JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T) "The car really felt good in practice. We ran in the top 10 and had a good draw. Junior ran a flat and we were going after it. I just stayed in the throttle too long. It slipped up and got away...
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The car really felt good in practice. We ran in the top 10 and had a good draw. Junior ran a flat and we were going after it. I just stayed in the throttle too long. It slipped up and got away from me, so I never could finish the second lap. I don't know if I could have run a flat, but we had a good lap. I haven't changed the way I drive, and I haven't changed the way I qualify. I've been driving hard all year long. It's part of this sport. I got loose on the second lap. It was good on the first lap. We could get in the throttle real quick. It stuck good in one and two on the second lap, and then I drove it down into three and the car didn't have the grip it needed because the tires were hotter and I put the throttle down as quick as I could and it got free. It's nice to finish on a high note in qualifying. I've driven as hard as I can in every race and qualified as hard as I could every time. They can't say I didn't try."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That's the best lap we've run all day. It's about a second faster than we tested. I'm pretty happy with that. We started out pretty good this morning, and it just seems like we kept getting worse the rest of the day."
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We were a little loose, but that was a pretty good lap. It's good to be working with Sammy (crew chief Johns) and the guys again. This car is a little looser than the one we finished third with down here last year, so we've still got a little work to do. If we can get it dialed in in Happy Hour tomorrow, I think we'll be in good shape for Sunday."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We didn't unload as good as we hoped. We worked hard, and the guys did a great job getting us back. We practiced around 11th. Running into the clouds might have helped us a little bit. I'm not sure. Didn't take advantage of it as a driver. I still slid around a little bit more than I would have liked."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Hills Bros Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We came down here and tested, but we didn't have a good test. We brought back a completely different racecar and a completely different thought process. I'd say the key to peaking at the wrong time was we did so much stuff wrong that we ended up finally catching onto what we needed. We kept stiffening the rear springs all day long, and it just paid off. What I'm proud of is even if we didn't have the cloud cover it still would have been a .60 or something. So, all in all the car was a lot faster.
"Like I said last week, when the green flag dropped last weekend and we didn't rush right into the lead it was a little bit disappointing. But I said, 'Hold on. You know, this team can go from 30th place to the lead right away.' Sunday, all I'm looking forward to is a finish better than 11th, so we can go into the offseason saying, 'Hey, that team is for sure better, because they ran Rockingham, Phoenix and Homestead - three complete different tracks. So, so far so good."
"I have a lot of respect for those guys, like they do for me. So I just need to not be front of them, and out of their deal. Or if I get close to them I think they need to let me go because I think that would be smarter on their point. The bottom line about any of us other 41 drivers in this race is that we don't want to be a determining factor in their championship. Nobody wants to get into them. Then again if a wreck happens and they get caught up in it that's just part of this sport, just like Davey Allison did in California. Nobody wants to go down in history as costing Mark or Tony the championship.
If it comes down to you and Tony at the finish line, do you move out of the way?
"No, he moves out of the way, because I want to win bad. You know, I might take a chance at tapping him for the win, and then just live the consequences for the next 10 years. But he should know better. He should know better."
"I think the cloud cover always plays a part in any type of qualifying where the heat's out there. But still, you take two-tenths off of that time that still puts me in the top-10, let's be fair about it. All in all the guys have really worked hard on the Hills Brothers Dodge. They peaked at the right time. We tested, learned a lot and we just kept changing the car all through practice. I think the key was that we scuffed up our set of tires."
GREG BIFFLE (No. 44 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I've got to be satisfied with that. The Petty guys gave me a great race car. I left a little bit on the table, but I was real nervous. I didn't want to make any mistakes. I wanted to qualify for the race. I think that will hold up hopefully for the top five as long as it doesn't cool off too much. I just wanted to give the guys a good run. I want to get a good top 10 finish Sunday. I finished 13th at California. These guys have given me a great opportunity. They've got great equipment. I can't say enough about the Petty organization and Andy Petree. They've got good stuff, too. I've learned a lot from these guys, and I'm going to try to give them a top 10 run on Sunday. I just got done with Happy Hour and ran from one end of pit road to another. I bucked in and sat in the heat. It is pretty warm today, but they've got all the stuff taped up and no ventilation in there for qualifying. You have to get used to the cars being different. I've got to have a different mindset when I go from one garage to another. I might just sit in the car the rest of the winter if I win in it Sunday. It would sure be nice. In my heart, I want to get a top 10. I think we'll get a top 10 starting spot, so we'll see what happens."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We tested down here and had a good test, but we only did two qualifying runs. We came back and we struggled. The car is a little tight in the middle of the corner. It won't turn. We're not satisfied, but we beat some guys. The 44 has been good since they unloaded, and that's good. I think Greg is a real talented driver, and it's shown. He jumped out of a truck into a Busch car and in a Winston Cup car and he goes fast in everything he sits in. He races good. He had a really good run going for us at Rockingham, and he had to pit at the end of the race and it cost him a bunch of positions. We'd like to end the season on a high note for Mike Ege (engine builder) and his guys and have a car on the pole. That would be big for us. If he can win Sunday, he can take the car home. That would be a gift from us to him."
JASON LEFFLER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm satisfied with that qualifying lap. Our best lap in practice was our second lap on the track. We went back to where we unloaded. I got it messed up a little bit, but I'm glad to be driving for our sponsor. The guys have done a great job, so we'll just see where we end up."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I should be happy with that lap, but a lot of things change in a year's time. The Dodge Intrepids have run well this year, but it seems like if I won here a year ago I ought to be better. I shouldn't have any excuses, but I feel pretty good about that lap, and at least we picked up from practice."