Pontiac Racing Dover II qualifying notes

RON HORNADAY, NO. 14 CONSECO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON YOUR QUALIFYING LAP "That was the lap we needed for this Conseco Pontiac. I think the biggest plus right now for me is driving that Busch car. The track got really loose on us, I came running...

ON YOUR QUALIFYING LAP "That was the lap we needed for this Conseco Pontiac. I think the biggest plus right now for me is driving that Busch car. The track got really loose on us, I came running over here and told [crew chief] Donnie [Brown] and we put a little rubber in the left rear. That was just enough to keep the thing where we could use all of David Evans' motor. There was a little bit more left in the car, but I just wanted to get in the show safely. That's what you need to do when you're out of provisionals. We're happy with that lap. I'm very happy with the whole team. They've come a long ways. The car is driving good. I can't wait until Sunday."

ON YOUR LAP "That was alright. It wasn't a perfect lap by any means, but it was a solid lap. The car drove good. It wasn't as quick as we had run earlier, but it was pretty reasonable. I think we were only like four hundredths [of a second] off, so for the most part, I'm pretty happy with that run. That's going to give us a fairly reasonable starting spot. We normally don't qualify any better than 18th or 20th here, so 11th will be a really good start for Sunday."

ON YOUR LAP "Well, I made it back. You've got to thrill yourself. You've got to thrill yourself when you qualify at these places. But, I'm ready to get in race mode. We had such a good car here in June and didn't get to show it, and I think this one will be just as good. We'll be alright."

HOW DID IT FEEL GOOD TO GET BACK TO WORK TODAY? "It just felt good. Unfortunately, everything isn't resolved, yet, and there's no telling how long that will take. But, it felt good.

"It felt good to come in and see my race car. I'm really proud of it and of Mars (team sponsor). It's pretty strong when you're a sponsor in this business and you feel enough about something to take your name off of the car."

ON YOUR QUALIFYING RUN "That was the best lap we had all day. We started off this morning a little bit slow, but we'd been picking up a little bit all day long. That was really good. We worked real hard this morning. Because we were so far off to begin with, we worked really hard to get something out of it. We just kept making some headway and we did it all day. Then we picked up a little bit for qualifying. It was great job again by all the guys on the Interstate Batteries Pontiac."

WHAT WERE YOUR FEELINGS COMING BACK TO DOVER AFTER LAST WEEK'S TRAGEDY? "It's what we do for our living, just like everybody else had to go back to work at some point in time, whether it be last week or whatever, to wherever their jobs might be across America - not necessarily in New York or Washington -- so it's good to come back. It's a good thing to get off the TV set -- 24 hours a day it seems like for the past few days - and get back to our job. I feel like everybody that's here today kind of has a feeling that they can get out and do something different than what they've been doing and do something that they hopefully enjoy and that's watching us race."

ON YOUR RESURGENCE IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON "I think a lot of it just comes from the fact that the first half of the season we were just trying to figure out the different style of tire that we weren't accustomed to, as far as our setups go. We spent the first half of the season basically figuring out what we could do to get better. The second half we haven't had problems like we did the first half and we've been fortunate enough not to have the DNFs like we had the first half of the season. Then, the performance level has been up just because our confidence level in the tire and the situation that we're into, as far as the car handling better, has obviously gotten better from the first half to the second half."

ON YOUR NYPD HAT "Sergeant Jim Doyle, that works [with the police] in New York, works with NASCAR and Winston to make sure people get around to the right places in New York City - Tim Sullivan (team PR director) called him and he sent us some hats for this weekend."

ON YOUR SUCCESS AT DOVER "Dover is a tough racetrack. I've always liked it - seems like even back when I came here in 1990 in a Busch car. I've always just enjoyed coming to Dover. It's tough racetrack. It's fast. The sensation of speed is high. It's real exciting. I can't explain why we have a good record here, other than I don't want it to stop. It feels pretty good to know that we do [have a good record] on a tough racetrack like this."

ON YOUR BROTHER MAKING HIS 700TH START SUNDAY "That's pretty good. I didn't even know that. That's great. That's cool. I knew it was coming around, but I didn't know when it was going to be. Obviously, that is a tribute. We've got Cal Ripken, Jr., coming Sunday through MBNA and the folks up there who were gracious enough to get the race changed to his name and everything else. You talk about two 'iron men' - those are the two right there. They've met each other before and they've done a little publicity thing before, but along that same line, here is Terry - he is a pretty straightforward type of guy and kind of resembles Cal in a lot of ways.

"That's neat. 700 starts is a lot. It's not like 700 starts on a short track running 35 laps every Saturday night. This is 400, 500 and 600 mile races, so that's quite an honor, quite a tribute."

-GM Racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup