ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "Gil Martin - my crew chief - has done an excellent job. We're working together every weekend, getting a little bit better with the chemistry. He's found where my weakness is, and...
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"Gil Martin - my crew chief - has done an excellent job. We're working together every weekend, getting a little bit better with the chemistry. He's found where my weakness is, and it's, if I don't get go out and get a couple laps on the racetrack before we try to go to qualifying mode, I seem to be a little cautious. So, what we did is we started this morning with what I would say was an 'in between qualifying and race' setup. We just went out, ran some laps and got comfortable with the racetrack. Then, we obviously started working on qualifying.
"When we were 13th at the end of the session, we knew we were pretty good because that was on sticker tires and a lot of guys went and scuffed their tires after that, so we felt we'd be OK with scuffed tires. We went to qualify and the car stuck pretty good. I got a little bit tight coming off of turn four, both times. I'm not going to say that was the difference between getting the pole or not. But, it's a lot better than where we started last week. We've bringing our average back up around 15 or something like that."
RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER, RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING:
ON THE RULES CHANGE FOR TEXAS "We'll take anything. We'll just have to wait and see. Where we'll really be able to tell is when we go to California and some of the flatter race tracks. That's where it really makes a difference. But, NASCAR makes an effort to help equal the rules when they see something unbalanced. We'll just see how it goes. They've worked it for all the manufacturers, so hopefully it will work out good for us."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
WHICH LINE IS PREFERRED ON THE FIRST LAP GOING INTO THE FIRST TURN? "I think there is only one preferred line here whether it's on the start or 500 laps into the race and that is right around the bottom. There is no better place than around the bottom here. I think track position is going to be more important this time than it ever has been, especially with the pit road the way it is going to be. It makes it equal for everybody pitting, but it doesn't necessarily make it equal for guys that don't have track position. What's going to happen is that if you're 25th in line and you come in, the pace car is going to catch you so fast. Then you're going to have to go around that whole pit road to try to get back on the track.
"I'm really excited about having a good pit spot to have good pit stops and keep that track position. I'm excited about our starting position and how well the car is running because I think track position is going to be super important. I think I was saying earlier today that at a racetrack like Bristol, your race begins on Friday - how well you qualify, based on your track position and your pit location - it all begins today. Today we helped ourselves out a whole lot for Sunday's race."
BOBBY HAMILTON, NO. 55 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We've got a real good race car for here. This is actually a car that's been tore up pretty bad a couple times. A lot of people build new cars for here, but they've got such a good program for here, we just felt like it would be a good car to bring here. It's virtually new - a lot of roll bars and stuff like that - but, it's been driving good the whole time."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
ON HIS PRACTICE CRASH "It was just a real late exit off of two and the car jumped out from underneath me. I climbed on the brakes the whole length of the back straightaway and just barely caught the end of pit road. But, we hurt the car enough to where we had to bring out a backup car."
HOW'S THE BACKUP? "It's OK. We still need to work on it. We tested the other car here."
STACY COMPTON, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"These guys have been working so hard the past couple weeks and it's really paying off. We said when we came here that aerodynamics doesn't have a lot to do with it here and this is probably our best shot to run good. Mike Hillman and all the guys at the shop have been working 14, 16 hours a day. We're trying to get this team turned around. This team can be a contender. We've just got a lot of work to do. If we can ever figure these bodies out, I think we'll be OK. Right now, I'm just looking forward to getting this thing on Sunday and going to some of these places where bodies don't make such a big difference until we can get these things figured out."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"Our car was pretty good right off the truck. Fortunately, we backed up what we practiced. We're just a little bit weak as far as getting that extra tenth or two for qualifying. Whatever we practice is usually about whatever we can run. We backed it up. The Kodak Max Films has really driven very, very good in race trim. This car was slower in qualifying trim, but faster in race trim, so we hope that shows up on Sunday."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
HOW DO YOU FEEL AND HOW WAS YOUR LAP? "I'm real sore, but it's not any worse in the car, it's not any better in the car. The lap? It wasn't a bad lap. We basically ran what we ran in practice. I was just glad, more than anything, that I didn't lose any time like I did last week and have to start further back in this thing than what we are. I don't think we're in too bad of shape right now. I think we've got a really good car for Sunday."
JERRY NADEAU, NO. 25 UAW/DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THAT LAP? "No, I'm not happy with that, but we'll take it."
YOU STILL HAVE A GOOD STARTING SPOT... "Yeah, I think we'll be OK for the race."