MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 25th) WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? "We'll have to wait and see. I'm pretty excited. The lap felt good from the seat. I wish we would have had more speed than that. I was kind of hoping for a top...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 25th)
WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? "We'll have to wait and see. I'm pretty excited. The lap felt good from the seat. I wish we would have had more speed than that. I was kind of hoping for a top 10, but I don't know if that will get us there or not. I thought it was pretty decent everywhere. I knew we weren't gonna be pole material and I got a little loose down in three and four. I might have lost a little time there, but overall I thought it was pretty good."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"That's a couple tenths better than we ran in practice. They made some adjustments between practice and qualifying. We talked about it and we only did about half of what we thought we really needed, but we didn't want to get it to the point where we spun out or something. We needed to be a little bit better. I think we were one change away from being quite a bit better, but we probably erred a little bit on the side of conservatism."
WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? "In race trim we were really good. We made long runs when we were here testing a couple of weeks ago and we were pretty racy at that time. We'd look at how we were at lap 15 and lap 20 compared to the competition and we're right there with some of the very best cars, so I'm kind of excited about that."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"I feel really good. These guys have done a great job on this National Guard/Subway car. That's our biggest pickup. I'm not a really good qualifier. If I was, we'd be on the pole right now and somebody would probably still beat us. Man, the car was just really, really good. I can't help from stepping on the brakes going in the corner a little bit. That's what I need to not do to get the car going faster. It's one of those race tracks that requires a lot of finesse and I was off just a little bit. I think we've got a top 10 starting spot with that lap time."
HOW MANY FRIENDS ARE HERE THIS WEEK? "I tell you what, I've seen so many people that have come from Oregon and Washington that are down here. My family is here. My brother couldn't make the trip, but a lot of my friends did. It's exciting to come out here and race. I like Las Vegas. I like these fans and I'm glad everybody has made the trip to come down here and see us race this weekend."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Pennzoil Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"Qualifying has been a struggle for us, for sure. We were fairly competitive today - not great, but not terrible. We were kind of in-between. That speed looks pretty good, but it seems a lot of people are picking up now so I don't know what to think. We just don't make enough grip to run real, real fast. The balance is good, we just need a little more grip overall."
YOU WORKED PRIMARILY ON RACE RUNS IN TESTING? "Yeah, the first qualifying run we made was today. We didn't work on any qualifying stuff. We really wanted to focus on the race and pay attention to that. I think that's the right thing to do. Even though we've struggled qualifying, we're more concerned about how well we race. That's not to say I don't want to qualify better - we do. This team set a goal this year to qualify better than we have in the past and that's what we expect to do."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 29th)
"I just could never get a hold of the race track. I was loose from the time I pulled out of the pits and just never got it hooked up. It's unfortunate because I think we've got a good car for the race, but I just couldn't get into the gas like I needed to on either of those qualifying laps."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"We unloaded pretty far off and that lap was the best we've been all day. I think this car is going to like race trim better. We certainly struggled with it today, but I think it's gonna make a better race car than a qualifier."
IT SEEMED MOST OF THE GUYS WORKED ON RACE TRIM DURING THE TEST. "We never made a qualifying run with this car in the test. We loved the car so much we actually got all of our buddies to drive it and they all liked it. I have every reason to be optimistic that it'll be a pretty good race car. We've got a great race team right now. We need to have a good day. Our car is good enough to do real good if we can just have a good day. We haven't had one of those yet."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 11th)
"I think that will be close to the top 10. We were just a little loose, but I'm proud of the guys. We unloaded today and was one of the slowest cars here, but Todd and the guys dug in and fixed it and made it good. We wanted something in the top 15 because when it comes to race trim, we think we're gonna be very good so that's all that matters. That will get us a good starting spot and a good pit position, so we'll go from there."
YOU TALKED TO DJ AFTER HIS ATTEMPT AND HE SAID HE WAS REAL LOOSE. DID YOU MAKE SOME CHANGES AFTER TALKING TO HIM? "Yeah, that's what's great about having a teammate of his caliber and who understands what's going on with the track and the changes they made to their car. We made a lot of changes to our car to adjust to it and that definitely helped us. If we hadn't, there's no telling where we would have been at, so I appreciate DJ and the help those guys gave us and maybe we'll get to return the favor another time."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
"It would have been awesome (to win the pole) for the fans that stuck around. There's probably more here for qualifying than the Busch race at Rockingham. You can feel the excitement. It's Vegas. I love coming here. We were just a little shy. The car was supposed to cut and stick in turn four and it got a little loose on me. No problem, we'll be good for the race."
HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO PUT ON A SHOW FOR THE FANS? "That all goes away when you get in the car. When you've got the car and the steering wheel in hand, that's when you feel the crew on the work they put into the car and how you want to race it well for them. But when you're outside the car, you're standing on pit road and you see the fans. When you're inside, it's just another race."
QUITE A MOVE FROM 14TH TO 2ND ON THE SECOND LAP. "Yeah, I watched the 9 and the 19. They went and did their better lap on the second lap and I think that's due to air pressure, so we tried that with our car. It's something we didn't do in testing, but we did that today and it worked out for the second lap."
WITH THREE TEAMMATES WHO HAVE WON HERE. WHAT SORT OF FOUNDATION DOES THAT GIVE YOU GOING INTO SUNDAY? "It's a checklist for who's next, right? Hopefully, we can just pull it off. It's great with the past history with Mark winning the inaugural race. Burton's won twice and then Kenseth last year came out of nowhere and won that race. That's what it takes at Vegas - a setup that won't abuse the tires and you can come to it the latter part of the race. Now we've got to change our setup. We can't run qualifying anymore, we've got to get into race mode and those are two different setups."
ARE YOU HAPPIER TO QUALIFY SECOND OR TO BEAT YOUR BROTHER? "I'm disappointed about qualifying second. I thought we had a shot at the pole. I'm just elated and honored to race with my little brother now. To have him in this series, it's truly and honor to have a significant note in the history book with two brothers racing in the same race and here it is at Vegas, his home track."