Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Quotebook BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1998) DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet) "We hadn't been running that great, but we tried some things here for qualifying and we were going to...
Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Quotebook BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1998)
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet) "We hadn't been running that great, but we tried some things here for qualifying and we were going to give it our best shot. We felt good about it. As I started off pit road, the oil light came on. I looked down and the pressure was gone, so I shut it off. I stopped at the end of pit road. It had locked the oil pump up and broke the belt. We had checked right before qualifying and everything looked good in the engine. It's a freak deal. Something has malfunctioned in the pump I think."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet) "I was hoping to go a little bit faster than that. It's not a bad lap, but the track was real tight. The clouds are coming in. I pushed a little bit more than I thought I was going to. When I saw the lap time I said it was better than I thought it was going to be. We'll just have to wait and see. Going out first, you never know how this track is going to pick up. I knew coming off turn four to take the green flag that the car felt really, really tight. I was hoping it was just the cold tires, but it stayed pretty tight the entire lap. We still went faster than we did in practice. I think we'll be pretty happy with it. I knew we weren't pole material today."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet) "We've been struggling all day. Our car just hasn't been quite up to snuff for a qualifying lap. I think we've got a good race car. I think it'll race pretty good. I just asked Steve Peterson if we were fourth fastest out of three cars and he said almost. That's the fastest lap we've run, but it's not near fast enough. We'll work on it and try a couple of different packages and see what we can do tomorrow."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet) "That's the same thing we've run every time we go out. We made about three or four practice qualifying runs, and I guess that's all we can run. The car is pretty good, so we'll just try to get it ready for the race now."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Bandit Chevrolet) "We slowed up just a little bit. I slowed up from my best lap, but it'll be our best Michigan start in awhile. We were too tight, but we'll work on that and we've got a real good starting spot, so I'm pretty optimistic about Sunday's race."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak Max Film Chevrolet) "We made some changes right before qualifying. We hadn't been that good in practice. We did some air pressure and changed two rear springs. They told me to take it in the corners hard and it would be all right. It stuck pretty good. It wasn't like we wanted, but hopefully that will be good enough to get us in or where we won't have to requalify so we can work on our race stuff."
BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 00 Realtree Extra Chevrolet) "We thought we might have gone a little quicker, but this was our first time here in a Cup car. It was running good, but it's hard to get used to a Busch car and then jump in a Cup car. The way you drive the track is totally different, but I'll get used to it and hopefully we'll be in good shape."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet) "We had a decent lap. We've been fast all day. We've been in the top 10 all day. We were hoping to pick up a little bit more qualifying, but we ran about the same thing we did in practice. The car feels real good. It's one of those deals. We throw about 10 things at it and we keep running the same speed. We're not finding the right combination of what we need to go a little bit faster. We're hoping that's good enough to get us in the field and concentrate on a good race setup Saturday. This is really different than the car I won the Busch race here with last year. It throws off your timing. We've been decent all day long in the Cup car, but that's a tribute to this team. This is the car Darrell Waltrip ran so well with at California. We'll make sure it races better than it qualifies."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet) "It was loose and we had been fighting it all day. We were loose in three and four during practice, and we were loose in one and two in qualifying. We qualified seventh, and this is the same car we had here last time when we qualified eighth and finished 10th. It's nice when you can smell the pole, and we smelled it today. We've been running just about the same every time we tried a qualifying run. We wanted to pick up some more, but that's all I could get out of it. That was white knuckle. It's nice to be able to back up what we did the first time here. You want good track position and you want a good pit stall. It was a good race car last time here, and we'll make it better. We've got a shot at the top five Sunday."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet) "That's about what we practiced, but I think we'll race good. We got through one and two good in qualifying, but we got loose in turn three. It's been that way all day. We had a pretty good cloud on our qualifying lap, but it didn't help any."
MORGAN SHEPHERD (No. 91 LJ Racing Chevrolet) "The car was pretty good. We tried taping it up and we got too loose. We made some changes right before we went through the line that really helped us. We just wanted a good, safe lap to get in the top 25."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet) "We ran pretty good. The guys at the motor shop have been working hard, and I think it paid off today. It's not the front row, but we're up there in the front, and it's a big improvement over what we've been doing. I got wrecked with three laps to go at Indy in this car and it knocked the front and back off of it. The guys worked hard getting it fixed and it's running just like it did there. We're looking forward to the race. We used all the real estate we had out there for qualifying, but it was a fun lap."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 96 Caterpillar Chevrolet) "If they didn't count about 200 yards of racetrack, we might have had a pretty good lap. It was loose in the middle of both ends of the track, just enough to mess up a decent lap. We changed motors, too, which moved us to the end of the line, and I'm sure the track changed some. We'll have to try it again Saturday."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 23 Team Winston Taurus) "I've come to a decision that I'm not gonna drive for the next couple of weeks because the head injury is bothering me a little bit. The thing is, it's my decision. What helped me make the decision was my family, my kids. My wife didn't say anything either way, but my kids said, 'Daddy, maybe you better heal up before you race again.'
