Atlanta: Petty Enterprises qualifyng quotes

Rain once again threatened to wash out the Friday qualifying session. However, after a short delay, qualifying was able to resume. This saved NASCAR from having to start the event based on 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points for the second time...

Rain once again threatened to wash out the Friday qualifying session. However, after a short delay, qualifying was able to resume. This saved NASCAR from having to start the event based on 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points for the second time in four races.

Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team will start from the fifth position for Sunday's event. This is the best qualifying effort for the team since Labonte started third for the 2007 "fall" race at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. The team participated in a very productive Goodyear tire test at AMS during the off-season. It was clear that this extra session had the new chassis "dialed in," as it was fast right off the truck. Labonte has six wins at AMS, the most by an active driver. Crew chief Jeff Meendering has the team poised to give Labonte a chance to make it seven.

"No matter what car you're in, this is still Atlanta," said Labonte. "You still have to drive this place the same way. I love racing here. I always have. Starting fifth is a great shot in the arm for this team. But the most encouraging part is that we worked on our race setup for most of the day because we really thought qualifying would be rained out. Jeff and the guys brought a fast car and we're looking forward to Sunday."

Kyle Petty and the No. 45 Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Dodge will start 40th on Sunday. This is the first weekend that the PVA will emblazon the side of Petty's Dodge Charger. Petty was happy with the way the car was driving during the practice session, but a late qualifying draw did the team no favors. No driver that qualified after the rain delay was able to mount a serious threat to the pole.

"I've race here many times and I feel that we have a fast car for Sunday's race," sounded Petty. "The track really slowed down after the delay and we weren't able to get the starting spot we wanted. But we finished eighth in this race a couple of years ago. It's a long race and if we stay out of trouble we can do that again."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kyle Petty