Friday, April 16, 1999. Martinsville Speedway. Goody's Body Pain 500. First-round qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes. STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We've got the same springs, shocks, the whole deal we had...
Friday, April 16, 1999. Martinsville Speedway. Goody's Body Pain 500. First-round qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We've got the same springs, shocks, the whole deal we had in the last race here, and we ran great in that race. I think we'll be real good Sunday. This is exactly what we practiced. We were making two-lap runs. A lot of guys were making three-lap runs and got faster on the third lap. I figured that would put us in the top 10. It was a pretty good lap for us. Usually here at Martinsville you slow down. The guys on the team did a good job. This is the same car we had that led so much last fall. Hopefully we can get that combination again. We practiced qualifying. No one told us we were going to have a warmup lap all day, so we were practicing qualifying right off the bat. It worked out good for us."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We were hoping the track slowed down that much because we lost about two tenths. I hope 45 other guys slow down. Then we'll be OK. We have a really good race car. The car raced real good here in the fall. We'll be in good shape."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That ought to be good enough for about eighth. I'll bet it won't be in the top six. It was decent, but it just didn't feel like a pole lap. It doesn't make any difference. I'll be on the front straight away. That's about what we ran in practice. I don't think the track has really changed, but the car has more spoiler and more front valence. These guys worked hard building our motors, so we've got a better package overall."
GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That's about the same we practiced. We're real happy with that. We're not the fastest, but we've struggled here. We came here and tested and we had a good test because we learned a lot. We didn't go very fast. We came back with a lot better car. My little brother Todd helped me this morning and we appreciate all the info he gave us. We picked up a lot. I hope we have a real good race. I think everyone knows it's my (50th) birthday on Sunday. I think everyone should just move over and let me win the race."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"I don't know if I'm over driving it or what, but I'm not getting around here like I need to. I'm two tenths off. I don't know if the new pit road is going to help or not but everybody's got to do it. If you don't have any problems, it's good. If you have problems, it's bad. We'll see what happens. North Wilkesboro was basically the same as this. We just didn't have the turn one at Wilkesboro on pit road. We'll see how NASCAR handles it with the pace car. They've been speeding up the pace car and doing it different at different tracks. I don't know how they'll do it here."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We didn't test here. Twenty-nine cars went to Greenville-Pickens to test and we elected to go to Talladega. That's what's biting us right now. You run 130 mph down the straightaways. The car drives excellent. It's the same car we won with here last spring, and it has the same setup. We feel real good about it."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"Man, I don't know. The car's been feeling good the whole time I've been here. I just can't get no speed out of it. Five hundred laps is a lot of laps here. We'll just have to see what this new pit road deal does to us and run hard all day long and take care of our equipment and see what we can get out of it. I thought I was a little bit better than that, but that's all I've got."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We've got a darn good Chevrolet, and we wanted to put it on the pole. It was driver error. I just flat out tried too hard. Mark Martin put that .90 up there, and I wasn't too intimidated with the mid 90s, but when that .90 flat got up there I knew I had to run in the .80s and I didn't know if I could. We gave it our best shot and came up short. We wrecked, but we didn't knock any fenders off. I don't think much of the new pit road. I think it's going to be a mess. We gambled and lost. I just hope we stay in the top 25. Earnhardt and I were talking and we don't know why we're going faster. We're just going faster. Goodyear must have a real good tire."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"I was hoping to run faster than that, and the car was capable of running faster. I think I ran a little bit too hard on my first lap. Getting basically three laps is kind of tricky, but I feel like I ran a little too hard on the first lap and the tires weren't there for me. I was hoping to get a little bit more out of it than that. I didn't slip. I feel like I might have used up the tires a little bit too much on that first lap. I was wanting to run a couple of tenths off on the first lap and then really go out there on the second lap. When I went to pick it up on that second lap it was good, it just wasn't good enough.
"I think you're going to see everybody pitting under caution. If you ever have to pit under green, you're going to lose quite a few laps. There's no warmup lane anymore. You basically have to run on the track.
"I think I was too consistent. I think I ran too hard on the first lap. I was trying to conserve it. I ran really hard on the last lap, but I think I ran too hard on the first lap. I was hoping to pick up. I told myself if I could get in the .90s, I'd be happy, so I'm going to sit here with a smile. You can make a small mistake here at Martinsville and fall quite a ways back.
"I really didn't want to run that fast on the first lap. It felt good and I drove it hard. I tried to drive it even harder on the second lap, and I just didn't pick it up. That's just the way it goes.
"We're going to look real hard at the pits and try to make the right call. Wherever you can get in and out of the best is what it comes down to. In the race, you need that forward bite. You've got to get through the corners here, no doubt about it. The straighter you can get the car, the quicker you can get it turned and the straighter you can drive off the corner. The faster you're going to be. That's what it takes to be fast here."