FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES LAS VEGAS 400 QUALIFYING, March 5, 1999 Las Vegas Motor Speedway ELLIOTT SADLER -21- Citgo Taurus -- "That's not too bad. That's a pretty good lap for us, probably the...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES LAS VEGAS 400 QUALIFYING, March 5, 1999 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
ELLIOTT SADLER -21- Citgo Taurus -- "That's not too bad. That's a pretty good lap for us, probably the fastest one we've had today. Hopefully, that will make the top 25, that's what we're looking at. This Citgo Ford Taurus is running pretty good, it's a brand new car and I just can't say enough for Mike Bean and Eddie and Len Wood. These guys have really bent over backwards for me the last couple weeks, they're really bearing with me, and hopefully we'll get us a good run here before long."
HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU HERE? "I'm comfortable. We've been here twice before with the Busch car and I've always run good at this track so far, so I'm comfortable."
BRETT BODINE -11- Paychex Taurus -- "It was the best lap we've run since we've been here, but it's not gonna be good enough. We're just lacking a little bit overall grip it seems like. I just can't get through the center of the corner like we need to, but we'll work on it. The main thing is to get it right for Sunday."
TED MUSGRAVE -75- Remington Arms Taurus -- "That's what happens when you try to go for the pole. I got loose in. I drove it in really hard. It's probably my fault, I should have just settled in for what we were gonna have -- a top 10, but I tried to get a pole for the guys and I just got loose getting in. I overdrove it in the corner. The car's been good all day and we had a shot at it, we had a real close time there, but it just didn't stick. I drove it in too hard trying to get the pole."
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "I think that was great. We're over two-tenths faster than we were last year and that doesn't put us anywhere, but it's a lot better than we'd been running so I'm pretty happy."
HOW WAS YOUR LAP? "You just get in the corners so deep here, you've gotta really get down in and try to get right to the bottom. My car has been loose all day, so we made some changes and hopefully we'd gotten it better and we did. It stuck on the bottom. It's still a little bit loose off the corner, but that's better than being tight here. We found out here testing, we kept trying to tighten it up testing and everytime we did it was reallly slow. I got into three really hard and the car stuck again, and then I knew we had a pretty decent lap. We're fortunate. We weren't that good in practice."
HOW ABOUT SPOILING THE CHANCE FOR THE MILLION DOLLAR BONUS FOR THOSE FIVE GUYS? "The object here is to finish in the top five and hopefully to win the race and get us eligible for the next one at Charlotte. Right now, the championship. You can talk about a million dollars all you want, but the thing I want is that big trophy at the end of the year."
BILL ELLIOTT -94- McDonald's Taurus -- "The McDonald's guys did a really good job. Joe (Garone) and some of the guys, we discussed and thought about running the car we ran here a year ago. They gave me a call the other week and said they thought we should run this car. I'm glad they did. This car has been really driving good. I feel like this car will race really well from what I've driven so far, but it's a long race and a lot of things can happen and we just need some good firm ground to get started here and get the year started out right. We've kind of been struggling here and there. I felt really bad at Daytona. We ran just about all the race and fell out with a few laps to go with a broken bolt in the motor. It's been kind of a rollercoaster so far, but I feel like we're on the right track now."
WHICH CAR IS THIS? "It seemed like we ran this car at Indy and a couple other places. Like I say, I think it'll race really well. I'm looking forward to it."
JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "We ran like a 32.12 in practice and knew we had a little bit left even though we weren't running that much. We just wanted to be in the 31's somewhere. We're working hard each week, week-in and week-out to qualify in the top five and so far it's working for us."
TAKE ME THROUGH YOUR LAP? "We just had a good lap. I knew we were pretty good in practice and I knew we could pick up a little bit in qualifying and that's what we wanted to do. Last year we almost took a provisional, we were 30th or something like that, and we didn't test so we just came back strong. To come here and qualifyin in the top five is pretty good for us."
RICKY CRAVEN -58- Hollywood Video Taurus -- "This is just a great effort by these guys. I'm so proud of them considering what we've gone through to prepare for the '99 season. They've got a horse under this thing, a great job in the engine department, the fab shop. It's a brand new car, it's only got six laps on it. Every lap we run it seems to be faster, so that bodes pretty well for this weekend. This sport will make you selfish. I thought we had a shot at the pole and, I guess for this time where we're at, this is great. We're glad to be up front, but when you have a chance, it's a little bit disappointing if you come up short. I don't know how close it was to how Michael ran, but anytime you get close to the pole you get a little selfish."
JEFF BURTON -99- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "We've struggled a little bit today. We actually picked some speed up there, but we have struggled some today. I didn't run it hard enough in three and four. I got through one and two really good, but I left a little bit on the table in three and four. It's easier when you think about it a second time, but I probably could have gotten back in the gas a little quicker than I did."
