Rockingham driver's quotes

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Goodwrench 400 Quotebook ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 21, 1997) Quotes from drivers after first-round Busch Pole qualifying for the GM Goodwrench Service 400 at North Carolina...

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

Goodwrench 400 Quotebook

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 21, 1997)

Quotes from drivers after first-round Busch Pole qualifying for the GM Goodwrench Service 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C.

Mark Martin No. 6 Valvoline Ford

"We've got an awesome race team here, and we're pumped up. The car has been fast since we've been here. I kinda hung it out there. It just felt so good. I just had to go. It was a beautiful lap. It was so fast through (Turns) 1 and 2 that I knew I had the pole, no matter what I did in (Turns) 3 and 4. Once I got through 1 and 2 without crashing, I figured I would just sorta cruise on the other end. Now we've got to do it the rest of the weekend. I was a little bit shakey when I got out of the car, but I feel a little bit better now."

Bobby Labonte No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet

"It was actually quite a handful, but we're getting a handle on the Pontiac. Daytona is a totally different deal. This is the way we'll race most weeks. We'll chalk this up to experience, and next time, hopefully, we'll get a tick better. This a brand new Pontiac they just built this winter. I'm happy with what we ran. I could tell it was going to be an awesome lap because it got through the corners really well. That really makes a difference here. I had a good feeling about things after that run, but I also knew Mark was going to be fast. He was two tenths better than us in practice, so the writing was pretty much on the wall. These tires are new for us, and we're still trying to figure out the setup for them here. We don't exactly know what they're going to do yet."

Dale Jarrett No. 88 Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford

"That was close. The guys did a great job. This is the same car we had here in October. We're really happy with it. We made a few adjustments right before qualifying. We weren't as good as we wanted to be, and those adjustments were the right ones. That's what makes Todd Parrott and his guys the best. We finished second in both races here last year, so I think we'be got a good idea of what we need to do here and what we want to do. There is a little different right side tire, and that threw us a curve for a little while, but I think that probably in the long run for the race, it will be a better tire."

Jeff Gordon No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet

"Those other guys are really stepping it up. They're pretty fast. I felt pretty good about our lap. If you can pick up from your practice speed, that's good. A lot of these guys are really picking up, and it just shows how competitive it is going to be out here this season. We've got a lot of momentum coming out of Daytona, and we'll start fourth Sunday, so it's good to see that momentum carry over."

Geoff Bodine No. 7 QVC Ford

"I'm glad that's over. It's not a bad start. I'm pretty happy with that. There's a little room for improvement, but we can handle it. It was a good effort by everybody. I'm proud of the way it turned out."

Ken Schrader No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet

"That's faster than we ran in practice. We were seventh fastest in practice, and I figured we'd wind up around there after qualifying. It's a brand new car. We never shook it down. We unloaded and it was good right off the truck. I left a little bit on the track. I didn't get the lap I wanted, but it was decent."

Steve Grissom No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet

"I can't say enough for these guys on the team. We make a couple of adjustments to the car for qualifying and this is a really neat deal. The main thing we wanted to do today was get in the race, get a front-stretch pit stall and then come in on Saturday and work on the race setup. These guys are really digging. We weren't exactly where we needed to be when we unloaded, but we gained on it."

Ricky Craven No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet

"That lap was OK. If it ended up 20th fastest at the end of the day, I'd be happy because I worked awfully hard. We were very close at different times this morning."

Brett Bodine No. 11 Close Call Phone Card Ford

"This race team is going to do some things. One of our goals is to get back to qualifying like we used to, and we're headed there. Thanks to Jack Roush and his people giving us the horsepower to do it and Donnie Richeson and all the guys back in Mooresville doing a great job getting these cars prepared. Now it's up to the driver. Once I get comfortable in this race car, you're going to see this thing go to the front."

Ricky Rudd No. 10 Tide Ford

"We're pretty well pleased. For the fall race we were on the outside pole, so we've lost a little bit of speed somewhere. The car is just a little bit too tight for qualifying, but it will race real well. We've been trying to work on freeing up the chassis, so it will run a quick lap, and we left a little on the table today."

Jack Durbin jackd@motorsport.com Motorsport News International Web page www.motorsport.com

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brett Bodine , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Ken Schrader , Ricky Craven , Steve Grissom , Mark Martin