KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T) "It was a little tight compared to what it was in practice. It pushed in the middle of the corner, and I hadn't done that all day. I guess it just got cooled off and the race track got a little ...
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was a little tight compared to what it was in practice. It pushed in the middle of the corner, and I hadn't done that all day. I guess it just got cooled off and the race track got a little tighter. I stuck too good, and I pushed up in the middle. I eased out of it a little bit on the next lap and it picked up. Now we're back to old and young drivers. You learn something from your first lap and pick up on the second lap. That'll get me in the race."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I wish we could have been a little quicker, but considering where we unloaded, it's a pretty big gain. This Hills Bros Coffee Dodge wasn't too kind to us today, but the guys kept working on it. I've got to give a lot of credit to the guys at Bill Davis Racing. They did a great job, and hopefully we can have a great run on Sunday."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Original Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We took a little gear out of the car. The track got faster. It got more grip. It's probably not going to matter. It's fine with me if it rains out qualifying again. That's probably the only way we're going to be on the pole again. It doesn't matter where you start here. We started 29th in this race last year and should have won it. We led a lot of the race and finished third. We started 15th in the second race and won it. This is such a good track. You can run three deep, side by side. If your car drives good, you'll be all right. We'd been pretty good in practice, but then we put on tires for a banzai run and we only picked up two tenths. Everybody else picks up half a second. We can't figure it out. You want to qualify good, but I'd rather race good. It pays more to race good.
"It's a tough way to get the pole. Dale Jarrett put up a real good time. We didn't have anything for him. One time in practice we were pretty decent, but we just can't understand qualifying. We were probably the eighth quickest one time in practice and we put on new tires and just picked up two tenths. I feel like we'll race good. This is the car we had at California and it was a good one for us. It looks like it might rain qualifying out, and I just hate it for all the guys who put in all the work to get qualified.
"This is a different car from what we had and the track is different. We need to win. Last week was good for us. We took a 25th-place car and wound up fourth with it. We had a good car at the end, but we were terrible at the start. The past two weeks, we were good to halfway and then the chassis went away. The guys went to work on it and got it fixed. We had a second-place car at California. Kurt Bush had us beat. We got stuff in the wall off four and it knocked the tow-in out. I came back and ran seventh with it.
"Look back at last year, and I think we ran better last year. We could lead more. We've still got a top-five car. Don't get me wrong, but we want to lead and win. With the rule changes, they gave Chevrolet an inch and a half. That brought them past us. They gave the Fords a kick out and that brought them past us. The Dodges and Pontiacs are kind of struggling. They gave the Pontiacs a little break. I don't know if it helped them or not. It looks like we're behind right now. The Fords at Pocono could pull up and turn their stuff 9,400 rpm's. We can't turn ours but 9,000 rpm's or it'll blow up. With the gear they pull, they can beat you off the corner because they'll pull more gear. I think we're a little behind.
"Handling comes into play at Michigan, so it might not be as big of a problem here. I'd much rather have a car that handles good than one with 20 more horsepower. If a car drives good, you can wear 'em down.
"We'll just have to roll our sleeves up and work harder."
Quotes after the rain delay
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Original Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I wish it had kept on raining. We changed some stuff on it before qualifying, and we went the wrong way. It was terrible. I guess we can work our way up through the field. We've done it before. It's pretty normal for us these days."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We had our car set up for different conditions. Who would have thought it would rain and then an hour and a half delay. Our car was snug everywhere. I think we were really going to be good in qualifying before. It was just weird today. The car was good, but the track cooled down a lot more than we expected. It had a lot of grip. We could have been two or three tenths quicker. We've been struggling lately in qualifying. A good starting spot is important here at Michigan."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We weren't that good in practice, but the guys kept working on it and it paid off. Michigan has been good to be through the years. I love racing here. We'll have to see what happens Sunday. The track was good in qualifying, a lot more grip than I experienced in practice. Somebody is going to run good here in a minute if they can just figure it out."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The car was really good. If I went out right now, I could turn a better lap. The track is in pretty good shape. We made a bunch of small changes right before we went out for qualifying, so hopefully the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge will be that good in the race and I won't leave any on the table."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was real good. That's the most rpm's we've turned and we got through the corners the best we have all day. We just didn't run fast. We ran real good in practice, but we went out to qualify and didn't pick up like everybody else did."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We lost a little grip in turn three. The car was really good in one and two. We've been struggling lately getting the cars to handle and having some mechanical problems. It would be a good weekend for us to turn around. The track just had more grip in qualifying because it was cooler."
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The car just came around on me. It was on the warmup lap. I was taking it easy and let off early in turn three. It just came around. It hit pretty hard, but I'm fine."