SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "Everybody is complaining about the right front (tire). It's hard to really get the car freed up enough. We've made a lot of changes, but we're just going to have to get more drastic for the...
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"Everybody is complaining about the right front (tire). It's hard to really get the car freed up enough. We've made a lot of changes, but we're just going to have to get more drastic for the 500. I thought we were going to be in trouble because it seemed like the car was pretty good on new tires. I knew if it wasn't free at all in the beginning, but was going to get pretty tight. Everybody fell to the high side trying to save the tires. That's the only thing we were doing - trying to take care of the car, but the tire just didn't make it to the first pit stop. Nobody likes blowing out a tire, but at the same time it gives some of the battle back into the driver's hands. It's not just who can hold it wide open and have the best car. We had a good car. Our Bud Shootout car is not as good, but it's okay. We've learned a whole lot, obviously, about how much we just really need to free the car up and make it better for the 500. This is definitely not the good first impression that we wanted to have with the No. 10 Valvoline Chevy."
ROBBIE LOOMIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"Handling is going to be exciting, that's for sure. We got in that accident on pit road and it kind of dented in the grill. From there we just ran hot.
WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD? "It looked to me like Kasey Kahne just about missed his pit. He was out on the outside. When he realized it, he slammed on the brakes and got into us."
TONY EURY JR., NO., 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET CAR CHIEF:
"We still have a lot of work to do. That wasn't the best performance by the Budweiser crew, but we're going to do better and maybe we can get this 500.
DID YOU MAKE A LOT OF CHANGES ON YOUR PIT STOP? "Yeah, we made a lot of major changes. The car was really tight. I had to make a lot of changes. You've got to be free here with this tire situation the way it is. He did a good job to hold him (Tony Stewart) off."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We didn't have a second place car, but we got it up there. These guys aren't going to quit working on this thing. We're going to keep making it better. This car drove good. That's what's beating these guys. We aren't beating them under the hood. These guys have worked really hard on this chassis and on this body of this car to make it go good. A lot of guys are having to lift and a lot of guys are having to run in places where we don't normally run here, which is making it fun. We actually have to drive these cars for once instead of just riding them around like we've done in the past. The good drivers are going to get themselves to the front."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It's hard to pass the leader. The cars are pushing so bad. Everybody is real right. I was running on the top just in case the right front (tire) blew out so I wouldn't have too far to go before I hit anything. I knew when we got new tires that if I was going to get past Michael (Waltrip) I was going to have to do it real fast. I couldn't waste time and get behind him. I was real lucky there to be able to get under him after the tri-oval there, and he got backed up behind Jeff (Gordon). I had a great car. I've just got to be out front. Hopefully we can win the 500."
ON THE PASS FOR THE LEAD "I thought Michael (Waltrip) was going to shove me below the line and I might have dipped the tire under there. He kind of blocked me just a little bit but he moved back up when he saw I was there and gave me the lane back. It was kind of hard to set him up. I'd been trying to set him up for four or five laps and I couldn't get anybody pushing behind me to get a good run at him. He's got as good a car as I do. I got lucky there when he got behind that lapped car of Jeff Gordon. Jeff was nice enough to let me go there after a few laps. Once I had clean air on the front of my car I knew it was going to be a bad day for the rest of them because that's how it was for me when I was back there."
IS YOUR CAR THAT MUCH STRONGER THAN TONY STEWART'S? "I think I've got an awesome car. It's the best car here. But I don't care how good your car is. If you're not in clean air, you can't do nothing. Hopefully we have a better race on Sunday. Everybody was just kind of hanging out. We couldn't really set each other up or work around each other much."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"A good handling car will pay dividends on Sunday. We had a really strong car. It handled well and I was really pleased with it."
WARD BURTON, NO 0, NETZERO CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The NetZero Chevrolet was really tight. I was as good as the 15 car, but I had to get out of the throttle going into the corner and getting off and that hurt us. We lost a couple of spots there in the last two laps because the car was pushing so bad."
JOHNNY SAUTER, NO 30, AMERICA ONLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"The AOL Chevrolet was good after the pit stop. I really learned a lot for Sunday. The bottom is only good for about 15 laps, and then the top is way better. I tell you what; I really learned a ton for Sunday. We're going to be real good for the 500. The AOL Chevy was real fast at the end."
ROBBY GORDON, NO 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We just got caught in a bad position behind the 4 car when they lost their motor and we couldn't get a break but it just was what it was. We were a little tight and I don't think we had a car good enough to win this race but we just got ourselves in a bad place, which we can't do on Sunday. The tires, I don't know but they are junk and they are junk because this is what NASCAR wanted, not because Goodyear brought a bad tire. I just don't know if we have enough grip to run three wide and do the things we have to do. It is important to get your car set up because it isn't going to be a horsepower race or an aero race as it has been in the past.
ON THE FLAT TIRE "Fortunately the tire popped when I touched the brakes to come down pit road it so that didn't set us back any more than we were but that tells me the car was tight from the start. We will just have to be a little more prepared. We will go back to the garage and do what we will need to do to the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet for Sunday. It doesn't matter where you start here, we're fine."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"It was either go or go home so we tried but we just got going so fast there. It was a good day for the GM Goodwrench car. We just couldn't find anyone to help us along. I couldn't get by Elliott and we weren't going to settle for second, we were going to try and win it. If we start 8th or 10th, that's fine.
ON TIRE WEAR "We didn't have any problems. We didn't have to let up all day. We had a really good handling car today. I am just really excited about the 500 because the GM Goodwrench car is really good. Just didn't want to sit there and run second."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO 48 LOWES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
I think that was the most strung out 125 than anyone's ever seen. But inside the car now there is a lot more going on in the car, you have to drive it more like you would on a mile and half track. You saw guys running by themselves. We were one of the cars that could run the bottom by themselves and didn't need a drafting pushing us. I was able to catch the guys in front of me. Its nice having to control it a little more from the drivers seat and not be in a big pack but then again you can't make any moves cause you don't have the energy of the pack with you. It was a great effort from the Lowe's team today.
"In some ways having a good handling car hurt me 'cause I just could pull in the corner and pull away from Mark Martin and then we couldn't get to me and give me any push down the straightaway. But I really predict you will see a race Sunday similar to what you saw in the 80s where cars were strung out and you could go down a lap just from handling. I have never been a part of or experienced anything like that here because we have always run in huge packs. And with a tire itself that gives up a lot more and the bigger spoiler on the restrictor plate tracks, it just aggravates that push and so before you know it, you are three laps into the race and your front tires are beat up and you have to breathe it like you would on a mile and half track so its essentially a new game and is going to be about handling and not about drafting."