RYAN NEWMAN ( ...
RYAN NEWMAN (#02 ALLTEL Ford): "Being fast today really doesn't mean much. It does let us know the car is very capable. We went and tested well. We think this car will qualify well, also. My hats off to the crew for preparing the car the way they did. I've not had a lot of laps here. So to be in the position is a great confidence booster."
RUSTY WALLACE (#2 Miller Lite Ford): "Team Penske is in the top five. I put Jeremy's setup in my car. I like it better than my own. We'll sleep good tonight with the Penske cars running so good."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. (#8 Budweiser Chevrolet): "Twelfth was good. We've only had three runs out here. One was really good. I look to qualify in the top 10. You can do certain things here that you can't do at other tracks, like the motor running in the garage - that is neat. You can just do different things that make it (the Speedway) special. The fans have been super. We're having a good time with it. We're taking advantage of being in the top 10 in points. We're just having fun with it."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (#15 NAPA Chevrolet): "We ran well. We are pleased with the car. Testing paid off. We will see how the weather is tomorrow."
BOBBY LABONTE (#18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac): "We got two runs in today. I'm not sure why (the one-hour practice) is like that but it's the same way for everybody. But it sure would be nice to get more than just two runs in. We had our race setup in when we were here testing the whole time. We put our qualifying set-up in today for the first time, so we learned something. I thought it was pretty good."
TONY STEWART (#20 Home Depot Pontiac): "It's tough to learn anything in an hour. We're not very good right now."
WARD BURTON (#22 Caterpillar Dodge): "Today was all right. We have a different car from what we tested with. We took that car back to the wind tunnel and found out that we were severely lacking in downforce. The car that we brought to the track seems very racey. It will take some time to see what the new nose job does or doesn't do. It may actually take two or three races to get a good read on that. I was sixth on the charts today and had nothing but Fords in front of me. I don't know where the Chevys or Pontiacs were, and I'm really not going to get in the middle of the manufacturer's game, but to be this high up on the first day gives us a good start for race weekend."
JIMMY SPENCER (#26 Kmart Ford): "We ran good. We are in the top 10. The car is running the same as we tested, but it wasn't quite as hot and humid. We didn't get through our points in the first session, but in the second session we did. I think I can get more out of the driver."
RICKY RUDD (#28 Texaco/Havoline Ford): "We ran one lap today. We prepared last week. We're second today. Tomorrow with qualifying starting at 10. The weather will play big part in qualifying tomorrow. The cars that run in the morning will run better than the cars in the afternoon. In years past, we started later and the temperature stayed constant so it didn't play a role in it. When we came to test, we worked on race setup with long runs. Based on that, we will run good. We're just going to place an order for a race win. If we don't win we will have a good race."
JOHN ANDRETTI (#43 Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge): "We have a good baseline, but other than that, being in the top 10 doesn't mean much. I have driven enough laps at this track to know that it is constantly changing. We could've run more laps and improved on our speed, but we qualify in the morning, and the track is going to be completely different. The changes NASCAR made in the nose of the Dodge won't mean anything in qualifying because you pull the fenders in so much that it won't really affect the way we are in qualifying trim. We'll just have to see how the car performs in the race."
DALE JARRETT (#88 UPS Ford): "We got a couple laps in. I don't know how much you can tell by that. It's hot, things are going to change for tomorrow. What I'm proud of is our guys went back and worked extremely hard on this race car that wasn't very good here in the test. We made it a lot better, and I know now I've got something that will allow me to race and have a chance to win." (About his chances in qualifying): "It's going to be totally different in the morning. It's going to be cooler. I feel like we've got a car that, unless people are holding back a whole lot, we've got something we should be able to get in the top five with." (Did he want more practice today?): "Not if they're not going to give us any more tires, there's not any reason to. You've got three sets of tires to work with between now and qualifying. It doesn't do you any good to just go run. Once you run them once or twice, you've pretty much got out of the good as far as trying to make a fast lap."
HUT STRICKLIN (#90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford): "We had a great test here two weeks ago, and we're running the same car we ran here last year. We had a good run here last year, and it gave us a good baseline to work with. The track seems grippier here today, but that is probably because when we tested it was 95 or 100 degrees, and today it is only 85 degrees. I enjoy driving at this place. It is fun and unique. I really think we are off to a great start."