Jerry Nadeau, No. 25UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo: What are your thoughts going into 2nd round qualifying? "We just need to post a time,that's all we're here for. Then tomorrow we can work on a race setup. Tony (Furr, crew chief) and the...
Jerry Nadeau, No. 25UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
What are your thoughts going into 2nd round qualifying?
"We just need to post a time,that's all we're here for. Then tomorrow we can work on a race setup. Tony (Furr, crew chief) and the guys have worked real hard. The guys at the engine shop have put a lot of time in this motor. It's kind of weird going 2nd round. I've never gone 2nd round before, but in this case, we had to do it.
We have a good racecar. We ran good in practice and even if our speeds aren't as good, we know we've got a good racecar for the 125's. We've actually got a car in the trailer that's a little bit better, but it just doesn't seem to run as good in race mode. So we decided to take a chance on the car that's a little bit slower in race mode than qualifying mode. And we'll see what we can do. It's a good car."
Now that 2nd round qualifying is over, and you've posted a time, are you relieved?
"I never was worried about qualifying at this place. I know we have a good racecar. Really, we had to get a time, and that's what we did and now we'll just get ready for practice tomorrow and for the 125's.
"The conditions aren't as good today as they were yesterday. You've really got a lot of wind on the front stretch that helps you out,but when you get down the backstretch, you lose about 400 rpm because of the wind. So the speeds aren't as good today anyway."
Have the last three days been like an emotional roller coaster for you?
"It's a little disappointing,but there isn't much we can about it now. Really, we just need to look forward to the race. Besides our situation, there's about 45other situations in the garage area. We just need to focus on the race. It's just the first race of the year.
Can you turn this into a positive for you?
"I think so. That's what I mean. We did it, we've got to pay for it. And then we'll just move on. I know we've got a good racecar for Sunday's race. Once we get over the hump, and once we get to do the race and we get a good finish, we'll forget about what happened."
What do you do now to prepare for the 125's?
"We know what kind of setup to put in it. We tried it when we were out here testing. This is a better racecar than qualifying car. It's never seemed like it's gotten up to speed to well. I really like this car. I've always liked it. It handles better. I think the aero rules are going to be good in the race mode. I think you'll see a lot more jockeying -- just like you saw in the Budweiser Shootout. And I think that's what the fans like to see.
"In practice, we want to see how the car is going to run after 30 or 40 laps. That's really the big issue. That's where handling is going to play a big part. If our car can stand it, with 40-50 lap tires on it, then I think we'll be in good shape."
Do you think you have to learn how to win in Winston Cup -- get that first lesson on being positioned just right and all -- and do you think the next one will be easier?)
"You don't know. You never know when your time is. I didn't know I was gong to win Atlanta. But if you stay in the front all day long, you have a better chance of winning if you know what I mean. If your pit stops are great, if you don't run over that loose bolt on the racetrack -- that's what you want to avoid -- and if we can get away from that stuff, we should be in good shape. We should be a contender."
Can you comment about your crew chief, Tony Furr, and how much he believes in you?
"He's awesome. I wish I had him when I started my career in Winston Cup. He's a great guy. I get along with him, everybody on the race team does. Rick and John Hendrick, Randy Dorton (Engine Director), Eddie Dickerson (Chassis Director), every one of those people at Hendrick Motorsports make it happen. It's just all a team effort."
Is there an area that you want to develop more as a driver, and is there a track you'd like to do better on?
"I'm not really sure. I know that there are some areas where I can improve at some of the racetracks like Bristol -- that's a place where you've got to have patience, although it's not a patient racetrack. But, you've got to last all day long. You can't put your nose where it doesn't belong, and that's sometimes where I get in trouble. I'm very aggressive behind the wheel and places like that tend to bite me sometimes. So hopefully I can learn a little bit. Considering we got our first win and we've got a year under our belt, maybe we can prove ourselves."
Did your Atlanta win take some of the pressure off?
"Hopefully. You get anxious at those little bullrings you know, you want to go up there and attack and get to the front as soon as you can. But then again, you've got to be patient. Hopefully I've learned a little bit more patience."
Dave Marcis, No. 71Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo (comment on 2nd round qualifying):"It looked good here just before the end of practice, around 12:30, conditions were great. It was great weather. We run almost a tenth-and-a-half faster, and we thought we might be able to run even two tenths better. But after practice and about 15 minutes before qualifying started, an awful strong wind come up off the ocean coming out of the east and blowing to the west and it really hurt you coming down the back straightaway. I lost probably 150 rpm coming down the back straightaway on both laps. There's nothing you can do about that. It's just one of those deals here at Daytona."
"I'm happy with the car. I think it's running decent and I think it'll draft good. But you know the goal was to move up in qualifying speeds and we felt like we could probably run about a 49.65 and that would probably put us in the top 20 and we felt like that would make the show. However, that didn't happen. We gotta just keep trying."