JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX qualified 15th: "I'm real happy how we picked up from practice. The whole NetZero High Speed Pontiac did a great job. We were working, working, and working. If we had a few more hours of...
JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX qualified 15th:
"I'm real happy how we picked up from practice. The whole NetZero High Speed Pontiac did a great job. We were working, working, and working. If we had a few more hours of practice I think we'd even be a lot quicker. I left a lot on the table on my qualifying run because the team made the car a lot better and I maybe didn't go after it all until I got down throught the lap, and then I felt like I got more comfortable with where we were at. It's a pretty decent lap and it will at least get us in the field."
YOU MENTIONED GETTING MORE TIME ON THE TRACK - IS THAT WHAT'S IMPORTANT SINCE YOU AND THE CREW HAVEN'T HAD MUCH TIME TOGETHER?
"I think it is, especially on a road course. We come here once a year for this race, and guys that test here have a huge advantage. We've done it before and then come here and just really, really run good. We're sort of getting our feet wet together and learn everything together. I have so much confidence in (crew chief) Tony Furr and the people he put together. Now we just have to go faster, and I think it will be a lot quicker for the race even yet."
RON FELLOWS, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 18th:
"Not good enough, but we're making progress. I'm happy with the progress we're making, but we've got a lot of work to do yet. Just trying to get the car to be a little more consistent. We were chasing a push through most of practice, and the boys did a good job to free it up, and we cut a half-decent lap."
YOU'LL PROBABLY START BACK IN THE FIELD A LITTLE BIT - HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO PASS HERE?
"I think we're going to find out on Sunday, but we've passed cars here before, and at Infineon Raceway, so starting farther back is not that bad. We've started last here and worked our way up, so I'm not that concerned."
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX qualified 27th:
"It was alright lap. We were pretty bad up through the esses, but other than that, we should be in pretty good shape for the race. We just have to work on a couple of small things and then stay out on the track all day."
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 9th:
"It wasn't bad at all. I was pretty happy with it. The guys did a good job this morning. We changed a couple things, and we did test up here and we didn't do any qualifying runs. We did all of that this morning, of course. I'm just real happy with it. I didn't make any screw-ups out there, so that was good. It's a good lap for us. I don't know where it's going to end up since we've got a lot of cars to go, but I'm happy with that."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 1st:
"We really had to stp it up. Greg Biffle really put a great lap out there. Dale Jr. put a great lap up there. I just couldn't be more proud of the guys on this Dupont Chevrolet. They've just been working hard. We came up here and tested. We had a goal, we had a plan. It's paid off for us today. We just tried and tighten it up a little bit for qualifying and it seemed to really pay off, so my hat's off to those guys. The last couple of days we've been here we haven't been good enough to win or win a pole. I don't know if this is going to hold up, but it sure is a good lap."
YOU HAVE SEVEN WINS IN 21 CAREER ROAD-COURSE STARTS. HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU AT THESE ROAD-COURSE RACES?
"I love the road course, and these guys provide me with such great equipment and race cars that it makes my job easy and a lot of fun. I like switching it up twice a year on the road courses, going right, braking, shifting and all of that. It seems to be a real challenge and a lot of fun. Everybody has stepped upp the competition so much on the road courses the last few years, so we're just happy to be back in form like we were a couple of years ago." MORE GORDON TO FOLLOW
TONY STEWART, NO. 20 HOME DEPOT GRAND PRIX qualified 4th:
"Not bad. That's the fastest we've run all day. We ran our best lap on the lap that it counted, but I made too many mistakes as a driver. It cost us a little bit of time, but the car's really good right now. We didn't come test here. This is the same car we raced in Sonoma. It was pretty good there, but wasn't as good as we were there last year. But I think we've got a good shot at repeating what we did here last year."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A GOOD QUALIFYING RUN HERE AT THIS RACETRACK?
"It's real important. Track position is big here. The tires don't really fall off, and like the fans are seeing today, the track's got a lot of grip in it. It's really fast. We're putting down some really quick times today, so it's going to be fun to watch because we're really carrying the mail here."
BORIS SAID, NO. 01 USG SHEETROCK PONTIAC GRAND PRIX qalified 10th:
"Everybody at the USG Sheetrock brand, U.S. Army, and Ryan and the guys, I love being a part of this show. We weren't a threat ffor the pole, but I think that's the best we've run all day, and I think we're going to have a good car for the race.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE YOUR WAY AROUND CARS HERE ON THE ROAD COURSE?
"I don't know, I've got to go ask Jeff Gordon. The first thing you've got to do is stay on the road. You've got to have good brakes, and you've got to be aggressive and take some chances. I'm prepared to do that, so hopefully we can just be patient and work our way up there."
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 6th:
"We didn't run as fast as we did in practice, but it was a good lap. We've had some success here in the past, but I can't run any kind of good laps without a car that will haul like that. The guys just did a great job setting it up. It just drives like it should."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qalified 14th:
"We lost some time in the Carousel. As we came around the corner, the car stepped sideways and I had to roll out of it. But I think we're going to be good in the race. Obviously we're going to have to be smart and be around at the end. I think we've got a good race car, it's just a better race car than it is a qualifying car. I think we're in pretty good shape. I think this team's good, the car's good. The car makes too much downforce in qualifying mode. Once you get tape off, you're in pretty good shape. I look forward to the race. I think we'll be a lot stronger."
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 25 UAW-DELPHI CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO qualified 21st:
"My lap was pretty uneventful. Just a good, smooth lap. I just tried not to make any mistakes and try not to overdrive. We picked up a little bit from practice, but we're still a second off. All the corners were fairly good, but this is a tough place to try and find speed. We've been picking up speed every time we've gone out. I know a lot of the guys that came here and tested, they definitely have a big advantage. We're just trying to make more laps."
RICKY CRAVEN, NO. 32 TIDE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX qalified 38th:
"It's been a tough day for the Tide Pontiac. We've thrown a lot of different stuff at the car to try and pick up some speed, but nothing seems to help. Hopefully, the rain will hold off tomorrow and we'll get a chance to try and improve during final practice."