GARGOYLES 300 BUSCH POLE QUALIFYING ADVANCE NOTES JIM BOWN (No. 51 Bown Racing Chevrolet) -- "We had Ron Fellows driving in the test for us (Fellows had the fastest speed in NASCAR Busch Series testing, 189.135 mph). He had sponsorship lined...
GARGOYLES 300 BUSCH POLE QUALIFYING ADVANCE NOTES
JIM BOWN (No. 51 Bown Racing Chevrolet) -- "We had Ron Fellows driving in the test for us (Fellows had the fastest speed in NASCAR Busch Series testing, 189.135 mph). He had sponsorship lined up, and he was going to run the Gargoyles 300 for us. But then Ron decided since he never circle track raced before (Fellows primary series has been the the SCCA Trans-Am, a road racing series), he thought this was too big of a place to start, so he's probably going to wait until Rockingham or another track. So we came down here anyway because we were all prepared. We don't have a sponsor, so we didn't put a driver's name on the car. If we find somebody who has a good sponsor that wants to drive the car, then financially for me, it's a must-do situation. If that doesn't work out, I'm going to go and run the race anyway. I just hope we don't run into any bad luck, so we can finish the race. We're going to put the car in the Gargoyles 300 and do the best with what we have to work with. We're here to race, because that's what we do. I don't know if we'll be quite as quick as we were in the test in qualifying tomorrow. The officials weren't watching you quite as closely in testing, and I had a hard time in inspection yesterday."
JEFF FULLER (No. 47 Sunoco Chevrolet) -- "Limited practice time will hurt some teams more than others. We were able to come down here a couple weeks ago to test, and I learned a lot of stuff that we would have had to do today. We should be in pretty good shape for qualifying. We need at least an hour to see if some things we didn't have ready for testing improve our time."
TODD BODINE (No. 36 Stanley Pontiac) -- "I don't think the limited practice time is going to hurt us as much as it will other teams. It might hurt the guys that didn't get to test a little bit. Our car was pretty good when we left the test, and I think we have a shot at running pretty quick. We'd like to get a few practice runs in -- we have a few things we'd like to try. We ran quick in testing, so I think we should be top 10, but having a shot at the pole is tough to call. I think it's going to take a 189 to win the pole, it's going to be pretty quick."
MIKE McLAUGHLIN (No. 34 Royal Oak Chevrolet) -- "Both of our teams are looking good. We had a good year testing, both here and at Richmond. We were third and fourth in testing here. So far, our two teams are working really well together. Todd and I have to maintain that, be fair and up front and share info. I'm sure we'll do that, we've been long-time friends. But come race day, may the fastest car win!
PHIL PARSONS (No. 10 Channel Lock Chevrolet) -- "The biggest difference between now and last year is I'm a lot more rested. That doesn't mean we've been taking things easy. On the contrary, we've worked very hard this winter and put in a lot of hours, but nothing like last year. We spent most of last January putting in 16-hour days and came here with barely one car. We've worked hard this winter and have five cars pretty much ready to race."
BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 00 Aquafresh Pontiac) -- We had a bunch of ups and downs last year. We won a race, sat on the pole once and we had a bunch of bad finishes. Last year was a learning year for us, the first time the team was together for a year. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. We've got all the same kind of chassis this year. I'm still a rookie but they seem to have a whole lot more downforce than the Ford does. We came up here and tested and we were a whole lot faster. I think we're going to qualify well here. The biggest thing to me is the drafting. I have hardly any experience but maybe I can get hooked up with one of these Winston Cup guys or one of the Busch guys who've run a lot of these races and just follow them. I'm not going out there and make any moves and start passing people. We want to get out there and finish the race and, hopefully, if we finish, we'll be in the top 10. We were here last year and didn't make the race. (on becoming a consistent finisher) The team itself can only do so much. The driver's got to play a bigger role. You've just got to be calm out there. Don't get yourself in a position where you're going to be wrecking. If you've got a fifth place or a fourth place car, don't try to win the race. You don't want to try to gain another position and wreck your car. I was trying to race too hard in the beginning of races and tore my equipment up. If you're there at the end, and have your equipment ogether, you ought to finish in the top 10 of every race. There are some wrecks in the Busch Series and mechanical problems so more patience out there will get you consistency. We're looking for top five (championship finish). We're going out here to win the championship. It doesn't matter how many races you win. You look in the Winston Cup. Gordon won 10 races last year and he didn't win the championship. Terry Labonte did it because he was so consistent in all of his races. That's what wins this (championships) -- being consistent.
RANDY LAJOIE, defending NASCAR Busch Series champion and 1992 champ JOE NEMECHEK are the only former Busch Series champs entered in the 1997 Gargoyles 300.
NO FORMER winners of the Gargoyles 300 are entered in Saturday's event.
CHAD LITTLE is the only NASCAR Busch Series regular to win the Gargoyles 300, winning the event in 1995, since the Busch Series' inception in 1982.
FORMER GARGOYLES 300 Busch Pole Award winners entered in Saturday's race are 1996 pole winner JEFF PURVIS and three-time pole winner MICHAEL WALTRIP, who was fastest in 1992, 1994 and 1995.
TODD BODINE (No. 36 Stanley Pontiac) -- (Fastest in afternoon practice.) "My car's running and handling pretty good, so I think we should be top 10 in qualifying. I only got in two clean laps. We tried one thing different from testing, and found it slowed us down."