MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA PARTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (fifth): "Decent. I kind of led the team astray. I couldnÂ¹t even remember being here last year. I get this place and Kansas City mixed up. The surroundings and just the way they look...
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA PARTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (fifth):
"Decent. I kind of led the team astray. I couldn¹t even remember being here last year. I get this place and Kansas City mixed up. The surroundings and just the way they look they confuse me a little bit and when we went out there there were some big bumps into the turns, which is good. I like it when a track has some character. This one¹s got some bumps as you enter the turn and it has me all messed up. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) kept his head down, kept listening to what I was saying and creating and engineering the thing to where I could just drive the heck out of it in qualifying. The NAPA Auto Parts Chevy was great. What a good practice for our team. We really came from last. We just left a little bit out there. I¹m pretty pleased with our effort, however. It just makes me so happy to just dive down into the corner with this NAPA Auto Parts Chevy. Man, my heart was beating so fast; I couldn¹t even hardly breathe when I got out of that car. You throw it out there. If you wait and see what the car¹s going to tell you it¹s too late. You got go and you hope it¹s stuck. And that¹s what we did."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (quickest in morning practice, qualified 10th):
"We ran in the 40s in practice. The track temp was way down. It seemed like the track temp coming up just gave up some grip there and I couldn¹t get after the gas as hard as I wanted to getting off the corners. I knew I was giving up time, but that was all I could do. A big turnaround for this whole UAW-Delphi Chevrolet team, though. Hendrick Motorsports, Brian Pattie, my new crew chief, this is one of the first cars that we¹ve really worked on hard, the body. And it drives like I like it. Some big changes from what we were doing before. It¹s just good to come to a race track and be able to run good. When you¹re not running good people look at you and say, wow, what¹s wrong. But we¹re running the way these cars should run. I know we didn¹t get the pole today, we ran a lot faster in that practice. The track just seemed to lose a lot of grip for our setup. I couldn¹t get after the gas as hard as I wanted to as early as I could. Because it just slid the front tires. Overall it¹s a good run, a start to a good weekend."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (21st):
"We had a good car. I was just a little bit tight coming off of turn 4. Jeff Green said that he was neutral with his Busch car when he went out to qualify, it was a little bit free. It came to us a little bit, but we probably still could have been a little bit freer. But it doesn¹t look we¹re going to be very far off the pace. Something nice about having teammates is being able to lean on Jeff Green a little bit. We leaned on him, he told us what his Busch car did. He said they were pretty balanced . When they went to qualify he was the quickest Busch car. He was just a little bit loose. We were a little bit tight, probably should have freed our car up a little more to make it a little more neutral, but I was just a little bit tight coming off turn 4 both laps. This kind of a start is gong to help us out and hopefully we¹ll be able to gain some momentum the rest of the weekend."
KEN HOWES, DIRECTOR OF COMPETITION, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: VARIETY OF DIFFERENT RESULTS WITH YOUR TEAMS (No. 25 in 10th; No. 24 in 15th, No. 48 in 42nd):
"It¹s what the gamblers call covering the field."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE¹S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: ON THE CRASH THIS MORNING: "Just slick track. Lost it going into turn 3 and backed it in. Just went through 1 and 2 real good and then got to 3 and expected the grip level to be the same down at the bottom of the track and it wasn¹t and we wrecked. We saw a lot of guys on the Busch side having problems with it too, so it just caught me off guard being as slippery as it was down there."
IS THE BACKUP CAR EVER AS GOOD AS THE PRIMARY CAR? "Luckily for our team it is. This is the car we won Dover with. We didn¹t find out what we needed for qualifying, got behind missing an hour of practice there. All of our efforts for qualifying were set forth for the original car so we got behind and didn¹t qualify where we wanted to, but we¹ve got a great race car. We won with it once already this year, and I think it¹s going to be fine."
DID YOU HAVE A WOBBLE IN THE QUALIFYING RUN? "No, we had a couple of things. Had it pretty loose through 3 again and drug the ground going into turn 1 on both laps. It really slowed the car down and I couldn¹t get to the bottom of the race track." FIRST PROVISIONAL: "I guess it¹s going to happen some time. I guess we got it out of the way. It¹s over with now."