Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 10, 1997) Quotes, in order of qualification, following Busch Pole Qualifying for the Die Hard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway: ERNIE IRVAN No. 28 ...
Report from Motorsport News International
NASCAR Public Relations
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 10, 1997) Quotes, in order of qualification, following Busch Pole Qualifying for the Die Hard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:
ERNIE IRVAN No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford
"My team has done a lot of work on these restrictor plate races. We have been getting our butt kicked at these restrictor plate races lately, so thay've done a lot of work. We had a really good lap. The guys did all the work on this thing. I had a really easy job. I just had to hold it wide open. I told 'em I didn't hold it wide open in practice, so we picked up a little here. This is a place I like. But you've got to surround yourself with people who dedicate themselves to make a really good superspeedway program. The 4 car and the 28 car, they don't like to get beat on the superspeedway program. "This is exciting for me. This is my last race here with the 28 car and with Texaco. (The car) is a tribute to Davey Allison. We remember him well, and I really think everybody in the grandstands really loves to see this, because it's a tribute to him."
JOHN ANDRETTI No. 98 RCA Ford
"Obviously, every race track we go to we try to win, but this has been a race track where we've got a really strong combination for. We always qualify up front here and we always run up front. Who knows? Maybe this will be our second win. I thought we could run quicker, but it's really gotten hot. As long as it stays hot, it will hurt everybody. I'm just hoping it hurts everybody a lot."
JIMMY SPENCER No. 23 Camel Ford
"That's a good lap. We've been running good ever since we unloaded. We really felt like we had a shot at the top-5. It's the same car we had at Daytona, and ran really well down there. We ended up losing a lap in an accident. Hopefully, that won't happen here. If it doesn't, we're going to have the same result Sunday."
JEFF BURTON No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford
"If you look at what we have done in qualifying for restrictor plate races all year long, and then you look at that, we've come a long way. We just went to work on our body program. They did a great job on the body. We picked up, and generally you don't pick up much here. We'll take that. We're real proud of that. The three restrictor plate races before this were pretty ugly. We'll take this."
DERRIKE COPE No. 36 Skittles Pontiac
"I got hot. We just missed it a bit. We put a little more tape on it and it just got hot. It got up to 240 in turn three and I knew our day was done at that point. This Pontiac has been a good car for us all year long. It's run up front, and hopefully we'll have a shot to win this thing."
TERRY LABONTE No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet
"That was a pretty good lap, but it's a little slower than we practiced. It's so hard to get a good clean lap in practice because so many cars are out there. We were good in practice. I think we've got a good team. We're really working on getting ready for next year."
BOBBY LABONTE No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac
"It was really a good lap. It unloaded off the truck quick. It's unfortunate we didn't pick up another tenth so we could have picked up a few more spots, but that's not a bad qualifying effort. We'll take it. Now we'll get it ready to race. We finished third here last time, so we're awfully excited about that. We've got a good race car, the same one we ran here last time. Hopefully, we can run 500 miles caution-free like we did here last time. It would be nice to finish a couple of positions higher this time."
JEFF GORDON No. 24 DuPont Automotive Refinishes Chevrolet
"That's about what we ran in practice when we were out in the open, so we backed that up. That was a pretty good lap. This is the car we wrecked at Daytona in July, and it's a good race car. I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday. I've got the car capable of doing it (winning the race). I know I've got the team capable of doing it. We're just going to have to wait and see. If we can get it up front and stay there, it sure would be nice."
RUSTY WALLACE No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
"It was pretty good. I told the guys I thought I would run about a 49.75 and I ran a .77. The last time I ran about a .74 or .75. We lost a little bit but the car is handling good. That was a good run for us. We had to raise the car up a little bit in tech, and I think that slowed the car up a little bit."
BILL ELLIOTT No. 94 McDonald's Ford
"That was a little bit better than practice. We ran a 49.82 in practice, and that was with a little bit of help. I thought if we could maintain that, we'd be all right. But it cooled down and I think it helped me a little bit. We've really run well here. All the guys have worked hard and Ernie has done and excellent job on the motors. We need just a little bit. Maybe we can get it on Sunday."