Martinsville II: Chevy pre-qualifying quotes

KEN HOWES, DIRECTOR OF COMPETITION, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, PRE-QUALIFYING: ON WHAT THE DRIVERS THINK OF THE NEW GRINDING OF THE COURSE: "I haven't heard a whole lot. I think everybody says it doesn't have the grip it used to have right now. It...

KEN HOWES, DIRECTOR OF COMPETITION, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, PRE-QUALIFYING:

ON WHAT THE DRIVERS THINK OF THE NEW GRINDING OF THE COURSE:

"I haven't heard a whole lot. I think everybody says it doesn't have the grip it used to have right now. It will perhaps get better as the weekend goes. Not as many gripes as I thought we might hear, but we'll know more tomorrow when they get running longer runs. We'll see how the tire wear is; then you might hear something. Right now it seems to be OK.:

JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHIA CHEVY MONTE CARLO :

"It looks a lot worse than it feels. The times have definitely slowed (in practice) down quite a bit. The surface is contributing to that. It's just hard getting a lot of grip. It seems to make the car push worse in the middle and a lot looser off. It's the way it's ground, you don't have a lot of contact patch to the surface, just because it's so uneven. It's got grooves in it and you just give away a lot of surface area. That's definitely what slows the cars down."

DID YOU GET SLOWER AS YOU WENT ON? "It seemed like you could go fast for two runs or three runs. The more laps you run it seemed like you'd get slower. You'd be good, better, then start to slow down a little bit. We always stuck to our three laps on the track." ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT TIRE WEAR? "From what the people said that were here testing, yes. It's going to be interesting."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVY MONTE CARLO: PRE-QUALIFYING:

ON THE SURFACE: "It certainly is making things unique for us. It got rid of some of the bumps. You think, you feel like you could drive in maybe a little bit deeper, but then for some reason it doesn't seem likes there's as much grip. It should be interesting during qualifying. I don't know what it's going to be like once we start practicing for the race and once we get some rubber laid down in the race. We're going to have to wait and see."

ON GOING OUT EARLY IN THE QUALIFYING SESSION: "Typically this has been a place where going out early is not a good thing. Luckily, they haven't run any other cars on the track or put any other kind of rubber on it. I don't thing going out 10th is going to be too bad for us. We've got a good car, we should be able to get a good lap."

-team monte carlo-

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Series NASCAR Cup