Ram Tough 200 Friday Quotebook MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 18, 1998) The following are quotes from selected drivers after Bud Pole Qualifying for the Ram Tough 200 presented by Pepsi at Gateway International Raceway. MIKE BLISS (No. 2 Team ASE ...
Ram Tough 200 Friday Quotebook
MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 18, 1998) The following are quotes from selected drivers after Bud Pole Qualifying for the Ram Tough 200 presented by Pepsi at Gateway International Raceway.
MIKE BLISS (No. 2 Team ASE Ford) "That's the best we've run all day. I think our first set of tires were not a good set of tires. We've been chasing our tail all day. We were too tight. Put another motor in, and a different transmission. In two hours these guys have worked their tails off. It's a good time. It could be a lot better, but it's the best we've run. We'll work on some other things now."
RICK CRAWFORD (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford) "We've had our ups and downs already today with the Circle Bar RV Park F-150. Right now we're back on an upswing. We've qualified in the top-ten. The track reminds me a lot of Homestead. We won there, so maybe we'll win here tomorrow."
TONY RAINES (No. 19 Pennzoil Ford) "We left a little bit out there in three and four. I got in, and it stuck really good, and I went for the throttle, and it got just a little loose in the center, and I had to breathe it and I got back in it. I think we should have been able to run in the five, a high five. It wouldn't have made a whole lot of difference. It's just a pride factor I guess, but we'll take it. We'll get a couple more practice sessions to work on our race set-up. I think that is going to be the key here. This is a tricky track. One and two is definitely a lot tighter than three and four."
KEVIN CYWINSKI (No. 31 Concor Machine & Tool Ford) "We've been struggling all day, but we're gaining on it. We were just a little bit loose. It's one of the things picking an early number and learning a new track, so we'll just go on."
BORIS SAID (No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford) "It's the best I've run all day so that's not too bad for the Federated Ford F-150. We're still struggling. We're just going to keep working on it in the next practice. Unfortunately I got hurt at Texas so we didn't get to come here and test. That's the biggest thing. We're just behind the eight ball. Yesterday getting rained out didn't help at all. We'll just keep working on it and get ready for the race."
GREG BIFFLE (No. 50 W.W. Grainger Racing Ford) "I think I left a little on the table coming off of two. I got the throttle down too soon I think, and pushed and had to get out of it. I don't know if this enough to get the pole, but I'm there for now. There are a lot of good guys left to go. I'll be impressed if it stays. The track is really fun. It is pretty long and tight down in that corner, but it's a beautiful facility. I really like it so far. Grainger team has worked hard to give us a good truck this week and last week too. We're here to redeem ourselves."
TONY ROPER (No. 55 Icehouse Beer Ford) "We backed up what we did in practice. The track got slower. And everyone went slower. And we didn't. We went about the same. We think we know how to go quicker. I think we got ourselves messed up a little bit on gear ratio, but I think we're pretty close. Just some practice in the morning, and I think we'll be fine. This track is okay with the long straight-aways and tight corners. Horsepower is going to mean a lot, and you'll have to be able to pass in one and two."
BRYAN REFFNER (No. 84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford) "We got better from practice to qualifying, and that's our goal - to just keep getting better every time we're out there, and learn something. So everything is coming together pretty good. That's the important thing from here on out. We did our qualifying and survived it. Now it's time to worry about the race. We're able to communicate as a team. I've been friends with Doug (George-crew chief) every since we ran for rookie of the year together. I respect them for what they're doing, and it is a pretty good deal right now."
STACY COMPTON (No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford) "The truck wasn't that tough when we were here testing. We were the fastest Ford here in testing. And the Royal Crown Ford was good in practice. We haven't really picked up a lot from when we tested here, but everybody else has. We are just scratching our head. We don't know where the speed is coming from. We just don't have it right now. It's pretty aggravating knowing the team can run as well as it can and to go out and be off as far as we were in practice. We've got to put our finger on what it is. Eventually we will. We've just got to put our finger on what it is."
JOE RUTTMAN (No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford) "Wait until I fix him up on the start (laughing). I'm going to let him jump the start, put him to the back, then we'll just race. No, we're happy. I think I could have gone faster, but we're going to hang on to what we've got here and we'll just race up a storm, I hope."
"That's what we need. The guys in the engine room, and the whole team have been working hard. The team deserves a pole. I'm the only guy who can bounce from first to last, and then back to second again, so they don't know what to expect when I qualify. But when you've got a good Ford truck with Exide sponsoring you, you've got it made."
RICK CARELLI (No. 6 R E/MAX International Chevrolet) "The RE/MAX Chevy has been good ever since we unloaded today. We struggled a little bit but I've been happy. It was a little too tight and I tried to free it up a little before we qualified and it was a little bit too free. I made the call and it was just a little too much change. If we can start in the top ten, I'll be happy. That would be a big plus for this team.
JAY SAUTER (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) "It wasn't what we ran in practice. The track seemed a little different, we were pushing in (turns)one and two and loose in three and four. I think we've got a good Chevy truck and we'll just go and work with it some more.
RON HORNADAY (No. 16 NAPA Brake Chevrolet) "I guess I just wasn't ready for it (qualifying) today. It was a little loose going down there into one and I just drove it off in there. I guess it'll be all right. We're at a big track and to get the NAPA Chevrolet running that close to the front will be good in the race. We'll be in the top ten and we'll take it. We're showing fifth right now a with a couple of good truck left to in line go, so we'll be all right.
LONNIE RUSH (No. 10 Ohio State University Chevrolet) "We qualified a lot better than we've been practicing here at Gateway. We made some changes mainly with the driver's head. I had a pretty good truck all day but we made some changes just before qualifying and we were better.
"This Chevy has been good all year but we just haven't had the consistency in this qualifying deal. We had to get the motor better and had to get the right gear in it to turn enough rpm which we hadn't een doing all day. We obviously found something that we'd been needin' to day and we just found it prior to qualifying.
TERRY COOK (No. 88 PBA Tour Chevrolet) "That's the fastest lap we've run all day, even in our simulated qualifying run earlier. We kinda struggled a bit today in practice and Gary Showalter, our crew chief, just said we kinda went back to what we know works on this Chevy truck and it seemed to work. It was a pretty good lap I don't think it will hold in the top five but should be an easy top fifteen. For the way we've been struggling today that's pretty good.
MIKE WALLACE (No. 52 Purolator PureONE Chevrolet) "We came here planning to shift and had some trouble with the transmission so we can't do that. It wasn't a very good qualifying lap a thirty-four ninty. We ran (34)60s and 70s in practice. So I don't know what happened. Maybe the driver screwed up. We got a little loose coming to the green and I had to check-up coming off four just a little bit. I guess we'll race now.
ANDY HOUSTON (No. 60 Addington Chevrolet) "The Addington Chevy was way too loose. With just the one lap of qualifying you just got to hit it right. We just missed a little, I guess, because we were just not quite as good as we were in practice. We've got another thirty minute practice session tomorrow morning and I know this Addington bunch will do everything possible to get it right for the race."
LANCE NORICK (No. 90 NHL Dodge) "I owe this one to the guys (on the team). We started off in the first practice way back. We were so loose it was scary. But the team kept making changes and I kept making laps until we got it right. In fact, the Dodge Ram felt great in qualifying, smooth and pretty quick."
JIMMY HENSLEY (No. 43 Cummins Engines Dodge) "I'm pretty happy with the run. It was the quickest lap we've run all weekend and we've come a long way from where we started this morning. The Ram felt pretty neutral, just a bit neutral coming into Turn 1 when I was still getting temperature into the tires."
Source: NASCAR Online