NOTES AND QUOTES Bud Pole Qualifying Sears Point Raceway June 25, 1999 TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "They were picking on me on the radio and I thought I must have ran a real miserable lap. Greg Zipadelli and all the...
NOTES AND QUOTES Bud Pole Qualifying Sears Point Raceway June 25, 1999
TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix): "They were picking on me on the radio and I thought I must have ran a real miserable lap. Greg Zipadelli and all the guys did a great job getting the car ready. We'd been loose all day off the corner. I made two mistakes. I didn't get up the hill hard enough and I got into 11 too deep. You probably could have put a semi between me and the tires down here. I know I gave up some time. The car was faster than what I drove it. I know we're going to have a good race car.
"The road racing schools out here I took helped a bunch. I went to the Bondurant school first and had Chris Cook as my instructor. Then we came here the Thursday before the Fontana race and we basically wanted to come here and get a day under our belt just to learn the race track. It's a lot easier when you can eliminate a variable when you go to a test. You only have two days per test versus the three you had last year and you've got to make the most of your time in that one day to come and learn the layout of the race track. That was one variable I could throw away. I knew the layout when we got out here. It was just a matter of learning the Cup car on this track. The little tidbits I learned here and there really helped out a lot. Anytime you can get on a race track in any type of car and learn the sweet spots, that's a plus. There are so many corners here where you go up a hill and the exits are blind, it's a great advantage to come here and acquire track time.
"I just wanted to make the top 25 today. I was pretty nervous that that wasn't a possibility watching everybody else through qualifying. I didn't think that was going to be an option. I honestly thought we'd have to work on qualifying setups again tomorrow morning. That's the advantage for getting through first round now. We can go worry about race setups tomorrow and run with these guys. You know Jerry and Jeff are going to be fast here. Hopefully, we can go out there and run with them tomorrow and kind of learn a little bit. I've got a whole book that has a lot of empty pages right now that I need to fill out with notes and following these guys will help out a bunch.
"I definitely think Sunday is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the year for sure. It's just different. The racing you do on the ovals and the way the groove changes, most of the places we race at the groove widens out to where it's two or three lanes wide or sometimes like Michigan you could probably fit eight or 10 school buses through there. I don't think the groove will change that much here and you're really going to have to work on finding spots on the race track where you're actually faster than another guy and that's going to be a lot more important than it normally is. Normally you're racing the race track and worrying about your race car and with the way the groove changes you can find a spot on the race track where you're better than another guy. Here, everybody is going to be in the same spot, so you're going to have to work really hard to try and get an advantage on certain spots on the race track in order to get by."
KYLE PETTY (No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac Grand Prix): "In the upper part of the race track, don't ask me what the turns are (3A and 7), I hit a curb and got offline from where I needed to be. Then going through the far end, which would be seven, I hit the curb and got off flying from where I needed to be. I made two mistakes that probably cost me a couple of tenths, it didn't cost me too much. That's life on a road course, especially for me. We qualified from where we practiced, so that's all right. I got through the hairpin better than I had the whole time. Maybe I made up more down there than I lost up at the top of the course."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix): "I just lost grip. We've raced well out here the last couple of times and we were good in practice throughout the day. I would have liked to qualify better, but I think we're going to be OK. We'll concentrate on getting her ready to race now."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix): "We've got a good car for the race. We're working on getting some more forward bite and that will help us. We race well in this event and I don't think we'll see that change Sunday."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix): "We've had some transmission problems today. We had to change it once and I still wasn't able to put it in second gear out there and that hurt me."
ERNIE IRVAN (No. 36 M&M's Pontiac Grand Prix): "Well, obviously we didn't have much time to work on this car after crashing the primary car in practice. We've got the guys capable of making it good enough to get going here at Sears Point. We're just a little behind right now and we'll have to battle back."
DERRIKE COPE (No. 30 State Fair Pontiac Grand Prix): "We weren't that good in practice and we made some changes that made the car better. We're in pretty good shape to make the show tomorrow and that takes a little pressure off. It helps to have all of Saturday for working on your race setup."