NEXTEL All-Star: DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Finished: 12th How was your race tonight? "This was a learning experience for us and that was exactly what we needed. We need to get out there and compete to get...
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Finished: 12th
How was your race tonight? "This was a learning experience for us and that was exactly what we needed. We need to get out there and compete to get some ideas as to how to make the cars better. We've made tremendous gains and tonight it helped a lot to get to run with those other fast cars. Now what we need to do is come here Thursday with a great qualifying package and get into the race. I think if we can do that, then we can run competitive for 600 miles. But the run here tonight definitely gives us hope for next week."
What are your expectations for next week in regards to the evolution of the Toyota engine? "All we can do is hope that what they are going to give us will perform on the race track the way they are telling us it should. We applaud them for making the changes and listening to us to try to give us what we feel like we need. This is another step toward the continued improvement and hopefully it will help all the Toyota teams."
Do these types of races turn into wars of attrition? "To some extent, you just want to stay clean and avoid any wrecks that happen in front of you. But at the same time, track position is very important with these segments being only 20 laps. We had pretty good track position there during the second segment, but had a bad vibration and had to come down pit road. That put us back a bit and we couldn't really challenge after that."
Does this give you a little confidence heading into next weekend's race? "We've had some pretty good success on the mile-and-a-half tracks this season, and we had a decent test here a couple weeks ago, so the team is pretty confident heading into next weekend's Coca-Cola 600. We'll just come here next weekend and give it our best."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Finished: 4th
How was your car tonight and specifically on the numerous restarts? "Some of our starts were okay and some were just bad. We were spinning the tires there in the bottom lane and we could never restart on the top lane. If we could have restarted up there, I think we might have had a better shot at getting up into the top two. But we were just not going to really finish any better than we did tonight because we were just really tight. We kind of thought we would be tight, but at least we were able to learn some things for next week."
From your perspective, what happened in the lap one incident? "I don't know what happened there at the beginning. He (Juan Pablo Montoya) just drove straight into turn one and never turned or lifted -- I knew nothing good was going to come out of that. I'm just glad I was able to get by there on the bottom and not get collected."
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Finished: 8th
How crazy were things out there from your perspective? "We were lucky to miss the early wrecks. A couple guys got a little too anxious and made some move that didn't work, but we were able to avoid them. For the last couple restarts, we just didn't have what we needed to keep up with the leaders." (Mayfield, cont.) Are you able to transfer any of tonight to next weekend's Coca-Cola 600? "We're getting back to where we need to be. We had a pretty good test here a couple weeks ago, so we'll come back with that car next weekend and hopefully get in the show. Obviously, it's important for us to make next weekend's race, so we'll just work hard this week and do our best next weekend."
Was it hard to gain experience out there with so many caution laps? "We came here hoping we could get some green flag laps in, but that's not what happened. The start was just crazy. Once we spun on the first lap and got back in the pack, we were never sure what we had. We could've been tight or we could've just been in bad air."
Does the NCTS finish give you confidence heading into next weekend? "It gives me a little bit of confidence, but more importantly, gives me a lot of laps here. We haven't made one of these mile-and-a-half races, so last night's Truck race and tonight's laps at least give me some experience on them in race conditions."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Finished: 20th
How was your car tonight? "We tried something new on the set-up tonight for the race and it made the car ridiculously loose. I couldn't drive it for as loose as it was. But we had to use tonight as a test session for next week. The focus of this team is Thursday night when we have to qualify for the 600."
-credit: toyota motorsports