Fort Worth: Pontiac Racing qualifying quotes

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We didn't practice that good - we were about a half second off - but who knows, by the end of the day we still might be a half second off, but we picked up 2/10ths for qualifying so...


"We didn't practice that good - we were about a half second off - but who knows, by the end of the day we still might be a half second off, but we picked up 2/10ths for qualifying so that's a plus. We struggle on qualifying at big tracks like this. What used to be our best tracks to run at are now our worst tracks it seems like, so to come back and pick up a couple of tenths, that's a bonus."

HOW ABOUT THE TRACK SURFACE? "The surface is really smooth and it's got a lot of grip. I don't think it's going to be much of a race though, I'm afraid. It's not going to be what we like to see and what the fans like to see. It's just going to be on the bottom of the racetrack, but that's the way it is when you repave a track. A good starting spot is great, but I don't know where we're going to stack up - we're already third out of nine cars - so we'll just have to see."


"Loose. That's all I can say is loose. Everbody's gone a little slower than practice, but I was just way too loose, that's all."

YOU HAD A STRONG THIRD-PLACE FINISH HERE LAST YEAR - DOES THAT MEAN ANYTHING NOW THAT THE TRACK'S BEEN RESURFACED? "That was a totally different deal then, but it is the same car actually, so I'm looking forward to the race. I think it will race good. This is more like a race setup anyways and it's been working really good for us, but once rubber gets off the racetrack, I can't get it to grip as good as I'd like to see. I think it'll be really good in the race, but right now we're not really happy with that."

AS PART OF YOUR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SPONSORSHIP FOR THIS RACE YOU'RE GOING TO BE THROWING OUT THE FIRST PITCH AT THE RANGERS GAME TOMORROW NIGHT - THAT'S GOT TO BE KIND OF EXCITING. "Yea, I'm real excited about that. A Major League Baseball game, that's great. The Texas Rangers are a team that is always very well known, so it'll be a great time and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully we'll get to meet a lot of great people, and of course we've got RadioShack on board which kind of put this thing together too, and obviously we've got to thank Valvoline since they're a huge part of this race team. Like I said, we're looking forward to it."

HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING THROWING AT ALL? "Nah, that would take all of the fun out of it."


YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE AND REALLY STEPPED IT UP WITH THAT QUALIFYING RUN. This A.J. Foyt Conseco Pontiac's been fast in practice and these guys have worked night and day for the last two months trying to get this program turned around. I think this is a sign of things to come. David Evans is giving us some great motors and we're getting our bodies better. I still feel like Pontiacs need a little help. Once we untape we really start to struggle, but we had a good lap. I bottomed out pretty hard down in (Turns) One and Two, and if we wouldn't have I think we might've had a shot at it. It's the best qualifying effort for this team in a long, long time, and here in Texas, in A.J.'s home state, we're pretty happy right now."

WITH THE NEW ACK SURFACE, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT STARTING UP FRONT? "It's going to be important because it's going to be tight racing. In Busch practice this morning there was one groove and one groove only, so it'll be pretty interesting to see what happens. That ought to start us decent. There's a couple of cars left that could bump us back, but we're pretty happy with that lap."

HAS RUNNING THE BUSCH CAR THIS WEEKEND HELPED YOU WITH YOUR WINSTON CUP EFFORTS? "I think so. We learned a lot a couple of weeks ago with the Cup car and came back with the Busch car the same way, and we learned some stuff in the Busch car yesterday that we put on the Cup car today. The cars are so similar now with horsepower and the way they drive that I feel like Saturday helps Sunday and Sunday helps Saturday."


"That was good. The car was good from when we unloaded it - we were 20 something in practice and we usually pick up in qualifying. We usually pick up about 2/10ths from practice, and that's just about what we did. It's just a starting spot, though, and you go through a lot of effort today just to figure out where you're going to line up on Sunday, and it doesn't mean a whole lot about the race. But we'd just as soon have a decent starting spot as a bad one."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers A.J. Foyt