Pre-qualifying notes: TONY STEWART, NO. 33 OLD SPICE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO BUSCH SERIES POLE-WINNER: 'We're really excited about this Old Spice Chevrolet. It was really good yesterday in long runs. We felt that it really didn't have a lot of...
TONY STEWART, NO. 33 OLD SPICE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO BUSCH SERIES POLE-WINNER: 'We're really excited about this Old Spice Chevrolet. It was really good yesterday in long runs. We felt that it really didn't have a lot of speed up front but that it was really good in the middle and in the end of a run, so hopefully that's going to hold true today. And with the speed we showed in qualifying, hopefully we're going to be fast all the way through the run. So, we're pretty excited about this car.'
(YOU JUST TOOK THE BUSCH POLE, CAN YOU DO IT IN THE CUP SERIES?) Qualified 29th "We're working on it. Our car is not quite as fast as we want it to be, but the guys made some big changes last night with the Home Depot Monte Carlo. We'll see. Track conditions are pretty similar to what they were during Busch qualifying. Even if we don't get the pole but if we can just gain from where we were yesterday, it will be a big gain for us."
DAVE BLANEY, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- PRIOR TO QUALIFYING ATTEMPT: "We aren't completely happy with our race set-up from yesterday, but this format it a little different so you've got to take a stab at it on Saturday and hope it works on Sunday. Hopefully we've got something we can adjust on and make it good by the end of the race on Sunday."
(DO YOU LIKE THE NEW SCHEDULE?) "Well, it seems like we've got a lot of time to waste. It's a little boring. But I'm sure we'll get used to it. It doesn't matter really. I don't think it's going to affect the race on Sunday." -
NOTE: During his qualifying attempt, Blaney hit the wall in Turn 1 and will go to a back-up car for Sunday's race. "It just got loose on me."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 7 HARRAH'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 25th:
(ON HIS LAP) "I think that'll get us in the show. We're happy about that. That was our goal for the weekend -- to post a time that would be good enough to get us in the show. We're excited about getting the Harrah's Chevrolet into the game here at Fontana. We missed out bigtime down there at Daytona. We had a good race car there and finished 7th in the 150's and found ourselves sitting on the sidelines watching. But that just made my guys more hungry and more determined. They spent the weekend at the shop building these cars here. We've got two brand new race cars. This car has never hit the race track and missing the first session yesterday was a big thing for us. I think this car has maybe 20 laps total on it. So we're real excited about our qualifying effort."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 1st:
(HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP TODAY?) "It was pretty good. The Car Quest Chevrolet was definitely running there. It really went down the straightaway great with Hendrick horsepower. I have an awesome crew chief, Alan Gustafson, him and I are just trying to gel together and try to get out chemistry going. To ran that lap here, just our first time out at a downforce track in California, is pretty impressive as far as our team goes. We're just looking forward to all the success hopefully later on this year. Man, that was a pretty fun lap to lay down. I knew when it was winding down that as soon as I got that first one, I was thinking, 'you know what, that's about it. If I do it again, I'll probably wreck."
(IT SEEMS SOME TEAMS ARE WORKING ON RACE SETUP SO MUCH IT MIGHT HAVE AN EFFECT ON THEIR QUALIFYING RUNS. NOT SO FOR YOUR TEAM?) "No, we only made one qualifying run yesterday. We were working and working and working on race trim, just trying to get a balance for our car. We really couldn't get it to turn all that well through turns 1 and 2. You know, we tried working on that all day. And we just made one qualifying run like I said. But in order to come out here with just our second qualifying run and run that kind of time--you know, I was just hoping for a seventy or a sixty, thinking that would be great. You know, a top 10, maybe top 15 somewhere in there. To run a twenty, if that sticks, I'll be tremendously happy with that. That's pretty cool."
BOBBY HAMILTON, NO. 32 TIDE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 26th:
"We left a little bit on our qualifying run. So hopefully we'll be in the top 15 someplace.
(ON THE NEW QUALFIYING FORMAT) "It's good but it's weird. Yesterday we could have had at home and we could have done all this today and be done with it. But NASCAR has a reason for everything and it's less pressure on the guys and that's a good thing. They're here at six in the morning every day and now they come here at six and can run two laps and go relax for the rest of the day and be ready for tomorrow. So it works out for everybody."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 2nd:
"I think this says a lot about Hendrick Motorsports. It shows a lot. Hopefully we can stay on the front row. I thought we really had a shot at it (the pole) because I was going sideways coming off of Turn 4 coming to the green and it absolutely killed the lap. But it's still a good starting spot for us and we're looking forward to the race."
(DID YOU SET UP THE CAR FOR RACE TRIM OR QUALFIYING TRIM?) "Definitely in race trim. It's funny. This new procedure is not affecting qualifying as much as I thought. We just need a little bit of room to put some wedge in the car and do some different things to tighten up the car after we tape up. So It's not too bad. We set up for the race. This is one lap. The race is 500 miles."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 32nd:
"We changed a lot of stuff today. Hopefully we've made it better. It's a lot of work; a lot of effort. It's not because we're not trying but we didn't unload with what we wanted. We'll see what we get."
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 12th:
(YOU'VE HAD A GREAT START TO THE SEASON) "We just put the right people in the right place on this Valvoline Chevrolet. Everything has been working really well. I've had a great car here at California. It's a brand new cars but the guys back at the shop did a great job. I'm just hoping to get a good start."
(YOU'RE ONE OF THE LAST PEOPLE TO GO OUT, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR RUN?) "Well, I still wish it was cooler. The longer the sun stays out, the harder it's going to get and the slower we're going to have to go. I'm just going to give it my best shot. If it was in the top 5 it would be surprising to me."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- Qualified 4th:
"It's tough to qualify -- especially in conditions today. The first 20 cars went out and it was overcast and cool. And then we went out 36th and the track has heated up and the sun is out. To run that type of lap right now and only be a tenth off the pole is pretty good. It says a lot for our crew. This is a brand new car. We came out here and tested and had two different cars testing. They went back and built something new and they built it better. They said we've got to take the best car back. It took us a little while to figure it out but we're feeling good now. But we're going to have to see what happens when we get 20 cars packed together. It's going to be interesting to see what happens."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO -- TAKES HIS FIRST CAREER CUP POLE:
"This is exciting. All the guys have done an awesome job. Congratulations to Brian Vickers, my teammate, for sitting on the pole up there with me. We're both in the same shop. It's just a great opportunity for us to help both our teams excel. We've got a pole now--all we need is a win. We're looking forward to all the successes we can hopefully accept this year."
(CAN YOU WIN THIS RACE?) "We think so. We've got a pretty good race car. We're just looking forward to the race. We've just got to make sure we've got it turning good down there in Turns 1 and 2. That seems to be the problem end at this race track. But overall we're just excited to be on the front row this week. If we can keep this chemistry and momentum going this year, in our rookie year, that would just be awesome."