KENNY IRWIN -28- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We had a chance to sit on the pole, we were just a little too loose. I kind of went for it and came up a little short. Obviously, we'd like to sit on the pole, but what's nice is we're still good. Hopefully we can end up qualifying in the top 10 and that's good for us, especially since a year ago here I think we had to take a provisional so we're definitely getting on track."
IT'S NICE TO BE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE SIXTH-FASTEST TIME, RIGHT (AT THE TIME OF QUALIFYING)? "Exactly. I mean, hopefully, that's what we're getting to every week. We feel it going that way, we just hope to keep that kind of momentum in our favor."
STANTON BARRETT -90- Donlavey Racing Taurus -- "We're still working on it. We've come a long way since this morning. It's the first time I've been in this car, and the first time I've been in a Winston Cup Taurus. If we improve as much tomorrow as we did today, we'll be in pretty good shape. The main thing right now is getting Junie Donlavey, Heritage Consumer Products and Stanton Barrett into this race. We're going to do everything we can to do that. I think the car will race fine."
JOHNNY BENSON -26- Cheerios Taurus -- "This is a brand new car for us this weekend and it's the first time it's been on the track. We've been struggling a little bit with it, but we're kind of happy with that. The field is just so tight, I'm not sure where we're gonna end up. We'll just have to see where it all stacks up when it's done."
RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- "We did get the car a lot, lot better and when practice was all over we were 12th-quick. I told the guys, I said, 'I've got a couple more tenths in me that I know I can drag out of it I'm pretty sure,' and, boy, it went the other way. It slowed up a couple tenths and that was not good."
TOM HUBERT -19- Bradford White Taurus -- "You never know what to expect from these guys (the Winston Cup drivers), they always seem to pull out a lot for qualifying. It's pretty scary going in there. We knew we had a good chance to get in the show, but we wanted to be better than we were. I knew I had a little bit left this morning, it was just the fact of if I could talk myself into getting back in the gas when I needed to. It got in there good and I think the cloud helped us a little bit. The whole lap felt good, so now we'll just get ready for the race. Now is the time when they come and beat you up come the race. We've got a semi-pit crew, we're gonna hurt there a little bit, but just making this thing for Bradford White water heaters is great. This Bradford White Ford Taurus was awesome. Pro Motors gave us a good motor today. We tuned her up there for qualifying and we hit our marks and just had a good run. The biggest thing we've been worried about is hitting the marks. We knew we had a good car, but we found out testing here how critical it is to be just a little bit off and that was the main deal."
KEVIN LEPAGE -16- PRIMESTAR Taurus -- "I'm pretty happy right now. This is the car we had at Richmond last year and ran well in. We've been working in three and four all day and one and two, the car got a little tight on us. It's better than what I did here last year. I think I was 35th, but I think that will be first-round material. I tell you, these guys got a great setup for this place and I can't wait for Sunday's race."
MARK MARTIN -6- Valvoline Taurus -- "I feel good. We were off today. We were afraid that we might fare a little worse than that. We hoped to do that well or a tick better, but we were afraid it could have been worse. I have to be happy with lap. It's a good lap. We picked up. I think we'll be strong in the race, but we just couldn't quite hit on what we needed for qualifying."
RICK MAST -98- Yarborough/Burdette Motorsports Taurus -- "This is a brand new race car. It was pretty good off the truck and we just kind of tinkered with it. We did a few small things to it during practice that hurt it and then we helped it a tick. I knew we had to adjust the car to qualify, but we figured if I picked up a little bit from what I ran in practice we'd be safe in the top 25 and where we are in points from last year we can't rely on any points, so we just kind of played it conservative and safe. Once you get on the race track, you think that's the right thing to do, but once you get on the race track and you run that lap you're sitting there cussing yourself and hitting yourself upside the head for not going on and working on it. But you can also take yourself right out of it and where we are in points and all, we just had to be very conservative."
JERRY NADEAU -9- Cartoon Network Taurus -- "These guys did it. We came out yesterday and ran in the Winston West and qualified on the pole. It's just seat time. These guys build good race cars, it's just a matter of me going out there and doing it. I've gotta thank WCW, they're on board here this weekend so it's a good start for these guys."
HOW MUCH DID YESTERDAY HELP? "It makes a lot of difference. I think the guys that run up front are the guys that spend a lot of time in the Busch Series. There are 17 Winston Cup guys running over there, so they get a lot of time on the race track and I think time helps, especially for a guy like myself. I still feel like I'm pretty new in this series so any seat time I can get helps out a lot."