DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (quickest in Happy Hour practice): IS THIS A BREAKTHROUGH FOR CHEVROLET ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS? "No, Jimmie's run good on this track before. You go to some tracks and you just click. ...
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (quickest in Happy Hour practice):
IS THIS A BREAKTHROUGH FOR CHEVROLET ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS? "No, Jimmie's run good on this track before. You go to some tracks and you just click. And we tested here, spent a lot of time, put a lot of effort into our test when we came here and that's how we're fast."
IS THIS A TWO-GROOVE RACE TRACK? "Yeah, there's enough room to pass. If you have to pass a slower car on the high side you can do it. You ain't going to be able to race up there. Everybody wants to be on the bottom."
IMPROVEMENT FROM QUALIFYING: "We were pretty good in qualifying, but we're really good now. Our car's really great for the race."
DO YOU LIKE THIS RACE TRACK? "It's all right. They're all about the same."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (26th in Happy Hour practice):
"All in all, this track is still a fun track, a nice track and we hope that that groove will move out a little bit, but I'm not sure it will happen this time or not."
ON SCUFFING TIRES: "A lot of guys did scuff tires. We're really just working and focusing more on our setup and just trying to get the car as fast as we could. I went out on stickers a couple of times I didn't think the stickers were too bad, so I pretty much stayed with the sticker tires."
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BREAK THE WINLESS STREAK? "I think we just need to get a little bit of racing luck. We've really performed well, the team's done an excellent job and the cars are fast. We've led laps, we just can't seem to put all those pieces together and get us to the finish and have a shot at winning. If we can start to get the car to the end in the top five, I think we'll have a shot at winning that thing. We just can't seem to do that. We have a cut tire or a broken rear gear. We just have a lot of little things that are happening to us and at the same time we're not having great luck."
TALK ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON'S TEAM'S FINES AND PENALTIES: "They said at Dover that they're going to possibly start doing things like that. I think that they do need to do things to get the teams' attentions and points certainly are a good way to do that. I guarantee you that got our attention. It's not the first time they've ever done it, so it's not necessarily surprising. It's effective."
USUALLY IT'S DONE AFTER A CAR HAS RACED: "It might have been more points had it been something like that. That was the one thing I think we thought was the most--that it wasn't something that was found after qualifying or after the race. I think there is a big difference between those two."
IS THERE A SECOND GROOVE HERE? "There's no second groove."
SINGLE-FILE RACE AGAIN? "Definitely. It's all about getting a guy to make a mistake. It's all about just pushing the guy in the corner so that maybe he'll slide up in the second groove so you can get underneath him. A lot of it is entry into the corners. I think you might be able to run side by side middle-off, but the entries of the corners are just so temperamental here, that there's just not really much of an outside groove there to really carry speed in there and get to the outside of a guy. Track position is going to be extremely important."
DALE JR. IS RUNNING REAL GOOD: "Yeah, he's fast."
HAS HE CONQUERED AERO PUSH ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS? "Just because he's fast doesn't mean he's conquered aero push. He's fast, but I don't know if that means he's going to be able to drive up and pass and blow by guys. He's got his car turning in the middle of the corner real, real well. He starts out real loose,which typically means that you're going to be good on the long runs, but if you can hang onto it in the beginning it will certainly help him, maybe, make some passes. I think you'll be able to pass; it's just going to be real, real hard to do it."
DID YOU FIND ANYTHING? "Just real soft front springs, real big rear springs and getting that air dam nailed down to the ground. That's the key."
WILL YOU BE ABLE TO DRIVE UP TO THE FRONT? "Yeah, I think we're going to be good. In 400 miles I think we can drive up to the front. I don't think we're going to do it in 15 laps. Just depends on how close these other guys' setups are. I think we're going to be pretty good. I don't know how good we are on new tires; some of these guys can go real, real fast. When the tires get a little bit older, our car seems to be pretty good."
IS THE WINLESS STREAK NOT A BIG ISSUE? "It's a big issue because I want to win. Were in the thick of this championship and a win would do a lot for us. We probably don't make as big a deal out of it as you guys (media) do, just because for us we are up there in the points, we are running well and leading laps and doing all that we can do. So, the wins, if we keep doing that, should come, hopefully."