JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 16th: "It was a great lap. We worked on some things and corrected the car from what we had in practice and made it better. The thing is that it went through the beginning of the ...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 16th:
"It was a great lap. We worked on some things and corrected the car from what we had in practice and made it better. The thing is that it went through the beginning of the corners so good that then I ended up tight off. So unfortunately we didn't expect the tight off so we didn't address it. And I came up a little short. I think that's a good lap for us. Our qualifying record hasn't been the best here so we're definitely excited to have this Lowe's Monte Carlo hopefully in the top 10. Come race day we'll be in good shape."
(IS THERE A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED IN THE HURRICANE EFFORT THROUGH YOUR SPONSOR, LOWE'S?) "Lowe's is once again showing the quality company they are. They've partnered with the American Red Cross, myself, and one of the cabinet members. We're trying to raise awareness. One way to do it is to go to lowe's.com and there's a way to donate to help support our friends through the American Red Cross with all this hurricane trouble we've been having. We had one just a couple of weeks ago and now here comes another one. We're looking out and praying for everyone down in the Florida area and hope everybody is okay."
BOBBY HAMILTON JR., NO. 32 TIDE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 24th:
"It's a great lap. It's hard work for everybody. This morning we were 40th quickest in practice. We never got to put a sticker run on. We kind of knew we had a little bit of something to run that quick. We hoped that would be in the top 25 is what we were shooting for and hopefully that was it right there. The hard work by the guys paid off and they gave me a great car. It turned and it just needed a little bit of work on it and it was perfect."
(THIS IS YOUR FIRST EVENT IN THE TIDE RIDE. DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO UPHOLD THAT LONG TRADITION OR IS THIS A CLEAN SLATE FOR YOU?) "Myself and Harold Holly are building the race cars. It's the same guys. The guys are all pumped up. We're just trying to do the best job we can do for Tide and Chevrolet and for everyone. We'll go from there."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 21st:
"It's cooling off so the guys going later will have a bit of an advantage. We picked up some over practice and I'm proud of that. It just didn't quite handle the way I wanted it to and I didn't quite do the job behind the wheel that I wanted to. We'll just have to work on it a little bit harder and get ready for practice tomorrow."
(SINCE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP, WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES FOR THE LAST 12 RACES OF THE YEAR?) "To win some races and finish 11th in the points. Our objective isn't any different than it was a year ago whether there was a chase or not. You just have to try to fight for what's realistic and to get all you can get. Realistically, right now, we could get to 11th and finish the season on a strong note and head into the '05 season like we know how to race for the championship."
SCOTT RIGGS, NO. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 9th:
"It should have been a better lap actually. The first lap was better than I anticipated, which is why I took that second lap. I thought I could go a little bit quicker. I wish I could have gotten it all on the first lap. I felt like I left a tenth on the table there with those sticker tires. I don't know if it's going to hold up for the pole, but it'll be a good starting spot for us."
JOE NEMECHEK, O1 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 10th:
"We've been getting stronger as the years has gone on. It's good. We kind of messed up a little bit. We didn't change our rev limiter chip and the wind has changed since practice. Now we have a tail wind down the front and I was on the rev chip for probably two seconds going into Turn 1 and it's a lot of speed right there. It's our mistake but we've got a good race car. Our Chevy is going to be tough."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Pole:
"I hope it stays. All the guys did a great job. We came out here early and saw the Ditech folks. They're based out here in Costa Mesa. They're a good group of guys and we've gotten a lot of support from them along with GMAC obviously. But the car was awesome. The guys did a good job with it. It stuck. What else can you say?"
(HOW MUCH INFORMATION GOES ON BACK AND FORTH WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS BETWEEN PRACTICE AND QUALFIYING ON A DAY LIKE TODAY?) "A lot of stuff goes on. We try to communicate as much stuff as possible and it works even better because we're not only teammates, but we get along and we're friends as well. That goes for the drivers and crew chiefs and everybody involved. And when we come out here, the California fans really support us."
