Dover: Team Monte Carlo qualifying remarks

Michael Waltrip, No. 14 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 4th): "The track is a little bit slicker now than it was during practice. The boys tightened up the NAPA Chevy, but it was still a little bit more out of control than I needed it to...

Michael Waltrip, No. 14 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 4th):

"The track is a little bit slicker now than it was during practice. The boys tightened up the NAPA Chevy, but it was still a little bit more out of control than I needed it to be. Nevertheless, it was a pretty decent effort. The track doesn't seem to be affected by weather a whole lot. But gradually, as the day goes on, it does seem to loosen up somewhat. So maybe our draw will help us get a decent starting spot."

Mike Skinner, No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 20th):

"These guys have worked their tails off on this Kodak Chevy. We've had a really hard time with our Monte Carlo today. It's been a struggle. Hopefully when we untape that thing and get it in race trim we can make it a little bit better."

Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet (qualified 22nd):

"(I was) consistently slow. The Pennzoil Chevy is running pretty good, it's just that it's been running sub-par most of the day. The guys did a good job with the car, but it was still loose during qualifying."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 9th) "I know there's some guys that are going to run real fast out there. We just really haven't been able to get a handle on it for qualifying. I think we're going to race real good, but we've been tight all day. Same thing there - just push, push, push. We didn't get near the speed that we'd like to see for the DuPont Chevrolet."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 30th): "I was just hanging onto it. That was the best we could do."

Tony Raines, No. 73 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 17th):

"I really want to get in this race bad. We've had a bad season so far in the Busch Series. We're just getting out here and seeing if we can run with these guys and learn some stuff."

Joe Nemechek, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 28th): "We've been quick here all day in the UAW-Delphi Chevrolet. We made a little decision there before qualifying to make sure we were a little on the snug side. In the last practice, the last couple of runs we made we got really tight. Normally the track loosens up here quite a bit but our car just didn't loosen up and it started pushing off of (turn) four and I just barely hit the wall. We have a really good racecar and this is a track I like to run on. So we're looking for a good run on Sunday."

Jeff Green, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 35th):

"We wanted to qualify better than we did. Here we are sitting on the pole in the Busch car and just not as good in the Cup car. But we do pretty good at racing here, so I think we'll be all right."

Robby Gordon, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 12th):

"We didn't race here in five years and we just got off to a nice slow start here. Gil Martin (crew chief) and everybody here on the Cingular Wireless team just took little steps at it the whole time and kept adjusting on it and we got faster every time we went out (in practice). And we got even quicker during qualifying. So I'm pleased with that. I had no idea the car would stick that good the first lap."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo (top rookie, qualified 10th):

"We went for it, but I'm a lot smarter now than I've made it through qualifying and what we should have adjusted on. We really thought the track was going to free up. We put a bigger sway bar in it. It helped in it. It helped in some areas, but killed me on the exiting the corners. I just couldn't be on the gas like I needed to. But still, looking at the big picture, this is a great effort for our first time here in our Lowe's Monte Carlo. We're just going to keep on going. We're having a lot of fun and we're looking forward to the race on Sunday."

As the top Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate to qualify, Johnson visited with the media:

"We had a pretty good run going off of notes from the past and the way we thought the track was changing. It threw us for a loop and that seems to be a pretty common feeling throughout the garage. There's a lot of rubber down from the Trucks and Busch cars, but I don't know exactly what's going on. I think we're all scratching our heads right now. I thought my lap would be good for 20th, and here we are sitting in 10th. We're really happy about it."

On the possibility of rain and temperature changes between now and Sunday

"With as much rubber that's down right now, it would give us a pretty good idea of what to expect for the race. But if it rains and washes the rubber off, we won't have similar racing conditions."

On his comfort level at the Monster Mile

"The more you come back, the more comfortable you get. The first experience I had here was in an ASA car in '99 and I've never been so scared in my life. I sat on the pole, but I was scared. Now, being here in a Winston Cup car, past experience really helps."

How do you feel about your season so far?

"Obviously, I'm very pleased with our success so far. We have the speed and we've been able to show it. We've surprised ourselves at tracks where we thought we weren't going to be so good. I personally didn't think I would ever run well at Charlotte or Richmond and had a shot at winning those races. We have the speed, and its just time for me to get more used to Winston Cup races and stop making little mistakes. The team is growing and maturing. What we're looking at now is just polishing up what we have and not expecting any more."

Did the track get loose or tight?

"Both. Everybody seems to be extremely loose in. You can watch them wiggle up. I don't really understand why. If you're loose in, you'd expect to be loose everywhere. But personally, I was really loose in and it took a long time to get back to the gas pedal and then I was really tight off. So that's why there's a lot of head scratching going on."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Robby Gordon , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson