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."
ON THE NEW PIT ROAD PROCEDURE "I think that's going to make it a little more equal for everybody, even for the guys that messed up a little bit in qualifying and ended up not qualifying as good. For me, the last couple weeks I've been conservative those first two fuel runs and that has put me at the back of the line when there is an accident. Then, you're starting a half a lap behind the leader and you've got to run over your head so you don't get lapped. It's hung me out the last couple weeks, so Richard, myself, Gil Martin and Bobby Hutchens - we had a meeting last week at the shop and we were talking about it. We feel that if I get my qualifying up better, we'll be less apt to get lapped and I'll be able to be more comfortable for the first half of the race and position ourselves to be stronger at the end of the race."
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE '30' CAR AND THE '31' IN QUALIFYING "The biggest thing is that we're working together as a three-car team. That's helping us a little bit. This week I happened to draw the furthest qualifying number back, so it allowed me to gather information from where Kevin [Harvick] and Jeff [Green] were. Other tracks I've qualified further up. I think I was fourth and fifth (in the order) the last two weeks before this. We're trying to work together. Obviously, we've got a little bit different driving styles, so we have to take that into effect, as well."
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET A FEEL TODAY, AFTER NOT RACING HERE LAST YEAR? "I was real happy after practice that we could be within a tenth of a second of quick time. I only did 21 or 25 laps or something like that in practice and I haven't raced here in like a year and a half, and didn't test, so I'm very pleased with that. I think the thing that helped us was going out and doing a couple of five lap runs at a time in the beginning and getting comfortable with racetrack - kind of learning the line again and getting in the groove.
"Another thing that helps is having good teammates and having a good team owner and great sponsors that allow them to come down and test. Jeff Green came down and tested here and I think that is helping us as a whole. I'm real proud of everybody on the team. We're just trying to move forward every week and trying to learn each other a little bit more and trying to be more competitive."
ON TALKING TO JEFF GORDON AFTER HE WON THE POLE "My guys were giving me a bunch of bull that he wanted it more than I did. I had to go tell him that my guys said that he wanted it more than me. I'm never going to live it down for at least another two weeks now."