BORIS SAID, NO. 36 CENTRIX CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 36th:
"We made a lot of progress all day. The Centrix team and all the guys at MB2 gave me a great car. I'm a little behind the eight ball. I only got about an hour of practice with where you are in the tech line. You miss a lot of practice. I just hope that's good enough to make the race and I can just learn in the race and get a good finish."
(DID YOU FEEL THE WIND OUT THERE?) "No, because I've never done this before. How the hell do I know? I don't know any better or any worse. In qualifying, that was the fastest I've gone and there was a lot more left in the car. They gave me just as good a car as Joe Nemechek has. I'm just not quite used to it yet. You're going so fast through the corners than what I'm used to. It's just a little different."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 8th:
"I'm very happy with that. I think we got the luck of the draw today. The guys made some great adjustments on the car today. I just tried to take advantage of that late draw. The car drove good. I got a little loose off of Turn 2 and that's what's going to keep us from being on that front row. I'm proud of Brian Vickers and hope he gets it, but for the DuPont Chevrolet it was a good run."
(YOU'VE WON HERE THREE TIMES IN THE DAY, WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE LIKE TO END THE RACE UNDER THE LIGHTS?) "Track temperature is everything. Look at right now what we're dealing with. Conditions are great and I can't wait to see what this place is like under the lights. It should be just a fantastic race for the competitors as well as the fans."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 35th:
"I'm just a little disappointed because it is hard to pass here. It's a big race track. The groove will open up come time for the Cup race. But when you start in the back, you just put yourself behind the eight ball all day and you've got to work all afternoon to get yourself to the front. I have a great group here with Richard Childress Racing and Cingular Wireless and the pit crew, so I'm sure we'll gain spots in the pits. We have to work on our car a little bit in the middle of the corners to make it turn a little bit better."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 WELLBUTRIN CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 37th: "It's about what we ran in practice. We ran mostly race stuff this morning so we didn't give it that much effort. We probably should have given it a little more effort but we didn't. So that's what we ended up with."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 12th:
"Winning Bristol was real big for the team. We were kind of in a slump and really needed to win. But I think it woke this team up and will hopefully give us the confidence we need to go into the shootout in the last 10 races and give us a good run for the championship. Of course we're thinking about it this weekend. We were 15th on the practice sheet earlier today, but I think it's going to race really good. It's a lot better car than we brought here last time. We need another couple of good runs.
"I was really happy with our lap. Obviously we would have liked to be a little closer to the front. But we were struggling a lot with the car in practice, but we got a lot of those problems out. I feel a lot better about what kind of race car we're going to have. So I'm really pumped. The wind is going in a different direction right now than it was in practice this morning. So I gave up some time. But it's a great race car."
BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - WINS BUD POLE:
"It means a lot to be up front - especially at a big track like this. We knew Ray's (Evernham) cars were going to be a challenge for us. But we got 'em. Chevy is on top today and we're happy about that."
(YOU WERE ACTUALLY TWO-TENTHS QUICKER THAN SECOND PLACE QUALIFIER, JEREMY MAYFIELD. HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO YOU PUT ON YOUR QUALIFYING SET-UP THESE DAYS?) "I've always enjoyed qualifying. I don't think we put any more or any less than anybody else in this garage. In the Busch Series, it's funny. We have the same amount of time for the first practice, but everybody spends a lot of time in race trim in the Busch garage. In the Cup garage, everybody runs in qualifying trim. So we run the same amount of time really as anybody else here. But right now, the qualifying is behind us and we're happy with it. It's awesome to get the pole. Right now we've got to re-focus on Happy Hour and get the car good for the race."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Qualified 27th:
"I just never got the car down low enough to get through Turns 1 and 2 like I wanted to. I don't know if I didn't arc it as much as I should have or what. The GM Goodwrench Chevy was really good through Turns 3 and 4 and I thought that might have made up for what happened in the first couple of turns. It's getting windy on the frontstretch, so that's going to help with some of the speeds later on. That could hurt us a little bit going out as early as we did. Still, we should be in good shape for Sunday."