MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO ON THE RULES CHANGE FOR CHEVROLET: "I think when the cars are on the racetrack by themselves, it probably helped the Chevys a little bit. And we needed it. As far as in race trim, when you get your...
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 4 KODAK CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
ON THE RULES CHANGE FOR CHEVROLET: "I think when the cars are on the racetrack by themselves, it probably helped the Chevys a little bit. And we needed it. As far as in race trim, when you get your car balanced like that and you get the nose taken off of it, the air from another car is probably going to make the aero push even worse. Hopefully not, but we'll just have to see when happens when the race starts."
BOBBY HAMILTON, NO. 55 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
ON HAVING TO TAKE A PROVISIONAL AND THEN BEING 5TH FAST IN FINAL HAPPY HOUR SESSION: "We just got caught up. We didn't want to take a provisional. We just had a new body and we've been working real hard with Chevrolet (engineers) and have come up with some different body combinations. We were sort of unbalanced before we got the rules change and that just unbalanced us in qualifying trim. And then we untapped and we moved the fenders around and stuff like that and got a pretty good balance. But everybody is still acting up in traffic a little bit."
IN TRAFFIC, DID YOU GET A FEEL FOR ANY AERO CHANGES WE MIGHT SEE ON SUNDAY? "I got a feel for it. It's still bad, but I think it is for everybody in Michigan. This isn't the place to get a final judgment of it. I think we have to go on to several flat tracks before we can tell."
THERE IS TALK IN THE GARAGE AREA THAT THE CHEVY DRIVERS ARE HOLDING BACK SO THAT THE RULES CHANGE WILL STAY IN EFFECT BEYOND THE MICHIGAN RACE. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THAT? "I would like to see the day that Dale Jr. or Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon or any of those guys would sandbag. It's just not in their bloodline. It's not going to happen. The bottom line is that Detroit is a really important place for all the manufacturers. It's a feather in their cap for whoever can win here. If anybody ever sandbagged, it's not going to be in Detroit, I can promise that."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I was happier with the 45 minute session at the end compared to the first session. The car wasn't that good in the first session. It was a little bit loose and when I'd go back to power it was a little bit tight off. Kevin Hamlin (crew chief) and all those guys worked on it and changed the spring package and the swaybar package and got me to where I'm a lot more comfortable."
DID YOU NOTICE ANY AERO CHANGE IN TRAFFIC? "I really don't feel much of a difference with the change on the nose. We came here and tested and I think that's why we qualified good. I think Michael Waltrip - he started on the front row here last time -- shared his knowledge with his other two teammates and they were able to come back and capitalize on what they had as well. I contribute our good qualifying to testing here a week ago. We tried some things with our race set-up. It's different now. There's no sun out today, but if it comes out tomorrow it'll be a different racetrack tomorrow.
"If we see anything on the nose, it'll be in the race. Obviously some of the manufacturers are complaining a little bit but it's Winston Cup racing and I'm used to it. It's only a one-race deal and we'll see how the race goes. I'm sure NASCAR will make the proper adjustments after the race to keep it a level playing field. Racing in Detroit is definitely a manufacturer's battle. I've seen that for a long time coming here - even in Indy cars. Everybody wants to win here in Motor City on Sunday."
ON THE HEALING PROGRESS OF HIS INJURED ANKLES "The ankles are still a little sore. This morning I felt real good and thought I was going to be tough enough just to tough it out, and to be honest, I was real sore after the first session. I still have an air cast on the left ankle and that's all I'm going to wear. I have probably six to eight more weeks of wearing the air cast. It's a bit sore, but I'm going to have to deal with it. The key is, if you're going to go out and play, you've got to play hurt. We've got a good race team here. We've been running in the top five -- week in and week out and I'm real proud of everybody. We're looking forward to another great race tomorrow."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We've been using this practice as kind of a test session to get all this sorted out. All four Hendrick cars have been really, really loose. We're trying to find out the magic combination to make it work."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING TO SOME OF THE UPCOMING RACETRACKS ON THE SCHEDULE? "Yeah, we ran well at most of those tracks except Loudon. I'm excited to go back to all of them. I was excited to come here. I was excited to go to Pocono. But something has changed. And now we've got this nose change that's affecting us a little bit here. Fridays have been real rough on us lately. Fortunately we've been able to rally back on Sundays and finish well."
DURING PRACICE, DID YOU NOTICE ANY AERO CHANGE IN TRAFFIC? "I didn't notice anything. Actually, I was too dangerous by myself. I didn't get too close to other people (laughs). But it's made a big difference on the car in clean air. In traffic, it should help. But right now in clean air it's loosening the car up for us quite a bit and we're trying to get back.
"If rumor has it right, I heard that the DEI cars didn't kick the nose out. Maybe we overstepped our limits a little bit, I don't really know. DEI has been making a big surge back and they were able to grab three of the top five starting spots. And the Childress cars are in there. I think a lot of it is just part of that cycle that you see come and go. They started off the year a little slower and now they've got their momentum coming and they're cycling to the top right now."
DO YOU THINK ANY OF THE CHEVY DRIVERS WOULD HOLD BACK ON SUNDAY SO THAT NASCAR WILL KEEP THE RULES CHANGE IN EFFECT BEYOND MICHIGAN? "We have way too much on the line to sandbag. It's easy when you're sitting on the other side of the fence and throwing rocks at people. But when the rocks are being thrown at you and you've got a lot to get done, you aren't going to sandbag."