Pocono Team Monte Carlo qualifying notes

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 19th): "Well, it's just different. I don't have a lot of experience here and our car was tight. We picked up a little from practice, so that was good." Note:...

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 19th):

"Well, it's just different.  I don't have a lot of experience here and our
car was tight.  We picked up a little from practice, so that was good."

Note: Harvick is pulling double-duty this weekend - competing in both the Busch race at Kentucky Speedway and the Winston Cup race at Pocono. Harvick has run 9,044.44 miles this season in both the Winston Cup and Busch Series. Here is his schedule:

<pre> Friday, June 15th 10:30 am Rookie Meeting at Pocono 11:30 am-2:00 pm Winston Cup Practice at Pocono 3:00 pm Winston Cup Qualifying at Pocono 3:30 pm approx. Helicopter to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Airport, jet to Cincinnati, helicopter to Kentucky Speedway 3:30-5:30 pm Busch Practice at Kentucky 7:00 pm Busch Qualifying at Kentucky 8:00 pm After qualifying, helicopter to Cincinnati Airport, jet to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, helicopter to Pocono infield Saturday, June 16th 9-9:45 am Winston Cup Practice in Pocono 11:15 am-12:15 pm Winston Cup Final Practice in Pocono 12:30 pm Helicopter to Wilkes-Barre Airport, jet to Cincinnati, helicopter to Kentucky Speedway 2:45-3:40 pm Busch Final Practice at Kentucky Speedway 6:00 pm Busch Drivers Meeting 7:30 pm Drivers' Introductions 8:00 pm Start of Busch Race at Kentucky 10:30 pm Helicopter to Cincinnati Airport, jet to Wilkes-Barre Airport, helicopter to Pocono Sunday, June 17th 11:00 am Cup Drivers Meeting 12:30 pm Drivers' Introductions 1:00 pm Start of Cup Race at Pocono

</pre> Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 30th):

"We've been struggling with the Pennzoil Chevrolet a little bit. We've been a little bit tight and then when we get the front end turning, we're a little bit loose. Paul Andrews (crew chief) and the guys gave me a real good car for qualifying. That was the best we've been all day long. We're hoping that'll hold us somewhere in the top 15 or top 20 and give us a decent starting position. Goodyear's brought a fantastic tire here, it's just a little bit harder to get a hold of the racetrack. It's got everyone adjusting their set-ups. Ricky Rudd's been the car to beat (during practice). But I think with a little bit more time on the racetrack we can make an even better racetrack."

(Why did you only take one lap?)

"It got too hot. We had the grill completely taped up. I came down the front straightaway and it was marginal if we could get second lap in and on the backstretch, it started running too hot. We knew it wasn't going to benefit us to take that second lap, so I had to shut her down. Hopefully we can get a good run in here at Pocono on Sunday."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 6th):

"We tested here about two weeks ago and the car's real comfortable. We run a .60 in the test, and I'm glad we could back that up today. The car's a little loose. The left-side tire's a little stiff on the sidewall and we lost a little bit of grip. We like to get a top five, or a top ten to start the race and see what we can do on Sunday."

Rick Mast, No. 50 blair.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 25th):

"We're in the show. The car was real slow when we unloaded. The guys worked their tails off. It was like 55 seconds flat was all we could run. We worked, worked, worked and right before qualifying we hit on a little deal and ran a 54.18. I adjusted the car just a little bit more. I was afraid to do much with it because I didn't want to take a chance on messing the lap up and going home. So we run like a 54 flat in qualifying. If I would have gone ahead and went further with the chassis on some more adjustments, we'd have gotten a lot faster. But with the shape we're in, we can't take many chances. So we're pleased with that. Now we're in the show, we can work on the race."

(Where did you find that speed?)

"Just in the chassis. Just handling. Nothing but springs and shocks is all we did for two hours. It was requiring a different deal. I used the same set-up here, basically, for the last three years in a Ford and a Pontiac. And today, that set-up was 180 degrees off. I don't know if it's this new tire or what, but I had to go way out in left field from what we've done here before. But the car responded to it, so that was good."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 14th):"That was a great lap for us. We got all we could get out of it today, and nobody's going to get on the pole except Ricky Rudd. He's in another atmosphere. But the Dupont team worked hard today and that's the best we've been all day so we'll take that and get ready to race. I think we're going to have a real good race car."

(Are you going to have something for Ricky Rudd in the race?)

"I hope so. I'm hoping that the mode that they're in is strictly for qualifying. If they can run that fast in race trim, they're going to walk away from us. But you can guarantee we're going to put up one heck of a fight."

(Is that what you expected to get out of qualifying?)

"That's about where we were in practice. We ran faster in qualifying than we did in practice, but so did everybody else. Rudd is in a whole other universe today. He's certainly got it figured out. And when you get a good car and a good driver and that Yates horsepower, that's going to be hard to beat. That combination is hard to be. But I think we got the best we could from the Dupont Chevrolet and I think it's going to be real good for the race."

(How tough is it to be consistently good week after week?)

"Our team has been very consistent this year. If you look at everywhere we've been this year we've had a car capable of a top five. Lately we've been putting all the pieces in place and coming away with some wins. I think one good run helps make another good run and that's where our team is right now. They're really working hard together and just working together is probably the biggest thing.

"Its always hard, no matter what. Everybody in this garage works hard. It's pretty tough to get back on top. We've got the resources. It's just abut putting the right people together, and getting our confidence level back and of course making the cars drive good and fast and that's what we've really been clicking on lately."

(At this stage in the season, are you worried about the points?)

"No, I tell you it's way too early to be worrying about whether you're leading the points or whether you're fifth in points. I'm glad that we're on top but we're just going to keep doing our thing. With hard work and dedication, the points will come. When we've got 10 races to go, that's when we'll really be paying attention to it."

Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo (qualified 17th):

"I was happy with what I did. The car handled perfectly. It was good. I was just really pleased with the way this NAPA Chevy handled in the turns. It stuck real well. The guys gave me a good handling car. It was fun to drive. I love Pocono because it's a big track and you can really hammer it. And that's what I got to do just then and that feels good."

-Team Monte Carlo

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Steve Park , Kevin Harvick , Rick Mast