Rockingham: Team Monte Carlo qualifying quotes

Jerry Nadeau set the pace for Team Monte Carlo by qualifying fifth for Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Jimmie Johnson, who was last weeks pole-sitter for the Daytona 500, earned an 11th place starting position and posted the...

Jerry Nadeau set the pace for Team Monte Carlo by qualifying fifth for Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Jimmie Johnson, who was last weeks pole-sitter for the Daytona 500, earned an 11th place starting position and posted the fastest time for a rookie. The following are comments from the top Chevrolet drivers:

Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 UAW-GM Chevrolet Monte Carlo -qualified 5thr

"Well, it's kind of disappointing to qualify fifth and not have anyone near us. The closest Chevrolet to us was Kenny Wallace and he qualified 9th. I think what happened is that this track really got worn out. And now it looks like the Dodges and Fords have more downforce than we have, and they're starting to come in on a track like this. So I think we're lacking. I think we're lacking in downforce, no doubt. But, I've got to say that the guys did a super job because we were not a threat at all in practice. We were around 25th. I got a good lap. I got a very good lap and I'm pleased with that. The guys did a very good job on the car. This is the same Chevrolet that we finished fifth here in the fall. So, I know I'm going to have a good car in the race. It's just a matter of if we can beat those Dodges and Fords because right now it looks like they're pretty quick."

Kenny Wallace, No 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 9th

"Like everybody, his Pennzoil team worked awful hard. We changed a lot of stuff. This car has been up front the whole time (Steve Park is the defending champion of this race and Kenny Wallace finished second with it here last fall). It's a different situation here, you know. The car is not exactly the way it was, but it's still fast. I wasn't real happy before qualifying. Paul Andrews made some adjustments. We were pushing all morning long and then it got loose. We were really worried about qualifying. So to be ninth will be a good start. We just want to get up there early and win this thing."

Bobby Hamilton, No. 55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 10th

"I'm pretty happy. This is the car that Joe Nemechek ran here last year. He qualified 13th, I qualified 10th. The car I had here last year qualified sixth. So I'm right in my range. I'm okay. I like the racing on this track. I'm sure this one-engine rule is going to catch a few people off guard. There's no doubt that Robert Yates has always had good engines. I always felt that if it came down to qualifying and racing with the same engine, that his stuff would shine. When race time comes and motors don't make any difference, the Chevrolets will prevail again. They'll be awfully good, I think."

Jeff Green, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 15th and won the pole for Saturday's Busch race in the No. 21 Rockwell Chevrolet

"It was a good run for our AOL Chevy. We got the pole in the Busch car so hopefully we can stay somewhere around the top 10 or 12. It was still a good run for us. We don't have any points yet. So we have to be a little bit careful about what we do to make sure we get in these things. These guys did a great job for us today. Tracks like this are basically my style. It's who uses the track and his head the best will win these races."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualifies 11th - fastest qualifying rookie

"We're just working real hard to be smooth and consistent. I just put two good laps together and the guys gave me an awesome car. I've still got to earn my keep. There is still a lot for me to learn but it's awesome to sit in such great equipment from Hendrick Motorsports. I've got a lot to learn. But we fought it a little bit. We didn't unload as fast as we thought we were going to. We had to work on the car a little. It's frustrating wondering if the changes are going to work with the tires, or not. Everything worked out pretty good.

"I'm very happy. We tested here and we ran in the sixties so ideally we thought we could get back to that speed. But with the NASCAR clock ticking and all the pressure on, I'm very happy with the entire team and all the support Lowe's has given us. Two down, two to go (making the field without provisionals)."

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 33rd

"We made some calls and went out there and felt really good about the track. Obviously it had picked up. So you're pushing it for everything you can and I got real tight and that really hurt us."

Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- qualified 26th

"We were tight in the corners and just couldn't get it to free-up more."

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 34th

"We're obviously not pleased with that. But we're in the race and I'm sure we'll be fine."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Michael Waltrip , Steve Park , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Jerry Nadeau , Jimmie Johnson , Robert Yates