BILLY BIGLEY, ...
BILLY BIGLEY, #75 SPEARS MFG. CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified No. 5 today (20.635/91.766), behind four Dodges, as the top rookie and top Chevy Silverado in the field. In each of the four races so far in 2001, it's been the rookies who have led the way for Chevrolet in qualifying: RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS SILVERADO, fifth in Daytona and second in Miami; TRAVIS KVAPIL, #60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO, second in Bakersfield; and Bigley here.
Note: The last time the #75 Spears Mfg. Chevrolet qualified in the top five was on Oct. 18, 1998, at Mesa Marin, with Kevin Harvick behind the wheel.
BIGLEY: "We had a really good truck and we stayed in the top 10. We ran
here two times in All-Pro in the middle '90s. This place reminds me of
Greenville, S.C. We ran a lot there in All-Pro cars. We tested (the
Silverado) a lot there also. We went down there for a test session and it
was good for me to take the Silverado there because I had been to
Greenville 10 times prior. We won the All-Pro race there last year. The
truck was really good. We unloaded off the hauler and the truck was
really good. We just made a couple of changes. We drew the No. 1 pill.
We weren't really excited about that with the Winston Cup cars having been
out there making it warm. We made some changes and it drove just like it
did in practice (seventh quickest)."
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE CHECKERED?
"I was just trying to make it exciting for the fans. I about crashed after the checkered flag. I got on the brakes a little too hard and got off the gas. We chased our tail for a couple of hundred feet or so."
RICK CARELLI, #66 PHELON MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified seventh (20.664/91.638).
CARELLI: "Actually I wanted more, but unfortunately the truck was a little loose. It was really loose in practice so we thought we would tighten it up a little more. Unfortunately, we didn't go far enough. We've been right up front all day since we unloaded. Hopefully we will have something good to race. We'll stay out of everyone's way and get ready to go again."
JACK SPRAGUE, #24 NETZERO PLATINUM CHEVY SILVERADO, ended up eighth with a 20.670/91.611, slower than his 20.612-second lap in practice.
SPRAGUE: "The NetZero Platinum Silverado just wouldn't turn on our qualifying lap. It was real tight, just pushed up the track. I'm not sure we had a shot at the pole, but we're sure a lot better than we qualified."
KEN SCHRADER, #52 FEDERATED AUTO PARTS CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified ninth (20.716/91.408) in his first Craftsman Truck Series race of the 2001 season.
SCHRADER: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING TO THE TRUCKS? "It's just
another race. I've been looking forward to it. We're going to run here
and St. Louis. We slowed up a little bit from what we ran in practice
(20.642). As with any professionals, we know we have to get a solid run in
more than anything else."
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH NINTH? "This starting spot is no big deal. We come here for tomorrow, not for today."
RANDY TOLSMA, #61 TEAM RENSI MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified 12th, 20.735/91.324.
TOLSMA: "We're happy. We would have liked to have done better and battled for the pole position, but the Team Rensi Silverado ran better than what we practiced (20.848). Anytime we make an improvement we see that as success. We just need to start closer to the front when we get here so we have less ground to make up through the day. We made improvements and that shows us going from 22nd in practice to 12th. If we can make some more improvements, we will be in good shape."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, #60 CAT RENTAL STORES CHEVY SILVERADO, second in rookie points, qualified 14th, 20.778/91.135.
KVAPIL: "We were a little disappointed, we ended up 14th. We really thought we had a fifth or sixth-place truck. We probably did. On my second lap I got a little greedy and drove down into turn three a little too deep, slid up the race track a little bit. It didn't get as good a bite off the corner as we wanted. I feel we have a pretty strong truck. We were pretty good in practice (20.674). We changed a few things for the race setup. I'm really looking forward to the race. I think we will be able to go right to the front and be a top-five truck."
DENNIS SETZER, #46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES CHEVY SILVERADO, was third quickest in practice (20.522), but fell to 17th in qualifying, 20.805/91.017.
SETZER: "We had a good truck, it just got very tight in qualifying. It's
just one of those unfortunate deals."
DID YOU MAKE CHANGES BETWEEN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING?
"I think there was some air pressure adjustments made I didn't know about. Otherwise, I don't think there were any other changes."
DID THE WEATHER MAKE A DIFFERENCE? "When the clouds come in it tightens everything up. It makes it quite a bit tighter. We caught a cloud at the same time, it was an unfortunate deal."
RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO, No. 1 in rookie points, qualified 19th, 20.881/90.685.
HENDRICK: "The tire pressures never came in. It's a little frustrating because the same thing happened in Bakersfield, although this was definitely not as bad. We didn't have any grip. No grip. It never got grip. You have to set them and hope that the pressure will be right and the grip will set in. We'll be ready to race. We practiced in the top-10 and the GMAC Silverado will be ready to go."
RONNIE HORNADAY III, son of Truck champion Ron Hornaday, squeaked into 30th place, 21.096/89.761.
HORNADAY: "We were recommended tire pressures that didn't really work for us and it made the Silverado real tight in and real loose off. My dad and I talked to Steve Park and he gave us the tire pressures he recommended that made him fast during his 'qualifying runs' during practice. But it didn't work for us. We're in and that's all that matters right now. At this track you ride around and learn a little bit. If we don't get into any wrecks we will be in the top 20 and we will be happy. We ran here two years ago and we ran an 8900 (rpm) rev chip in it. It just hit the rev chip and we didn't make the race. We didn't do that this year, but we did something stupid with the tires and it didn't work for us."
- Judy Stropus