9 February 2004
Chevy Chat - Daytona 500 Qualifying.
Chevrolet may have missed out on automatic qualification for next weekend's Daytona 500, but will lead the charge in the twin 125-lap qualifiers due at the Speedway on Thursday.
"It's real windy right now, and chances are that the wind's going to die down near the end of qualifying. So I don't know if we'll do real well. But you never know, so we'll just go out there and run and see what we end up with. I ain't really too worried about it. It's going to be real tough to get the pole. The best thing you can hope for is just to get into the 125s. I'd like to get the pole, but I don't know if we're the best car here in qualifying. We've never run that great in qualifying at plate tracks except last year. So, if we get lucky and get on the front row, great."
"We're pretty happy with the lap. It's just a little windy out there. Tony Jr and the guys did a good job on the car, and that's all you can do, you know, is build a race car and take it out here and see how it works out. Hopefully, the wind doesn't die down for them guys at the end of the line and everybody's got the same disadvantage."
"It's pretty disappointing to come here for testing and then two good days of practice and then get up this morning and see, I'd guess, about 40 mph winds in our face coming out of turn two. But my hat's off for the guys at the engine shop that built the motor for this YOKE TV Chevrolet Monte Carlo. What an off-season going in without a major sponsor. We were able to put it together to come here, be in the top ten in both practices we had yesterday."
"All we're looking for right now is a top ten start here as far as where we end up in qualifying. But it's about 250rpm we lost going down the backstretch compared to what we did down the straightaway. But we've got a good little Monte Carlo here, so we'll see what happens next week."
"I thought the wind was blowing pretty hard. That's the only bad thing. But that's about where we anticipated the Valvoline Chevrolet to be. We thought we'd probably be somewhere around mid-pack, and that's probably where we'll wind up. Now the only thing we need to concentrate on is making sure the car sucks up well in the draft, and we can race our way close to the front of the 500."
"We lost a little bit of rpm because of the wind, but that's part of it."
"We [Waltrip and Earnhardt] don't even know if we're going to be in the same 125s, so we don't talk about anything. When we ran one-two last at Talladega last September, I don't even think we said hello during the weekend. We kind of get on our own agendas and we're there to race our cars. We understand the job and how to be successful at the job and there's really not a whole lot to say about it."
"We've been pretty slow ever since we got here. But Richard [Childress] said that Johnny [Sauter] used this car in drafting practice here and the car drafted real well. But they've never been able to get any speed out of this car for a qualifying run. So we'll take that and see where we line up in the 125s and try to race our way in this thing."
"Everybody slowed up two- or three-tenths and it happened to us as well [due to the wind]. But it was a great effort. We're definitely trying to go faster. We're also focusing a little more on the 500 and on the downforce of the car for the 500. We would have loved to be on the pole and be on the front row and not have to worry about the 125s, but that's not the way it turned out."
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