JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I didn't think that wasn't going to be good enough for the pole, but it was a good solid run for the DuPont Chevrolet. The car was perfect. I got in the gas nice and early ...
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I didn't think that wasn't going to be good enough for the pole, but it was a good solid run for the DuPont Chevrolet. The car was perfect. I got in the gas nice and early coming off turn four. The car pulled down better than I thought it would. I just got the left front on the apron and the car got a little sideways. I had to jump out of the gas for a split second. It was still a real good lap. I was happy with that lap. I think this is a finesse track. You've got to be aggressive, but you've got to real smooth at the same time. The car is working great for us. I'm real happy with everything. We had a great day in practice for our team. "It was a real loss today for this sport. Any time you have a tragedy like that it takes a lot out of your day. Kenny was a good, hard racer. We just hope and pray for him and his family that he's in a better place than we all are right now."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We've been off on our handling all morning. It wouldn't stick. I didn't overdrive it. I just rolled in there. We were having trouble getting the front end to turn. Now we've got it to turn, and we can't get the back end hooked up. We just had a bad practice. It didn't go good. We didn't gain on it until late, and then practice was over and we had to make a couple of guesses for qualifying. I believe the car is pretty good. It just needs to be a little tighter. When I got on the gas I about spun out off turn two. That cost me some time. "You don't block it out of your mind. When you're sitting there getting ready to go, you think about it. Then when you get on the track, you think about the track. You don't think about wrecking and you don't think about what happened to Kenny. You just go do your job. When you come back in the pit, then it's all back on you again. It says in the Bible when you're absent from the body, you're present with The Lord. I know Kenny pretty good, and I know he had faith. While it's a sad day for us, I think it's probably the best day of Kenny's life and I try to look at it like that."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's the fastest lap we've run all day. We'll make some long runs tomorrow and see how it goes. It's just aggravating trying to get around. Once I get in the car and catch my breath, I'm all right. My ribs really hurt getting in and out of they car. They're just bruised. The streak (record 654 consecutive starts) isn't in jeopardy yet."
JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car ran great. We got a decent lap out of it. Hopefully that'll get us a top 10 starting spot. They need to do something, whatever it is. These modifieds have got a kill switch on these things when something hangs up on them. We're just going too fast here on the straightaways. Your head can only take so much. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Irwin family. It's a decent race track. The speeds are a lot faster now than they ever have been. We've lost two great guys already in just a few months. Hopefully they'll do something."
GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I thought I survived the worst crash in NASCAR history at Daytona in February. Now Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin are gone with crashes in practice. My thoughts and prayers are with the Irwin family. I'm numb. My body is shaking it's so numb knowing this happened here. We have to cope with it. Everyone has to. When we climb in these windows, we know something bad can happen. We understand that and take that responsibility. We all know that Kenny understood that. Beyond our thoughts and prayers for Kenny and his family, we have to figure out what's causing these problems. We can't stand to lose anyone else or hurt anyone else. What happened to me at Daytona, being saved, was strictly God's will. What's happened here with Adam and Kenny, I believe, people say when it's your time, it's your time, but I believe God has a reason for things, good or not so good. Things that make us happy and things that make us sad. I have to believe that because I know what happened to me in Daytona. I have to believe the reason why Adam and Kenny are gone, it was fate on God's part. God needed them somewhere else and chose to take 'em. Today was Kenny's day to go."
RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We picked up from practice, and we would have been disappointed if we hadn't. It's nice to be in the hunt. When I get here, I get real excited. I get a big boost and a lot of support. It just works for me. Qualifying is the most difficult part of the week. You get through Friday, especially if you have a good day on Friday, it allows you to focus on the race car on Saturday. "Nothing prepares you for something like that. I'm really sorry. It wouldn't be fair to speculate. When the drivers are in control, they're safe. When you have a mechanical problem or a flat tire or you have something fail, then the driver is out of control. That's just my two cents worth. I love this sport. We all represent this sport. We accept the risk, but I'll be honest with you. We don't give 10 cents worth of thought to it. You just don't give any consideration to this until it happens. Then you don't know how to deal with it. "We'll be good for the race. We'll go to race mode on Saturday morning, and that's big."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We had really struggled all through practice, trying to make the car turn. We made some adjustments on it. It turned so good coming to get the flag, I almost ran the left sides up on the apron. I didn't get going as good on the first lap as I wanted to coming to the flag. Still, it was a pretty good lap and we held up for the top 25. "You don't understand why stuff like that happened. It's a tough deal. I can't explain it. You just hate to see stuff like that happen."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That wasn't a very good lap. I got into turn one too hard, and that messed up the whole lap. We were just trying to hang on after that. I got up into the loose stuff and that was that."
DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We haven't been good all day long. The car pushed a little bit in one and two. I don't know if we got down the straightaway as good as we could. We changed intakes right before qualifying. It might not have helped us as much as we wanted it to. We got through three and four pretty good, but that's all right. We'll surely have this thing dialed in when the race starts Sunday. "I want to say our thoughts and prayers are with the Irwin family. We're going to miss Kenny."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We made some adjustments. We thought we were going the right way, and I think we went the wrong way. We got really loose there qualifying. Not good. We thought we were going to have a shot for the pole. We did a lot of things that we thought would give us a little boost, but we got real loose getting into turn one and that hurt me pretty bad."