BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - defending Brickyard 400 champ qualified third fastest for 10th annual Brickyard 400 "I was kinda disappointed leaving here (after testing). I didn't think we got much accomplished. We...
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - defending Brickyard 400 champ qualified third fastest for 10th annual Brickyard 400
"I was kinda disappointed leaving here (after testing). I didn't think we got much accomplished. We didn't do any qualifying runs. Then you come in yesterday for a late-afternoon practice for an early-morning qualifying. It's hard to make a second guess as far as what you're going to do as far as qualifying goes."
DO FAST QUALIFYING SPEEDS MEAN ANYTHING FOR THE RACE?
"Not a lot. The cooler the track gets, the faster these cars are going to go, and that's pretty evident from what happened this morning. I was lucky enough to get a good draw. A lot of times I'd rather be lucky than good any day of the week. I was fortunate to get an early draw. It worked out for us. It was pretty bad for the guys in the middle there. When the track temp got up it kinda hurt them and kinda came back a little at the end. It was kinda a hard judge, but right now, depending on what the track temp is tomorrow and what the conditions are, it's going to judge the speed of the race."
HAS INDY DETRACTED FROM DAYTONA OR VICE VERSA?
"I think we've been able to carve our way into the record books here in a short time. I think the people that were Indy 500 fans have become Brickyard fans, and vice versa. I think it's been a twofold deal. I don't know if you're ever going to take away from the Daytona 500 looking from that side, but the Daytona 500 is always the biggest event because it starts our season. You come to Indy and it kinda is the second half of the season. It's the start of the new part of the season. I've enjoyed running here over the last 10 years, or at least nine years. I enjoyed coming here for the Goodyear test back in '92. I have some good memories, great memories from last year, a great win here. We'll see what tomorrow brings."
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH PROGRESS OF TEAM?
"Well, there's areas I like and areas I dislike. I'm not going to sit here and say I agree with everything everybody does or I disagree with everything everybody does. All-in-all, it's come a long way. Everybody's got an opinion on a lot of decisions that are made as far as the competitors' side goes. Some I agree with, and some I disagree with."
ARE THE DRIVERS BETTER AT INDY?
"I think over the last nine years of coming here, it's the evolution of where these cars have come to. Goodyear has made the tires better. The manufacturers have made the aerodynamics better. The crews have learned how to turn the engines harder and produce more power. Put all those ingredients together and you're going to come up with faster speeds. It's just an ongoing evolution of refining every part of the racecar. That's the key to running faster. It isn't that anything gets better. It's just small improvements in every area."