BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (ON THE LAP) "They (the crew) said, 'It must have been pretty good because they're going to hold you,' and I said, 'Well, whatever it is, I'm going to go drive the IROC car. I'll...
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON THE LAP) "They (the crew) said, 'It must have been pretty good because they're going to hold you,' and I said, 'Well, whatever it is, I'm going to go drive the IROC car. I'll be back in a little bit.' Then they told me what we ran and I was like, 'Well that is just truly amazing.' I don't know how that happened."
(ON CHANGES MADE AFTER PRACTICE) "We just changed a few things on the car. We kept getting a little bit better, but we tried a set of tires and I didn't run a very good lap. I was off myself. I knew that was a lot of it. We went back out on scuffs and ran the same speed. I said, 'Well, I don't know what to do now.' So we made a couple of little adjustments there for the weather or for the track conditions, what we thought might be better. It blew me away."
(ON HIS FIRST BUD POLE OF THE SEASON AT A TRACK HE HAS WON AT THREE TIMES) "That's pretty good. I'm definitely surprised."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"It was alright. I got a little looser there in three and four than I expected. I got through one and two, actually really good, and when you get through one and two good, three and four are usually way good. So I went down there knowing that and it didn't work out exactly like we wanted it to. But the car has been great all weekend. It's a new car. It's the car that we ran out in the Winston West race out in California. "I'm real happy with it. It was a good lap."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We've been tight coming up off (turn) four and I slid the nose coming to the green. I though I'd better be careful or I'm going to slide it real bad coming to the checkered and I gave up time doing that. We should have run quicker than that, but it will get us in the race."
(ANY EFFECTS FELT FROM THE NEW PONTIAC BUMPER RULE) "Well, we were tight, so maybe that's an omen. We came set up tight because every place we've gone with the new tire we've been really, really loose. So it was nice to have the front push for once even if it did cost us some time today."
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"That's the fastest we've been all day. That's about a tenth and a half faster than what we practiced, so you're not going to hear me complain about that lap."
(ON FUEL MILEAGE PLAYING A ROLE ON SUNDAY) "I hate that. I like it when the fastest car wins and not the driver that gets the best fuel mileage. We'll see what happens. Hopefully it (fuel mileage) won't play into it."
(ON THE NEW REAR BUMPER COVER) "I think we'll know (the effect of it) a lot better when we get in traffic. I know one thing is that my car here in the fall in qualifying trim, I was scared to death to drive it off into the corner like I have today."
DAVE BLANEY, NO. 93 AMOCO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"We've kind of been sneaking up on it all day, making it a little quicker and a little quicker. That's what I was hoping we could run. This Amoco team is needing a good day on Sunday. I hope we can have one. "I think we can run good here. It's just a plain, old handling track here. If you get handling good you can go. I hope we can have a good weekend. I came up here thinking a top 10 weekend would be great. Hopefully that will come true."
KEN SCHRADER, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: "We were decent all day since we unloaded. Basically that is what we've been running all day. I probably left a little bit in three and four, but other than that it was good."
(ON THE NEW BUMPER RULE) "No huge awakening."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON THE LAP) "The car was good. I drove really aggressively into turn one and got the car set. I was able to get back on the gas really quick. I knew turn one felt good and Jimmy Makar told me on the radio that it was good. I had been playing with (turn) three a little bit. I hadn't been getting through that corner very good, so I kind of opted for a little bit different strategy through there, but still got off the corner really good which I think was a big key because I had been struggling a little bit through there.
"We made some adjustments on the car before qualifying. We went out late. We hadn't run that fast in practice and hadn't even run that close to being that fast in practice, so we definitely picked up a lot. We feel like it was a gift somewhat. We've been struggling with set-up a little bit. We've been gaining on it a little bit all the time. When I did make my mock qualifying run, I just screwed up the line I took, so maybe it would have been better and this run wouldn't have looked like such a gap. But that was all I could do at the time.
"We thought we had a shot for tenth place. But it doesn't take much to pick up plenty more. That's just the way it is. In one lap of qualifying you run off the tires anyway. You just go down there and if it sticks you get back on the gas, and sometimes if it doesn't you have to let off or wait on it. It's happened to me more times than not. I'm winning my first pole of the year. It was a good fast lap. I didn't think it was going to be that fast though."
(IS IT AN ADVANTAGE TO GO LATE IN QUALIFYING?) "I don't know. Today there were no clouds. The temperature probably stayed about the same; I don't really know for sure. I always like going late. It's just one of those things. But I don't think it was that advantageous or anything."
(ON SUNDAY'S RACE) "It's definitely a fuel mileage race a lot of times. We're just going to gear up like we normally do. Both races last year we really didn't do much different strategy-wise as far as our set-up goes and stuff like that. We just had more cautions to work on it the second race. It could go caution free again or we might have several cautions. We've just got to be able to make sure our car is adjustable to it. The IROC cars have been running here already for a few days. The groove is already really wide. Sometimes when they don't come here it is not quite as wide right away, so the groove has already picked up some room in the corners. I always love coming to Michigan. It's a good wide racetrack. You can adjust yourself. If your car is doing one thing, you can drive different lines on the racetrack to adapt for it to pick up speed or lose speed. I always think it's an exciting race from a driver's standpoint.
"We haven't been that strong qualifying all year. It seems like I've been off my mark as far as needing to go fast and hadn't really felt comfortable. It's good to get that out of the way because I thought for a while there that it was going to be tough this year to even get one. We haven't been even close to speak of for the most part when we've felt comfortable with it. It's good to be in the Bud Shootout. I always look forward to that. We never really thought about being out of it because we've won poles for a few years now. We just keep trying to do that. I was hoping that we could definitely do that again. This will give us some confidence for the weekend, also."
(WILL THE NEW REAR DESIGN OF THE PONTIAC HELP?) "I'm sure it will. I don't remember the (downforce) numbers - what it did. From the comparisons - Ford, Chevrolets and Pontiacs - we lost in the wind tunnel. But we don't race the wind tunnel. We haven't raced one yet. We race the racetrack and we've got to get our car as balanced as possible. Maybe we are balanced better than we were before. I know it's got to be better. How much better is it? Nobody will ever know until we take them back to the wind tunnel. It's just one of those deals. Hopefully we can make it work for us and do the best we can with it really.
"If you get something that you can put on your car, you've just got to massage it yourself. You can't say it's going to better because it might help us, but the last qualifying Pontiac today probably thinks it didn't help him. But we think it might help us. We just have to keep working on our stuff like it's all one package, no matter what it is. If they said tomorrow you've got to cut the spoiler off, we're going to work as hard as we can to make that work for us, and we might still win the race. But it's because of the work we do on the race car and not one piece or one part of one piece."