CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T) "That was a good lap for us. We backed up what we ran this morning. We got a little bit loose, but that was a great run for us and it'll give us a good starting spot for Sunday. I...
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That was a good lap for us. We backed up what we ran this morning. We got a little bit loose, but that was a great run for us and it'll give us a good starting spot for Sunday. I hit my marks pretty good. That's pretty much all it had. We could have picked up a little bit more if it had been a little tighter off the corners. The track got a little slicker since this morning.
"We've got a brand new car the guys built just to come here. The guys built a great car. We've got a good starting position, so maybe we can keep it up there. Every track is a little tricky. You've got to be careful not to drive in the corners too hard. You've got to let off early and get on the gas quicker. I never did it in Busch. Just about everywhere in Cup, you've got to learn how to back out a little early.
"It's going great. We (crew chief Sammy Johns) and I have been working together for awhile. He's really helped step up our program. He brings a lot of experience to the team. It's been a big gain for us. It's hard for a rookie driver to come out with a rookie team and do good. Sammy built this car we're running this weekend. He really did good. "We've had some great runs, and everybody on the teams knows that. We just haven't been able to clinch it. We've had problems. We're going to forget about the first half and try to have a good second half. We've had two top 15s in a row and hopefully we can keep it going."
"We got a pretty good lap in and we've got a good starting position. I watched some Indy 500s here when I was a kid and I started paying attention to it when Winston Cup started coming here. It's a great honor. It's a very special race. I'm really satisfied with our performance right now. We struggled the first half of the season. We had a lot of bad luck. Sammy (crew chief Johns) has really helped our program out a lot. We've really started running good the last month or so. We've had a couple of top 15s in a row, and we're getting stronger. Most of the pressure I get I put on myself. You have to give up a lot of your life to be successful in this sport and you've got to be willing to do that. I want to do whatever it takes to be a winner or a champion."
BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It wasn't very good. The car hasn't been loose. We've just been sliding around the front end real bad. That lap won't make the top 36. If we're in the race, it'll be with a provisional."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We came back the identical way we left here from testing. Hopefully the rule change will help us in the race, but I don't think it made much difference in qualifying. Our cars get tight in traffic. That wasn't a bad qualifying lap. We saved a little bit and got a little loose off four like everybody else, but we'll take it. I think you go all the way around the track and by the time you get back to four, your tires are already hot. You kind of lose a little grip by the time you get back to turn four. My hat's off to all the guys. We picked up from practice, and a lot of guys slowed down. We drew kind of in the middle. It's not getting real hot. I've seen the track lose two or three tenths, but I don't think it's too bad today."
JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It wasn't real good. We were too loose. We tried to make some adjustments to tighten it back up. The track temperature came up, and it made the track too loose. We lost three-quarters of a second from practice, so it's disappointing. Our car setup just wasn't right. The guys that were fast this morning ran the same times, but we didn't. We lost a bunch. I'd say turn one was the trickiest corners. If you miss that one, you're not going to have a good lap. We'll see what happens tomorrow in the race."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We need to be a little bit better, but I'll take it. You guess at these things all day long and try to get your act together with what you need for qualifying, but some days you get it and some days you don't. Anytime you can run close to what you ran in practice, it's a good deal. I think the race track probably gave up a couple of tenths, but in this business you do everything you can do and hope you hit it on the money. Spencer went out early, hit his marks and did what he had to do. We had a good run last week, and we've got a little momentum going, but this is the racing business and anything can happen. I really didn't know where we'd end up today. The weather helped us. You come here and test for two days and come back with a little something different, so it took us a little time to struggle through it. The guys did an excellent job. The first time out I thought we were going to be in bad shape, but we've got a great team and they did a great job with the car. I'm pleased with the way things went. You can feel it (extra two inches on the front of the car), but I think we'll be able to feel it more in the race. Every little bit helps. I wish we could have picked up a little bit more and won the pole, but we'll take it. Casey had a good run, too, so we'll just wait and see what unfolds in the race."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It's awful hot. We made a couple of adjustments on the car before qualifying, and we're back so far in the points, I just wanted to put in a good, conservative lap and not hit anything. We'll be in the race. We just won't be up front, but you can pass here. The Dodge has got a lot of potential. We've just got to figure it out. It doesn't matter where you start. The only problem is getting caught up in something early. We've had good cars here in the past and we'll have a good one again tomorrow. We'll work hard and see what that two inches really means. I think we'll be OK. I love coming back to Indianapolis for a lot of reasons, but mostly for the fans. Just racing here means a lot to me."
DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was just slow. I tried not to overdrive the car, but I feel like I didn't run it hard enough now. We'll see how it shakes out."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The track slowed down a little bit, but we've been struggling since we've been here. We just couldn't get the car like we needed it."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That was just the luck of the draw. The car was loose on the exit just like it should have been when the temperature has gone up about 35 or 40 degrees. We've got a good race car, and I'm real excited about tomorrow if we can just have some racing luck. We've got to have a little luck. We haven't had any lately."
STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"Chad (crew chief Knaus) and the guys made some great calls. We just got bit by the draw I think. We've got a good race car. We were a victim of the draw. We slowed down some, but not quite as much as some other guys. We're in the show and didn't have to use a provisional, but that's not what we were looking for. We thought we could qualify in the top 20."