Saturday, Oct. 16, 1999. Talladega Superspeedway. Second-round qualifying for Winston 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "I guess I'll have to come from 27th if I'm going to win...
Saturday, Oct. 16, 1999. Talladega Superspeedway. Second-round qualifying for Winston 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)
"I guess I'll have to come from 27th if I'm going to win Sunday. I needed to run a little bit faster. Skinner's got a pole and I haven't. If I had been a little faster and got second-round fastest, I might could have got in that qualifying race. Richard Childress wanted to be in it anyway. I'm not sure I did. I think we can win from there (27th). I think we can win from last place really with this race car. Mike's car is running awfully good. I think our packages are going to be about the same. We'll just use our heads and try to stay out of trouble. This is the same car I won with here last time, and it's the same car we had in Daytona. We've just had it in qualifying mode. We haven't had it in race mode yet, but I'm sure we'll have it ready to go when they drop that green flag tomorrow."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
COMMENT ON EARNHARDT'S STATEMENT OF BEING ABLE TO WIN FROM LAST PLACE
"Darn, that's pretty big. He probably can. I've seen him do it before. I hope we can win from 26th place.
"It won't be as tough here at Talladega as it is at a lot of places (to win from middle of the pack). The only thing that could hurt us is if it goes green like we've seen it do. If you lose the lead draft by half a lap, pretty soon they're going to be coming back around to get you. The key is going to be to stay on the lead lap. Hopefully there's some sort of caution. Hopefully not a crash, maybe a piece of duct work or something, a Coke can or something. We've got a good race car. We're going to be OK. It's going to be to both (Earnhardt's and Skinner's) of our benefits to work together to come up through the pack. We've both got good race cars. His car generally races awfully good. Our car is a little slicker in the front end, so it usually qualifies a little bit better. What we get in qualifying is something that costs us a little bit in the race because of front downforce. Larry (crew chief McReynolds) and the guys are awesome on this car, and they'll get the fenders right on this thing.
"This is the car we had here last time. I've got the blades all sharpened up and ready to go. We went to Lowe's and got some sharp blades for that thing and they say Pontiac on 'em. They're for cutting Pontiacs. We need to trim 'em up a little bit. They keep finishing in front of us. We've got to cut 'em down somehow. I just hope we can come from 26th and run good. We need to race the 5 and 22 for points. We'd love to stay in the top 10 in Winston Cup points and help Chevrolet in the manufacturers standings. We always want to make a contribution anyway we can. Chevrolet has won the last three out of four races. I hope we can make it four of five. That would be real good.
"I get tired of having the best car and not winning. That's happened about five times this year. It started at Daytona. I felt like we had an awesome car there. Martinsville, Charlotte, Pocono, there's two or three others. If I try to count 'em all, there might be seven. You figure if there's seven times you were in contention to win you should have won one of them anyway. We haven't done that. All we can do is go out here Sunday, try to make smart decisions, try not to cut any grass until that last lap. We'll cut it going to the checkered flag. We had an awesome car here last time. I learned something by that. In that same situation this time, if 20 of them draft past me, if we've got a car as good as we did last time, I'm going to let 'em go. If our car is that good, it'll come back. It depends on what's going on as to when I'll push it. It depends on which line is doing what, how many crazies are up in the lead draft and if you want to be behind them or in front of them. Sometimes in front of them is to your advantage and sometimes it's not. You've just got to play it by ear and see what happens.
"It all goes out the window when the green flag drops, but we've got some tentative plans with another driver or two. We'll just see what happens."
26 Chevrolet restrictor-plate victories in the '90s at Daytona and Talladega
Chevrolets have won 26 of 39 restrictor-plate points races (67 percent) at Daytona and Talladega in the '90s. Joe Gibbs Racing and Bob Whitcomb Racing have won one each. Hendrick Motorsports won six. Richard Childress Racing and Morgan-McClure Motorsports are tied with nine wins each (18 of 39 or 46.15 percent) heading into Winston 500 showdown at Talladega between the two heavyweights from Team Monte Carlo.
Daytona 500 1990 -- Derrike Cope 1991 -- Ernie Irvan (MMM) 1993 -- Dale Jarrett 1994 -- Sterling Marlin (MMM) 1995 -- Sterling Marlin (MMM) 1997 -- Jeff Gordon 1998 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1999 -- Jeff Gordon
Pepsi 400 1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1992 -- Ernie Irvan (MMM) 1993 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1995 -- Jeff Gordon 1996 -- Sterling Marlin (MMM) 1998 -- Jeff Gordon
DieHard 500 1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1993 -- Ernie Irvan (MMM) 1994 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1996 -- Sterling Marlin (MMM) 1999 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR)
Winston 500 1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1991 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1992 -- Ernie Irvan (MMM) 1993 -- Dale Earnhardt (RCR) 1995 -- Sterling Marlin (MMM) 1996 -- Jeff Gordon 1997 -- Terry Labonte