Monte Carlo Watkins Glen 'Happy Hour' notes

RON FELLOWS, NO. 87 BULLY HILL VINEYARDS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "That session went pretty well for us. The sun is playing havoc with the grip level and the track is probably as slick as I've ever seen it. So that's probably what we're going to...

RON FELLOWS, NO. 87 BULLY HILL VINEYARDS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "That session went pretty well for us. The sun is playing havoc with the grip level and the track is probably as slick as I've ever seen it. So that's probably what we're going to race tomorrow is it stays sunny like that. Add to that he amount of rubber that's being put down it got more and more slippery. We tried a number of different things on the set up to try and get a read on the track and how the sun affected it. So now we will sit down with Brian Patty and decide which way to go in terms of springs and bars."

ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We've been on the race track the whole time and I'm not sorta out of control to run laps at that speed. I think we can run low to mid 13s the whole time. I did my quickest lap on 17 lap tires, so I think we're pretty good actually. We'd like to make it a little bit better but I think we're good enough to run up front."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO

Can you get to the front quickly?

"I don't know how quick, and I don't know how important it is to get up there quick. We've got a great racecar, but we've got to get it to the end. I think we'll use similar strategy to last week's race in Indianapolis, which is also a tough place to pass. That strategy is to take all 90 miles. We just used the whole race to work our way up into position. Hopefully we'll find ourselves in a situation to take a top-five or a win. I think right now we just want to make sure we've got a car that's good enough to win, and we certainly showed that in Happy Hour. This is a place that I feel like we can make some passes, but one at a time and lap to lap. I'm not in a big hurry."

With the recent death of a Minnesota Viking player, how important is it for you to stay in shape in order to deal with the heat and endurance of running races?

"I think football players burn more calories than we do. It's hot for us, but it's not as physically demanding as it is to be a football player. Most of us are very fit, very lean. We don't carry a lot of body mass. Our hearts don't have to work quite as hard as those guys. Plus we've got some great systems in these cars to help cool us down."

How long does it take you to recover from a long day in the car?

"It definitely takes me a couple days. That night after the race, I eat anything and everything in sight. I drink a lot of fluids. That's probably the most important thing is keeping hydrated."

Can you compare going into this race at Watkins Glen and last week's race at the Brickyard?

"Last week, we were starting quite a bit further back. And Indianapolis is even harder to pass on than Watkins Glen. I think we are in better position here this weekend than we were last weekend and we're running better than we were last weekend. We really weren't that great in Happy Hour last weekend. We made some big adjustments during the race and then got the track position. That's what won the race. If we can get that kind of track position late in the race, we've got a shot to win this thing. But sometimes that happens by luck, like it did last weekend. It just so happened that the caution came out at the perfect time for us. I think we've got the car to beat here in the race, but we've got to get it up further to the front. How do we do that? I don't know. I don't think it's going to be like last week where we see ourselves falling back at the beginning of the race. I think you're going to see us start to come forward. But I want to have the same strategy where we don't need to be there until it counts, and that's at the end."

Do you think you'll be able to lead laps at some point during the race?

"I don't know. It depends on how the cautions fall. I think we've got a car capable of leading laps, yeah."

STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO "We really felt we had a car to qualify well, but we're starting almost last now because of a brake problem. But I really feel if we can get the Pennzoil car handling where we need to be, we might be able to come from the back and post a decent finish. That's what we're working on now. We've even struggled during the practice sessions and we just can't get the fast laps that some of these guys are able to turn. We're hoping that the car is going to be consistent enough to be able to work our way up to the front."

Did you tangle with another car during practice?

"Yeah, right at the end of practice, me and the 92 car (Stacy Compton) got together going down into (turn) one. I was just doing a routine pass and he said his spotter didn't tell him I was there. We got a little front-end damage. He came down and just hit me across the right front. It wasn't intentional. It was just one of them racing deals. Like I said, it seems like once the bad luck starts, it just never stops. Hopefully we're getting it all out of the way for tomorrow."

-GM Racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Stacy Compton