Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 Quotebook RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 5, 1997) The following are quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the Exide NASCAR...
Report from Motorsport News International
NASCAR Public Relations
Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 Quotebook
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 5, 1997) The following are quotes from selected drivers after Busch Pole Qualifying for the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
BILL ELLIOTT No. 94 McDonald's Ford
"I thought I had a better lap the second lap, but I got a little wide down here in (Turns) 3 and 4. Things have been really coming together for us. If we can keep things going in a good positive direction. Everything is so close right now, that's what scares me. You go out to qualify, and I was 25th or 30th after practice. It's hard to tell where you stack up 'til you get down and go. I'm tickled to death with the way the team has come together and the way everything is going. If we can get out of here with several more races with good runs, we'll be in good shape. I have won here. I'd like to do it again.
"I tried last week. I felt like Darlington would be my best shot. Bobby just really had a good lap when he qualified last week. This week, at the end of practice I was about 30th, and I was just really surprised. I knew the car would pick up, but I didn't realize it would run that well. It ran that well the first lap. That's what it is all about. This team has done a great job putting me back around. It's really given new life as far as driving a race car is concerned. They have put some excellent race cars under me. These guys have done an excellent job and Ernie has done an excellent job on the motors. They've really put things together. We're working on getting back to Victory Lane. I've led more laps this year than I've led in a long time. We've really run well, we just haven't been able to capitalize at the end of the race.
"When I screwed up on the second lap, I thought I wasn't going to be in the top-25. But, it's hard to tell. These cars run so close. The car rolled through the corner well, and on the second lap I just got a little loose in 3 and 4. But whatever it takes, that's all there is to it. It amazes me how close the times are."
KENNY IRWIN No. 27 Hasbro Winner's Circle Ford
"Maybe I'm ready or maybe I'm not, but Robert Yates thought I was and he was ready to take a chance. We had a good car all day. You just want to click off that good lap, and we did. I'm not surprised. I'm just elated. Just making the race, if we make the race and just make laps, that's all I wanted to come here and do. My first goal was to just make the race. As long as we do that, we'll be happy. It wasn't my goal to come here and sit on the pole or break any records, just come and make the top-25. As long as we do that, I'm happy. Just make laps, that's all I want to do. That's all Robert Yates wants me to do. We're just trying to gear up for next year."
BOBBY HAMILTON No. 43 STP Pontiac
"We're real happy with that. We had run a .78 in practice. We went on stickers instead of scuffs and I was worried about them that first lap. The second lap they came around real good. We've got a good race car. I had hoped to stay on the pole, but we're still in pretty good shape. That's the bad thing about running early. When you run good you have to bite your nails through the rest of them qualifying. It was a good lap. Most of the field went on sticker tires, but we went on scuffs. We gave our first lap up, but we knew our second lap would be good. It drifted up the track on the first lap, but the second lap I could get after it. It was real smooth. The guys that beat me definitely earned it.
ROBBY GORDON No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet
"We're pretty happy with that. We picked up from practice a lot. This is my third time here, and I'm getting more familiar with the place. 'M getting the feel of the car. We knew we had a good car. We're happy to be in the field the first day."
KENNY WALLACE No. 81 Square D Ford
"On the second lap, they had me on the pole down here in the corner before I got sideways. We missed the pole coming off of turn-4. I can't believe the first lap was that quick, because it pushed. But the second lap it really turned good. In turn-3 I still pushed and tried to snatch, but it all of a sudden started coming around on me. That's all we had. I think we've got a good handle on this car. This is the same car we had at Martinsville."
DICK TRICKLE No. 90 Heilig-Meyers/Simmons Ford
"We were about 33rd in practice. We just weren't going anywhere. The car wouldn't turn in the middle, so we changed two springs just before qualifying. I just told 'em it ain't turning, and they don't doubt me. If it ain't turning, it ain't going. But we put a couple of springs in it, and darn if it didn't turn. This is Junie Donlavey's hometown and the team lives here and the Heilig-Meyers home office is here, I just want to run good in front of the hometown folks, because I'm kind of a Richmond boy now."
DAVID GREEN No. 96 Caterpillar Chevrolet
"I'm satisfied with that. Any time we can pick up a little bit from practice, I'm happy. The car is a little bit better than the driver trying to keep up with it right now. I feel pretty good. The Carolina Panthers really helped me out with therapy. I feel pretty good until I get out of the car or when I try to put it in reverse. If I try to parallel park, I'm hurting real bad, but this is good medicine. I'm sure we're going to read about super rookie Kenny Irwin and all that, but I'd like to hit 'em in the shoulder and see what they could do. My brother Mark Green will probably stand by for me Saturday night. One big reason is because of the seat. Todd did a good job last week, but he wants the seat totally different. My plan is to start, but we might have to go into plan B mode. As long as there's not a lot of beating and banging, I'll be fine. T&L did our qualifying engine this week and what a difference. I think that made up for the wounded driver."
JEFF GORDON No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet
"It was a pretty good lap. We picked up a little bit from practice. It was just wasn't tight enough. Bobby Hamilton and Petty Enterprises really have a good setup for this place. We did what we needed to do. This place is so tight for qualifying that one little bobble you find yourself way in the back, so we're pretty happy with that."
TERRY LABONTE No. 5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet
"That's a little bit faster than we practiced, not much. The sealer made the track a little tighter coming off the corner. It's a little faster than we'd practiced, but it's still not good enough."
DALE EARNHARDT No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet
"I got in the throttle too hard down there in three an four. I got up off the corner good and then it started to take off toward the wall and I had to let off the throttle. It was going to be fast. We ended up with a good lap. I feel good. I don't know how to explain it. As good as I feel today, last week is hard to explain. You always feel good when you find out how healthy you are. That's a real plus for me. I'm ready to race. I wish we could have raced last week. I think we had a real good car at Darlington. We were starting way back, but it was one of them days you feel good about the car. I felt good in practice Saturday afternoon. We'll see what we've got this week. I think we'll get 'em tomorrow night."