Team Monte Carlo Charlotte qualifying notes

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Any time they send that equipment out there on the track it's a concern. I'm real pleased with the job NASCAR did getting the track ready. It was perfect. We were 22nd in...

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Any time they send that equipment out there on the track it's a concern. I'm real pleased with the job NASCAR did getting the track ready. It was perfect. We were 22nd in practice, so when qualifying is over we'll see where we stack up. It's too early to tell right now."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I thought that was a lot better lap than what it was, but Sunday is a different day. I think we're going to be good in the race. That's the fastest lap we've run all day. We picked up a little from practice, and the car drove 100 percent better than it did last week."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "I thought the car drove great. We needed to run down in the .20s. It's going to be a tight night. Everybody is going to run fast. I don't think anything is the .40s is going to be where you need to be. The car is handling great and driving great. I don't feel like we're going down the straightaway as fast as we need to. I'm really concerned that we're not going to be in the top 25. I'm really worried about staying in the top 25. It's disappointing because the car is driving so great. We feel like we should have run a lot faster."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We bottomed out really bad down there and that's what probably killed the speed. It kind of scared me a little bit. It felt really loose, but it never really did anything stupid. The race track is a lot faster. It's got a lot of grip. We just didn't quite have enough spring. We had a little more travel than we had ground clearance. The Lowe's Army car went into turn one and bottomed out really, really bad. It upset the car enough that it upset the driver. I stayed in the gas and we got down through three and four and it felt like it was going to be a little loose. That's all we had. If it hadn't bottomed out we would have been a little quicker, but we'll take that and hopefully start somewhere in the top 10 or 15."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "Last week it was coming easier for us. We had run a .63 in the middle of the day, and we've worked hard for what we're getting here tonight. It's eluding us. Evidently we're missing something. We were so strong last week in the qualifying runs, and we ran well in each of those races. It's the same car. It's a bit disappointing, but we'll get a starting spot and go to work."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was tight in practice, and we thought we had it freed, but it was loose. I don't know if it was because the way the weather has changed or what. It was better than we thought we'd be, that's for sure."

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It's a good car, but it's not what we wanted to bring. I thought we had a pretty good setup. We went through one and two pretty good, but I kind of slid up in turn four. I was wide open in the throttle, but it was a little slow. I think it'll be a good race car, but it just isn't that fast."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That was a good lap. That's all we had. There was nothing left in the car. If they beat me, they can have it. It's a brand new car. We never turned a lap on it until we got here today. It's been great since we unloaded. If that time can hold up, I'll be happy. Luck is on our side now, and I don't really know why. Maybe last week's 180 mph-spin in practice might have knocked the monkey off, I don't know. We've been running good everywhere we've been. We just haven't had any luck. It seems like it's working good now. The guys are working hard. This team has been good all year. The numbers just don't show it. A lot of stuff has happened, but I'm not worried about what's happened in the past. I'm worried about the future. This is a long race, and we've just got to stay out of trouble and run all day. My sinuses have finally cleared up. It feels good. I hope the speed holds. If anybody can beat that, they can have it. I gave it all she had. I didn't know if I was going to be able to beat Bill's lap or not, but we got lucky. We've got the Coast Guard riding along with us this week, and I'm really pleased for the team. They really deserve it. I was kind of questioning myself, if we should bring a new car, but Tony (crew chief Furr) knew what he was doing. He's an awesome crew chief. He gave me the right stuff. This is our long distance car."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We changed some things to try to get better, but right at the end, we went back to where we started. Jimmy tuned on it really minute, and I felt the car handled good in the middle of the day, but I just wasn't ready to go with it. We spent a lot of time trying to find something better, but what we found last week was the best."

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I dropped some oil on the track and got in my own oil. It wasn't a very good lap."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "Whether it's slick or not out there, it looks slick. It looks like oil is on the track, and if you hesitate once, that's all it takes. I got through three and four well, but if you go fast, you've got to totally commit to the lap. You've got to put everything on the line to get in a strong lap. That's not bad considering." DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had it left in there somewhere in the Budweiser Chevrolet. I ran a couple of laps in practice earlier in the day and the car was awesome. This is the car I won Texas with. The car we won with last week, we ran at Atlanta. We tested them both here and I knew this car was a little bit better. We told some people we had a better car at home, and they didn't believe us. It was strong. I messed up real bad in three and four. I just wish I hadn't done that. It might have been 189. I lost a lot of time. I had to get off the throttle coming off four. They were expecting it because it was so fast in practice. If I can just back that up every week, they'll be satisfied. "It's pretty exciting. We had a real good car all day long. I knew if I didn't mess up too bad we'd have a shot at it. We should have run a lot faster than that. I got loose down in three and four. It was pretty comfortable in one and two. I was a little worried about the 5 car blowing up earlier, but everything was clear by the time I got there. I messed up in three and four. Maybe we could have run in the 28-second bracket, but I'm super happy. We ran fast in practice and as long as I can back it up, Tony and the guys will let me keep my job. "I anticipated being a contender for the pole tonight, especially with the late draw. The late draw really helped us. I was a little concerned about track conditions, but I saw Mayfield and a couple of those other guys run and it gave me confidence. We've had some bumps in the road. Some weeks haven't been as fun as others, but now we're getting a taste of some success. "Any time you win here, it's important because it's in front of the home crowd. We live just 20 minutes from here. I bring as much of my family and friends as I can because this is the only race some of them get to go to. This is a neat event for me, a fun event. We always have a good time here. I feel at home in front of this crowd, moreso than most. They fill the place up, and it's always a lot of fun."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "This is one of the first places I ever raced a stock car before. I raced two ARCA races here. Charlotte is a fun race track. I enjoy this place a lot. I know a lot of people get worried about some of the bumps in the turns, but it seems like it gives you an extra edge. We built two brand new cars the last three weeks, and these are those two cars. A lot of guys were wondering why we didn't run the car we ran last weekend. Tony (crew chief Furr) said this one came out a lot better the way it was built. We came out here and did three laps in practice and qualified second. Obviously they know what they're doing. It's a good confidence booster for myself and the whole team. "I knew he (Earnhardt Jr.) could do it, even though he said he messed up. Obviously they've got everything going right, but it's not bad to end up second as good as he's been running the past two weeks. It's a long race on Sunday. It's 600 miles. I feel pretty good about our race package. "I didn't get too worried about it because anything can happen here. The last guy who goes out can beat you, and he was third from the last. He beat it. He's been quick the whole practice. He's been the guy to beat. I put a good number down and he beat it. It was his tonight."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race the same Monte Carlo he drove at California and Texas in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Park finished 11th in his last outing at Richmond and ranks 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings (NWCS).

