KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 13th) "We're just missing a little something with qualifying, but I'm really happy with the way we're running on Sundays. Obviously, that's much better to have. We've been so close so many times...
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 13th)
"We're just missing a little something with qualifying, but I'm really happy with the way we're running on Sundays. Obviously, that's much better to have. We've been so close so many times for poles, I thought we had a great shot at it today but the adjustments that we made didn't coincide with the truck race. The truck race really filled in the track a little bit, so it was harder to get a hold of it. Of course, with the temperatures being a little cooler right now and the sun being behind the clouds, we just went the wrong way with it. It was a great lap and we'll take it."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"It wasn't like it needed to be. The thing got away from us a little bit during practice and we never seemed to be able to get caught back up. And then, I've never heard of them running a race before qualifying. I think it's insane to run a race before qualifying and change the race track for everybody. I'm flabbergasted they did that."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"The sun was out when I left and I was concerned about that. Man, when we ran a .60 on the first lap I thought, 'We're done here.' I didn't nail one and two on the second lap so I thought, 'Man, this is gonna be ugly,' but I really nailed three and four and picked up a ton. I just wasn't able to get one and two like I wanted all day, but the Viagra car is gonna be strong in the race. This is a great car. I really like it. We're gonna get a decent starting spot here and go after 'em like we did last week."
THE SECOND LAP WAS PRETTY GOOD. "I was pretty concerned after the first lap. Ben told me going down the backstretch what the first lap was -- a .60 -- and that was not good because I thought I got all there was. I certainly didn't get a better lap in one and two the second lap, but the crunch was on going down into three and four and, man, I got a bunch down there. I really got through that turn great. The Viagra Taurus has been good. This car has been good at other places. This team is charged up and we're going after this thing as hard as we can go."
IS IT KEY TO START UP FRONT? "It just makes your life a little bit easier. I should have a great car here. I expect to have a great car here and I think we do. When we get into race trim, I think it'll be real nice. But, still, it just makes your life easier. You don't have to fight as hard and you don't jeopardize your car as much if you're up in the front of the pack."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"That's about what we ran in practice, so I guess we can't be too disappointed in that. I wish we were a little bit quicker. We just haven't been that fast since we've been here. We can't quite get the handle on the race track. This is the car we ran really good with at Martinsville and figured it would be really good here, but the car is good. We just don't quite have the right setup yet."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 5th)
YOU PICKED UP A BUND ON THE SECOND LAP. "I think that's the case with most everybody here. I don't know why it is, but the tires just get better or something happens. The car was pretty close this morning. We were good the first run out and were like third or something and then we just didn't keep up with it good enough, I think. Ryan and the guys made some changes right there and it was pretty right. I must have left a little out there because the car was pretty right. . It was pretty good. I was happy with that."
A GOOD LAP. "It was a good lap. Ryan and the guys had the car good the first run this morning and we made a couple changes right before qualifying that went the right way. We had a pretty smooth lap, so we're happy."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 27th)
YOU WERE FAST IN THE MORNING. WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING? "I don't know. We ran one fast lap is all that we got in during practice, so I'm not sure. The car drove pretty good. We've been loose the whole time off the corner and when you go to qualify you try to pick it up a little bit harder and I did, but off of two I had to use up a lot of race track. That probably hurt the exit there and then the back straightaway speed a little bit. You never like to slow down from what you ran in practice, but we'll just have to go to work and try to get it better for the race."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"We didn't back it up as good as we should have, I don't think. I lost a little bit in three and four on that second lap. We got a good run at the start-finish line, which helped me out, but I lost a little bit in the middle. This is a good run for the ALLTEL Ford. Hopefully, we can hold out and have at least a top five start and see how things go for Sunday."
DID THE TRACK FEEL DIFFERENT AFTER THE TRUCK RACE? "To me, no, I don't think so. As much as the track has changed, I think the conditions have changed. I think it's cooled down and there are a few more clouds than there were earlier in practice."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 15th)
"That's a good run for us here. That's my best qualifying effort here at Phoenix by far. The guys did a great job on the car. I think these set of tires were a lot looser than the other sets. I had my hands full and left a lot on the table in turns three and four. We easily should have run a thirtysomething and be in the top 10, but I'm proud of my guys. We learned a lot at Homestead last week and they brought it here to Phoenix this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to find it in race trim also."