Team Monte Carlo qualifying notes

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race a new Monte Carlo in the Brickyard 400. Park finished 15th on July 23 at Pocono, ranks 18th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings (NWCS) and finished 15th in last year's ...

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race a new Monte Carlo in the Brickyard 400. Park finished 15th on July 23 at Pocono, ranks 18th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings (NWCS) and finished 15th in last year's Brickyard 400.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) Earnhardt, who posted an early fast lap of 182.186 mph in Thursday morning's practice session, will race a new Monte Carlo in the Brickyard 400. A former Brickyard 400 winner, Earnhardt finished 10th at Indianapolis last season. Tied with Dale Jarrett with 15 top-10 finishes in 19 starts this season, Earnhardt ranks third in the NWCS, 107 points behind leader Bobby Labonte. Earnhardt finished 25th on July 23 at Pocono, breaking a streak of eight straight top 10 finishes.

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Hamilton will race a brand new Monte Carlo at Indianapolis. The Morgan-McClure Motorsports team tested twice at the Brickyard, and Hamilton posted a quick lap of 181.170 mph in Thursday morning's practice. Hamilton finished 38th at Indy last year, 39th on July 23 at Pocono and ranks 30th in the NWCS.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Labonte says he's ready to go the distance in Saturday's Brickyard 400. Rich Bickle finished the race on July 23 at Pocono for Labonte and ended up 11th. Labonte finished 11th in last year's Brickyard 400 and ranks 13th in the NWCS. He's racing the same Monte Carlo the team ran earlier this season at Pocono and Michigan.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Waltrip will race the same Monte Carlo at Indy that he ran here last year. He finished 27th in the 1999 Brickyard 400. Waltrip finished 17th in his last outing at Pocono and ranks 28th in the NWCS.

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Making his first start in the Brickyard 400, the 25-year-old rookie from Kannapolis, N.C., will Monte Carlo chassis No. 06 at the Brickyard. Earnhardt Jr. raced the car earlier this season at Michigan. Earnhardt Jr. finished 13th in his last outing at Pocono on July 23 and ranks 14th in the NWCS. He's second in the 2000 Raybestos rookie of the year standings, 21 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) Gordon, a two-time Brickyard 400 winner, finished third at Indy last season. He's racing Monte Carlo No. 2440 at Indy, the same car he drove earlier this season at Charlotte, Michigan, Darlington and California. Gordon finished third in his last outing at Pocono, his fifth straight top-10 finish. Gordon ranks eighth in the NWCS, 39 points behind fifth-place Rusty Wallace and 307 behind leader Bobby Labonte.

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nadeau will race a new Monte Carlo at the Brickyard. Nadeau finished 31st in last year's Brickyard 400. Nadeau was 27th at Pocono on July 23 and ranks 26th in the NWCS.

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Skinner will race a new Monte Carlo at the Brickyard. He finished 12th here last year, seventh in his last outing at Pocono and ranks 11th in the NWCS.

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nemechek will race a new Monte Carlo at Indy. He finished 22nd last year at the Brickyard, 34th on July 23 at Pocono and ranks 22nd in the NWCS.

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Marlin will race the same Monte Carlo in the Brickyard 400 that he raced earlier this season at Bristol, Darlington, Rockingham and Atlanta. Marlin finished 16th in last year's Brickyard 400, 42nd on July 23 at Pocono and ranks 20th in the NWCS.

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Craven will race a new Monte Carlo at the Brickyard. He finished 34th in last year's race.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Wallace will race the same Monte Carlo at Indy that he drove earlier this season at Charlotte and Pocono. He finished 39th last season in the Brickyard 400, 21st on July 23 at Pocono and ranks 29th in the NWCS.

GEOFFREY BODINE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Bodine will race a new Monte Carlo in the Brickyard 400. He finished 25th in last year's race.

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Marcis will race the same Monte Carlo he drove last year at the Brickyard. It has a new 2000 body, and the 59-year-old NASCAR veteran hopes to improve on last season's 40th-place finish at Indy.

TED MUSGRAVE (No. 01 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Musgrave will race a new Monte Carlo at The Brickyard. This will be Musgrave's second race with the team. He finished 16th in his first start on July 23 at Pocono.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We had a left front spring collapse on us in practice today. We couldn't figure out why we were a second off the pace. Once we found the problem, we spent the rest of the day fixing it and then playing catch-up. Fortunately, we had a good lap, and we're very happy with our time. Not everyone who comes to the Brickyard 400 gets to sit on the pole for five minutes. That's what we got, so we'll start wherever we start now."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I really don't know what's happened. We're just terrible. We changed a bunch of stuff, and we just can't get it to drive any better. I'm shocked. I thought we were going to unload here and have a shot for the pole. Now we're starting in the back. It's not a good day."

