Bristol Chevrolet Racing Qualifying Report

Friday, April 9, 1999. Bristol Motor Speedway. First-round qualifying for Food City 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was very happy with my lap, it's just that Rusty and...

Friday, April 9, 1999. Bristol Motor Speedway. First-round qualifying for Food City 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was very happy with my lap, it's just that Rusty and those guys did their homework. They're just faster than us, but it was a good lap, and that's the best we've qualified this year. We'll work on our race setup now, and we've got a front stretch pit, so that'll put us in good shape. Maybe we can get our best finish of the year now."

KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's about what we practiced, but we were really expecting to pick it up a little bit. The track was a little slick, but we ended up with a front stretch pit, and that's a big part of the battle."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I wrecked. That's about all you can say about it. We messed it up pretty good, but we'll get it fixed and see what happens on Saturday. We're not going to let it get us down. We've got a good car, and they're all going to look like this sooner or later at Bristol anyway."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "We hoped we could back up at least what we ran in practice. We did that and a little bit more, so we've got to be happy with that. I'd rather be on the inside than the outside. I've been on the outside front row here quite a few times. With where we started this morning to where we ended up, I'm definitely proud of that lap. I was in a little bit of pain. I was sore on that lap. I was getting everything I could out of the car. At the speed we're qualifying, I'm a little sore in my ribs. I still feel like I'll be able to go the distance on Sunday. "Every race track is so much different. It doesn't matter if it's a short track or a big track or a road course. We pretty much everyone different. The only difference is this time we brought out superspeedway car here to the short track. That's interesting, but it's a good car. So far, it's doing everything we want it to do. Right now, we're gearing up for the short tracks. I like the short tracks, and I like Bristol, so that's all you basically need to do. "I haven't been thinking about that a whole lot (winning five straight Food City 500s). It's Bristol. It's a tough race track, and I'm amazed we've won four Food City 500s in a row. I don't know why we've been able to be as successful as we have in the day races and not as successful in the night race. We'll be giving it everything we can to duplicate our performance that we've had here the last four times. "When you come to Bristol, your chances of getting in a wreck are definitely higher than they are anywhere else. We definitely feel like starting up front helps. Being on the outside doesn't help a whole lot. I can't wait to get down on the inside. It's a one-groove race track right now and the start of the race, especially. You still have to come up on lapped traffic if you are in that lead pack. That can be kind of hairy because guys don't want to go a lap down, and they're risking a lot to go faster to pass a car and try not to go a lap down. There are pluses and minuses, but I think there are advantages starting up front, probably more so with pit location."

WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We've got a pit on the front stretch, and I think that's about the best I've ever qualified here. We came up here and tested and it paid off. Starting anywhere in the top 20 is great, and I'll take 15th and sleep well tonight."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I told someone if I could qualify on the front stretch I'd win the race. Well, we're on the front stretch. I really thought we had a shot at the pole, but we ran consistent laps at 15.40. I thought we could pick it up a tenth. We tested even faster than that, but we've got a good car, and we're used to passing people here. We don't have as many to pass as we usually do, so hopefully we'll get up there and give Rusty and Gordon a run for their money. This Kodak Chevrolet has been good in practice all day, and we're going to work on the race setup now and get it ready to roll on Sunday."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "The car has just been a little bit on the neutral side in the throttle. We need a little bit more."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I guess that's about the worst we've ever qualified here at Bristol in a Winston Cup car. We've got a long way to go to the front, but these guys are digging hard and working hard. We've been loose getting into the corner ever since we've been here. No matter what we've done, we haven't been able to fix it. Hopefully it'll race a little better than it qualified. I'm going to run this race Sunday as long as I can. I'm not as hurt as bad as I was last year, but I'm pretty beat up. I'm optimistic and raring to go. We need to get the car better. We need to get this Lowe's Chevrolet a little closer to the front. We don't want to hurt our momentum. I need to get a little healthier and get this car handling better."

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were hoping to pick it up a little bit, but now we'll be pitting on the back stretch, and that's a tough hurdle to overcome. I think we'll have a good car for the race. I'm just disappointing that we're not pitting on the front."

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That was a real good lap. Heck, we almost ended up with a front stretch pit. We'll get ready for Sunday now. It's nice to know on Friday that you're going to be in the show."

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Series NASCAR Cup