BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We ran the same thing we did in practice, just a little slower than Elliott [Sadler] did in practice, so that ought to be pretty good. I just can't thank the guys enough for...
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We ran the same thing we did in practice, just a little slower than Elliott [Sadler] did in practice, so that ought to be pretty good. I just can't thank the guys enough for giving me such a good car. We were top 10 in practice and hopefully we'll stay that way through the rest of it."
KEVIN LEPAGE, NO. 4 KODAK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"I don't know what to say. Everybody worked real hard to get this car where it needs to be, and that's where we practiced. I thought we could have picked up a little bit from some of the work that we did. But for some reason, we didn't and we'll just have to see where it stacks up at the end of the day. It's not for lack of work, I can tell you that."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"It's never enough. I don't think anybody is ever happy with their qualifying run with the exception of one person. It was an improvement and I'm certainly happy about that. We were looking to run a little more than that, maybe a .60 or a .70."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We killed our good car down in Daytona, and it seems like we worked on that car for two years and kept making improvements and making improvements on it. We came out of the box with this car and did what we knew, and unfortunately this time we'll have to do a few things to make it better. It's obviously not where we'd like to be or where we are normally. That car we killed had four races on it, and every time we raced that car we were a threat to win. We'll see what happens on Sunday, but right now we aren't very good."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO, 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We're a little disappointed. We slowed down quite a bit from practice, but we don't seem to be able to hit it qualifying here every time. More often than not, we're closer to the front than we'll probably be today, but we're pretty confident that we'll race our way up there."
MIKE SKINNER, NO. 01 USG SHEETROCK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
"Our troubles started in the inspection room, the 'room of doom' or whatever this is over here. NASCAR decided they wanted us to move our spring buckets forward. We never moved them during practice the whole time and we went through inspection this morning. Maybe it is something they've overlooked. The USG/Army/Jerry Nadeau Pontiac will race really well. They told me not to get discouraged by the way this car qualifies because it races really good. A few years back, Jimmy Spencer had a car like that. He took a provisional about every time he ran it, but in 15 or 20 laps, he'd be up there in the top 10 gouging on you. Hopefully we can get this thing up front and have a good day on Sunday."
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 90 AOL 9.0 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I'm pretty happy with it. The team predicted that I would run about there, and I did, so I think they know their business really well. I just have to go out and drive. I'm enjoying myself, and it's a great opportunity to drive for Richard Childress. Hopefully, we can get AOL 9.0 up front."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DuPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"I ran real high on the first lap to just try and get some momentum built up for that second lap. The guys in the shop have been working hard, massaging on this body to get it as slick as possible for qualifying day. The engine has been phenomenal. We have new rules here, so it is a little bit of a learning curve for all of us. I'm real happy with that. I would like to have gone out a little later, like where we drew, but for the most part we're happy."
HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE WOULD IT HAVE MADE IF YOU HAD GONE LATER, AT YOUR ASSIGNED SPOT? "It's hard to say. If the wind dies down, the sun goes down some more and it cools down, there could definitely be some speed there. It's more on principle right now. We drew a late number and we were looking forward to that late run."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We're a little disappointed. We slowed the car down from practice. The guys are disappointed. We're going to go all over the car and find out where we lost the speed. I feel like, come Sunday, we'll be one of the guys to beat and it will be kind of fun coming up through there."
DAVID GREEN, NO. 60 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"We came here and tested and did some things that helped the Hendrick teams, or at least I hope they did. That wasn't what we wanted to run, but that was what it gave us and we'll be solidly in the field. I've had a great time this year doing the R&D testing this year for Hendrick Motorsports, trying not only to bring the Haas Automation car to the track and be competitive, but to help the rest of the Hendrick teams as well."
NOTE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has won five straight races here at Talladega (including a Busch Series race), had his qualifying time disallowed by NASCAR officials following Friday's qualifying session for the EA Sports 500. According to the team, both quarterpanels on Earnhardt's Chevrolet were 1/16th of an inch too low. NASCAR rules state the quarterpanels must be a minimum of 35 inches from the ground on the left side and 36 inches on the right. NASCAR allows teams a quarter-inch tolerance after the car qualifies and goes through post-qualifying inspection. Earnhardt Jr.'s quarterpanels measured 5/16ths of an inch too low in post-race inspection, according to team sources. The No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet driven this weekend by Jason Keller, who qualified 32nd, also had its time disallowed for the same reason. As a result, Keller will start 43rd on the final provisional spot.
TONY EURY SR., CREW CHIEF, NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
"This is restrictor-plate racing, and you have to get everything you can get. We were just a little too low."
JIM HUNTER, NASCAR VICE-PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS:
"The No. 8 car's time has been disallowed. He failed post-qualifying inspection. The quarterpanels were too low. He will receive a provisional starting spot and will start 38th. The No. 1 car also failed post-qualifying inspection for the same reason. He will start 43rd."
QUOTE FROM RICHARD CHILDRESS ON THE NO. 30 AMERICA ONLINE CHEVROLET NOT QUALIFYING FOR SUNDAY'S EA SPORTS 500 AT TALLADEGA (Ala.) SUPERSPEEDWAY:
"Obviously, we're very disappointed that the AOL car didn't qualify. We struggled during practice but thought we would be able to make the race. In the end, though, we shouldn't have been in that position because Steve (Park) and the AOL team are better than that. Fortunately, we'll still have AOL on the track this weekend with the No. 90 AOL/Special Operations Warrior Foundation car that John Andretti is driving. We will just have to regroup and do everything we can to keep from this happening again."