"The nice thing about the whole deal is that Winston is totally behind me. I know I've got a ride when I come back whenever I come back. I saw what happened to Ricky Craven and that probably helped my decision making. I talked to Ricky a long time. I feel Ricky got a raw deal at what happened because this sport is so competitive and, as a driver, you try to do the best you can all the time and Ricky tried to do the best he could, and it was obvious that he rushed his recovery and it ended up ultimately costing him his ride. I guess that's probably the situation I'm in. I feel bad for Ricky Craven because I think he's very capable of still driving a Winston Cup car and winning, but that goes to show you the pressure that's put on you by sponsors and owners and everything.
"On the other hand, I'm lucky with Travis (Carter, car owner) and the Winston people. They have not put any pressure on me. They have not said, 'You should drive now or you should drive next week.' I think that's really special.
"My crew is a little bit upset, but they understand my decision and I love every one of them. They're behind me 100 percent. I probably should have done it last week and I think Boris (Said) would have finished in the top five. I realized that last week and I thought about it all week that, if I hadn't taken the ride, maybe the Winston car had a shot at winning Watkins Glen. We're hoping Frank Kimmel does a good job for us this weekend and I don't know who's gonna drive it next weekend.
"We'll evaluate it week by week as to my status. I'm going to see another specialist this week in Winston-Salem and I'll know more next week on where I'll be at."
MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Valvoline Taurus) "I was real happy with the lap. It's gonna be a decent starting spot. I don't think there are gonna be a whole lot of folks pick up from practice. We ran about a half-a-tenth slower than our best practice lap, Gordon ran about what he ran in practice and that's kind of what we're seeing. I got a really great one and two and three and four were probably as good as I've had today, so I can't complain about it. The Valvoline team is fired up and we're motivated beyond belief."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Taurus) "I was just a little bit tight in turns one and two. I don't know if I was tight or just didn't feel comfortable getting in. I ran a little higher line than I probably should have. In three and four I felt good, so I might have left a tenth at the very most laying on the table, but still a pretty good lap. I ran a .50 in practice and a .49 just now, so pretty consistent."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 15 Rescue Engine Formula Taurus) "We're just trying to get the Rescue car locked in the first day. If not, get a good enough time to stand on tomorrow and get this thing in the race. Right now getting this thing qualified is a little different than the race setup and I'm not familiarized with it, but things are going good. I'm just getting familiar with everything."
GEOFF BODINE (No. 7 Philips Taurus) "It was decent for the way it went. The car was just too tight off the corner. We ran about the same speed that we practiced, so we didn't slow down or anything, but we lost a lot of speed off the corner being too tight and the front sliding up the track."
DALE JARRETT (No. 88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus) "That was a pretty good lap. The car got a little bit tight coming off this corner (four), but we were a little bit conservative knowing this place gets loose usually when you qualify. A pretty good lap. That's the fastest lap since we've been here today, so pretty good."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 12- Mobil 1 Taurus) "We need that. We had some trouble earlier today, struggled a little bit, but needed a good lap during qualifying. The last couple of weeks we struggled in qualifying, raced pretty good and got ourselves in trouble, but, hopefully, this week we're gonna turn it around. We don't think we're gonna turn it around, we're gonna turn it around."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 94 McDonald's Taurus) "I think Ronald's hair got to blowing in the wind a little too hard there on the hood. I just don't think we went the right way on several things and it showed up in qualifying."
RICKY RUDD (No. 10 Tide Taurus) "It came off the truck and we were about sixth or seventh-quickest most of the practice session, but we finally got us a good qualifying motor and it broke before practice was over with. We changed and put the race motor in and I was a little disappointed in it. It wouldn't run on the top end. It went through the corner good and got going good, but it stopped in the middle of the straightaway like I had an ignition problem or hitting the rev limiter, not really sure. I'm sure it's something adjustable, but we'll get this Tide/Whirlpool Ford together and try to race good."
RICH BICKLE (No. 98 Thorn Apple Valley Taurus) "We were better than that in practice. The track's gotten a little hotter and slicker and I thought we could run faster than that. This car's been good here. We had a shot at the pole here the first race and I thought we had a shot at a good run here today, but we'll take it. It's not bad, but I think the car's better than that."
KENNY IRWIN (No. 28 Texaco Havoline Taurus) "It's a good thing that we have Robert Yates motors because I didn't feel like I got through the corner at all. One and two I was bad loose and three and four we pushed pretty bad. I even told the guys on the radio that this motor is what pulled off a top 25 today."
JERRY NADEAU (No. 9 Cartoon Network Taurus) "I think the car is there, it's just getting used to this speedway. The first time here I was one of the fastest cars. The second time here we were second-round fastest qualifier and now we make it first round, so were definitely making some progressive moves. We were actually tight in qualifying. I've been really scared in practice loose and stuff and tightened it a little bit too much. This is a good run for these guys."
JEFF BURTON (No. 99 Exide Batteries Taurus) "We struggled today to be quite honest. We never were really competitive. Really, our goal turned into just making first round and we did that, just barely, but we did it. We hoped to do better, but that was all we had today, so we'll go back and get this thing ready to race."
Source: NASCAR Online