Pocono Chevy Qualifying Notes and Quotes

Friday, June 18, 1999. Pocono Race. First-round Pocono 500 qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes. STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We're excited. All the guys on the Coors team did a good job. This...

Friday, June 18, 1999. Pocono Race. First-round Pocono 500 qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes.

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We're excited. All the guys on the Coors team did a good job. This is a new car, and it came off the truck fast. Man, what a motor. It drove perfect and stuck real good, so we're excited. He (Felix Sabates) wanted to know what happened, and I told him the accelerator hung. He usually doesn't come up here, but he's going to come watch us race Sunday. I hope we can get better than we were last week. We pushed at Michigan all day long. We're going to concentrate on the setup. I don't know if we'll vary far from where we are now, but we're going to try to get it better. We need to get things turned around, and this pole is a big step in that direction."

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We're happy to have picked up a little bit from practice. I'm just hoping that's good enough to make the show. When you go down the front chute you've got a pretty good tail wind. You're going to pick up 100 rpm's, and that gets you a little loose."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were a little slow. We developed a miss in the engine and it keeps getting worse. I guess a valve spring or something is going bad. Maybe that time will be fast enough to make the field. I've won here a few times, and I love coming here, but it's a little frustrating today when you have a skip and can't find it. We changed a lot of things before qualifying, but we didn't find the miss. We have a good car. It's a shame the engine developed the miss."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "That's about the slowest we've been all day. I got real, real loose out there and wasn't expecting that at all. It wasn't a good lap for us and we're going to be a good ways back. It's always a guessing game. For some reason that set of tires there reacted quite a bit different. We made some adjustments and we might have gone too far. I'd been pushing most of the practice and got real loose on that set. I was just glad to bring it back. There were a couple of times I had my hands full there. I'm not real happy. I think when the day's all over and you see the results you'll know why. We were one of the top five cars in practice, and we're going to go quite a ways back with that time. "The track is capable of some fast speeds and we just got a little bit loose. I had my hands full a couple of times. We're going to pay for it here at the end of the day. This is one of those tracks where you're never going to be the same in every corner, but it was loose through the tunnel turn and that cost me quite a bit of time. It was actually a little bit loose through turn three. We just might have gone a little bit too far. "We're working hard. Our effort is there. We're trying to do everything we possibly can to stay on track and get some momentum. I'd much rather be at the top of the points leading and have that type of pressure than to be where we're at. You just play the cards you've been dealt. That's what we've got right now. We're doing everything we can to make up some points. We always take about the same amount of risk. You do what you can to win races."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car actually bottomed out and got loose. That hurt us a little bit. Through the tunnel and the last corner it felt pretty good. Maybe I need to get on it a little more. Our straightaway speed was off a little bit. Maybe the wind hurt us a little bit. We slowed down quite a bit from what we practiced. We're disappointed. Our goal was to make the top 25. We'll see where we end up and see what we're going to do. I got into one hard and the car bottomed out. I lost my line and it wouldn't turn."

KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's more than I've been getting, so we're real happy. I lost some time in turn three. It was a good run. We didn't embarrass ourselves. We brought it back and didn't hit anything. We were good right off the trailer. We picked up over practice. We made more than a few adjustments after practice, more than we usually make before we qualify. Sammy hit it right, and the car was good. I figured we'd end up seventh or eighth. We won't be on the front row, but we'll be able to see who's starting up there."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We're not sure what happened. These guys have been working real hard, but we lost a lot of speed there and we're not sure why. The car seemed to handle just like it did in practice, and we just lost a little bit of speed. We're going to look at it and try to find out why."

DAVID GREEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That wasn't very pretty. I wasn't here in '98, and the track has changed a little bit since 1997. It's a little bumpier in turn one. The tunnel turn and turn three are about the same. We've got more spoiler and front valence now, so it makes those bumps a lot bigger."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We had run pretty decent in practice. We thought we could run faster because I didn't get through the tunnel turn like I wanted to. I went through turn one and I was pretty good and came up off one and it was real tight. It hadn't been that way. It was really messed up in the tunnel turn. I was tight off three and we got in the garage and the rear swaybar mount was off. Maybe that's the tightness I was feeling. I should have been a little faster."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car drove perfect. We hadn't touched a bolt on it since we've been here. We might just run this car everywhere from now on. This is the first time I've ever been around here and not used the brake. I'm happy with it and we don't have to turn a bolt on it for the race setup. That makes me real happy. We'll see what happens in practice Saturday."

WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We normally run good here and this is brand new car. We made some adjustments before qualifying and we went the right way. This is going to be a good race car Sunday. We were a little disappointed last week. We thought we were a top 10 car at Michigan. That long green kind of caught us a little bit, but I think we're going to be a top-five car here." Friday, June 18, 1999. Pocono Race. First-round Pocono 500 qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 3.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I spun and got it into the wall off of turn three in practice, and we spent the last 15 minutes of practice fixing it and all the way up until our time to qualify. You've got to tip your hat to SABCO. I've got the same qualifying engine Sterling's got. This is one of those runs that I'm dejected over the job I did on the track. I didn't have the car handling like I needed it to. I was probably guarding against spinning out again. I'm excited about Sunday. We'll go get 'em then."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It wasn't what we were looking for. We had been a little faster in practice. You either lay a lap down or you make the top 25. All we want to do now is getting working on the race setup. We just didn't put the lap together the way I wanted to today. We've got an excellent car, and we're going to go racing Sunday."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was holding my breath. All the guys on the Coors team did a great job. This is a brand new car and they threw it together real quick. We came off the truck fast. We got us a pole, and we're going to work hard. I told him (Felix Sabates) that the accelerator hung. He doesn't ever come up here, but he's coming now. It was a perfect lap. The car drove good. "We came here with a new car. They really built it overnight and the car was quick here on the first lap. I think we were second or third quickest in the first practice and the third quickest before qualifying. When I saw the one car didn't run what he had in practice and the six car didn't quite make it, I thought we had a pretty good shot to sit on the pole if I could hit a perfect lap. The team really worked hard and it had a great motor in it and it worked out for us. "I really didn't get through turn one like I wanted to, but the tunnel turn was real good and the third turn was real good. Coming up off three, Tony Glover clocks all the corner speeds and he said, 'you've got the pole by a long shot.' It felt good. We used up all the race track that lap, but it was a total package, the motor, the chassis guys, the whole deal. "The car was real free. Before we qualified I almost spun in three making a banzai lap. Glover came on the radio and said we lost about two tenths from turn three to the start-finish line. We tightened the car up a little bit and it really wasn't enough. I like to got the fence off the tunnel turn and again off turn three. We used up all the track we could. "We qualified seventh last week, and I think we were 20th by the third lap. We had all the right springs and stuff, but they were on the truck. We had a good car last week, but we just didn't handle good. We guessed on the chassis setup wrong. Hopefully this week we'll make the right decisions. Pocono is one of my favorite tracks. I really enjoy racing here. It's always fun. We're not going to change much from where we are now. "This car has a little different chassis. It's kind of something we ran last year. We tried some things early in the year and hadn't been successful with them, so we said what the heck, let's go back to what we had last year. We didn't set the woods on fire, but we were pretty consistent. So we built one and it worked good for us."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "If one of his cars sits on the pole, he'll come to the race. We'll get Felix off his boat and get him up here this weekend. "Sometimes you've got a new car and the fenders are rubbing or the seat's not right. The first lap in this car was great. "When I started driving for Felix, I went and drove that car at Atlanta in the fall of '97. It flew. I said, 'man, we're going to do real good.' It's been a dry spell, but the motor deal changed from the old 18-degree motors to the SB-2 motors. I think our best qualifying effort was third or fourth last year. We've been close, but we hadn't really been close this year until last week at Michigan and we were seventh. We didn't qualify good at Charlotte. We had to use a spot to get in the race. We said, 'hey, we've got some problems here. We've got to fix 'em. The guys went to work and got 'em fixed. "We hadn't run this type of chassis except at Martinsville this year. It's kind of a flat track chassis and we said what the heck. We ran them about all of last year and worked good with them. We built one real quick and brought it back here. "The gear you've got really turns a lot of rpm's on the tunnel turn. We kind of gambled last year and the motor held together for both races, so we'll just go back with the same plan. We'll shift one time right past the start-finish line. It's busy before the tunnel turn, especially in that corner. We'll just leave it alone (and not shift). "It's a pretty boring race (last week at Michigan). We put an identical setup in the car that we led half the race with in '96. We put it in in Happy Hour. We went from a first-place car to a 20th place car. The tire construction I guess, and the track changing makes that much difference. "It's been a lot (of frustration). Knowing you can do it. You've just got to get all your ducks in a row. We had to use a spot in Charlotte, and that was kind of embarrassing. We just hadn't been where we wanted to be. We knew we were going to have to make a change. We went to work on the bodies and went to work on the motors and chassis and whole deal. We just missed the chassis setup at Michigan, but I think it's going to be a different story here. Tony (Glover) has been over at Joe's. I didn't know anything about it until they did it. We talked about it a little earlier. Right now, they're hunting a crew chief for Joe and Tony is doing it until they find somebody. Tony makes the calls for Joe. Scott Eggleston has been around for awhile, and I've got a lot of confidence in him. He makes some good calls. "There's so many things to work on with these cars. You've got one hour to work on them in the last practice. Sometimes you just run out of time. "This is a flat track, but it is one you can race on. I like it. "We've been getting real good gas mileage lately. If it comes down to a fuel deal, I think we can run with 'em. I want the car to drive good. That's where we've missed it a lot this year. The car didn't handle good. If we get the car driving, we'll go. Turn three is probably the toughest. It's a long, sweeping corner. It'll get you loose. If you drive in too hard, you'll slide up. It's the most critical corner here. If you get through it good, it's better down the front straightaway."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car actually bottomed out and got loose. That hurt us a little bit. Through the tunnel and the last corner it felt pretty good. Maybe I need to get on it a little more. Our straightaway speed was off a little bit. Maybe the wind hurt us a little bit. We slowed down quite a bit from what we practiced. We're disappointed. Our goal was to make the top 25. We'll see where we end up and see what we're going to do. I got into one hard and the car bottomed out. I lost my line and it wouldn't turn."

KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That's more than I've been getting, so we're real happy. I lost some time in turn three. It was a good run. We didn't embarrass ourselves. We brought it back and didn't hit anything. We were good right off the trailer. We picked up over practice. We made more than a few adjustments after practice, more than we usually make before we qualify. Sammy hit it right, and the car was good. I figured we'd end up seventh or eighth. We won't be on the front row, but we'll be able to see who's starting up there."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We're not sure what happened. These guys have been working real hard, but we lost a lot of speed there and we're not sure why. The car seemed to handle just like it did in practice, and we just lost a little bit of speed. We're going to look at it and try to find out why."

DAVID GREEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That wasn't very pretty. I wasn't here in '98, and the track has changed a little bit since 1997. It's a little bumpier in turn one. The tunnel turn and turn three are about the same. We've got more spoiler and front valence now, so it makes those bumps a lot bigger."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "We had run pretty decent in practice. We thought we could run faster because I didn't get through the tunnel turn like I wanted to. I went through turn one and I was pretty good and came up off one and it was real tight. It hadn't been that way. It was really messed up in the tunnel turn. I was tight off three and we got in the garage and the rear swaybar mount was off. Maybe that's the tightness I was feeling. I should have been a little faster."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The car drove perfect. We hadn't touched a bolt on it since we've been here. We might just run this car everywhere from now on. This is the first time I've ever been around here and not used the brake. I'm happy with it and we don't have to turn a bolt on it for the race setup. That makes me real happy. We'll see what happens in practice Saturday."

WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We normally run good here and this is brand new car. We made some adjustments before qualifying and we went the right way. This is going to be a good race car Sunday. We were a little disappointed last week. We thought we were a top 10 car at Michigan. That long green kind of caught us a little bit, but I think we're going to be a top-five car here." Friday, June 18, 1999. Pocono Race. First-round Pocono 500 qualifying. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 3.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 Philips Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I spun and got it into the wall off of turn three in practice, and we spent the last 15 minutes of practice fixing it and all the way up until our time to qualify. You've got to tip your hat to SABCO. I've got the same qualifying engine Sterling's got. This is one of those runs that I'm dejected over the job I did on the track. I didn't have the car handling like I needed it to. I was probably guarding against spinning out again. I'm excited about Sunday. We'll go get 'em then."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It wasn't what we were looking for. We had been a little faster in practice. You either lay a lap down or you make the top 25. All we want to do now is getting working on the race setup. We just didn't put the lap together the way I wanted to today. We've got an excellent car, and we're going to go racing Sunday."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was holding my breath. All the guys on the Coors team did a great job. This is a brand new car and they threw it together real quick. We came off the truck fast. We got us a pole, and we're going to work hard. I told him (Felix Sabates) that the accelerator hung. He doesn't ever come up here, but he's coming now. It was a perfect lap. The car drove good. "We came here with a new car. They really built it overnight and the car was quick here on the first lap. I think we were second or third quickest in the first practice and the third quickest before qualifying. When I saw the one car didn't run what he had in practice and the six car didn't quite make it, I thought we had a pretty good shot to sit on the pole if I could hit a perfect lap. The team really worked hard and it had a great motor in it and it worked out for us. "I really didn't get through turn one like I wanted to, but the tunnel turn was real good and the third turn was real good. Coming up off three, Tony Glover clocks all the corner speeds and he said, 'you've got the pole by a long shot.' It felt good. We used up all the race track that lap, but it was a total package, the motor, the chassis guys, the whole deal. "The car was real free. Before we qualified I almost spun in three making a banzai lap. Glover came on the radio and said we lost about two tenths from turn three to the start-finish line. We tightened the car up a little bit and it really wasn't enough. I like to got the fence off the tunnel turn and again off turn three. We used up all the track we could. "We qualified seventh last week, and I think we were 20th by the third lap. We had all the right springs and stuff, but they were on the truck. We had a good car last week, but we just didn't handle good. We guessed on the chassis setup wrong. Hopefully this week we'll make the right decisions. Pocono is one of my favorite tracks. I really enjoy racing here. It's always fun. We're not going to change much from where we are now. "This car has a little different chassis. It's kind of something we ran last year. We tried some things early in the year and hadn't been successful with them, so we said what the heck, let's go back to what we had last year. We didn't set the woods on fire, but we were pretty consistent. So we built one and it worked good for us."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "If one of his cars sits on the pole, he'll come to the race. We'll get Felix off his boat and get him up here this weekend. "Sometimes you've got a new car and the fenders are rubbing or the seat's not right. The first lap in this car was great. "When I started driving for Felix, I went and drove that car at Atlanta in the fall of '97. It flew. I said, 'man, we're going to do real good.' It's been a dry spell, but the motor deal changed from the old 18-degree motors to the SB-2 motors. I think our best qualifying effort was third or fourth last year. We've been close, but we hadn't really been close this year until last week at Michigan and we were seventh. We didn't qualify good at Charlotte. We had to use a spot to get in the race. We said, 'hey, we've got some problems here. We've got to fix 'em. The guys went to work and got 'em fixed. "We hadn't run this type of chassis except at Martinsville this year. It's kind of a flat track chassis and we said what the heck. We ran them about all of last year and worked good with them. We built one real quick and brought it back here. "The gear you've got really turns a lot of rpm's on the tunnel turn. We kind of gambled last year and the motor held together for both races, so we'll just go back with the same plan. We'll shift one time right past the start-finish line. It's busy before the tunnel turn, especially in that corner. We'll just leave it alone (and not shift). "It's a pretty boring race (last week at Michigan). We put an identical setup in the car that we led half the race with in '96. We put it in in Happy Hour. We went from a first-place car to a 20th place car. The tire construction I guess, and the track changing makes that much difference. "It's been a lot (of frustration). Knowing you can do it. You've just got to get all your ducks in a row. We had to use a spot in Charlotte, and that was kind of embarrassing. We just hadn't been where we wanted to be. We knew we were going to have to make a change. We went to work on the bodies and went to work on the motors and chassis and whole deal. We just missed the chassis setup at Michigan, but I think it's going to be a different story here. Tony (Glover) has been over at Joe's. I didn't know anything about it until they did it. We talked about it a little earlier. Right now, they're hunting a crew chief for Joe and Tony is doing it until they find somebody. Tony makes the calls for Joe. Scott Eggleston has been around for awhile, and I've got a lot of confidence in him. He makes some good calls. "There's so many things to work on with these cars. You've got one hour to work on them in the last practice. Sometimes you just run out of time. "This is a flat track, but it is one you can race on. I like it. "We've been getting real good gas mileage lately. If it comes down to a fuel deal, I think we can run with 'em. I want the car to drive good. That's where we've missed it a lot this year. The car didn't handle good. If we get the car driving, we'll go. Turn three is probably the toughest. It's a long, sweeping corner. It'll get you loose. If you drive in too hard, you'll slide up. It's the most critical corner here. If you get through it good, it's better down the front straightaway."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Felix Sabates