Charlotte Pontiac Racing qualifying quotes

TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We missed the first hour of practice today because we had a problem with the clutch. We tried to make that second hour last and be really productive. We didn't get the 'banzai' run that we...


"We missed the first hour of practice today because we had a problem with the clutch. We tried to make that second hour last and be really productive. We didn't get the 'banzai' run that we wanted there at the end of the day, but that (the qualifying lap) was the best lap that we've ran. That's a half second faster than we practiced, so we're pretty happy with that lap."

(CAN YOU WIN ON SUNDAY?) "The way the car drove today when we were out there [in qualifying], we've got a really good race car. This car is definitely going to race good. I think we've got something for them this weekend."

(HOW IMPORTANT IS A GOOD QUALIFYING RUN AT THIS RACETRACK?) "You can win from dead last. But the biggest thing with qualifying is getting a good pit selection. You can, by theory, win the race from anywhere on the grid, but the pit stops are so competitive nowadays and everybody is so good on pit lane that you really need a good pit spot for Sunday. This gives us a good spot."

(YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO RUN WELL HERE...) "We either run really good here or we run absolutely terrible here. It's just a matter of keeping up with the tire. The tire that they brought here seems to be pretty good. My car has been real nice and stable, and by looking at the times, everybody's cars have been really solid and stable. As much of a hard time as we give Goodyear most of the time, the tire that they've got here seems to be a nice, solid, stable tire."


(DID YOU GET THE LAP YOU WANTED?) "The car was awesome. I just don't know we did - if we fully taped off and it's taking air away from the air cleaner or what. We might have just had too much gear because it just didn't sound like the RPM picked up.

"I'm real happy. The car wasn't right in practice, so we had to put gear to it. That's the fastest she is going to go through the corners, I feel. I'm real happy with that lap. The car was as stable as it's been all day. It's as stable as it's been since we tested. I don't think I could have gotten anymore out of it."


"I'm real happy. We didn't get the opportunity to get the Valvoline Pontiac out there for a qualifying run [in practice], so we were like 34th on the [practice] sheet knowing we still had a pretty good car. It was just a matter of going out there and seeing if we could make it happen."

(DID YOU HAVE TO THROW A SETUP AT IT AFTER PRACTICE?) "I go by feel. I know what I want when it's in the day and then I hope it's going to work at night. That's the only thing that you've got to work off of."


"It was too loose. We fought tight all day and I guess we finally got it loosened up. This was just a little too loose. Most guys try to get to the white line; I was a little bit below it and that's not where I wanted to be. But, overall, at least we did one thing and that was to get her freed up from earlier. It kind of hurt our first lap a little bit and ruined our second lap. But, I don't think we were a threat for the pole. It just would have been nice to have had a shot at it. "That will still get us a great start for Sunday. Last spring we started 24th, so this is not a bad place to start."

(WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO FIND A GOOD SETUP FOR SUNDAY?) "Just wave your hands over it, say some magic words and hopefully, that will be it. "We just need to be able to float it into the corner pretty good, be able to get back in the gas and use a lot of gas up off the corners to get down the straightaway to make them as long as possible. If that doesn't work, then you try something else - maybe you try a different line. That is what is so neat about this place is that you can try different lines. Over the years, we've had cars that work down at the bottom and some that work up high and some that work in the middle. That makes it a lot more fun because you've got more than one groove to work with. You've got to get through those corners as fast as you can and make the straightaway as long as you can."

(YOU ARE RUNNING A NEW SEAT IN THE CAR THIS WEEK...HOW ABOUT THAT?) "It's been around for a little bit. It just protects the right side and left side of your head a little bit more. That's the biggest thing. Some other guys have had it; we just haven't had it yet. A couple weeks ago I thought about trying it. It took us a couple weeks to get it installed in the car, but we did and it feels pretty good right now."


"There is a reason we've been around 30th all day.  That's just what we had
tonight.  She was plenty free, but it's a good race car, though."

-Al Larsen

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Series NASCAR Cup