Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Hanes 500 Friday quotes MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 26, 1997) Quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the Hanes 500 at Martinsville Speedway: WARD ...
Report from Motorsport News International
NASCAR Public Relations
Hanes 500 Friday quotes
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 26, 1997) Quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the Hanes 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
WARD BURTON No. 22 MBNA America Pontiac
"The team has come a long way, and I think I have too on these short tracks. We were really good at Loudon, we just had bad track position. We've really worked hard on getting this short track program going. This Pontiac has been really consistent all day long. I got the pole at Martinsville. I tell you what, we're going to have a party tonight. When I realized I had more speed, I actually felt slower in Turn 2. "To get the pole on a short track is particularly rewarding. It's so hard to find things that I like in a car, and we've done some testing that have enabled us to do a lot of improvement on the short tracks. "We weren't focused at all on the pole. We were just trying to get a good run and a good starting spot. At Loudon, we ran really good, but poor qualifying got us a lap down. What we wanted to do is earn a spot in the top-15 and repeat what we'd run in practice, which was a .38. This was just extra icing on the cake."
MARK MARTIN No. 6 Valvoline Ford
"I had to reach pretty deep that second lap. The first one was decent. I swore if I could be 16th, I'd be happy, and if it was top-15, I would be even happier. Surely, that will get us on the frontstretch. That's what we came here to get today. We came here after a frontstretch pit. I'm a real unlucky guy, and last time here I said I would run through the stands naked if I won the race, and I had to think about it, because it was looking pretty good there for a while. I don't know what I'm going to have to say I'll do this time, but I sure won't say what I said last time. I'm real happy with that. It's not pole material, but it's nice. It's going to get us a front pit stall."
KENNY IRWIN, JR. No. 27 Action Performance/Winner's Circle Ford
"I'm happy, I really am. I just kinda slipped on that second lap. That was good. We've worked hard to get this qualifying deal down. I think that's the toughest part of everything, this deal right here, what we just did. The pressure is on you so hard from everybody. That's the big deal. "The race, you just get out there and you've got 500 laps to race, but in qualifying, you've only got one lap to get the job done. It's going to be a hard race. I'll just be trying to stay out of trouble and stay out of everybody's way an just try to run laps. That's all I'm trying to do. They asked me right before I went out, 'Do you want me to tell you your first lap,' and I told them no, because if he told me it was .60 or .70, I would try too hard on the second lap an overrun in it, then we would have done terrible. I'm happy. I'm elated with third. I just wanted to make the field."
HUT STRICKLIN No. 8 Circuit City Ford
"We need about another run to be real good. We made a couple of calculated guesses just before qualifying, and it seemed like it paid off for us. I think we've turned the corner. We've made so many changes throughout the year. We've made a lot of changes the past month. It seems like we are headed in the right direction."
RICKY RUDD No. 10 Tide Ford
"Our short-track effort, even qualifying in general, hasn't been anything pretty. But we came to Martinsville, one of the toughest tracks to get qualified, and we cut us a good lap. We're happy with it."
KENNY WALLACE No. 81 Square D Ford
"The thing right now is, we know we're not going to get the pole, so just get on the front straightaway. It wasn't as good as I wanted. I've been tight all day, and I was tight then. They loosened it up. If they hadn't loosened it up, we would be way worse. If we can just get on the front straightaway, that's all we need."
RUSTY WALLACE No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
"That was not a bad lap. I'm pretty happy with it. I didn't feel good, I'll tell you that. But it was pretty quick, and that's what counts. It was kinda sliding around and bouncing an loose and doing the normal stuff that happens here at Martinsville when you are trying to get these tires heated up on the concrete."
JOE NEMECHEK No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet
"I got everything I could get. If the sun was out, it would be a little bit better as far as getting more grip. It's hard to do it. It's hard to find grip with cold tires. We didn't slow down from practice, and everybody else seemed to slow down a little bit, so I'm happy. That put us in the top-10 and we've got a frontstretch pit to work with, so we'll go to work on the car Saturday and get ready to race."
KEN SCHRADER No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet
"The first lap didn't feel that good, and I didn't think it would be that quick. I expected the second lap to be better. We'll have to take what we got. I though we might end up better than that, but you've got to take what you get."
JEFF BURTON No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford
"I just got real loose that second lap. It has been a real good day off the corners. I got in the throttle real quick, because I had been doing that all day, and it just didn't stick. I think I hurt us a tenth on that second lap. "I'm not 100 percent, but I don't feel like I'm hurting in the car. You don't feel real good out of the race car, so when you get in the race car, it takes a little while to get going. Once we get to racing, I'm sure I'll be okay."