Pocono first round qualifying quotes

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Pocono 500 Quotebook LONG POND, Pa. (June 6, 1997) The following are selected driver quotes after first-round Busch Pole Qualifying for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

Pocono 500 Quotebook

LONG POND, Pa. (June 6, 1997) The following are selected driver quotes after first-round Busch Pole Qualifying for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.

BOBBY HAMILTON No. 43 STP Pontiac

"This is a brand new Pontiac, and for them to build something like this from scratch is quite an accomplishment. We haven't had to touch anything on it. We changed the right front spring on it, and then we went back to the original one, and that's all we've touched since they built it at the shop. From the minute we unloaded we were fast. We've been exceptional with this car in every corner. I don't know if it was a perfect lap, but it's what I like.

"It has to be the car. I like Pocono, and I like Martinsville, but there are a lot of tracks we run fast on that I just don't like. We have good race cars for those tracks, though. The cars driver really well. Needless to say, the motor ran good, because this is a horsepower track. They just seem to fit our need, the flat tracks do.

"We were real fast all the way through practice. I had make a mock qualifying run and had ended up third quickest. The 16 car was fast, the 22 car was fast, and of course, the 24 car is always fast. Somebody asked me before qualifying, 'Which corner do you work on here?' I said, 'We work on all of them.' He said, 'Well they say you can only really get through one corner here.' But ever since I've been at Petty Enterprises we've been good through all three corners. I don't know why. Our cars just seem to drive identical through each corner. It's just a race car that can get around here."

DALE JARRETT No. 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford

"I left a little bit in turn-3. The car slid up in the corner there and I was a little later getting back into the throttle that I wanted to be. But it was a good run. It's the fastest that we've run, so I'm pretty happy. We're pretty much ready to race. This is the car that has won the two races this year, and we've given it a pretty good race up to this point, so I think we'll be okay."

WARD BURTON No. 22 MBNA Pontiac

"The weather cooled off quite a bit, and my car got tight all the way around. It wasn't the same car that I had during practice. But that's the best qualifying run of the season for us. I'm proud of my guys."

GREG SACKS No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet

"This Silver Bullet is really running good. We picked up about a 10th from pracitce. We were real good in practice. I just wanted to duplicate what we did in practice. I didn't want to back up. We're real happy with that run. I've got a great crew. Robby has done a great job with these guys, and Mike Hillman (crew chief) and the entire team. The car has a good balance. That's the difference in the Fords and Chevrolets, just working out a good aero balance. You've got to get the car to fit the driver, and they've done a good job here."

BILL ELLIOTT No. 94 McDonald's Ford

"I was happy 'til I got out of the car. But a year ago, he wasn't here, so we continue to gain on this deal. I feel like this particular car will race good on Sunday. The main thing is just getting in the race. Every time we come back, we get a little better. I feel like that with just a little bit of work, we'll be where we need to be. This has been a good track for me in the past. It seems like we've always run good in the past."

RICKY RUDD No. 10 Tide Ford

"This is about the third race since they've repaved it, so the track is still in good condition. It's a real good qualifying day, so it's going to be even for everybody. If you're not on the pole, you're never pleased, but all in all it was a good lap. It was a little quicker than we practiced."

TERRY LABONTE No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet

"That's as fast as we've been since we've been here. The car was just a little bit too tight. We didn't pick up much. It was pretty close to what we ran in practice. That's about all we had."

DARRELL WALTRIP No.. 17 Parts America Chevrolet

"I told myself not to drive into turn one too hard. I'm usually guilty of doing that in qualifying, so I drove in too easy and got back on the gas too quick and got loose an wobbled a little bit. This car is so fast in two and three. We've been so good since we got here. This was a real bona fide shot at winning a pole. I left a little on the table, but we're real happy with it. This baby is ready to race. She's going to be a hound dog in the race. I can't wait."

JOHN ANDRETTI No. 98 RCA Ford

"We got a little bit nervous. We went out on sticker tires in practice and we had a really fast car, then all of a sudden we had a kinda mediocre car. We went on older tires for qualifying and made a few adjustments. We could have been faster, but they tell me that when we don't qualify well, we race well, so maybe this time we'll qualify well and race well."

RICK MAST No. 75 Remington Arms Ford

"We were off a little bit. The car unloaded fast and we made a few changes and got it a little better. We didn't know what to do with the tires. We went on about eight-lap, scuffed tires. We put new tires on and the car just didn't do as well. The car was just sliding a little bit more that I wanted it to. If we could have gotten balanced on the new tires, we could have gone faster, but the way our year has gone, we'll take it, because it's getting better every week now."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NASCAR Cup