Touchstone Energy 300 Thursday Quotebook TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 1998) Quotes following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway: JOE NEMECHEK (No. 87 BellSouth Mobility Chevrolet) "That lap...
Touchstone Energy 300 Thursday Quotebook
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 1998) Quotes following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway:
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 87 BellSouth Mobility Chevrolet)
"That lap was a little quicker than we ran in practice, but the track has cooled down a lot. It was a pretty good lap, at least it will give all the other guys something to shoot for. We tested recently and learned some stuff on the car that helped us out. We'll just go back and work on the race setup now.
"We logged a lot of miles when we tested here a couple of weeks ago and worked on a lot of race stuff. We pretty much knew the things we had to do to make a full blown qualifying effort and we just put them all to it and it picked up like it was supposed to. It's pretty amazing though in the difference in the field now and I'm just fortunate to be up front.
"I'm not sure what the rule changes will do as far as race mode. We'll find out tomorrow morning when we go out and start drafting and see what it's going to take to get the right package for the race. I don't know if any one car is going to dominate. I think you are probably going to see five or six cars up front, like it was in Daytona. We had four or five cars up there and hooked together that could go. That's one of the variables that no one knows yet.
"My crew named this car "Speedy Gonzales" when we came down to test the first time. The first lap that we made on the track was as fast as my old car. It is the same car as the one we ran in Daytona and it didn't lose anything from there to here. I thought we would've had four or five poles so far, but this is our first one. We've been second three or four other times. At least I'm able to live up to my nickname (Front Row Joe). Here at Talladega and at Daytona, the crews make more of a difference than the drivers. You've got to have the car, the body, the motor -- the right package. I hit the same line every time I go around the race track. Ninety percent of these guys run the same line around here and it's all in how your prepared and what you've got in the car that makes it go fast."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 1 Rayovac Chevrolet)
"We picked up a little since we practiced. We were hoping to run a 51.1 or 51.2, but that lap will have to do. It should get us in the show, and we'll work now on making sure the car races good. Talladega and Daytona are my two favorite tracks, we've had some good runs in a Busch car at Talladega before, so we'll see if we can get a win here on Saturday and then maybe in the Cup car on Sunday."
LARRY PEARSON (No. 2 New Holland Chevrolet)
"That was a little quicker than we ran in practice. The guys have worked real hard and have put a good car under me. I'm just thankful for the opportunity that Ricky Craven and New Holland have given me here and hopefully we can run a couple more races this year."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet)
"You always think you could have gotten more out of the lap than you did. I think we could have improved more on that lap from practice. Everybody thinks you just run around this place flat out, but there's always something that a driver can do to gain a tenth here or there. I think I left a little laying out there -- it wasn't a perfect lap. But, we'll start up front on Saturday and we'll be ready to race. We need to redeem ourselves from Daytona. This is the same car that we flipped at Daytona ... we need to keep it right side up this time and keep our points lead."
DOUG REID III (No. 7 Link Express Chevrolet)
"We picked up some from practice, but we had hoped to pick up even a little more. We had some real problems in practice with the carburetor and we broke a gear, but these guys kept working and changed a lot of things and it paid off. I'm glad we went in the right direction. I'm real proud of the team and the lap. I've been pretty hard on the equipment of late and I'm just glad these guys have stuck by me."
MATT KENSETH (No. 17 Lycos Chevrolet)
"We didn't run a very good lap. We haven't been very fast since we've been here. This car is a mystery, we ran really good at Daytona. We qualified seventh and finished sixth there so I don't know. They've changed the rules a little bit, that might have hurt us a little more than somebody else. Hopefully, that will put us in the top 25 and we can race from there."
MIKE MCLAUGHLIN (No. 34 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet)
"That was the fastest we've run all day. We just came up a little bit short, we just needed a little more time. We were right in between one shock change. One was too much and we didn't have time to try something in between, but we ended up in pretty good shape."
MARK MARTIN (No. 60 Winn Dixie Ford)
"That's as good as we could run. We just have a slow car. That's not unusual for us here. We took this same slow car last year and moved up through the field and won the race. That's gonna be a stretch this year, but that's what we are going to try to do. We used this car and qualified about 30th at Daytona and finished third with it."
BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 00 Bayer/Alka Seltzer Pontiac)
"We're glad to be in the top-five. Anytime you can be in the top-10, that's a good job. Going out last today probably helped us out a little."
HERMIE SADLER (No. 29 DeWalt Tools Chevrolet)
"We had a good day. We're happy with our run, it should give us a top-10 spot and I think we'll have a good car for the race. It's the same race car we had at Daytona and it ran good down there."
RANDY LAJOIE (No. 74 FINA Chevrolet)
"This is the same car we had in Daytona and we ran about as fast as we did in Daytona. Although we didn't qualify extremely fast at Daytona, we came away with a top-five and hopefully we can do that here as well. The rule change is the same for everyone, the fast cars are still fast and the slow cars are still slow. But overall it's affected everyone equally.
JEFF PURVIS (No. 4 Lance Snacks Chevrolet)
"Our first lap just wasn't fast enough. If we could have picked it up on our first lap we might have gotten the pole. But it was a pretty good run. I love Talladega and Daytona, I really enjoy the speed of the superspeedways. I wanted to get the pole so bad, I really thought we had a good shot at it. But, you have to take your hat off to Joe Nemechek and his guys. They do a great job."
TRACY LESLIE (No. 63 Lysol Chevrolet)
"We have run a little faster than that. We were hoping to be a little closer to the top-five, but we'll take that. It's better than where we started at Daytona and hopefully we can stay up front and have a good run on Saturday."
Source: NASCAR Online