Chevrolet Atlanta qualifying

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "That was pretty fast. I cut a great lap in practice and thought if I could get anywhere close to that I'd be happy. To actually go out there and go faster than that as cool as...

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"That was pretty fast. I cut a great lap in practice and thought if I could get anywhere close to that I'd be happy. To actually go out there and go faster than that as cool as these conditions are, I'm ecstatic. These guys brought a great car here today. This is the car was sat on the pole with at Charlotte (and Darlington). It wasn't perfect off the truck, but we kept tuning on it and got a fabulous lap in. Somebody is going to have to work awfully hard to beat that. "It felt like a great lap, but it was on the edge. It wasn't real comfortable. It was gradually on the edge. We had been having a problem with push all day long, but it didn't push that time. It got through the corners unbelievable. "That's a pretty sporty lap. I didn't think we had it in the bag because you never know in Winston Cup competition. Anybody can bust a lap off, but that's a pretty strong lap. It's not windy. It's just cool. As long as the tires grip, the temperature is just fine. In the past, the tires didn't stick when it was this cool, but mine have been sticking right away. "We came here to win. We ran decent here earlier in the year. We're running great right now. I think the team has really come along since we were here last. We should be able to put a good performance out there Sunday."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was a pretty good lap. It would have been nice to win the pole, but if somebody is going to beat me, I guess I'm glad it was my teammate. These guys work so hard every week. We've had a weird year this year, but if we can end on a good note here at Atlanta, I'll be excited for next year. These things are like jet fighters on a little bull ring. You're basically holding your breath wide open. We'll be good Sunday. The last time we were here we led a lot of laps, so maybe we can do the same thing Sunday."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was a good qualifying lap for us. We picked up a little over a tenth from practice. We missed one and two a little bit, but we were really good in three and four. It's got a weird setup in it, but it worked pretty good."

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was a pretty good run for us really. The car felt pretty good in practice. I felt like we could pick it up a little bit, so I'm pretty happy with that. It would be big to win here Sunday, and we're going to do all we can to do just that. We try to win every Sunday. We've come close a couple times this year, but we haven't got there yet."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was a pretty good lap. It's right where we practiced. Hopefully that will be a top 10 starting spot. We finished fifth here in March, so we're looking forward to this weekend. We need a good run to close out the season, and Atlanta is a place where we can do that."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We struggled today. The setup we used to qualify second here the last time wasn't working. We changed things, got some help from the 1 car and seemed to improve. I guess I didn't expect it to drive as good as it did in qualifying."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We've been digging the second half, and everybody is pumped up. We're getting great cars week in and week out, and we're racing great. Our qualifying has picked up, too. I'm really excited about next year. It's going to be a long winter, but maybe we can carry the momentum from Sunday into next season. The car was handling good today, but we were struggling turning the rpm's we need. We've been steadily losing rpm's since this morning. We made a gear change and made a few other changes and it picked up the rpm's up but it didn't go any faster."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"We had tuned a lot the last half hour of practice. We sort of got back to where we needed to be. The car had been bottoming out early. We made a few key adjustments. We put some more right front spring in it. I just made my mind up we were going to drive it in the corner whether we came out of it or not. We got it in there good and got back into the gas good. It was good through three and four. Turns one and two picked up a lot, too, and that's where we'd been having problems. That was the key to making the lap come together. "This is a brand new car. I think it's going to be better than the one we won with here in March. We just kept adjusting on it today. It felt bad. I wasn't getting through turn one. I wasn't getting across that bump. We were having a bad time with it. We made a few more adjustments the last half hour of practice and then put some more spring in. I was confident going into turn one, and I really got into it hard. That made the difference. I think we probably picked up about seven tenths from practice. "If we can get up there and race, I think we'll be in good shape Sunday. Last year we had to race to the front. If I can start and race in the front, I'll be better off than having to race from the back. Jeff Burton is good here, too. He'll get going during the day, and he'll race good. It's going to be a situation where we'll race all day long. It won't be a deal where it'll either go his way or my way. We'll see how it ends up at the end of the day. I definitely want to finish second. We need to get Chevrolet up there for a second-place finish in the Winston Cup points."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"When we unloaded off the truck we were the quickest. Then everybody seemed like they got a little bit better and we just could never get back to the way we were the first lap on the race track. We went out on stickers to make a run and actually went slower in practice. I was a little confused. The car changed a lot. We totally changed the car before qualifying. We went over and talked to the 24 car. It's funny because the last time we were here we were fast and the 24 car was slow. They came over and we helped them out a lot. This time we went over there and got some help from them. It's been a good day so far. "It's kind of hard if you're going to another team and you change guys when you change stuff you don't know how big those changes are. Now when they say I'm going to change the car, I know how far they're going to go. We've been doing this all year long, and I think a lot of it is just a feel thing. I know what I want in the car. We were a little bit too tight in practice. I knew what he was going to do was going to make it turn better. You've just got to have all the confidence in the world in the team and just go out there and give it 110 percent. I don't think any of these guys go out and give it 98 percent. It's always 110 percent in qualifying. "He's Jeff Gordon. If anybody was going to beat me... It kind of hurt because this happened at Charlotte, too. We were a bridesmaid there and this weekend, but I don't mind. He's good. That's all I've got to say. He's won a lot of races, and I'm still searching for my first win. I think once we get that things will get better for us. "It's like we started off the year, we could have had a great run at Daytona and something happened. Then in the middle of the season things started turning around. We started getting the good qualifying runs and the good finishes. It's not like we got worse as a team and the cars got worse. It's just that we didn't hit some of the tracks we went back to. We thought we were going to be good, but we were actually the opposite. A lot of it might have been we were trying too much stuff and it just wasn't working. I think we're all going to the right place. We didn't have a chance to win the championship this year, so we figured let's just learn as much as we can this year about all kinds of stuff, gather as many notes as we can and build on it for next year."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Michael Ho