TERRY LABONTE, NO. 44 PIZZA HUT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We're still not very good, I don't think. Our car is still a little bit too tight and we haven't gotten it to where we need it yet. I think it's going to race good." (HOW DOES CHICAGOLAND...
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 44 PIZZA HUT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We're still not very good, I don't think. Our car is still a little bit too tight and we haven't gotten it to where we need it yet. I think it's going to race good."
(HOW DOES CHICAGOLAND DIFFER FROM THE OTHER TRACKS?) "This track here is a lot like Kansas. If you've got a pretty good set-up here or there, it should work either place. It's a little bit different than Vegas and a lot different than Charlotte and Texas. It's a nice race track and a beautiful racing facility. It's a fun track to race on."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (IS IT ALMOST A SENSE OF RELIEF TO GET YOUR CONTRACT SIGNED AND OUT OF THE WAY?)
"I really haven't been thinking about it. I've been concentrating on what I have to do and keeping my U.S. Army Chevy running strong every week and trying to get my Cellular One Busch team back to where it should be at the top of the chart every week. We've just been working on everything in general to make it better. I just try to do the job the best I can every week. If I do that, hopefully everyone involved in our program will like the same thing."
"Our finishes haven't shown how good we've run. So we need to just get to where we're finishing the races like we've been running. But we've had a few mechanical problems and it's knocked us back a little bit."
(ON HIS QUALIFYNG LAP) "It was a pretty good run. I got through Turns 1 and 2 really good and Turns 3 and 4. I wiggled a little bit my first lap. I ran a second lap about the same time - maybe just a tick faster. But the car drove exactly like it did in practice. I'm very proud of this whole crew. Ryan Newman posted a big lap up there. I was trying to go for it, but I didn't quite get close to it."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I was pretty happy with it (the lap). The car was real comfortable in practice. It drove real good. We made some adjustments and it seemed to get a little better. We had an early draw. We've been right there in the middle of the road. We've been terrible in qualifying all year. But this is definitely an improvement - aside from what the lap time was - is how the car is driving. So I'm pretty upbeat about our opportunity this weekend."
(BASED ON PRACTICE, HOW DO YOU THINK IT WILL RACE?) "It's hard to tell. We've got a lot of stuff we incorporated that helped it drive really good at Michigan. And we've got some more stuff too. We've just got to keep working. I think we'll be all right. We've all got to keep meeting and talking about our cars."
"I'm really happy with the car. I wanted to run a little faster than that. But we had an early draw. This track is a little bit slower than it was this morning in practice."
"We've been learning a little bit - especially since Steve (Hmiel) came on board. We've been incorporating a lot of things that have helped Michael (Waltrip) and (crew chief) Tony Eury Jr. in the NAPA Chevrolet in the last couple of weeks. It's helped my cars to drive a lot better. Steve has so much to fall back on, experience wise. My guys are working as hard as they can work. I can't ask any more of my team. These are a great bunch of guys. I've been enjoying the past six months, I just wish we could have had some better runs."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"From where we were in practice, I'm real happy with that. You're never happy if the guy on the pole is three-tenths faster than you. But (Ryan) Newman is so strong in qualifying this year, we're just happy to close that gap as much as we can. The guy on the DuPont Chevrolet fought hard to get the car more comfortable for me. That was as close as we've been and the best lap we've run all day long and a good gain. We're happy with the pick up there."
(WHAT ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE FOR THIS TRACK?) "You've got to keep up with or stay ahead of the competition. The rules change just a bit but you just find things that you make gains on over the off-season and during the season and you see what your competitors are doing. This track has actually lost a little bit of grip but we're going faster a little bit because of the tires and just because these guys are so great at finding areas to make your car go faster."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The GMAC Chevy guys did a good job in practice. We snuck up on it a little bit. We didn't get real aggressive in practice but went after it in qualifying. The first lap I felt like the car had a little bit more grip than I expected and then I stepped it up on the second lap."
MIKE BLISS, NO. 0 NETZERO CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We were pretty happy with that. Our car was good off the trailer. The guys did a great job on the set-up for qualifying. We were a bit free, but I should have run a second lap, I guess. I thought the first one was good enough. But you never know if something might happen. I'm a little disappointed with myself."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"That was a good lap for our GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. The car is really handling good. It was really good through Turns 1 and 2. I got a little bit greedy getting into Turn 3 and gave up a little bit of speed there. But all in all it's been a good day. We unloaded well and everything else has been good."
(HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS TRACK NOW COMPARED TO WHEN WE FIRST CAME HERE A FEW YEARS AGO?) "Well, the set-ups are quite a bit different compared to what we used to race. The front ends are a lot more aggressive with a little less downforce in the back."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET
Note: Tony Stewart crashed during practice and evaluated and released from Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill. J.J. Yeley substituted for Stewart in the practice and qualifying sessions.
"Tony was released from the infield care center and the hospital has released him to drive. He's pretty sore. He's going to rest. J.J. jumped in the car and made a couple of runs. We're going to let him qualify. Hopefully Tony will be up to running in practice tomorrow."
(SINCE YOU'LL HAVE TO START FROM THE REAR, HOW HARD IS IT TO COME FROM BEHIND AT A PLACE LIKE CHICAGO?) "You do what you've got to do. That's just the cards we were dealt. We'll hopefully get a decent qualifying effort and get us a good selection of where we want to be on pit road. If Tony is sore maybe J.J. will jump in tomorrow morning and run the first practice for us if Tony is too sore. And maybe he'll hang out on Sunday for us in case Tony is too sore to go the distance. The best thing right now is for him to rest and relax. We need him on Sunday is when we need him."
J.J. YELEY, RELIEF DRIVER FOR TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"This is a great team and obviously they have a lot of momentum. In practice, the backup car was very comfortable. This is one of my favorite race tracks. They're locked in the field no matter what."
(ON THE QUALIFYING LAP AND SHORT TIME TO GET ADJUSTED TO THE CAR) "The Home Depot Chevrolet was really good. Zippy made some changes from what we had in practice. He definitely made the car a whole lot more comfortable for me. Tony has already gone through one car, so we definitely didn't want to go through two. So I took it as easy as I could."
(HOW DOES YOUR DRIVING STYLE COMPARE WITH TONY STEWART'S?) "I think we're fairly close. I think it definitely helps that we're about the same size. We didn't have to modify anything in the race car. I still think he likes the car a little bit looser than anyone else. After they tightened it up for me, it was very comfortable."
GREG ZIPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"You don't ever want to have to have that practice or go through that stuff and try to keep your composure and your focus, but I'm proud of my guys. They did a great job today."
(IS TONY STEWART GOING TO BE 100 PERCENT ON SUNDAY?) "I'm sure. He's pretty tough. If I had to put my money on somebody it would be him. We're going to give him as much rest as we can. If he's still sore in the morning maybe J.J. will run in the first practice and Tony can go out and run it. We'll just leave that up to Tony and how hard he wants to run and what he wants to do. We'll just dig on Sunday. Tony was cleared on Sunday and he'll be okay."
(ON THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH) "We cut a tire. We don't know if we ran over something. It was cut or it lost air. It wasn't because of tire failure or that a cap came off or any of that stuff. We ran something over or we hit something on our car. We didn't see any rubs on it. It's got a rub on the inside of it now, but we don't know if that was because it lost air and then it rubbed, but it didn't do it the first two runs. So it was just a misfortune."
(ON YELEY'S QUALIFYING EFFORT) "My guys had to work and their efforts got us a 13th in qualifying trim. So our pit pick is a little bit better than if we didn't do it. And most importantly, we did the drill. We put somebody else in who hadn't been in our car and we just missed top 10 in qualifying in the first time he (J.J. Yeley) had been in the car. So I'm proud of my guys. I think a big part of it is keeping our momentum going but keeping our confidence that we can do what we need to do. That's important this time of year."
(HOW IS TONY STEWART FEELING?) "He's just sore. He's got two nights. If he's not feeling up to it, we won't run that much tomorrow. We'll let J.J.Yeley run some and go from there. We'll just keep J.J. as a backup driver. He's done a great job for us. If he's got a good race track, this is one of them. He just tested two days up here in his Busch car. He was really good this morning and really comfortable. He got in our car and did a great job. I wouldn't think twice about anybody else. He did a great job today."