Report from Motorsport News International Thanks to NASCAR Online Dura-Lube 500 Friday Quotes PHOENIX, Ariz. (Oct. 31, 1997) Quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura-Lube 500...
Report from Motorsport News International
Thanks to NASCAR Online
Dura-Lube 500 Friday Quotes
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Oct. 31, 1997) Quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura-Lube 500 presented by Kmart at Phoenix International Raceway:
BOBBY HAMILTON No. 43 STP Pontiac
"We unloaded and we were the fastest thing out there. We changed the sway bar, didn't like that. We changed the rear spring, didn't like that. We changed the camber, and we liked that. Actually the car was identical to the way we unloaded it out of the truck except for the camber change. All that goes back to the people that put the car together. It just shows how prepared it was when we got here. Another beautiful part about it is that the qualifying motor is the race motor. We don't have to change motors or anything. Anytime we do that, we usually run up front a lot. I'm real happy about that. "We weeded through a lot of stuff in the middle of the year an figured out what we liked and what we didn't like. Our sport is probably the greatest sport I've ever been involved in. It's probably the only one I care about, too. We go from week to week with it. We forget about what happened last week or the week before or the middle of the year. We've been in contention to win six races this year. We've cut tires, had ignitions go out, things like that. We've had a good year. It just doesn't show up on paper. It's not like we just picked up and started running good. We've had some terrible races too, but except for two or three cars I think everybody has. I look at it as a pretty good season except for the bad luck that we've had. We've been in a deal where we've tried to figure out what both teams like, things like that. No, I'm not surprised we're running like we are."
JIMMY SPENCER No. 23 Camel Ford
"We were trying for the pole, but we weren't good enough. I knew we could run faster. We have really come a long way on the flat tracks. These guys have worked really hard. We've had a terrible year. We didn't qualify last week and I said, 'Man, I am not going to not qualify this week,' and we really had a good lap. We have been running really well, we just haven't had any luck. Starting up front could be big plus for us on Sunday."
RUSTY WALLACE No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
"We were good off the truck, and we've been good the whole time. I've been real happy with the way the car has been handling and running. We've been trying different shocks and springs and stuff like we normally do. Nowadays track position is really important, so we've got to get this thing up front. Plus, we're racing for those top-10 points and you've got to do all you can in the last two races. We have a real super strong motor. It's an old Martinsville car. We drug it out of the cobwebs and brought it here, and said 'Hey, this track is flat just like Martinsville. It will probably run good there.' The last time I ran this car we about won, so it should be good here."
BOBBY LABONTE No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac
"That was really a good lap. That's about what we ran in practice, and I knew we couldn't run much better than that. That's not as fast as I wanted it to be, but you couldn't ask for anything better. This is the same car we had here last year, it's just got a Pontiac body on it. Maybe we'll put some gold in our pockets come Sunday. I wasn't as happy with it as I wanted to be, but I don't think I could run any faster than that anyway. It wasn't as smooth as I wanted it to be. We've done really well lately in qualifying, and we've got another good starting spot for Sunday's race."
KEN SCHRADER No. 33 Skoal Bandit Chevrolet
"We weren't racing for the pole. That was over earlier today when they unloaded the 43 car. I knew we couldn't get close to it. We ran the same thing we ran in practice. It'll be a decent starting spot. This is one of my favorite tracks. The Skoal car ran good out here last year. We had trouble running good in the Bud car, but we'll just have to see. That Pontiac of Bobby's is going to be stout all weekend. I've raced here a lot. We've won here a lot and I just really like it. That Pontiac has a big rear spoiler and a low airdam. It's a license to steal right now."
DALE EARNHARDT No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet
"That's a lot better than we'd practiced. The guys did a real good job, and I felt there was a little left in me if I didn't make a mistake. You can always run faster. It's not the pole or anything, but it was a good, comfortable lap and that's what we were after. We'll try to win this race. We've got a good car. We've just got to get it in the race. I had to try to not overdrive it. I probably drove it too hard in practice. I tried to discipline myself in qualifying and not drive it too hard in the corners, and it worked. It's a great race car. Terry Labonte and I had some pretty good hunting on the way out here. He got an elk and I got one, too. This is a good track for me. We've won here before, and I think we've got a car that can win Sunday."
JOHNNY BENSON No. 30 Pennzoil Pontiac
"That was pretty good. As bad as we were, that's amazing. It was still slipping and sliding pretty good, but we threw some gear to it, and it worked."
DALE JARRETT No. 88 Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford
"It was a decent lap. I made a couple of adjustments. I was pretty loose in practice. We got the car better. That's not going to be the quickest, but that should get us a decent starting spot. From where we came this morning... we weren't very good, we've made a lot of gains. Our last two laps on the race track have been our quickest by far. We weren't very good when we got here. We struggled for quite a while, but the guys did a really good job and got the car where we could run a decent lap. This is a different car for us and it took a while for us to see what it wanted."
LAKE SPEED No. 9 Advantage Camo Ford
"That was probably a 95 percent lap. We were a little hesitant about our tires. We weren't sure we were doing the right thing as far as how much scuff to put on the tires. But the car was pretty good. It was pretty balanced and we got a pretty clean lap. Our short-track and flat-track program has really come around this year. We've put a lot of hard work into it and it looks like it's about to pay off."
JEFF GORDON No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet
"We slowed down just a little bit. I slid a little bit all the way through the corners. It's not a bad lap. I'm definitely not disappointed with it, but I thought we could have run a little better. It was fun doing the Leno Show the other night. I had a great week actually. I like to relax and do different things. If it happens to get my mind off racing a little bit, that's okay. I'm really looking forward to running this weekend and every weekend. I'd be happy to come out of here with a top-5. I don't know what that would mean points wise, but it would make me happy to come out of here with a top-5 finish. That's what we're looking for. It takes 32 races to win the championship, so it really doesn't matter what happens here. We need to get the job done and come out of here without any problems. I've said it's going to go to Atlanta. "Bobby Hamilton runs good here. That car runs good here and with the rules right now for the Pontiacs, he's got a perfect situation. He's going to be real tough to beat. We can't pay a whole lot of attention to what he's doing. We've got to pay attention to what we're doing. The best place to be is leading. I'd love to have a bigger lead than 125 points, but that's still a pretty good position to be in."
MARK MARTIN No. 6 Valvoline Ford
"It slipped a little bit. I just didn't get exactly what you would call a trademark lap. It started off a little edgy and from there, I just never got it back. I don't think anything was wrong with the car, I just didn't get the lap I got in practice. It was about a tenth off what I could have done. It's only a tenth off."