NASCAR Winston Cup Series DieHard 500: Post Qualifyng Quotes - Ford Drivers
11 October 1997
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Qualifying Quotes DieHard 500 Talladega Superspeedway October 10, 1997 TALLADEGA, AL - The following provided by Ford Motorsports Public Affairs: GEOFF BODINE (#7 QVC Thunderbird) - Qualified 25th - "We had run a lot better than that in practice, but there were a lot of cars out there. A lot of work went into this car. We thought we were going to be a little faster." JEFF BURTON (#99 Exide Batteries Thunderbird) - Qualified 4th - "If you look at what we have done in qualifying for restrictor-plate races all year long, and then you look at that, we've come a long way. We just went to work on our body program. They did a great job on the body. We picked up, and generally you don't pick up much here. We'll take that. We're real proud of that. The three restrictor-plate races before this were pretty ugly. We'll take this." JOHN ANDRETTI (#98 RCA Thunderbird) - Qualified 2nd - "We dodged one bullet, but I think there is about 10 more bullets to dodge. I hope we get to start up front. I don't think it's good enough for the pole. Obviously, every race track we go to we try to win, but this has been a race track where we've got a really strong combination for. We always qualify up front here and we always race up front. Who knows? Maybe this will be our second win. I thought we could run quicker, but it's really gotten hot. As long as it stays hot, it will hurt everybody. I'm just hoping it hurts everybody a lot." JIMMY SPENCER (#23 Camel Thunderbird) - Qualified 3rd - "We've been running good ever since we unloaded. We really felt like we had a shot at the top five. It's the same car we had at Daytona, and ran really well down there. We ended up losing a lap in an accident. Hopefully, that won't happen here. If it doesn't, I think we can do it here, too. We stayed up there all day long at Daytona, and we think we're going to have the same result Sunday." HUT STRICKLIN (#8 Circuit City Thunderbird) - Did not qualify; 46th fastest - "We lost about a second from practice. We'll have to go back to work. It just didn't seem like the car got as low on the race track as we had been running." KENNY WALLACE (#81 Square D Thunderbird) - Did not qualify; 33rd fastest - "That's pretty disappointing. We ran a couple of times today with nobody I could see and we ran down in the teens. That's a lot slower. That's the way it goes. We'll just have to hope that gets us in the race and get ready to run Sunday." RICKY RUDD (#10 Tide Thunderbird) - Did not qualify; 34th fastest "I wish I could blame it on a poor qualifying draw, but that wasn't the case at all. We've been struggling since we've been here. I heard 'em talking to Kyle Petty about his cookbook and what he needed to get going. I think I need to get that 28's cookbook and put some of that in this thing, 'cause it wasn't cooking today." TED MUSGRAVE (#16 Family Channel/PRIMESTAR Thunderbird) - Did not qualify; 40th fastest - "That's about all we had. This is our Daytona car, not our Talladega car. But we'll be really good in the race. This is the car that we run at Daytona and run near the top five all the time, so we'll be good on Sunday." LAKE SPEED (#9 Melling Engine Parts Thunderbird) - "We needed a little more speed. We felt like we slowed down from where we practiced. We'll get ready to race in the morning." ROBERT PRESSLEY (#77 Jasper Engines/Federal Mogul Thunderbird) - "The thing got a little hot and I had to chase it up the race track and it cost me a lot of time. I'm just really proud of these guys. This team is really coming around. The communication is real good. We've been working hard and together and it's paying off little by little. I think the races to come and next year will show what this team is really capable of doing." RICK MAST (#75 Remington Thunderbird) - Qualified 23rd - "I don't have a clue. We ran that lap a while ago. When we ran that fast lap, there was nobody near us. These guys have worked real hard on this car. With the adversity we've been through, to come here and qualify this good is a tribute to the guys. They keep me pumped up. I think we've got a good race car for Sunday." RUSTY WALLACE (#2 Miller Lite Thunderbird) - Qualified 9th - "It was pretty good. I told the guys I thought I would run about a 49.75 and I ran a .77. The last time I ran about a .74 or .75. We lost a little bit but the car is handling good. That was a good run for us. We had to raise the car up a little bit in tech, and I think that slowed the car up a little bit." DALE JARRETT (#88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Thunderbird) - Qualified 18th - "That's not exactly what we were looking for, but at least Ernie ran good, and that's good. We just haven't been up to speed, but hopefully the car will be good on Sunday. It's going to be a long race, and we've got to win the race. That's more important right now than winning the pole. We'll take what we've got and run on Sunday. The driver is kinda out of the equation here. We'd like to take a lot of credit for what happens wherever you go. But we just kinda hold it wide-open and hold it down. The car drove good. We didn't come here and test, so maybe we should have done that. But we'll go after 'em on Sunday." BILL ELLIOTT (#94 McDonald's Thunderbird) - Qualified 10th - "That was a little bit better than practice. We ran a 49.82 in practice, and that was with a little bit of help. I thought if we could maintain that, we'd be all right. But it cooled down and I think it helped me a little bit. We've really run well here. All the guys have worked hard and Ernie has done an excellent job on the motors. We need just a little bit. Maybe we can get it on Sunday."