BROOKLYN, Mich., Aug. 15, 2003 -- A sudden rain shower delayed qualifying on Friday here at Michigan International Speedway, striking the grounds at just before qualifying was set to get under way. Qualifying resumed at about 5 p.m. DALE...
BROOKLYN, Mich., Aug. 15, 2003 -- A sudden rain shower delayed qualifying on Friday here at Michigan International Speedway, striking the grounds at just before qualifying was set to get under way. Qualifying resumed at about 5 p.m.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 19th:
"It just got loose. The car was too loose. I about crashed the first lap, so I took it careful so I didn't crash again."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 3rd:
"It was pretty good for us. The track started to heat up and it gained about 10 degrees from the time Jimmy Spencer (first qualifier) went out to when we went out. We didn't know if the track was going to be fast enough or not, but we saw Ryan [Newman] do that lap and we were able to come back and get close. I probably blew it. We probably had more in the second lap, but when they said 37.9, I didn't know anybody else was in the 37s. We qualify good here, and hopefully we can have some luck in the race, get some track position and keep the car up front where it seems to run much better."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO.18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Won the pole:
"I really was considering a second lap. I didn't think my first lap was going to be that good because I came off Turn 4 too low. The guys did a good job. We made some adjustments on air pressure. In practice, the car got real tight, so the car freed up a lot there and that helped us out. So far, we're first, but we might not end up there. It was a good run for us. We almost went overboard on it, but we're happy with it."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 21st:
"A lot of guys picked up speed out there and I don't know where they found it, because I certainly didn't have it in my car. We had struggled on the qualifying set of tires when we made our qualifying run in practice, and we struggled ever since then. It's unfortunate. We're going to be way in the back Sunday, but what can you do?"
STEVE PARK, NO. 30 AOL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 18th:
"That's a heck of a lot faster, about a half-second, than we went in practice. A lot of people picked up, we picked up. We're happy. That's probably going to end up in the top 20, I hope. We're hoping as the day goes on, it will slow down some. It was real fast early on. I'm proud of our whole AOL team."
JASON LEFFLER, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 6th:
"It was really good. The car drove really nice. It was a smooth, uneventful lap. The thing just runs, and the guys do a good job. We've got some great downforce and good Hendrick horsepower under the hood. That helps a heck of a lot. I'm just glad to be here. It's a great opportunity for me." IS THERE ADDED PRESSURE OR LESS PRESSURE DRIVING PART TIME? "Less, because this isn't my full-time job. You're here with the best. The best of the best are here, so you have to be on top of your game. It's fun, it's great experience and it makes me a better Truck driver when I go back." ARE YOU GETTING MORE COMFORTABLE? "The equipment is good. Tony Furr does an awesome job and the Pontiac body is giving a lot of downforce. They just need some stability, get somebody in there full time and they'll be a team to reckon with."
TONY RAINES, NO. 74 GFS MARKETPLACE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 24th:
"The car drove well on both ends of the track. We made quite a few changes in the last minutes of practice. The track wasn't near this fast in practice and we had a lot of gear in it. We didn't change it. So we went out and turned the same RPM in qualifying as we did in practice and went almost a second faster. Had we had a different gear in it, we might have gone faster. Before the rain we were in good shape. The rain cooled the track off and we didn't have the right gear in it. That happens sometimes."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 15th:
"We picked up from practice like a lot of people have, but we didn't pick up as much. We had a later draw, and we thought that was going to help us this morning. The way it's turned out, right after that rain shower was the place to be. There were still some guys running decent lap times, and we ran a decent one. We're faster than anytime we've ever qualified here before."
TERRY LABONTE, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/got milk? CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 5th:
"It was a great lap for us, a little better than we practiced. The car handled great." COULD THIS BE THE WEEKEND YOU GET BACK TO VICTORY LANE? "We've got an awful good team and a great race car. We had a great car here in June but had some engine problems, but you never know. We're going to do our best."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 43rd, will start 42nd on a provisional:
"Ever since we got here, we've been really, really tight in practice. We got it loose one time and we tried to go somewhere in between, but the car was really, really free during the run. I just hate it for these guys. That's a good car and the engine ran really well. We'll get it better for the race."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 41st, will start 39th on a provisional:
"The Tide Pontiac just didn't feel like it got down on the race track like we needed it to. But we didn't qualify very well here in June and ended up running in the top 10 all day, so we hope that will be the case this time around. We took a provisional then and drove all the way to second under green. Michigan is a place where you can race to the front. It's one of my favorites because you have so many choices."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: Qualified 35th:
"We kind of slid in Turn 1. We were OK in Turns 3 and 4. The time wasn't what we expected. But we don't usually qualify well here. That's OK, I guess, if we run like we usually do here. This is a pretty big place and if you hit it right on Sunday you can go to the front pretty quickly. I hope that's us Sunday."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: Qualified 23rd:
"It was pretty loose. It wasn't the lap we wanted."