Team Monte Carlo Bristol notes, part two

TODD BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Todd Bodine will attempt to qualify the car for his older brother, Geoffrey Bodine, in first-round time trials. He drove in the No. 60 Power Team Monte Carlo almost the entire...

TODD BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Todd Bodine will attempt to qualify the car for his older brother, Geoffrey Bodine, in first-round time trials. He drove in the No. 60 Power Team Monte Carlo almost the entire practice session on Friday. "Geoff went out the first session and got a little dizzy I guess. He just felt he couldn't do it, so he came over and got me. I'm definitely going to qualify it. I'm sure he'll get in it in the morning to see if he's all right or not. We'll just have to see. "I've done this (relief drive) for a long time. You're playing a different role as a (relief) driver. You're out there to win, and you're doing the best you can. Car owner points mean so much in our sport, but you have to be aware of it and not do anything stupid and just get a decent finish. You try to keep the car in one piece and try to help advance the team. If you go out there and try to prove something so to speak, you end up getting in trouble and you look stupid and you don't prove anything other than you're an idiot. You've got to go out there and use your head and drive smart all the time. "We've always been real close (with car setups). When I got in the car, I felt the same thing that Geoff was feeling. Our setups have always been real close and our thoughts and what we like to feel has always been real close. "I qualified for Terry Labonte at Michigan and he drove the car in the race. I qualified and raced for Terry at the Brickyard. I was a relief driver for Geoff at Richmond. I had started the race in the No. 91 car, but we didn't make it long. We blew a tire. I drove my own car at Watkins Glen, and then I drove for Joe Falk (91 Chevy) at Atlanta. "We can't quite get it (60 Chevy) right. We teeter-totter on both sides of what we need. We can't get it down the middle. It's a little different than the Busch car, but it shouldn't hurt anything."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I'm not feeling well. I didn't have a problem at Dover. I felt good there. I'm real surprised this is happening. I'm frustrated and disappointed. I'm going to get back in the car in the morning and see if I can work it out. I believe I can. I was getting better, but I didn't want to waste the whole practice working on myself when the car needed to be worked on. Hopefully tomorrow I can get out there and make some laps and get acclimated to the G-forces. My first thought was to get Todd in the car so the team would have a chance to get it set up. "There's a lot of speed, banking and G-forces here. I'm seriously considering finding a roller-coaster tonight and going to the amusement park. Terry Labonte had an inner ear problem. I don't believe I have that problem. Maybe I do and we just haven't realized it yet and it's showing up here. We'll investigate this. If it doesn't fix itself tomorrow, we'll find out what the problem is and attack it. "Todd fits halfway decent in the car. We all have confidence in what he can do. That's why I went after him. We're out of provisionals, so it's do or die here at Bristol. Everybody on the team is happy with Todd. They all have confidence in what he can do. We've been struggling trying to find the right combination. Looks like it's going to cool off. We're the last car on the track, so maybe that'll be good. I'll be watching."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I'm pretty surprised, considering how bad we were in practice. Look at how Skinner and I were in practice. We were like 31st and 32nd. I know we'll have a good car for the race. We've made a lot of changes to the car, and they've paid off. The rain didn't really change the track much. It might have made it better. Our lap could have been better, but we'll take it. At least we'll be pitting on the frontstretch tomorrow night."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were pretty good in practice, but we slowed down a little bit. That's a pretty good starting spot. At least we've got a frontstretch pit."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We struggled a little bit. Normally we qualify well here at Bristol, but our Chevrolet was off just a little bit. We just couldn't get down on the race track. We changed quite a bit of stuff just before qualifying. The rain cooled down the track a little bit. I watched my teammate, Kevin Harvick. He got back in that throttle early, and so did Mike Dillon, so I learned something from them. We tried it on the second lap and it didn't stick, but we got one good lap in. We've got a good starting spot. I knew it wouldn't stand up for the pole, but that's OK."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were a little loose off turn four, but that was it. I just couldn't use all the motor. It's late in the evening and it's cool. I think everybody picked up. I knew it would be close for a front stretch pit, but we managed to make it. Maybe that'll change our luck. I think we're ready for a good run in front of the home folks tomorrow night."

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Bristol has always been a good track for me with my Busch car. That was about as good as we were today. I made a lot of mistakes during practice, but we were confident we were going to run a good enough lap to get us on the frontstretch pits. Hopefully we've got a good race car for tomorrow. This is probably one of the more tougher tracks to pass. You have to be patient. Even if you're a faster car, you still have to be patient and not run into the back of the guy in front of you and damage your ability to cool the engine or anything like that. You wait about 20 or 30 laps until the car in front of you go away and then hopefully you can make some passes getting up off the corner. It's very difficult to pass here. It's really good and important that you get on and off pit road quickly. The guy who does well and stays on the lead lap and does well off pit road normally has the upper hand."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I was pretty happy with my lap until I found out that Rusty ran a thousandth of a second faster than me. You start thinking about all the places you might have bobbled or could have picked up a thousandth of a second. We had a great lap. It's been a good day for us. It's a brand new car, and we unloaded off the truck and it's been good all day. The guys started picking it up when they made their qualifying runs. We got a little nervous. We put new tires on and it didn't pick up. I was a little worried about that, but I don't know what we could have done to go any faster other than me just hitting my line off turn four a little bit better. It didn't allow me to get in the throttle quite as hard. We all want to be on the pole, and you want that No. 1 pit stall, but No. 2 is not bad. We'll take that. When you're on the outside you just hope you can get down as quick as possible. I might do a little politicking with Steve Park to see if he will let me squeeze in there in the first corner. "I knew the first lap was a good one, and I knew I couldn't do any better on the second lap. I thought about going for the second lap, but then I thought I'd settle for the first one. I feel really good. We ran real well here last time. This night race has eluded us. We'd like to change that, and we're making changes to do it. We're setting up the car a little different. We want to make sure we do everything we can to win it and not hit things on pit road this time. "Rusty has his act together. If he sticks to the race track, it's tough to beat him, but this is as close as we've come in a long time."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "It was loose. We thought we were going to be tight and put a little rubber in the right rear. It was probably too much. I had a .30 in that car. I just didn't get it out of it. We stayed on the frontstretch, so that's good. I was going to go for that second lap, but I couldn't hang on."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got the pole here last time, and we were going for it again but came up a little bit short. That was still a good lap, so we'll start third and hope for the best in the race."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Geoffrey Bodine , Kevin Harvick , Michael Ho