RON HORNADAY, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (IS IT A GOOD FEELING TO RACE NEAR HOME LIKE THIS?) "It is, but you want to do well. This is where you want to do your best at. People ask you, 'Where is your best shot to win?' You don't know...
RON HORNADAY, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(IS IT A GOOD FEELING TO RACE NEAR HOME LIKE THIS?) "It is, but you want to do well. This is where you want to do your best at. People ask you, 'Where is your best shot to win?' You don't know the answer to that. In Winston Cup racing it's tough to win. But I definitely have the moral support from the friends, the family, the fans and everything like that - especially coming from here. They feel like I'm one of their boys and I'm holding this end up. We want to run real well here and we want to run good. Hopefully this is one of our best finishes."
(WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT MAKING THE RACE YESTERDAY DURING QUALIFYING?) "We were sweating it out before we got here - at least I was. This is the same car we ran at Texas - with big fenders. We know the car is going to race real well and it always does, but we didn't want to have to rely on a provisional to get in the race. We wanted to get in the race on time, and we did.
"We know this car is going to race real well, but it's hard. We need to get these things qualified better where we can get a better pit and show the talent of this team in the pits and start running with the guys up front. "Other than that, it's just another California race. We get to come out here and see friends, family and other people I used to race against. It's pretty awesome to come out here. California is a beautiful racetrack and a real fast racetrack, and you're going to see some good racing. We're just looking forward to having a good run. We need to finish higher than we've been finishing. We've got to gain some points. Our runs the last two or three weeks have been showing it, but our finishes just haven't been showing it.
(WHAT ADVANTAGE DO 'BIG FENDERS' GIVE YOU HERE?) "At this track, you tend to 'air push' off the corners when you're following somebody real close. We figure our car is going to be planted better by air. That way we don't have to depend so much on chassis as we do air. It should hopefully drive right through the corner and then it's just getting in the draft and sucking it down the straightaways so we don't have that much drag, and then just using the chassis to save the tires the whole day."
(IS QUALIFYING A BIG DEAL TO YOU?) "It's a very big deal. It'll make or break the team right now. You've just got to sweat it out that one day. If you qualify poorly it doesn't show the guys' pit stop talents because we've got a bad pit stall and we're not with the guys we need to be with, so it's tough. We're handicapped when we qualify poorly and I know that. We're going to be working hard the next couple weeks to try to get these things qualified better and go do it."