JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Qualified second "We struggled last year in qualifying, and that's something we really wanted to work on this year. We've been pretty good. I think we've qualified in the top five three or four ...
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Qualified second
"We struggled last year in qualifying, and that's something we really wanted to work on this year. We've been pretty good. I think we've qualified in the top five three or four times. We unloaded today and really weren't that good off the truck, but Donnie (crew chief Wingo) made some good adjustments and we put together a good lap. It's hard here to hit all your marks and qualify well. Everything happens so quick. I was pretty happy about it. I just wanted to qualify in the top 10 so we could get a good pit stall. I've been good here in practice before and didn't make it happen in qualifying. It seems like the harder you try the slower you go, so just before qualifying I committed to hit all my marks and let off early and roll through the corners as good as I could.
"We're going to try to stay up front all day long and stay out of trouble. We tested here a couple of weeks ago and had as good a test as we could have. I'm really looking forward to getting in race trim tomorrow and making some laps.
"Mark Martin told me this morning that he's bad everywhere. I just kind of looked at him and laughed. He runs well everywhere we go. I think the reason he doesn't like it here is because you can't really hang it out. This is a place where you can't be sideways and be fast. You've got to really stay straight. I love it here. I woke up at 4:30 this morning excited to go because we had such a good test here. This is a fun racetrack. It's different than anywhere else we go. It's fun to have a change.
"I think we were capable of winning at Rockingham. Matt and Kasey were so fast at the end we just didn't have anything for them, but we've had a car that was capable of winning a few times this year. We just haven't been able to put ourselves in position or have the caution flag come out at the wrong time. We just keep trying to do the same thing every weekend. We've had some really fast racecars this year. With the exception of Texas, we felt we've had a car at some point in the race that was good enough to win."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Qualified third
"We had a pretty good lap. We had a little problem getting off turn four. It seems like you can always beat a guy getting into the corners here. Getting off the corner is the key. I think we'll have a good car for Sunday's race. That's what we're looking forward to. We came up here and tested for one day, and I think we learned some things. Hopefully we can apply those things more to race trim than qualifying trim. This is a finesse racetrack I believe. I think it's the only place where you're on the brakes more than you're on the gas. That's what makes it tough. Nobody wants to go fast by hitting the brake pedal, but sometimes you have to and you have to manage it and that's the part that makes it tough. It's taken me a couple of years (to learn how to drive Martinsville). We got our first top five here last fall. It's all about managing your tires, your brakes, your car and your patience at the same time."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"The brakes are better but it lets you run the car harder, so it kinda nets out. Just about the time you get the brakes better you're driving it in deeper and not letting the brakes breathe. You've still got to watch them. You've still got to be careful. They're not bulletproof, that's for sure. I really thought we could run faster, but when I went out the front end pushed up and it skated around. It just wasn't as grippy as I thought it would be. I contribute that a little bit to being the first car on the track. I think the oil has come out of the track. You get a car or two cars to get that stuff swiped off and I think it's better. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I think this will be a great track to get the win. I can't wait to get the race setup in there and get out there and practice tomorrow. When we get the race setup in there, it'll be a lot different than qualifying."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share Dodge)
"I hit my numbers today, and it's been awhile since I've been able to hit my numbers. The guys built a great car. We came here and tested a few weeks ago, and we're missing Buddy Baker today. I could have been faster with Baker here. I've raced here in the trucks before, and ordinarily that would help, but I was never real good in the trucks here. The only thing I did right in the trucks here was hit Darrell Waltrip before the green flag last year. We're happy. The Kodak guys have been working hard, and our qualifying has been decent. We'll probably stay in the top 15, and if we can do that we'll be happy."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I'm real proud of this team. Everybody at Evernham Motorsports worked real hard on it. We weren't that good in practice, but they kept working on it and it got better and better. Hopefully we'll end up in the top 15. I don't know where it'll end up, but we picked up from practice and that's all you can ask for. Everybody is working hard. Both teams are working as one. Ray has done a great job putting the right people in the right places, and it's making a big difference."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"I thought we could have run a little faster, but we fought the same thing we did in practice. It just wouldn't turn in the center and it's loose off. We tested real good here. "We had good balance. I guess all the cars that have run out there have changed the track a little bit, but we'll keep working on it. I figure we'll end up about 20th, and that's OK."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"This is a tough racetrack, and I'm trying to learn it and I'm holding everybody back. I'm a little disappointed because we usually qualify better than that. There's really a fine line of how you get in the corners, where you start using the brake and where you lift and how you lift. There's a lot to it, but the biggest thing to learn is how to get in the corners."
