Atlanta Chevrolet Racing Qualifying Notes

Friday, Nov. 19, 1999. Atlanta Motor Speedway. DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We just need to go a little faster. We've been off a little bit all day, but we'll get to work on it and be ready to run when they...

Friday, Nov. 19, 1999. Atlanta Motor Speedway.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

"We just need to go a little faster. We've been off a little bit all day, but we'll get to work on it and be ready to run when they drop the green flag on Sunday."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Our car ran good. It was just a little bit too tight. I got through one and two like I wanted to. When I got back to three it pushed with me a little bit. It's such a long exit to the turn when you push off turn four, it really hurts your lap. If it had stuck like I wanted it to, I believe we could have been right there with Kevin. I had my foot hard in the gas, but it didn't quite get there for me. In the spring, we saw a 28.40 on the pole. I was 24th at 28.95. It really slowed down in the race. It became a track you had to handle well on to run well. In qualifying, it really feels like you're stuck like glue. Aerodynamics is not a major contributor in this session. If you see a Chevy run up on top, don't think our problems are over. When the race starts, you're going to really, really need to stick to the road to do good. We'll see how that turns out."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak Max film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"That wasn't what we were looking for in qualifying, but I think we're going to be all right on Sunday."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)

"We made some big gains. We found some things out, unfortunately after practice. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I know some other Chevrolets are running good and I think we're going to be good in the race, but it was nice to get a good, clean lap in like that. This place is pretty hairy. The biggest bumps are going into the corners. Trying to get the car comfortable and get over those bumps so you can get through the rest of the corner is what we're trying to do. We've had good race setups here in the past, but what we learned today will improve our race setup. I think we're going to be in good shape for the race.

"To have a year when you don't win the championship keeps you motivated. It keeps you hungry and maybe allows you to rest a little bit. We've been battling for the championship the last four years in a row. It's been tough on me and the entire team. I think we're going to adjust to the changes we're making and come back stronger than ever next season and ready to win another championship. We've been to some tracks the last few weekends that haven't been my best tracks. Phoenix and Homestead are challenges for us. We've run well here. We've attacked this track and won several races here.

"We haven't really been in the points race the last few races, but it really didn't change the way we approached the race. We were basically just coming here to win no matter what. We hope the weather stays like it is. We don't want to test our loyalty to the sport the way we did here last time. We'd like to have a nice sunny day, not too cold and have a good race."

WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"We picked up about half a second from practice. That's about all I could do. The car's pretty good. That's about the way we qualified here in the spring. I thought we'd be faster today, but that'll get us in the race." Friday, Nov. 19, 1999. Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bud Pole Qualifying for NAPA 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 2.

GARY BRADBERRY (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"It was fast off the trailer. We made very few changes before qualifying. I'm tickled to death to end up in the top 10. The car was more comfortable than I thought it could be and still go fast. That's probably the most comfortable fast lap I've ever had here. It's the first time I've driven a Monte Carlo in a long time, but the car was really good. We just want to get a good, solid finish Sunday. We'll try to stay out of trouble the first half of the race and then go for it."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"The right rear tire spun on the rim and it shook my teeth out all the way around there and then something happened to the motor. We bottomed out and the motor acted like it was on seven cylinders. It got way out of balance and shook real bad. I wasn't going to let that affect me. I stayed on it, but the motor went flat after that. We'll have a good car for Sunday."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"There's a lot of pressure, a lot of hype, a lot of expectations. We had some good laps in practice, and that's what's so bad about it. I got real loose in one and two and had to get out of the gas. That messed up the lap. I like the track. I just wish we could have qualified better. That might sound stupid since this is just my fifth (Winston Cup) race. I'm happy with what we got but a lot of other people aren't."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"The car was pretty loose at the end of practice, and we made some adjustments that really helped. It was absolutely perfect. The engine ran great and the car drove good. We've come a long way in a year, and next year is going to be a great year for this team. I can't wait to get started. It was a beautiful lap. The car was perfect. We've got a good team, and a great group of people. We're going to get better, too."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"He (Lepage) came out of nowhere. I knew I never got a good lap in practice. I'd get one corner good and mess up in another. I knew if I could get both corners down we'd have a shot at the pole. I've never been so calm and focused when I went out there. I knew the car was really good. I thought after the lap was over it was the best one I'd run all day, and it was. I knew it was going to be close. I looked at the board down the backstretch and saw we were second. I'd never been so disappointed in a second-place run. We really wanted to win that pole. Looking back at Atlanta, I love this place and it tore me up one time. I was out for about six months. It would have been nice to get the pole here. We're on the front row right now, so you can't be too disappointed with that. We're excited about the changes we've made in the last six months with this team, and this just goes to show people that the Pennzoil Chevy is here to stay.

"We're excited about having the opportunity to start on the front row. Atlanta really holds a lot of bittersweet memories for me. The best start we've had here is like 17th, but the worst thing that happened here is getting busted up with a broken leg and missing six months my rookie season. It was nice having the opportunity to go for the pole. We tried our guts out. Friday, Nov. 19, 1999. Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bud Pole Qualifying for NAPA 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 3.

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

"Our Pennzoil Monte Carlo was great all morning. We stayed up there on the speed sheets. The whole team gave me the confidence to go out there and try to bust off a lap to get the pole. We had our heart set on the pole. It would be nice to say we capped off our second year with a pole position. It's one of the goals we had set for this season. We're not going to let that disappoint us. The last six months, the Pennzoil team has really turned the corner. We've picked up the consistency we've really been looking for. We're a team that's capable of contending for poles and contending for a win. We would have liked to end this season with a pole and a good run on Sunday, but we can see the pace car pretty good from where we're starting. Our hat's off to Kevin Lepage. He's a good friend of mine. Having the opportunity to watch a good friend of mine sit on the pole is also rewarding.

"Atlanta ranks right up there as one of the places I like to come and race. We weren't going to let the injuries I sustained in my rookie year distract from how much I like the new configuration. It would have been nice to come out of here with my first pole, to say this is the place where I've had my worst crash and best qualifying. Now we're just going to look at it where we can start on the front row and get a good run in on Sunday and really cap off a great second half of the season.

"We bottomed out a little bit in one and two, and that's the first time we've done that since we unloaded off the truck. I think with the added speed making a qualifying effort, the car traveled a little bit more in the front and bottomed something out. It took away a split second of time. Looking at it afterwards, I know the car drove real good in three and four and just bottomed out a little bit in one and two. It probably cost us a little bit of time there, but we're elated to be able to start on the front row."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Lepage