Sears Point: Rusty Wallace qualifying press conference

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) -- Runner-up interview "I thought I could run a 15.10 or a 15.20. I ran a 15.50 pretty easy. I looked down and ran a 16.07 and thought I had the emergency brakes on, but I didn't. The track lost grip and...

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) -- Runner-up interview

"I thought I could run a 15.10 or a 15.20. I ran a 15.50 pretty easy. I looked down and ran a 16.07 and thought I had the emergency brakes on, but I didn't. The track lost grip and that was it.

"I think this is a track where you get your choice left or right. We'll see who picks the right one. Gordon's got the option, so we'll see which one he picks. I know one thing. You don't want to get off course and ruin your day in the first corner. You've got to get up through there smooth and not screw up.

"I didn't have a problem. It was a clean track. I was real happy with the condition of the track. I had no problem whatsoever. I don't think I got into turn 10 any harder than I had all day long. When I got there I just noticed reduced grip and that was about it.

"(New tire) seems OK. I haven't had a problem whatsoever with it. We only did a one-day test here. If we hadn't tested here we would have been fine because we haven't changed much from last year's setup. There's not much difference. We verified some things. It's a brand new car with a new style of brakes. So far everything is going good on it. It's hard to evaluate the tire unless you're back in the back with one old one and the new style. It's the same for everybody. I'm happy with our performance and our starting position.

"It's hard for those guys (road racers) to run good in these cars. We run these things every week and understand what they do and how they feel. For a road racer to go out and get it done, it's hard for him. It'd be like me winning the Brickyard 400 and then going back and run the Indy 500. You're not going to be able to get out of a stock car into an Indy car and make it happen. It's a little easier for those road racers to run out here, but if they had more time, I'm sure they could run with us. I'm having a hard time figuring out where I'm going with this story...

"The track is smooth but the only grip I feel is in seven and in turn 11 but other than that you're still sliding around like you were last year. I'm confident. I've just got to not screw up. Last year we got the brakes hot and had a top five car and ended up seventh or eighth. We've just got to keep it on course, that's the main thing. You've got to log laps and keep it on the course. Track position is everything. You've got to get in the pits and get out before everybody else and keep that track position. Last year I spun and went from fifth to 30th. The caution flag came out and the whole field pitted. I stayed out and really watched my fuel mileage. I finished eighth by just staying out. I went to the gas pumps and it held 21.9, so I didn't have much left.

"It's a crucial race to get in the top 10 (series standings). I got myself out of it because of a crash at Talladega and a crash at California back to back. I went from eighth back to 15th. I'm trying to get back to the front right now. There are a lot of cars that are having problems. I think Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st. This is a track where you've got to run smooth and keep it on the track. A lot of guys are really good at other places that struggle a lot here."

-dodge-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jimmie Johnson