TODD BODINE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) NOTE: Bodine qualified the car for Terry Labonte. Labonte is expected to start the car Sunday. "The car was better than the driver. That was my seventh lap today here since 1995. I've just got to get used to the track again. I made a couple of mistakes in the lap, and that's all it takes, a couple of little mistakes. I got into turn one a little too hard, and I didn't get off turn four like I should have. The more laps I get, the better I'll get. Hopefully Terry will start the car in the race, and I can get in it and do a good job."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I'm pleased with the lap. That was considerably better than we did in all of practice. The clouds were with us, and this track has a tendency not to speed up any. If it doesn't do that, we'll be all right. I needed that lap. I kept telling the guys on the crew the car has speed. I needed an adjustment and needed to make the car freer in the corner in order to get the speed out of it. They made it plenty free. It got sideways on me. I did what I told them I thought I could do. I love every race. The guys make it fun for me. Saturday should be a great day. We qualified fifth and finished bad here last year. We've focused on that. We had to make sure we had our stuff together, and I think we do. I was getting ready to leave and I knew Darrell was fast in practice. I heard them say he was going on the track. The fans love Darrell, so I thought I'd better stick around. I knew if we could pull off something it would be special."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "That was OK. I think that will make it. That's the encouraging side of it. The disappointing side of it is that you always want more. We ran just about what we practiced. Some guys ran faster and some ran slower, but we were about the same. We almost ended up making the top 25, and that would have been big, but I think we're at least solidly in the race."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We just got loose on our qualifying run. It's really disappointing because I think we were sixth fastest in practice today, and we were really fast up here when we came back to test. We're 30th now, and we really thought we had a shot at the pole."

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The sun popped out and slowed everybody down. We've just been fighting a tight condition. We pushed a little bit in one and two, and then the car came in pretty good in the other end. It got us in the top 25, but it wasn't what we wanted. We found some stuff testing here that's really helped our flat track program. You need to balance your aerodynamics with your handling. I think we'll be good in the race, but we came here anticipating a top-10 qualifying run. That didn't happen, so now we'll concentrate on the race."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I really didn't know where we'd end up. It depended on the cloud cover. We ran a lot faster than that in practice, but we had a lot of sun on the track when we went out and made our qualifying run. The car was a little tight in turn one and a little loose off turn four. Overall I was pretty happy. I didn't think we'd recover that well. I've always been one to change pace every once in awhile, so I just like to change things to keep 'em interesting. It's a long race. I've never run here in race trim around other cars. I can't speak intelligently about it. We'll just have to see what happens. A lot of things can happen, so we'll just see how it goes."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I got through one and two pretty good. I didn't quite hit three and four right. I got a little loose, but it wasn't the car's fault. It was my fault. The sun came out. I don't know how much affect it had. It was just the luck of the draw. We ended up 20th, and that ain't bad. It's better than it has been. I've always run good here, so we're looking forward to the race."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I came across the line, and I didn't hear Larry (crew chief McReynolds). I thought we had a pretty good lap. When he said 49.90, I couldn't understand why it was so slow. I lost a little bit in three, but other than that I hit my marks and it felt good. I guess the fender, when we got on the brakes getting down in the corner, bent it up. It hurt the aerodynamics quite a bit. I felt it hit, but I didn't think it was near that bad. I just blocked it out and did the best I could. I don't know if we caught a rumble strip or it just hit that hard when we got on the brakes. I drove down in there real deep and got on the brakes hard. The nose just hit the ground. Obviously it hurt the aerodynamics quite a bit. I thought we had a shot at the pole. I was pretty excited about the lap. I thought it would be good enough, but it wasn't."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "It was just the luck of the draw today. We had a good race car and a good shot at the pole. We were a little tight off. I feel sorry for them in the race. We've got a good race car. The temperature just baked it out of this race track. I thought we were in good shape. Shoulda, woulda, didn't. I've got a good race car. The track changed so much. You could see a lot of fast cars slowing down as the sun took it out of the track. My car was too tight off the corners. It didn't turn good. We had a good car testing. I want to win this race and get me some points. I really, really feel good about the race."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I know I'm not getting through turn four. We're going to get it. I'm hoping with the way this car is reacting that it's going to be good in traffic. This track reacts a lot to what the sun and clouds are doing. When the track cools down, it gets very fast. I drew a real late number today. It looks like some of the guys who went out early had the advantage today. We should be up there. We ran so well at Pocono that we thought that combination would do well here, but it hasn't so far. We weren't very good all day, but we did pick up a couple of tenths in qualifying. The car feels good in certain parts of the race track. We just can't seem to get through the whole track. It's a tricky place. There's four separate corners. I wish we could have gone out a little earlier in the day. We're off, and we're hoping we can get our package together. "We've been running good. We qualified well at Pocono and raced good all day long. It's a surprise we didn't run better here. We had a fairly good test here. The car just has not been very fast all day. We're kind of scratching our head. We're going to have our work cut out for us. As tough as it is to pass these days, there's going to be a lot of strategy going on in the pits on how to get track position. Anything is possible."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We got real loose. The clouds came out and the track changed. It's a shame. We thought we'd be able to take advantage of the cloud cover. But the little bit of sun really changed everything. I was so loose that I almost tapped the wall in turn four. We were strong in practice. I think we'll be in good shape for the race."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Michael Ho