BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) "We didn't know where the new body would be, and we feel like we've learned some things the last few weeks. We need to get started on a good season. I might be getting too old for this. I...
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"We didn't know where the new body would be, and we feel like we've learned some things the last few weeks. We need to get started on a good season. I might be getting too old for this. I can't hold my breath that long any more. You just get all you can get, but you wish you could have got a little bit more. At least we're up toward the front, and that's a good sign for us. We had an idea what the track was going to do. Jeremy had run, and we got some feedback from him. We watched other cars go out, and it did cool down a little bit for us. Ryan busted off a good lap, and that's what it takes.
"I've very proud of the guys. We just need to get a little better with race preparation. We've been off a little bit this season for whatever reason. Now we just need to turn the season around a little bit and get going. I don't think you can do it (hold it wide open here), especially in one and two. One and two is so much different than three and four. It's a tighter and harder corner. You can't run one and two wide open here. You've got an opportunity in three and four. If the surface was newer you could probably do it.
"As the race track gets age on it, it gets more raceable. It becomes less of a one groove race track. We saw it at Chicago and we saw it at Kansas City. To me, any time they repave these race tracks, I feel like it's a negative to the racing on Sunday. They've got to build the tires so hard, the speeds get faster and it becomes so one lane. The way the surface is today, you'll get in a good lap qualifying but as we saw in practice, the times when you went out the second, third and fourth times fell off almost a second for some guys. That goes to help put on better racing. As the times fall off, some of the guys aren't so good to get their cars working well and get in position they need to be in. I guess I've always liked going fast. It's been more relative to my driving style I guess. As long as you can keep it between the ditches, you've had a good afternoon.
"I wish they would have never changed it. To me, they're making these cookie cutter race tracks. The old Atlanta had a personality about it, the way the corners were banked. When they came back and redid it, they banked the lower corner a little bit more, and it became a little bit quicker. The old speedway, it was a little less banked at the bottom and you could gain a little bit more at the top. You could run anywhere around here. I really enjoyed running the old race track. It had a personality of its own."