FMS: Watkins Glen Thursday press conference

FMS: Watkins Glen Thursday press conference
Dec 22, 1997, 6:03 AM




TIM CONNOLLY (#4 Ralston Purina/Tidy Cat Chevrolet) -- I'm just as happy as could be. It's a great feeling to be able to come here to Watkins Glen, so close to home, just an hour away, 20 minutes from where I played college football, it's just a great feeling to come back here and sit on the pole. The only thing that could make this better would be to sit back up here tomorrow afternoon. I really want to win this race here. What made the difference for you in qulaifying? -- I said to my team that I wanted to change some gears. We made a last minute decision just before qualifying to do it. It was such a last minute decision that we were in the line up to go out on track when we did it. I just had this feeling in my gut, heart or head that said to change the gears. I said something to my car owner and he agreed. It was a good thing for me that we did so well otherwise I would have had to gone back and explained why we messed up qualifying. I told my team before I went out to tell me what Teddy (Ted Christopher) did every lap and to let me know what my time was. Teddy was real quick in practice so I knew he was going to be one to watch. I think we can still get a little better for tomorrow. I tell you what though, it felt great out there.What prompted your last minute decision? For some reason we forgot to bring a tach. I don't know why, we just did. I felt we could get a little more top end speed out of it and I had this real strong gut feeling and it worked to our advantage.

SAM RUSSO (#88 Walker Mowers Chevrolet) -- I love this place. I like driving here. I think the lap I really went for I went off the track through the chicane there on the back straight away and I think my potentially best lap turned into my worst lap. I think my four previous laps should be good enough to have us up in the top 10.

RICK FULLER (#21 Polar Chevrolet) -- Just to get in this race is kind of a blessing with the day we've been having. I had a bout with a fox in the second practice. In case you're wondering, the fox won because I ended up off track and bending my whole front end up. Just to get the car straight and in the show we're happy. Connolly went three or four tenths of a second faster then me which is pretty good. But if we end up second, we're going to be happy.

MIKE EWANITSKO (#8 Universal Welding Chevrolet) -- The car didn't feel to bad. We'll know more when we figure out where we end up after everyone else qualifies. It didn't feel bad. Hopefully we're up there=2E

The track is great. We're just having a blast here. Just the more laps we get, the more comfortable we get.

TOM CRAVENHO (#17 T and M Landscape/Independent Truck Chevrolet) -- I'm

really pleased. The car seemed to handle real well. We'll have to wait and see though. We felt like we did well this morning and it turns out we were a little behind. I think we'll be fine, though once I get a few

more laps. The track seems real nice. It's a fun place for me learn.

TIM CONNOLLY (#4 Ralston Purina/Tidy Cat Dodge) -- The secret was it just took good laps. We changed a little bit in the gears and she honkered. I sure felt it. We didn't run into any significant incidents.

TED CHRISTOPHER (#13 Lescare Kitchens Chevrolet) -- It ought to be better than third. They (other drivers) didn't give you enough room.

MIKE STEFANIK (#00 Brady Motorsports Chevrolet) -- They had a problem all day in the front, and they still have it. It wouldn't shift into fourth gear from third, so I just ran around in high gear. Curtis (Markham) went faster during pratice than I just did. I'll only run one lap tomorrow and then get out of the car.

JAMIE TOMAINO (#99 Perth Amboy Spring Chevrolet) -- It didn't go as well as I planned. I went quicker in practice this morning, so I'm a little disappointed. I put new tires on hoping to go faster and ended up slower. The difference this year is we knew what we were coming up against and I think everybody was better prepared.

JAN LEATY (#25 Adirondack /P&C Foods Pontiac) -- I just tried a couple different changes in my line, and it seemed to help out a little bit. We were a little quicker all day than we really showed, and we messed around with different setups, and it seemed like every time I went to get a good lap in, I'd run into traffic, so I never could get one in. It takes time to get used to it, and I own my own equipment so I'm careful=2E We feel like we learned a lot today, and come race time, I hope we'll be in it.

JOHN PRESTON (#77 Chase Motorsports Chevrolet) -- We're not sure where we're at yet. The only thing we'll do a little different tomorrow will be to hand on a little tighter. I've also brought along a Busch car to try to qualify tomorrow, so I hope it will be a busy weekend.

TIM MANGUS (#1 TG Racing/Advance Mfg. Chevrolet) -- My qualifying run wasn't too great. I had some trouble with the car. We don't really know what went wrong, so we'll have to get it back to the garage to see what we need to do. Last year we qualified decent, but we lost the motor.

TONY HIRSCHMAN (#3 Beech Bluff/Hoosier Tire Chevrolet) -- My qualifying run wasn't too bad. I ended up fourth, but when I heard I was fourth, I tried to go a little faster and went off the track a little in turn one. At least we're in the front to start. I don't know if there's anything we'll change before tomorrow. I'm not real pleased with the way the tires look right now, but I don't know what we're going to do.

REGGIE RUGGIERO (#44 Gulf Racing Pontiac) -- I guess I qualified 11th. I had problems during practice, so we started in the last qualifying group, and I went off the track twice, but they give us four laps, so that's great. What will we change for tomorrow? Everything! Anyway, we've got 30 laps to practice tomorrow.

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Drivers Ted Christopher
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