Darlington II: GM drivers qualifying quotes

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 11th: "You always try to back up what you did in practice, but this being Darlington and as hot as it is, you're never sure that you can. If we backed it up, I'm happy with that. We...

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 11th:

"You always try to back up what you did in practice, but this being Darlington and as hot as it is, you're never sure that you can. If we backed it up, I'm happy with that. We started off in a little bit of a struggle, and really made a lot of changes, so I feel pretty good about how we qualified. I felt if I got through 1 and 2 I'd be OK, and I managed to get through there. I might have given up a little bit coming through Turn 3, but I'm happy with that no matter where it ends up."

JASON LEFFLER, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 36th:

"It wasn't all that good. We were really tight. We tightened the car up too much. We were afraid of being too free. We'll be good in the race."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: qualified 5th:

"I just can't get a good feel for a qualifying lap. The last time here, I was good in practice but slowed down in qualifying. This time I picked up. It seems like as fast as I went, I was a little bit out of control. We didn' t test here, and we're much better than we were here last time. Hopefully we 'll wind up in a good spot."

TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 3rd:

"It was a good run for us. We picked up from practice, made a couple of adjustments on it. The car was awful good." TALK ABOUT THE HISTORY HERE. "It 's an incredible place to come race, and fortunately, my first victory was here [1980]. I think this team is getting awful close to winning again and we're hoping Sunday might be the day. This is a tough track, and it's going to be hot and slick. That's how it's supposed to be down here." MORE T. LABONTE TO FOLLOW.

MIKE SKINNER, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 12th:

"We lost an awful lot of time in Turns 3 and 4, but this Hendrick engine really ran well. We turned an awful lot of RPM, more than I've ever turned qualifying anything without missing a gear, that is. It hit the chip awful early in the backstretch and caused me to drive into Turn 3 awfully deep. I got loose and stayed loose all the way through 3 and 4. That really hurt us. She really cooked it through 1 and 2 and I said, 'that's gonna be a real good lap.' But when it hit the chip so early, it kind of messed up my rhythm a little bit."

HOW MUCH DOES A DRIVER HAVE TO BE ON HIS GAME HERE AT DARLINGTON?

"In this series, you have to be on your game everywhere. It doesn't matter where we are anymore. We had an awfully good handling car, and I think I overdrove it a little. Ryan Pemberton and the guys wanted to make some changes on the car and I wouldn't let them. I said, 'I know what I have. If I can just run a .40 again, that will put us solidly in the field, and that's all we really need to do.' I probably hurt us a little bit. We're still getting to know each other. I'm really proud of this team and this Pontiac. I'm real proud of that Hendrick engine. Man, that thing was smokin'!"

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd:

"That's a great run for us There's still a lot of guys yet to go and the track is probably going to cool down a little bit, so hopefully that will keep us in the top five. We picked up almost two tenths from practice to qualifying. We didn't get to enjoy being on the pole very long before Ryan came out and knocked us down, but we have a good car here and this is one of my best tracks." MORE JOHNSON TO FOLLOW.

KEVIN LEPAGE, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 41st:

"We picked up from what we did in practice, but it wasn't enough. We thought this Perfect Touch Kodak Pontiac would be a little better than it was, but we made some educated guesses. This is the first time I've worked with this team this year and there are some new faces. We'll just see where it stacks up and hopefully get ready for the race on Sunday."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 12th:

"I wasn't real happy with my lap. We really struggled all day to get the car comfortable. We think we're going to be great in race trim, but we're just really loose. I didn't expect to run a .30 even, so I guess I ought to be happy that we ran a .30. We might lose a lot of spots here at the end of qualifying."

WHAT DOES THE LAST LABOR DAY RACE HERE MEAN TO YOU?

"Well, everything changes. Whether you like it or not, things are going to change, people come and go, places come and go. It's just something you have to get used to in life, no matter where you're at or who you are. To hear that they 're going to put lights up, that would be pretty cool to race here under the lights."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 18th:

"Boy, it was hot out there, and it seems like it's getting hotter. It wasn't a bad lap, but it could have been better. I stayed in the gas too long in Turn 2 and had to let off just a touch so I didn't hit the wall. That made me miss my exit because I had to breathe the throttle. It's tough going out first here because the track gets so much faster as qualifying goes on. I should have run a .30, which would probably have put us in the top 10. Now, we'll probably end up with a top-20 start."

RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 GIVE KIDS THE WORLD/TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 8th:

"You would think that it would be harder to get a hold of the track, but it doesn't quite make sense. Everybody speeded up and we speeded up a little bit, but when the 12 car runs a 29.09, you know we can do it. It got me in a little bit of trouble, because I drove fairly deep into Turn 3, like I thought we needed to to win the pole, and I just lost it. Turns 3 and 4 did not have the grip that Turns 1 and 2 did. All in all, we're going to start better than we did in the spring, which resulted in some pretty good hardware. I'm looking forward to it."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup