JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO, set a track record today, the first of the season for the series at tracks where a record has been established. His 29.735-second lap at 128.091 mph put him on his fifth pole position of the...
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO, set a track record today, the first of the season for the series at tracks where a record has been established. His 29.735-second lap at 128.091 mph put him on his fifth pole position of the season, the 18th of his career, and the sixth for the Silverado in 2001.
This is Sprague's fourth pole in the last six races. He has qualified no less than third in these six races with a qualifying average of 1.66. He has not qualified out of the top 10 in 14 races this year, giving him an average for the year of 4.1.
SPRAGUE: "Well, once again -- I know I sound like a broken record -- but the guys on the NetZero Platinum Silverado did a great job. It came off the hauler fast, it was exceptionally good in practice. It was a little tight in the first practice, but still was pretty decent. We've gotten pretty good at finishing these two lap runs, we've just got to finish the race. That's what we're working on, and the guys are working extremely hard, the motor room is working extremely hard. We're just having very uncharacteristic problems. My crew chief (Dennis Connor) has assured me he's got it figured out, he's got it fixed. If he does, it will be great. Maybe we can put a period on one of these sentences we haven't been able to finish." ON TRACK SURFACE: "They did a great job sealing this place. It's smooth as silk and I think the sealer parallels the sealer at Richmond. It's got a lot of grip. They did a great job; it's unbelievable. It's got a lot of traction. The tires are harder than we ran before and it's still feels pretty grippy to me." WILL THERE BE A LOT OF SIDE-BYP-SIDE RACING? "We have no choice."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHOICE SILVERADO (seventh, the next best qualified Chevrolet): "It's good. We're a little bit slower than in practice. I was upset that I didn't run what we did in practice, but a lot of people slowed down. It's a good qualifying for us. We were hoping for a top five and qualified seventh. That's definitely not bad."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (ninth): "We're caught in the middle, but it's better than we were last week. It's pretty decent. We were a little faster than that in the morning practice. The track heated up a little but, we made a few adjustments to the Silverado, which we probably shouldn't have done. We're just a little bit too tight through the middle; I couldn't get my big run down the straightaway like we needed to. A top-10 starting spot is just fine for the Cat Silverado team. I think we will have a really good race truck. We're not spotting them as much this week, anyways."
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (13th): "You can't beat Jack's and Dennis' (Connor, crew chief) six years of experience together. They have been doing this forever. A lot of people are struggling. We struggled here last year when we were here. We raced decent, but in qualifyng we struggled. But we have problems in the Silverado itself. We do have problems that we need to fix. We know what the problems are and it's a matter of fixing them. We should be able to fix them for happy hour. We are rookies. Sometimes we unload and we're fast, and sometimes we unload and we're not so fast. That's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. Jack and them are fast, and we're teammates. And we don't know why they're so fast. We've just got to regroup and go try again. I'm not so much disappointed with our qualifying effort, because we have been good for so many weeks. It's a bummer and not very fun. We had two outside poles in a row, and four this year. I am not sweating qualifying, I'm not worried about it. As long as we get it right for the race, I'll be happy."
DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (15th): "We've got some work to do here. We're still trying to gain on a few things. We haven't hit the right setup that we need to. I've usually run really well here. We won here two years ago, qualified third or fourth last year, but had an accident early with a throttle problem. I think we will pick up things and get them rolling the right way."
COY GIBBS, NO. 20 MBNA SILVERADO (20th): "We suck. We aren't good. We ran here once before here, last year. It was pretty bad then too. We haven't even come close. I don't know what the deal is; we just aren't good. We only get a half hour for happy hour; we'll see if we can figure something out. It's a long day starting in the back of this place. I think it's real hard to pass here without hitting someone. I hit a couple of people last year, and a couple hit me. It wasn't good."
BILLY BIGLEY, NO. 75 SPEARS MANUFACTURING SILVERADO (21st): "I don't really know what's wrong. The Silverado feels good; I don't know where I'm losing speed. The truck's driving good. I feel like I have watched a bunch of guys qualifying because I was going out toward the end of the pack. The thing felt pretty good. I don't know why it didn't go as good as I thought it should. We will see what we've got in happy hour. We will get with a bunch of good trucks. We don't have a full hour; we just have to see what we have got and make a bunch of adjustments for tomorrow."