Hampton, Ga. (March 12, 1999) - Pontiac now has the most poles (two) this season of any manufacturer. Chevrolet and Ford have won one pole each. Bobby Labonte has scored the Grand Prix's two poles. BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries ...
Hampton, Ga. (March 12, 1999) - Pontiac now has the most poles (two) this season of any manufacturer. Chevrolet and Ford have won one pole each. Bobby Labonte has scored the Grand Prix's two poles.
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "For do down here, (engine builder) Mark Cronquist and all the guys in the motor room, they had a qualifying motor that was really stout. I know that this place here takes a lot of power. That's one thing that helped here. We've got good race cars when we go to a race track. We were able to take our notes from last time and able to improve upon them just a little bit. At Rockingham we were better than normal. Vegas was definitely a lot better than we were last year. We've stepped up the program a little bit. My average qualifying spot was 13th last year. It's a matter of trying to improve that just a little bit each year. "There are things on this race car I don't know about. But I'm confident enough when I get into the car I don't have to worry about it. This team ran well with Dale Jarrett, so when I came to them they had a great setup. They were able to concentrate on making me comfortable. "One and two were great and in three and four, exiting the corner I was using up more race track than I was wanting to. I was like, 'I'm getting here a little quicker than I planned on.' There was a lot of room there, but I didn't want to use it all up either. It got my attention. I was right on the edge. That was a little too much on the edge in turn four as far as comfort. It's not supposed to be comfortable, I guess. "It's early. I have to thank my team for making our car as good as we can. We've got a good bunch of guys and they work real hard on it. They're the ones that make it better than last week, for instance. I do think there are teams out there doing the same thing, too. With practice and qualifying as competitive as it is nowadays, I think anybody in the top-25 has a pretty legitimate shot because everybody is so close. "Last year we thought we were headed in (the right) direction all year long (in the Pontiac). Then they came out with the new spoiler and air dam rule and I think that helped us. It helped make the racing part better. I can understand what they tried to do to begin with, but it didn't work out that way. Now all the makes and models, well, we can race a little bit closer and a little bit harder. We can do more competitive racing now. We're awfully excited. The Pontiacs are not hurting for anything right now. We're pretty darn close."
TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "We had a setup on the car that was pretty comfortable right off the bat. Greg Zippadelli is doing a great job. I try not to bother Bobby unless I have to. But part of this two-car team is the fact we want to make sure we can share the information and try to do things that make both of us better. "I think when Greg and Jimmy (Makar) talk it's more technical than anything. When Bobby and I talk it's about where I need to be on the race track, how far you're staying on the throttle in the corner. The questions are different but the end result is that they're all working for speed. We do share a lot. It's not a deal where we share some information and don't share other information. We share everything together. The purpose of having a two-car team is that you can use the other car to learn from. Being a rookie in this series I'm not sure I can help him much, but he's helping me right now. "I think I like my car a little freer than what Bobby likes his right now. That's probably why Bobby is a lot more consistent than I am. It's a lot easier to drive a car when it's a little bit tighter than it is loose. I guess with my background I'm used to free race cars. I would like to say we have real similar setups, but the thing we learn in testing are what actions and reactions happen when we do make a change to the car. Even though we don't have the same setups, at least we know the information from one car to the other as far as what effect we're trying to get out of the race car."