Food City 500 Qualifying March 23, 2001 Bristol Motor Speedway MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus AFTER QUALIFYING RUN: "I'm shaking so bad I don't know if I can talk to you. These guys had this Viagra Taurus working...
Food City 500 Qualifying
March 23, 2001 Bristol Motor Speedway
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus
AFTER QUALIFYING RUN:
"I'm shaking so bad I don't know if I can talk to you. These guys had this Viagra Taurus working today. I told 'em, 'For one lap it's pretty fast.'"
AFTER WINNING THE POLE:
"I really shouldn't have run the second lap. I was risking an awful good race car, but I did anyway. I knew when I left the pits and went through three and four -- I knew when I came off of four that I had the car to sit on the pole and I knew to go for it. I let it all hang out to get all that I could and hit my marks pretty well. I want to thank the guys that work on this stuff. We haven't been fast enough to win a pole in a long time in my heart, but we were today and I knew we were. The guys had me in the right car."
IT'S BEEN A ROUGH START. WHAT WOULD A WIN MEAN SUNDAY?
"It would be a big relief and a huge weight off of our shoulder, but I'm not greedy. I want to be a good, solid top-five car like we were last year here and if we can do that on occasion, then we'll squeak out a win here or there. I'd like to win this one, but it will all come right down to the same thing -- having the right setup for the 500 laps like we had the right setup for one lap today."
IT'S BEEN SOME TIME SINCE YOU WON A POLE.
"We had a really good car today. I haven't been in cars that work this well much in the last six months and I'm just grateful to the Roush team and the Viagra team for putting me in a Taurus that could get the job done."
HOW IMPORTANT TO START UP FRONT?
"It's only important if you're on the front row. If not, you've got to move on. It's nice. That's one competition that we have won that we didn't manage to do last year, so I look forward to doing it some more."
YOU WERE SHAKING A LITTLE BIT GETTING OUT OF THE CAR. DID YOU SCARE
"That's real intense right there. I knew when I left the pits and went through three and four before I got the green flag that I had a car that was capable of doing it and I needed to hang it all the way out."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus
"You've got to hold your breath, there's no doubt, but it doesn't last very long so that's the good thing. That's the fastest we've run since we've been here, but I'm afraid that's not gonna be quite good enough to get on the frontstretch. I think we needed to run a .40 or .41 and we just missed it, but it's a good car. We'll just have to do what we can on Sunday."
IS PITTING ON THE FRONTSTRETCH THE KEY TO HAVING A GOOD DAY SUNDAY?
"A couple of races have been won from the backstretch, but it certainly makes your day a lot more difficult. We're gonna find out what it's like again. We've been back there the last few times, so we've just got to get back here and work on our qualifying program. We just haven't been very good here recently."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus
"We knew we weren't pole material. We came here just a couple of weeks ago and worked on race setup the whole time. We made a couple of qualifying runs, but the track is quite a bit different than it was then. We were shooting for that frontstretch pit. We go to a lot of tracks where we're trying for the pole, but here you definitely want a frontstretch pit."
THIS IS A NEW CAR. DOES IT TAKE A WHILE TO BREAK IN?
"To be honest with you, that's what the test was all about. For some reason we came back and were extremely loose when we unloaded and we didn't have that the whole time we tested. I talked to some of the guys who tested here and they had the same complaint, so we spent most of our time trying to get our car tightened up. I really don't have an answer why other than weather conditions or something."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus
"I didn't like the way my turn one and two felt. It was just a little too tight down in that corner, but three and four were fine. We'll have to see if it holds up."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus
"That's not a bad lap considering it was only the third lap on the race track. It's very unfortunate what happened today. I was just trying too hard in practice. We had old tires on and I was trying to run too hard on those old tires and it just got away from me. We wrecked a real good car and we're just gonna have to work hard on this one to get a good race setup in it. I'm proud of my guys. They prepared a real good backup car. I wished we could have run a little better, but that might get us in the top 36 without using a provisional and that would be big if we could do that."
NOTE: Bodine qualified in a backup car after his primary car was involved in an accident during Friday's practice session.
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus
NOTE: Sadler was involved in an accident in practice and was forced to go to a backup car. That car raced previously at Rockingham last fall and finished 19th after taking a provisional to get in the field (started 39th).
TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus
"That was a pretty good lap. We picked up from practice and that's what you're supposed to do qualifying. Everything was right. The car was good. We made a couple of little changes for qualifying and it worked. The Yates motor was just awesome pulling up out of the corner and down the straightaway. I mean, everything went right so it was a good lap."
STARTING UP FRONT IS KEY HERE COMPARED TO OTHER TRACKS, RIGHT?
"Yeah, especially here at Bristol it's important. The biggest thing is starting on the front straightaway, but to start in the front you don't have to work the car so hard trying to get through traffic. It's very important."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
"I've never been on the frontstretch, so I don't know the difference. The DEWALT guys are doing a great job. We've had really good cars. I thought it handled pretty good that lap, so I don't know where the speed is at. That's the best lap we've run all day by far. I got all I could get. That was it."