Friday, April 16,2004. Ray Cooper Martinsville Speedway. Clear!Blue Kroger 250Qualifying. 704-975-3232
CHAD CHAFFIN (No. 18 Dickies Dodge Ram) -- Immediately after qualifying
"We were a little bit loose, but I think the track is slowing down. I got in a pretty good lap. I think I tried to knock the fender off of it on the curb down there, but that's just the sign of a good turning truck. I hit the curb in the middle of the corner, not going in, so the truck is just cutting real good. Mike Skinner and Carl Edwards already went out, and both of those guys were faster than us in practice. We beat them, so I'm pretty confident. We might have a shot at the pole if the track tightens up some. If other people make the right adjustments, they'll knock us off, but it looks pretty good right now."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge Ram)
"We didn't pick up from practice. The racetrack got a little hotter and a little slicker. We made some changes to the truck that made it go a little quicker, but it got taken away because of the heat. We may have gone a little high on the air pressure because the track was cooler this morning. We'll probably end up about 12th or so, but it really doesn't matter. This is Martinsville. You just need a good, consistent truck. Anything can happen here. The truck starting in the back can win the race. We're in good shape. I think we'll be all right. We've got 250 laps to figure it out."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Square D Dodge Ram)
"We made race runs in practice and then put tape on it. That's it. That's the way we'll race. I know my teammate has got some stuff on that he can't race. We ran the same times we just qualified on 50-lap tires. We're pretty happy with that. The track is slowing up a little bit. Those Cup guys put down a lot of rubber in practice, so that slowed things down some, too, but we'll be good. If we can get out of here with a top five or top 10 qualifying effort, I'll be happy. I think Chad has a good shot at the pole if he can dodge Andy Petree and Jack Sprague."
STEVE PARK (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram)
"We were loose up off the corner. I think you could read the numbers on the side of my truck in practice. We made some changes for qualifying and that's the slowest lap we've had. We found some things in the back of the truck and fixed them. Obviously, we went the wrong way. We'll get things right and get the truck dialed in in Happy Hour."
CHAD CHAFFIN (No. 18 Dickies Dodge Ram) -- Qualified second
"Qualifying second is nothing like winning the pole, but at least we're going in the right direction. The trucks are quite a bit different (from Hooters Cup cars), but here on a short track there are a lot of similarities. A lot of the short track experience I have probably helped us to get up to speed faster today
"When I first turned the lap I was a little disappointed. Then I saw we had already beat Mike Skinner and Carl Edwards. I thought Carl Edwards would be a threat for the pole, and we saw a couple of fast trucks that we'd already beat, so I thought we had a real chance. Sprague put in a lap that was just unbelievable, so it probably wasn't as close as it seemed. You've got one guy to beat, but when he beats you that much it was his all the way."
MARK McFARLAND (No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge Ram) -- Qualified 18th
"I wish we could have gone a little faster. We were really tight, but we've been fighting that all day. We've just got to keep working at it. We actually slowed down a little bit from practice, but if we can get the truck working a little better in the center we'll be all right. This is my first race in this truck, so if we can come home in the top 10 tomorrow that'll be pretty good. I really think we can do that."