner Joe Falk's Monte Carlo at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 91 team brought a brand new Monte Carlo for Saturday night's Richmond race.

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

"I was shooting for a .65. I felt like a .65 would be hard to beat, but the weather is getting better and better, and I felt like Rusty would have a good shot at us. That was a good lap for our Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet. We'll take it and we'll race 'em from there wherever it falls. I really kind of blew it on the first lap. I drove it in the corner too hard down there in turn one. Whenever you've got a shot at the pole, you put that driver factor in there and get a little extra. In this case the driver hurt us. I said, 'man, you really messed that lap up. Now let's see if we can come back and get our act together and just hit our marks and run whatever we can get.' We were shooting for a .60 or a .65. I didn't know if it would hold up. We had some cloud cover coming and some good cars coming up. It was getting cooler and cooler. It was a good lap, wherever it stacks up.

"The second lap we made a great recovery, but the sun was still out and we saw the clouds coming and it was getting cooler and cooler. We knew the weather conditions were going to make the race track a lot faster. Congratulations to Rusty and Steve for knocking us down.

"That's Winston Cup racing. It's an awesome sport and it's very, very competitive. It takes a lot of skill and a little luck. I think we had a little luck in our favor last week at California. We got to go early and thought that was going to be bad. The sun ended up coming out and hurting the competition instead of us. This week it was exactly flip flopped. What goes around comes around. It says a lot for Winston Cup racing. It's an honor to start up front here, and track position is important on any short track. We'll race 'em from there. Rusty cut a heck of a lap.

"We had an awful good car the last time we were here. We had a dominant car for a good portion of the race and got knocked out on a restart by a lapped car. If we need anything, it's just a little bit of luck, and we need the car to drive good. We want the car to handle good. I think the handling is the biggest thing."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Rusty is just too good here. I'm still learning. I'm still kind of young for this kind of deal. I'm just proud of the whole team. They've done a great job. We struggled a lot in qualifying last year. We put our heads together over the winter time and decided we're going to have to work on our qualifying efforts. If you can get qualified good on Friday, it makes Saturday that much easier. That was our best lap by far. We thought it was going to be good enough to hold up on the pole. Rusty went out there and he was third on his first lap. I was hoping he got tired on the second lap or something, but he was able to cut another good lap. It was a good job for him, but I'm proud of my whole Pennzoil team.

"I've run the modified car, the Busch car and the Winston Cup car here. We seem to get qualified and run better on the mile and a half race tracks. Again, we took a look at some of the cars we had last year, and we weren't real happy. We built new cars over the winter for Martinsville and Richmond. It's paid off for us. The relationship I've got with Paul (crew chief Andrews) and our engineers has jelled over the last six or eight months to the point he's got a lot of confidence with what I need in a race car and I've got a lot of confidence in him that he can provide me with that."

"We've already got a pole this year. We would have loved another one, but we knew Rusty was fast. We're disappointed. We're out here to get poles and wins. I'm just real thankful. I've got a great bunch of guys here."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"It was a great run, but I'm still disappointed we didn't get the pole. This is a really good race car. The team has worked really hard. They've suffered this year with me not being in the car. I apologize to them all for that, but we're back. I love everything about this business. It doesn't get any better than this. We had a great draw late. The clouds came in. We knew that was going to help us. I've had confidence in this car all day long. We made about 10 or 12 laps in it. That's how good it was when we unloaded. It was up to me to go out there and make it work, and we did."

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

"We got a good draw, and that probably helped us. We were probably about a 20th or 15th spot car. We were a lot better than in practice, so maybe we did improve some. Going late really helped us a lot. We've always run good in the Busch races here, and then last year, we ran 10th in the Cup race here without any brakes. When we had brakes, we were a ball of fire. If we get that all night tomorrow, we'll be good. It's good to be back in the top five in qualifying."

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

"I got a little loose on the second lap getting into turn one, and that cost us a little time. I think the car is going to race good. It really doesn't slow down that much."

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"I don't think that's going to be good enough, but it's better than we practiced. We'll try again Saturday. That's a pretty fair disadvantage. I wish we didn't have to try again, but I'm just about sure we will."

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

"It didn't feel that good, a little tight, a little loose. The track is a little slippery, and it's a different Richmond now. That should be a good starting spot. I figured we'd end up about 10th."

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

"The guys who go out late will have a big advantage, but I've had advantages before. We wrecked the car in practice this morning and this is our backup car. Hopefully we can get in the race without taking a provisional. We've got a lot of work left to do. I think it's going to be a better race car than qualifying car."

TODD BODINE (No. 91 Little Joe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Our second lap all day has been our worst for some reason. We made some changes before qualifying. We needed a tenth, and that's what we got. Hopefully it'll hold up and get us in the race."

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

"That's the best we've run. We hadn't been too bad. We just haven't been fast enough. It's a brand new car. I think it's going to race good. We'll work on the race setup tomorrow. I don't think we're far off."

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

"I really liked that second lap. I thought it might have been better than that. It's nice to get greedy again. It feels good to run well. You expect to run faster in qualifying because it cooled down. It seems like we're hitting a sweet spot where the track is starting to speed up. I enjoy Richmond, but I never have set the woods on fire here. I'm proud of the team. We never quit. We kept working and I think you can see progress. That's what's important."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Sometimes you've got to go for it, and I was going for it. It got out of whack a little bit. We came to the green good and I got down in one and it picked up a little push. I got back in the gas, it got out wide. I backed up and came back to the green and got loose off four. It was basically driver error, trying too hard, too fast for conditions."

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

"You always want to be better. We don't qualify that good here, but I think I get 'em driving too good. We always race well. Hopefully that'll get us in the top 25. If not, we'll just get ready for the race."

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

"Every time we went to make a fast run in practice, something would get in the way or slow us down a little bit. The sun came out and it got slick, so that was a good lap for us. They worked extremely hard all day to get the car where it was for qualifying. That's by far the best lap we've had all day. I think you're going to see side by side, but the bottom is probably going to go away faster. I think you're going to see guys go to the top much sooner than usual."

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

"We slid around on the first lap a little bit. The second lap I decided I was going to drive it in and be real smooth in the corner. Everybody is working hard. We're trying. If we can get a break, we're going to have some good finishes here."

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

"I got down in turn one and I was a little loose. We ran consistent laps, but I should have been better than that. I needed to run a .90 or .88. I really wanted to start in the top 10. We practiced good enough to do that. I don't know if I overdrove it or what, but the car was there."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Michael Ho