Sonoma: Team Monte Carlo qualifying quotes

RON FELLOWS, NO. 87 CELLULAR ONE CHEVY MONTE CARLO (19th): "(Qualifying is) very different than practice. It was not a very good lap for us. I don't know if it was the stuff on before us; it was very, very slippery. It didn't have any rear grip.

RON FELLOWS, NO. 87 CELLULAR ONE CHEVY MONTE CARLO (19th):

"(Qualifying is) very different than practice. It was not a very good lap for us. I don't know if it was the stuff on before us; it was very, very slippery. It didn't have any rear grip. I'd have to look at the lap times, but I think overall (the early qualifying times were not so good.) Ryan Newman's off from where he was. It appears to be a bit of a crapshoot. We were sliding around, spending way too much time looking out the side window."

TRACK SLIPPERY? "This is just the track surface. Sometimes you have compatibility issue when you've got a different series out there that runs on a different kind of rubber and you go out there first (in qualifying after an SCCA race) and it tends to be pretty slick. I suspect the track will get better as qualifying goes along. You have some sunshine and the track temperatures go up and it makes it greasy, and that's pretty typical."

WHO ARE THE BEST WINSTON CUP ROAD RACERS? "There are some awfully good road racers here, trust me. Jeff Gordon is the best, Mark Martin is very, very good, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart is one, Steve Park. Jimmie Johnson tested really, really well, so I look for big things from him. Ryan Newman is obviously getting around here. Rusty Wallace (is good) in terms of the race. It's sort of the the veteran regulars (who are good) and the new kids are obviously doing well as well."

ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO (ninth):

"It was pretty good. I'd like to have been a little better, but I had a hard time getting the tires temps up. Didn't get of turn 11 last time very good and just didn't have enough tire temps through the first couple of corners, We're happy where we've qualified and we'll probably end up in the top 10."

SLIPPERY? "I don't think the track is as slippery as much as the tire temps weren't up. I think it was more of a tire temp issue. Guys are used to getting a full lap of tire temp on sticker tires and then going and qualifying."

TURN 11: "We're pretty good on 11, but I didn't do 11 very good today."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVY MONTE CARLO (fourth, first Chevrolet):

ON THE FANS SCREAMING HIS NAME AFTER QUALIFYING:

"Yeah, we've got the fans out here, which is great. I love coming up to this area. Growing up as a kid out here -- it's a lot off fun. Unfortunately, I didn't get to make many laps here at Sears Point , but I'm enjoying the laps I'm getting to make right now."

BRAND NEW RACE CAR? "We got limited on time this morning. I would have liked to have some more time. There are definitely some things I would have done different if we would have had more time. The car all in all is pretty darn good. I made a really smooth consistent lap there. I just saw guys struggling with some times out there and I said, you know I think it would be better if I made sure to keep all four tires on the track and not be over-aggressive. I felt I was a little too aggressive in practice. It was a decent lap, but I know we've got more in the car."

SOME OF THE ROAD RACERS SAY YOU'RE THE GUY TO BEAT HERE: "That's a compliment. We have certainly been real strong out here, won a lot of races and won a lot of races on these road courses and have been the guy to beat. I hope that's again this weekend. I hope we disappoint these guys because we don't let them get into victory lane. If they do beat us I hope they have to work hard for it and we're right in the thick of things."

ON THE ROAD COURSE INTERLOPERS: "It's hard to beat these (regular Winston Cup) teams. These team and driver combinations that run every weekend -- man, it's hard to beat that. These guys certainly give it a great effort and I love racing with some of these road racers because they know what they're doing and I get to learn from them. But I still put a lot of faith in race teams like ours and the guys that are up front in points always seem to find a way to get the most out of their cars and drivers no matter where they go."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVY MONTE CARLO (15th):

"I didn't realize that I was trying so hard and through practice and everything and I was just over-driving the car. I went out there to drive (in qualifying) sensibly and had a great lap going, blew turn 11 there, got a little greedy getting into 11 and it also would have been a much better lap. I'm very happy to turn it around, picked up a lot of speed from practice. Once I get in race practice on Saturday, get back into the rhythm and remember how to drive out here I'll be in good shape."

AFTER THIS MORNING'S PRACTICE: "I was just overdriving the car. I was trying really hard and was over-driving the car everywhere around the track. Trying to adjust on the car for being so tight. The problem was I was driving it in so hard there's no way the car was going to turn. So we put the car back the way it was from the test and tried to drive more sensibly and put a better lap on the board."

-tmc-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Steve Park. , Mark Martin