MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had another great qualifying engine. These guys are really getting their act together. Now we need to get a win under our belt. We've got a good starting place. We'll just see where we...
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We had another great qualifying engine. These guys are really getting their act together. Now we need to get a win under our belt. We've got a good starting place. We'll just see where we can end up. We had a good car here last time and led a lot of laps. We got took out by a lapped car on a restart, but we had an awesome car here. I think if we can have good pit stops all night and don't blister any of them good Goodyear tires, I think we've got a good tire for this race, I think we're going to be OK.
"The Lowe's car was awfully good today. We wanted to put a Chevrolet on the pole, and we're excited about the new tire Goodyear's got. Hopefully it won't blister like it did last time. We're excited. We've got a good starting spot. We led a lot of laps last time. Hopefully, we can get a good run out of this. We need a little luck change for our Lowe's Chevy. We've had some good runs and tough luck lately.
"The race track got a little bit faster. We got a cloud. About four or five cars ran awfully strong in that 15-20 minute time zone. I felt like the race track was going to be a little bit quicker then. I felt like our car was going to be in pretty good shape anyway. When Bobby put that number up there, I said I didn't know if I could run that or not unless we could catch that cloud. That was my only chance, and we were real fortunate to catch it.
"The wait is always tough. You never know who's going to pull out a good lap. Jerry Nadeau was one of the last cars to go and he's always a good qualifier. We had a truck guy up here, Jack Sprague, I know he wanted to showcase his talent in this garage. I went to Phoenix one time in the Craftsman Truck Series and sat on the pole there and the very last truck beat me, I think it was Bill Elliott. I sweated a little extra when Bill made his lap because he had been good all day. There was a lot of good cars to beat, and fortunately, the Lowe's Chevrolet was the toughest one today.
"I really didn't care what anybody else ran. I was going to run the best lap I could run anyway. I do that every week and then just let the cards fall where they may. We did the best job we could do. If it had been 40th, it still would have been the best job I could do. I focused. I hit all my marks. The car pushed a little bit on the first lap. I expected the first lap to be a really good lap. The car pushed a little bit on both ends. I took it real easy getting in the corner and came off the corner hard and was hauling butt when I got back to the flag. The car responded. It turned good in the middle down at the other end. It was a good engine, a good race car. Larry McReynolds and all of the guys did an excellent job with the setup. We're excited.
"We've had some great runs. It's terrible to run so good and finish so bad. Hopefully we can change our momentum a little bit this week at Richmond. Last year we were a real good second-half team. We just haven't proven that so far yet. We'd like to do that and get back in the top 10 in the points and finish and help Chevrolet with the points championship. We want to put Chevrolet in victory lane. I need to help them. They've helped me a lot and I need to contribute a little back. We led a lot of laps the last race. We had a bad pit stop and came out fourth. I got wrecked by a lapped car.
"Track position is very important here. Good pit stops, track position, it's all important. We have to get somewhere in the top 10. We'd like to lead the first lap if at all possible and get five bonus points and then fall back into the pack and hang around all day and then race the hell out of them at the end of the day.
"Next year when this race is sponsored by Chevrolet, being a Chevrolet driver, it'd be pretty awesome to win the first Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 here. I've won a couple of Chevy races in the Craftsman Truck Series. I'd like to step it on up and win one over here."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was better than we ran in practice a little bit, but the track is going to cool down and it's going to get faster. I'm sure that's not going to hang very well, but I hope it'll keep us in the top 25."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I'm not pleased with that at all. We slowed down a little bit from practice, but some of these other guys picked up quite a bit. It was a decent lap. I think we were a little bit too tight, and then I got loose off. It's just part of it. We weren't quite right. I thought we were going to have to run in the .70s to be up front. A lot of teams will end up running in the .80s. The field is so close here at Richmond. A tenth of a second can put you from 10th to 30th, so hopefully it'll be good enough."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That's not what we needed. I missed three and four on the second lap. The first lap felt like I thought it would. I got through one and two on the second lap and I missed three and four. The car didn't miss. I missed. I didn't leave the pole down there, but I left something down there. At least we got locked in today."
