TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd: Labonte qualified second for Sunday's Sylvania 300, his best start at New Hampshire International Speedway. His best previous start was fifth in July, 1993. He is ...
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 2nd:
Labonte qualified second for Sunday's Sylvania 300, his best start at New Hampshire International Speedway. His best previous start was fifth in July, 1993. He is currently ninth in the Winston Cup point standings and is coming off a victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
DESCRIBE YOUR LAP FOR US.
"It was a good run. We were pretty good off the truck. We didn't do much to the car. We were like 6th fastest in practice and we just got it ready to qualify. We got a good lap in."
WILL THE TRACK BE ANY DIFFERENT THIS TIME AS OPPOSED TO JULY?
"It'll be about the same. I don't see why it would be any different. It should be like it was the first race here. Our Kellogg's/got milk? team has been doing a great job bringing really good race cars to the track and we've been unloading good. I think we've got a lot of good tracks coming up for us, we have good cars lined up for those events and this is one of them. We've been here before and run pretty well and been here before and run terrible. It seems like if you're good when you unload off the truck, you stay good all weekend. When you're off up here, you're off all weekend. I think we have an awful good car and the guys have done a great job. I was really happy with that run. We'll just work hard tomorrow to get it dialed in and have a good race on Sunday."
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE SETUPS YOU RUN HERE?
"Actually, it doesn't make any difference, because I don't know what kind of setups we run anyway. It doesn't matter."
DID THE TRACK CHANGE BETWEEN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING, AND HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO BE LATER RATHER THAN EARLIER IN THE DRAW?
"I was a little bit looser qualifying than I was in practice, so it might have gotten just a little bit looser, but it cooled off a little bit when I went. I kind of went a little late, and it probably got a little hotter at the beginning of qualifying. It was probably different for the guys at the beginning than it was for the guys late. For me it was real close to the same. I just didn't think I had my tires scuffed in quite enough the first lap."
HOW HAS THIS TEAM TURNED AROUND FROM LAST YEAR?
"The biggest difference is the cars. We have new people putting the bodies on our cars this year and they've done a great job. Jim and Alan, our team engineer, this is the second year they've worked together and the second year I've gotten to work with Jim. Everything has just kind of jelled for us. It's all started at the shop. We're able to bring good cars to the track and unload them, you can make them work. If you don't have good equipment when you get here, it doesn 't matter what springs and shocks you have in your truck, you're not going to find any that are going to make that car work. All of our success goes back to our shop and what has been done there in preparation for coming to these events. That's been the biggest difference. We started off on the right foot with this model change and that's helped us a lot, and we've gotten better with the cars."
HOW IMPORTANT IS TRACK POSITION HERE?
"It is important, but the most important part is your strategy during the race and your track position, whether you get two tires, four tires, no tires.that's what it comes down to. That's the biggest difference in the racing today versus a few years ago. Now, when we get far enough to make it on gas, they tell you, 'OK, you' re not coming in. You're going to stay out.' Years ago, if a caution came out with 10 laps to go, you come in a get four tires and everybody would race like heck to the end. You don't do that anymore. It's changed a lot. Track position is very important, whether you get that through pit strategy or qualifying good or whatever. Just because you qualify well doesn't mean you're going to make the right calls in the pits on Sunday. Sometimes you come in first or second, you don't know what those guys behind you are going to do. You're going to get four, they're going to get two or gas or whatever. It's a real mess sometimes on pit road."
HOW IS THE TRACK?
"I think they did a good job repaving the track. Everybody was concerned about it the first race up here, it was pretty warm, but it held up good. Of course, this weekend is cooler than it was, so they should have no problem with the track."
'One thing I've learned, and this is my 25th year, and that's the fact that you're not going to be on top all the time. You can walk through the garage and look at all the different teams and nobody can do it. You just can't do it. The competition is just too tough. Sometimes you're on the top, sometimes you're on the bottom and you spend a lot of time in the middle. You don't do anything different. You just continue to work and try to figure out how to get better."