JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Box Tops for Education Dodge Intrepid R/T) Starts 16th "The guys worked on it and they always do a great job. They made some real small changes to the car and we got a good draw. We got to go early, and hopefully the track...
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Box Tops for Education Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The guys worked on it and they always do a great job. They made some real small changes to the car and we got a good draw. We got to go early, and hopefully the track will slow up a bunch. That'll be good enough to be in the Brickyard, and that's all we need. We can win from anywhere like Jeff Gordon says. For some of us this is the biggest race we come to all year. For others, it's in the top five. To have to get up and come out and make it all work can be pretty difficult, but the way we drive and stuff, when we go out to practice we lay it all out on the line. You can mess up and work on it. Here, you don't know where your car is or where the track is. You're just kind of guessing. It is brutally hot right now. I just hope that track just keeps getting slicker. I love all these other guys, but not like I like myself. It feels great, and I think that's a good time. It's not going to be a great starting spot, but it's going to be a starting spot. The track was in pretty decent condition but hopefully it's going to get slick and it's going to happen quick. All last night you're thinking about qualifying. You've got 18 hours to work on the car, but between the last time you sat in it and the next time you sit in it, you're going to have to try to qualify for one of the biggest races of the year. Whoever makes the schedule doesn't have to qualify today. I don't know who that is, but this ain't for everybody so we'll just do what we have to do and go on."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
Immediately after qualifying run.
"The car has been pretty good here all week, and now it's just a waiting game. We'll have to wait and see what happens. A lot of good cars are left to go. Hopefully we got the best draw for the time of day, but we'll just have to wait and see. That wasn't a bad lap. I felt like we got everything we could out of it. Hopefully the early draw will help us, but you never know. We'll just have to wait and see. If you've got it you've got it. If you don't, you don't. I hit my marks pretty well. I felt like I got about everything I could out of it. Regardless, I think we'll be pretty close up front. It's good to be up front here because track position at Indy is very important. You can't count anybody out in this business. Whether we get this one or not, we've got four poles this season. It was a little bit cooler this morning. We had the rain yesterday morning and it was overcast early, so it kept the track temperature down. We put together our best effort and we'll just have to see what happens. Nothing surprises me any more. You go with the flow. I've been in it long enough. You just go in the direction they lead you. We had a good draw. We've got to keep working. We've got a good team. The track was in good shape. It's relatively a cool morning, as cool as it gets in Indianapolis in August. We got a good draw, but we'll just have to wait and see. I didn't have any problems at all. We were a little bit on the loose side. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably tighten it up a little bit. We made a good guess at it and the guys did a heck of a job."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)
Starts 41st, fifth provisional
"We had hoped to be a little faster. That was faster than we ran yesterday, but I think getting an early draw had something to do with that. The car has been loose since we've been here. I got into the fence off turn four on my first lap. I was trying to drive it for everything we could get. We were able to pick up about four tenths from when we practiced, but I'm not too pleased with that. We'll wait and see where we end up. The big surprise is going to be later on in the day once it heats up if one of these guys click off a fast lap. That'll surprise me."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was a good lap. It just wasn't fast. We hit all our marks, but we didn't get through turn one. I thought we were a whole lot faster than we were. We just didn't get what we needed. We didn't make many changes on the Target Dodge from what we tested and practiced, but it just didn't work. There's really no more pressure on me running for Chip at Indy than any other driver. This is an important place for him, but being a competitor, all the pressure comes from me. Chip gives us the resources we need. We just need to figure out how to use them."
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm pretty happy with that compared to where we were yesterday. That's going to get us in the race pretty safe. The car felt great. I think we had a little bit of a wrong gear in it. It was better today. We'll take it. It's a starting spot. We'll work on the Sirius Dodge, and I think we'll be there Sunday. We picked it up on the second lap, and I don't know why. It was like that yesterday in practice, too. I don't know if it's me or the car gets better or I just get more comfortable with it. The track is a little bit different. They ground it and it's a lot faster than last year. The car drives close to the same as it drove last year. Sometimes things just don't happen the same."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 07 Sirius Satellite Radio/Kenwood Dodge Intrepid R/T)
Starts 36th, last driver to qualify on speed.
"It was terrible, absolutely terrible. It was so loose it was undriveable. I just had to calm down on the second lap to see if we could make the show. I don't think it will. It's been a real good car until now. I don't know what happened, but it was terrible."
SCOTT WIMMER (No. 27 Siemens Dodge Intrepid R/T)
42nd fastest, no provisional. Failed to qualify.
"We've been fighting since we got here. The car has just been a little too free. We got in the wall a little in turn three. We just scuffed the car, but it slowed us up. I screwed up a little, but this team's pretty young. We picked up a little since yesterday, but the track has really fallen off this afternoon."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm real happy with that lap. We weren't good yesterday in practice, but the guys worked hard on this Dodge last night. It was a lot better today. Going out 34th with the track getting hot, that lap was all I could ask for. This team is getting better and better. The new team approach is really working. We've shown bits and pieces of success. Now we've got to put it all together. We're gaining on it every week."
JERRY NADEAU (No. 44 Brawny/Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm not happy about that lap, but we're in the race. It's tough to come into a situation like this, the crew chief not knowing me and I'm not knowing him. I wasn't able to test this car down here. We've been struggling with a looser race car getting in and a tight race car coming off. We just haven't been able to fix it. We'll try to make it up on Sunday."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The track was a lot hotter obviously. We've struggled as a team the last three or four weeks. We had a team meeting this week and told them it was a team effort. It's not the driver. Don't depend on the driving pulling you out of anything because he ain't much. I think everybody pulled together. We talked about some stuff this morning, made a couple of changes and they were the right changes. As hot as it is, we're pretty pleased. It'll still be an Indy race. You define if it's good or not."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That was a pretty good lap considering how much hotter it was when we went out. It was all in the luck of the draw, and we didn't get lucky this time."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
Starts eighth. Last driver to post a qualifying lap with track at least 18 degrees warmer than it was for first qualifier.
"There was a cloud close when we went out, but I don't guess we ever got it. Our car was a little free. The early guys had the advantage, and maybe they need to look at the qualifying time next year. It's a big race and everybody wants to qualify good. This is the same car we had last week at Pocono, and we won both races with it this year. It's No. 203 and we sure would like to get the third win with it here Sunday."