TOM BALDWIN (No. 91 Invinca-Shield Monte Carlo)
"It wasn't a real good lap. I missed a couple of my points. I need a little more time in these cars. Usually tomorrow is a real slow day, but we'll take a shot and see what happens."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo)
"I didn't want to put much on 'em the first lap because I knew I was going for it on the second lap. I really wanted to do it on the second lap. I thought the tires were going to come in on the second lap, and they did. I pushed it hard and got a lot more out of it than I thought I would. The track has picked up a little bit. For me it's one of those things where if I'd tried hard on the first lap I'd probably have stuffed it in the wall. I'm happy to run that lap. It was a great lap for us.
"That's by far the best we've run today. It really came in good on the second lap. To run a lap like that today, I was very pleased. I kept asking where the cloud was. It does make a big difference. It must have come over when I went out. I'll take it any way I can get it.
"The car felt good. I thought we had what it took to make it happen, but I couldn't seem to do it in practice. It came around in qualifying. It was a typical Richmond qualifying. You're never 100 percent comfortable. You're always on the edge. You've just got to be aggressive and hope it sticks."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"It was a good lap for us. We've been working with this engine, trying to get it up off the corner a little better in every practice. We went out to qualify and when I came to the flag it stumbled up off the corner, kind of laid down a little bit like it didn't want to run. It did it every lap. It was worse off four than it was turn two. It just felt like it was going through a couple hundred rpm's there that was bad. I don't know what our problem is. We just haven't been sharp since we've been here with the engine off the corners. We'll get there. The guys work hard. The car was really driving good. It went through the corners good, and I think it'll drive good in the race."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"These Pennzoil guys have been working hard. I've been putting them in bad position, not qualifying good and pitting on the backstretch. We talked about it after last week. We finished 10th after starting last and pitting on the backstretch. We met after the race and tried to figure out what we needed to do to qualify better. Earnhardt took me in the office this week and told me, 'you've got to get up on that steering wheel and drive that thing. Don't worry everybody is behind you, and you've got the support of the whole team.' We took that attitude and went into this weekend and it seemed to work out for us. We blew a tire, but we were running fifth here last time. We've got the same car but a little different setup. We're hoping we can run as good as we did last time without having any tire trouble."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I thought we could pick up a little bit from practice, but we didn't. It was a little tight. It was freer when the sun was out, but the sun went down and got us a little tight for qualifying. This is the same car we led so much with here last year. We think it's going to race good."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"That was OK. We were a little bit tight there, but I thought we were going to be a little bit faster than that. We got a decent starting spot. If we're in the top 20, I'll be happy. We never made a qualifying run with stickers in practice, so we didn't know what we could run. It's a good car. I think we're in pretty good shape."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We had two good laps. We just got beat. They line up 43 cars in this garage area, and I didn't leave anything on the track. I feel good about it. We elected to scuff our tires and qualify on scuffed tires. A lot of people don't know what they have, so they keep going, keep going. I felt like we knew what we had. It's been a good track for me. We always qualify well here. The race is another deal. We've got to work hard on that for Saturday night. The guys did a good job."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We picked up from practice, but everybody else picked up, too. I'm happy with it. We unloaded a little off, and it drives good. That's the main thing here. It's the car we had here last time, and we finished fourth with it then. I know we'll race good this time, too."
GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"We went from the outhouse to the top 10. That's great. The last time we were here we were pitiful. This is a brand new car. We shook in down at Caraway Speedway (in Asheboro, N.C.) this week, but this is the first time it's been on a Winston Cup track. The engine ran great. We've been good all day. We're very happy with the car. It's fun to come here and run good."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"I'm pretty happy to make it in the first round. We were all right the first practice and the second practice we didn't do that well. We were worried about our chances, so this is a big boost for the team. We tested good here and the car was comfortable, but five out of 10 times, you go test and you don't come back with the same feel for the car or the same weather conditions. We're pretty happy. It's a good thing we did come test. It was very cold and overcast when we tested here. It was a big difference between then and now. I'm ready to get practice started tomorrow now."