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) Earnhardt will race the same Monte Carlo he drove in last week's running of The Winston. "We fixed the right side and nose and it's as good as new," crew chief Kevin Hamlin said. Earnhardt finished 10th at Richmond and ranks fifth in the NWCS, just 78 points behind leader Bobby Labonte.

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) The Morgan-McClure Motorsports team will bring a brand new Monte Carlo for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 and it will carry a special Navy logo. Hamilton finished 31st at Richmond and ranks 27th in the NWCS.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Labonte will race the Monte Carlo that won the pole earlier this season at Texas. The car has competed in four races this year and recorded a best finish of eighth at Texas. It will carry a new paint scheme for the 600, Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal with CherryBerry Swirls. Labonte is scheduled to make his NASCAR record 648th straight start on Sunday. He finished second in his last outing at Richmond and ranks 10th in the NWCS.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Waltrip will race chassis No. 19 in Sunday's race. It's the sister car of chassis No. 23 that encountered the turn 2 wall last Saturday night in The Winston. "I made a mistake and it got away from me," Waltrip said. "We raced the 600 car at Darlington and the transmission messed up on the first lap. It never got a chance to show what it could do. It's been begging for a chance to get turned loose." Waltrip finished 19th at Richmond and he's 24th in the NWCS.

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Earnhardt Jr will race the same Monte Carlo he drove to his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory earlier this season at Texas. Earnhardt Jr. was fastest in Wednesday's practice session. The 25-year-old Kannapolis, N.C., native will be going for his third straight victory on Sunday in the 600. He's 17th in the NCWS and trails fellow rookie Matt Kenseth by one point in the NASCAR Winston Cup rookie of the year standings.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) Gordon will drive the same Monte Carlo he raced at California and Darlington earlier this season. Gordon finished 14th in his last outing at Richmond and ranks ninth in the NWCS.

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nadeau is racing a brand new Monte Carlo in Sunday's 600. It'll carry the Coast Guard colors. Nadeau finished 30th recently at Richmond and ranks 30th in the NWCS. He won last week's 16-lap sprint race, qualifying for The Winston where he finished fourth.

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Skinner will race the same car he drove last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "It's got a new side, a new color and a new engine, but it's the same car," Skinner said. the Monte Carlo will carry the Army colors. Skinner finished 33rd in his last outing at Richmond and he ranks 13th in the NWCS.

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nemechek will be racing a brand new Monte Carlo in the 600. He finished 23rd in his last outing at Richmond and ranks 25th in the NWCS.

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Marlin will drive the same Chevy he raced last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We made some changes on it, and it's driving better," Marlin said. Marlin finished 29th at Richmond and ranks 19th in the NWCS.

KENNY IRWIN (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Irwin will drive the same Chevy he used last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We've run it in a couple of other races this year, and we've made some changes," crew chief Tony Glover said. "Hopefully, it'll be up to the challenge of going 600 miles on Sunday."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Craven will race the same Monte Carlo he drove last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Our goals are to qualify in the top 10 and finish in the top 10," Craven said. Craven finished 40th in his last outing at Richmond.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Wallace will race the same Monte Carlo he drove last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It's the same Chevy he drove earlier this season at Darlington and Atlanta. "We're just trying to get it faster," Wallace said. "It wants to push, and we're working on that, too." Wallace finished 20th at Richmond and ranks 33rd in the NWCS.

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Bodine will race a brand new Monte Carlo in the 600. "We've been working hard the past two days getting it ready," crew chief Jim Long said. "It's the first Monte Carlo we built, and we think we've finally got it ready to race." Bodine finished 13th at Richmond with relief help from his brother Todd Bodine.

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Marcis brought a different Monte Carlo to Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. It's the same car he tried to qualify at Richmond.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Michael Ho , Kevin Hamlin