MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 36th) WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WIN SATURDAY? "I don't know. We've got to get our car up front. That's a terrible qualifying effort for us, so that will probably be a provisional. That's real...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 36th)
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WIN SATURDAY? "I don't know. We've got to get our car up front. That's a terrible qualifying effort for us, so that will probably be a provisional. That's real disappointing because we had a good car all day. We did do some race runs today and I was encouraged by how our car acted, so we just have to do the right things and get our DeWalt car adjusted and try to get it back up front."
DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO PUT ONE GOOD RUN AFTER ANOTHER THE REST OF THE WAY AND GET SOME HELP TO WIN IT ALL? "Yeah, I mean where we're at we need to be up front and we need to be leading laps and finishing in the top five trying to win races. We've got to do that. If some of the other guys have a little trouble and we can do that, we'll have a shot, but we've got to start this weekend and get back in it. I sure am disappointed with our qualifying effort. I thought we were gonna run a lot better than that."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Canteen Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"This is a lot of fun. I'm having a blast with these guys. I'm just glad to be here. To be able to race here at Lowe's Motor Speedway is awesome. I heard Robby Gordon and those guys holding it wide open in the Busch cars and I thought, 'Man, I'll try it,' and it didn't work out."
WHAT TIME WILL YOU GET BACK FROM TEXAS FOR THE RACE SATURDAY NIGHT? "Hopefully before it starts. I think it's pretty tight. If we don't have any weather, it's gonna be really close. I'm just so excited. It's so cool as a race car driver that I didn't even watch two races on TV in the same day and now I get to drive in two, so I'm living the dream."
SOME WOULD VIEW THIS AS A GRIND, BUT YOU SEEM TO BE HAVING FUN WITH IT. "How can it be a grind? You're driving race cars. That's why I started racing is because I love to drive race cars. It's pretty neat. I get to go testing all the time now and get to race. Like Saturday, I get to race my SuperChips truck in the afternoon and then the Canteen car that evening. I have a feeling around like the 300th lap in the Cup car on Saturday night I won't be smiling this big, but I'll still be smiling."
ARE YOU ABLE TO GET A GOOD FEEL FOR TRACK CONDITIONS FOR SATURDAY? "We're so different right now with our qualifying setup compared to race setup. I'm a little nervous about that, but we've got Dave Blaney coming tomorrow. While I'm in Texas he's gonna be running the car in happy hour and if I don't make it back, he's gonna race the thing. It's gonna be pretty neat. I'm glad to have Dave here and I think it'll be a good show for us."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"I'm just hoping we stay in the top 20. That's what I targeted was to try and qualify in the top 20. We're not that good right now. In qualifying trim we just haven't been where we needed to be."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"We've got a great race car for Saturday night. I think it's gonna be very, very fast. I was a little freer than I wanted to be for qualifying, but Newman ran such a great lap that I feel like I'm in left field. But that's a great start for us. I think we'll be somewhere in the top six or seven and that's fine. We can see the guys from the front. The Combos Ford will be fast and I can't wait to get started Saturday night."
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN THE CHASE? "I'm just having fun. I'm not really worried about the points. I think everything is a bonus from here on out for this race team. We're just here to try to win races. That's what we did last week when we stayed out on gas. I want to win here at Lowe's Motor Speedway Saturday night. That's what we came for. Who cares what the points do this weekend. I'm not even really paying attention to it. I came here to win the race."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 12th)
YOU SEEM TO BE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE. "I really am. It's a new chapter in the life. I'd have to be honest and say that racing has defined my life for 30 years and, hopefully, it'll continue to define my life. It is a little bit scary, but I want to exit Nextel Cup racing at the top of my game and I'm as close as I'm gonna get right now with this race team. It's been a long journey and I'm looking forward to it, I really am. I'm excited and obviously concerned. We can't stay young forever."
DO YOU HAVE AN EVEN KEEL MINDSET ALMOST HALFWAY THROUGH THE CHASE? "We've been racing as hard as we could go all year just to make the chase. We made it and now we're racing just as hard to try to win it or place as high as possible. We have a good race team. We're back a few points, but we're in fifth and we've moved up every week except for last week. This is a week to try to make some hay. This race track is good for the Viagra team, it's always been good to me, so we'll try to make some hay Saturday night."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 42nd)
"We're a little upset. We had run a .40 in practice and were 17th or 18th in practice. I was just telling Fatback, I don't know where the speed went. The car just stuck in the corner, but it didn't feel like we went anywhere so I don't know. I'm kind of baffled really."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"We were slipping in front and I felt it coming up to speed, it just didn't want to stick. It felt like track temperatures today earlier were warmer and the car wanted to stick a little better, but it's no biggie I think we're top 20."
SO IT'LL BE MORE FUN COMING THROUGH THE PACK SATURDAY? "I hope so. It's a good car. We haven't had any problems with it until now when it was just slipping and sliding a little bit."
MINDSET DOESN'T CHANGE? "We've got to get up there and lead a lap and get those five points and make sure we do the best job all day and not lose track of our adjustments."
JOHN ANDRETTI - No. 14 VB/APlus at Sunoco Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"I'm really happy. A top 38 starting spot would have been good enough for me. It wasn't about trying to get the pole, it was just about trying to come out and get in the race. This was going to be a hard race because everybody and their brother, and sister, showed up for this race so I feel really good about it. I mean, 40 days old and this team has come a long way in 40 days. I want to thank VB and APlus for the support, but also Robert Yates Racing and Ford for their support because without everybody collectively there was no way."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE A GIANT WEIGHT HAS BEEN LIFTED OFF YOUR SHOULDERS? "If you only knew. If you only knew."