KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 24th) "It was decent. We ran a 29.37 and that's four-tenths quicker than I've ever gone here before. So, for Kurt Busch, it's been a victory so to speak, but, yet, going out in the daytime like it...
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"It was decent. We ran a 29.37 and that's four-tenths quicker than I've ever gone here before. So, for Kurt Busch, it's been a victory so to speak, but, yet, going out in the daytime like it is, if we're doing sunglasses doing an interview we went out too early."
YOU WERE FINED $10,000 BY NASCAR. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? "It was a bit harsh for what happened on a non-points event, but that was Saturday and this is Thursday. We're focussed on gathering up points and that's the direction we're heading."
HOW DID THE TRACK FEEL? "The track felt fine. You bring up the throttle in turn three and you're still in the sun and it starts washing up the hill. Then as you get into the shade it turns for you, so, obviously, when the sun goes down the cars are going to be turning better and those drivers' lap times will be lower than ours."
HOW IMPORTANT IS A GOOD STARTING SPOT SUNDAY? "It's key in one aspect as far as picking a pit box. Getting a good pit selection is good so you can get in and out of the pit safely and not have any altercation on pit road." WHAT ABOUT YOUR ENGINE PROBLEM? "We had the oil pump lock up, so I can give you some detail on our engine failure. That caused the oil pump belt to fall off, which, in turn, created no oil pressure. We lost oil pressure coming down the front straightaway and it locked up."
WHAT DID NASCAR SAY TO YOU TODAY? WHY DID THEY FINE YOU? "They said it was $10,000 for the remarks after Saturday's event."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 19th)
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE GONE LATER? "There are some cars that obviously run faster than us, so I can't say it's all in the time slot, but like anybody -- even the 48 -- they would have loved to have gone later. If you go late at Charlotte, it could be a couple of tenths but the track is pretty fast right now and it has been since we've been over here."
DID IT CHANGE MUCH FROM PRACTICE? "Not normally. The track picked up a couple tenths, but it's still late afternoon and the sun is still on the corners, especially on the entrance to three and four. It's still pretty bright down there, so the track will get faster. I think that will probably be somewhere around 10th to 15th before it's over with."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
YOU AND HERMIE WERE TALKING TRADE TODAY? "I just made a comment to Hermie that I had been in racing three and a half years and he steps in for one race and is gonna have twice as much horsepower as I ever had, so we were laughing about that. Then he wanted to switch cars, but I'm way too happy with this car. This is my favorite car and I am so, so proud of my guys at Wood Brothers Racing. I'm proud of everybody on the U.S. Air Force Ford Taurus. We've had a lot of commotion around our team the last few weeks, so to be able to come here and qualify sixth like we did last week for The Winston and to get another good run like we did here today, I'm very, very proud of my guys. That car right there should be on the pole, but I just messed up in turns one and two a little bit, so that car is definitely good enough to be on the pole and definitely good enough to win here Sunday. Hopefully, we'll shock the world again and maybe get us a good win here for the Coca Cola 600." DOES THE CAR DRIVE BETTER WHEN IT LOOKS THAT COOL? "I can't see what it looks like from inside the car, but this is definitely my favorite car and this is why we saved it for this race. This is the same car that sat on the outside pole at Texas, so we know it's very fast. I ran second with it at Darlington that day, probably one of the best in our history of racing, so we know this is a great race car. Hopefully, that will be in the top five somewhere and we'll be able to put on a show Sunday night."
FRANK KIMMEL --26-- Pork Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"That's the best we've ever gone around Charlotte, that's for sure. The guys have done a great job and that's the nicest race car I've ever been in. It was a good deal. The Pork car was running good. We picked up a couple tenths from practice, it's just hard on an old guy to go around here that fast."
DID THE TRACK CHANGE A LOT FROM PRACTICE? "We didn't put a lot of laps in today just for that reason. I got loose a couple times in practice getting in (the corner) and that spooked me a little bit. We just hope that's good enough to get in this race and then we'll go from there."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"It was really good compared to what our mock up run was like. We were pretty good off the truck and probably over-adjusted a little bit and missed it a little bit. I got a little too tight qualifying, but that was a great lap for us."
DID YOU HAVE SOME SUN TO DEAL WITH? "It was pretty bright getting into three, so there was a little bit there, but the track has got a ton of grip and it's probably gonna keep getting a little bit faster."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"Three quarters of a lap was pretty impressive. I'd like to be able to do that last quarter over again because I just got tight. The Tide Ford was running really good in practice, but we made some adjustments we knew would help. We just needed a little bit extra of what we had given it, but it's really been a great year for this team. We've shown great improvement and we've qualified well. At the beginning of the year I sat down with Mike and Roy. I said, 'You guys pick your race, but with the exception of going to New Hampshire twice, I want that Coca-Cola 600,' so we're really gonna be geared up for Sunday's race."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 4th)
"I'm not disappointed because we still got a top five run going and that's all you can ask for. We were fast in practice, but we were just a little bit tight there in qualifying. You can't always expect everything to be perfect." IS EVERYBODY STILL RIDING HIGH FROM SATURDAY? "Oh yeah, definitely, and to follow it up with a top-five qualifying effort is gonna be good too. It's tough to beat a good win and, hopefully, we'll keep that on our shoulder and keep our chins up for Sunday." THIS IS THE SAME CAR? "Definitely the same race car and I wouldn't second-guess that thought."
KEVIN LEPAGE --38-- GEICO Direct Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"This came about two weeks ago when Derrike Cope called me and said they had two sponsors and only one car and they needed a second car. We got a deal together and in less than 14 days we started this car. We put some fenders on it and painted it and put a motor in it and built some headers and tailpipes with an all-volunteer crew. Mark Tutor came over to help me, a very valid crew chief, and picked up a regular group of guys that volunteered, and Mark Smith did a great job putting together an engine for me. I wouldn't be here without the help of GEICO Direct and it's good to be back here at Charlotte. I love this race track. My main goal was to be in the top 36 tonight and be here on Sunday. We're here now for Sunday and now we just have to run the entire race and come home with a good finish."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 8th)
"The car has been pretty good all day. It never was the fastest, but it was in the top 15 most of the day and that's about where that's gonna get us. I'm happy with it. It's driven well all day and I'm real happy. This is the same car we had over here in The Winston, but we changed a lot of stuff on it bodywise before we came back and the guys put in a lot of effort and time. Hopefully, it'll pay off."