Bristol II: GM Racing drivers qualifying quotes

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Won pole: "I'm always happy when we pick up time from practice, especially when we're on top of the board like we are now. I felt like we were good, but I felt like we could have gotten a little...

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Won pole:

"I'm always happy when we pick up time from practice, especially when we're on top of the board like we are now. I felt like we were good, but I felt like we could have gotten a little more out of it. We'll have to wait and see. The clouds are coming in, so the track could pick up a little bit. I was a little bit tight in practice and I was a little bit tight right there. We'll just have to wait and see. I thought I could maybe go a little bit faster than that, but right now we're on top, so we're happy with that."

TONY RAINES, NO. 74 BACE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 12th:

"I was surprised. We made quite a few little changes to the car and they were all better. I thought the first lap felt better but the second lap was better on time. I might have tried to hard on the first one. All the credit goes to the crew."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

NOTE: Benson was on the track when the rains came, and NASCAR officials ruled that Benson would be the first car on the track once it was dry. Benson's first lap was 14th fastest, and he shut it down on the second when the rain hit in Turns 1 and 2. He requalified and wound up 52nd. "I couldn't abort. I already took the green, and it was raining in Turns 1 and 2, and I was just hoping it wasn't raining in 3 and 4. I went down in there and came across, and I said, 'let's see.' I got down there to Turn 1 and just shut 'er down, because it was going to be ugly. I thought we had a shot at being in the top eight, and a little rain never helps when you're in the middle of your lap. We'll just take it and go from there."

FOLLOWING HIS SECOND RUN: "The track is still pretty slick. Hopefully, we'll get better in Happy Hour."

JOHNNY SAUTER, NO. 4 KODAK PERFECT TOUCH PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 21st:

"It was a real good lap for us. Unfortunately, we only got to test one day last week. I had prior obligations, and I got the opportunity to drive the Kodak car. I was pretty excited about the opportunity to come here and try to make the Cup race here. I'm pretty happy with it. I don't know if the track is going to pick up or not, but we'll just work on the car and make sure it's good in Happy Hour and have a good race."

RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 14th:

"We picked up like we needed to there. I lost the nose of the Tide Pontiac on the second lap, and I think the second lap was better than the first. But I just lost the nose in Turn 3. It gets us in the top 15 here, and whether you're leading the race or you're in trouble, you're always in traffic. It helps to start out with that track position."

TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 13th:

"That was a pretty good lap, a little bit quicker than we practiced. We picked up just a little bit and it was a good one for us."

MIKE SKINNER, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 4th:

"I scared myself to death on the first lap. On the second lap, we decided that we'd go into Turn 3 really, really deep and see what happened. Well, we saw what happened. It wasn't pretty. We didn't really get to make a qualifying run. I got the car in the wall and we've had brake problems all day. I think they got them solved, and we'll see about that here in Happy Hour."

ROBBY GORDON, NO, 31 CINGULAR CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 22nd:

"We went out about the middle of the draw and the car was pretty good. It had really good forward bite, but it just maybe pushed a little too much in the middle of the corner. It had to wait for the front to turn. The track might have been a little faster after it cooled down, but it is what it is. I wish I would have been an odd qualified instead of an even qualifier so I could start on the bottom, but we'll start with that and hopefully have a good night."

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualfied 3rd: TAKE US THROUGH YOUR LAP: "It was relatively uneventful. We had a really good setup and a really good test here. We were confident that we would be fast when we went out to qualify. Just coming off Turn 4 I got a little wide and spun the tires a little. I went across the start/finish line not wide open. I had a really good lap up until then. The car is great. The race runs that we had during the test were good as well. Qualifying validated what we thought our test was like under qualifying conditions. Hopefully, the race will validate how good we felt we were under those conditions."

DID THE RAIN CHANGE THE TRACK FROM THE FIRST SET OF QUALIFIERS TO THE SECOND?

"I doubr it. This track is pretty consistent. The temperatures were cool when I went. This track is heat-sensitive. If it gets sunny and hot, the groove is higher because of all the rubber the cars put down. If it's hot, it will mess you up, but when I went the track was cool and after the rain I think the track was about the same."

FANS LOVE THIS PLACE. HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?

"Driving at Bristol when you're by yourself, is as fun as you can have in a race car. It's fun. But when you put 43 cars out there, it's a pain in the neck. There's not enough room for anybody to pass. It's one-groove, so it's not that much fun. The thing I like the most about Bristol are the stands and the people that sit in them. If it makes the fans happy to watch us run into each other all night long, then we owe it to them. They're there for us every week and I really appreciate the fact that they enjoy this race, so we'll try to survive it."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup