MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 25th) "It was good that we picked up time. Anytime you pick up speed to qualify it's a good thing, but we'll just have to wait to see if everybody gets that speed or not." WHAT WAS...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 25th)
"It was good that we picked up time. Anytime you pick up speed to qualify it's a good thing, but we'll just have to wait to see if everybody gets that speed or not."
WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY FOR QUALIFYING? "Everything is so cold that I just ran up high for the first two laps and ran the bottom on my good lap. Everything is cold because it's been sitting for a whole day, so we'll just have to wait and see how things turn out."
HOW WERE THE CONDITIONS? "They seem fine. Qualifying here at Daytona there's not a lot the driver does, he just rides around and holds it wide open. The conditions seem fine and the DEWALT guys did a good job."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Citgo Taurus (Qualified 45th)
"I thought we would be better than we've been. We're slower than we anticipated and we're a lot slower than we tested, which is real confusing to us because we didn't have a problem in the tech room as far as taking something away from us. If anything, we were too legal. We actually lowered the spoiler when we got down here and we've just been slow. We're real confused right now about what's going on. We changed a lot of stuff right there and that seemed to help a little bit, but not near enough."
THE GOOD THING IS IF YOU'RE NOT ON THE FRONT ROW IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO RACE ON THURSDAY. "It doesn't, but you'd like to be a little closer than that. To be able to race real well and do what you need to do, you need to be a little closer than that. It is a long time from now until Thursday, so we just have to get the car to drive well and race well. That will obviously be important and if we can do that, then we'll stand a good chance of having a good Daytona 500."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 5th)
CAN THAT HOLD UP? "I'd like to think so, I don't know. You've got a couple of Chevrolet's and Earnhardt, Jr. left to go. I think we'll end up somewhere in the top five - fourth or fifth - but it's just a tremendous job done by the Wood Brothers. They built five cars to get ready for Daytona. I can't say enough about Motorcraft and The Air Force and the job these guys did."
YOU MADE A LATE CHANGE ON THE CAR? "Yeah, the first lap was pretty scary. We had to change the right-front spring and that gets kind of hairy. On the first lap I wanted to run the high side and when I did the car got bouncing real bad. I had to crack the throttle, but it was smoother on the bottom and the middle of the track, but on the first lap I was worried if I could even hang onto it because it was bouncing so bad."
YOU PICKED UP A LOT OF SPEED. "Yeah, these guys never really put the car in full qualifying trim because we didn't want to wear it out. They knew we were gonna be pretty good, but we didn't really know what we had until it came time to go. The biggest thing is that the spring in the inspection line - NASCAR didn't like it - it was borderline and kind of iffy, so they had to change it. The car was bouncing so bad on the first lap that I had to crack the throttle and that's unheard of at Daytona, but I was running the high side of the race track like everybody is doing. That makes a long race track out of it, which is what we want, but once I pulled it down on the bottom I could go on the second lap. But it was pretty much a handful."
WHAT ABOUT THIS TEAM? "It couldn't be going any smoother. I've found a home. I hope they decide to keep me a while because I've found a home."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"We probably didn't pick up as much as we wanted to, but that just gets us a starting position in the twin 125s. We think the car is driving good, so maybe we'll be able to race OK. We wanted to get in the top 10, but maybe we can slide into the top 15 or top 20. We'll try to go from there." ANYTHING YOU CAN PUT YOUR FINGER ON AS TO GOING SLOWER? "I don't know. The car drove good and, man, they really tuned the motor up. That felt great, but I don't know where the speed went to, but we know this M&M's Ford Taurus is gonna race good. That's the main thing. I've started from the back here before and we'll be all right come Sunday."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"I think that normally you say with restrictor plate racing it's all about the team and the car and the engine and the body. The driver can't really do anything about getting speed out of it, but I don't know if it was the wind or what, but I lost about 250 rpm going across turns three and four. I'm not sure why, if I got the wheels turned down too much or I got the car bouncing around a little bit with the steering wheel, but I think I cost myself at least a tenth over there, if not more. That's pretty disappointing for me as a driver. The guys got the Grainger Ford going really good and I think I cut a little speed coming off of four and I'm not sure why. I just don't have enough restrictor plate time under my belt yet, but I feel good about the lap."
ARE YOU SURPRISED AT THAT LAP? "Yes and no. I figured we were gonna be right about there. I thought some other cars would pick up more than they have, but NASCAR changed the rules and that helped us and got us speed. They're gonna check us through the height sticks - every car after qualifying - and we probably beat 10 cars right there because we didn't have the trick springs that got the car to sag down and stay down to get those quick laps. We've got legal stuff, so that's probably what picked us up and didn't pick up some of these other cars that should have been faster than us."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 14th)
"I'm pretty happy with that. I hoped, based on the looks of things, that we could even do a little bit better than that but I'm not sure that the wind is completely consistent. There are a lot of people disappointed and some people surprised and we fall right in the middle of that. I'm neither surprised or disappointed. I'm pretty pleased, but I expected to be in the sixties based on how some other people ran, so we missed it by a tenth or 15-hundreths, but it's awfully good. We have a good race car here."
WAS THERE ONE SPOT ON THE TRACK THAT WASN'T AS GOOD AS YOU THOUGHT? "I don't know, unless just coming back into the wind I might have hit a gust or something. You can't control what the wind does and it's pretty windy today."
KIRK SHELMERDINE - No. 90 Donlavey Racing Taurus (Qualified 48th)
"The decision was made to come here to Daytona just last week, so we were doing everything this week that a lot of the other teams are doing in January. We're slowly sneaking up on it. We've been better every run, but there's still a long way to go."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 Army National Guard Taurus (Qualified 38th)
"I held it wide open and that's about all I can do. We've struggled since testing. We're just missing something in our speedway program somehow. I came off of four and there was a pretty good headwind, but I'm sure everybody's got to deal with that."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 30th)
"We knew we had to race on Thursday anyway. It seems like we have to race every time we come here. It just seems like all the effort that we put forth never ends up computing into anything. Daytona is just Daytona. Excluding the four plate races, we've got 32 other points races out there that we're competitive at. Right now we're just looking for some speed."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 44th)
"We just haven't been able to find any speed out of this thing all week and that's a surprise. We thought we'd be closer than that. Unfortunately, you don't seem to be able to make gains. What you've got is what you've got, so we'll just do all we can do and race for it Thursday. We'll just go for it."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"It surprised me that we went that fast. We had a little bit different gear than what the 38 did and I think that might have made a difference with us. It seems the wind has calmed down some from earlier and with the gear we had that probably worked to our advantage. They did a great job, but I'm a little disappointed. Everybody talks about how equal everything was gonna be with all these templates and everything, but I just don't quite see it that way right now. My enthusiasm is down a little bit from the other day when I was talking about how excited I was about being here. I'm still excited about being here, I just know it's gonna take a supreme effort on everybody's part here to even give us a chance, but we'll give that."