Talladega: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 5th, fastest Dodge "This is a great car. The crew gave me a good Miller Lite Dodge to work with. I tore it up at Daytona, so they had to rebuild it and they've done a good job. I'm happy to have...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 5th, fastest Dodge

"This is a great car. The crew gave me a good Miller Lite Dodge to work with. I tore it up at Daytona, so they had to rebuild it and they've done a good job. I'm happy to have Roy McCauley back this week. When I first started coming to Talladega it was tough on me as a rookie, but as I've raced here I've really enjoyed it. I think it's great racing four wide. It's a challenge to try to win one of these things. Dale Jr. is tough, Jeff Gordon is strong and Tony Stewart has been good of late. I think this is a good top five car. If we're there in the end, we'll see. Ryan and I hope we can work together tomorrow without saying a word like we did at Daytona. We just have that acknowledge of being a racer, and we know we can't do this alone. I wish I had been there to push him to the end at Daytona, but we'll try to get that shot again. That's all we can ask for."

***

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Schwan's Home Service Dodge Charger) -- 28th

"The wind hurt us a little bit, but we weren't much faster in practice. We ran a little faster than the 43, but we're pretty close. It really doesn't matter where you start at Talladega. You could start up front and be running last in a couple of laps and vice versa."

***

CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 25th

"We were out there running around and what it does is what it does. In race trim the car is really good. This was typical for us in qualifying. We haven't qualified good for restrictor-plate racing since my first year here. We've got the speed in race trim, but it isn't there in qualifying trim."

***

DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) -- 17th

"My right foot was shaking so bad. It wasn't because it was on the floor. It was just making it in. I really think our team is turning it around here. This is a hurdle we had to leap as far as qualifying to make it in. Steve Lane and all the guys are doing a great job. I'm excited. It's a little different atmosphere, but I think it's in the right direction. We've got good people and good cars. We've just got to start showing results. I believe we can."

***

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 STP/Cheerios Dodge Charger) -- 31st

"It was slower than yesterday. I don't know why. It was the wind or something. The wind is affecting some more than others, and I think it affected us."

***

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 38th

"I was hoping we could go faster than that, but you never know about these tracks. You get what you get. Hopefully we'll have a better racecar tomorrow. I think we will. It felt real good in the draft yesterday, and I think the Dodge Chargers are real good restrictor-plate cars. Hopefully our engines run great and we'll be up front."

***

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- 18th

"It's hard to tell when you go out early. The wind change could make a second difference here. It was a good lap. We'll just have to see where we end up. I think we've got a pretty good racecar for tomorrow based on drafting practice yesterday. It's nice to start up front, but here it probably matters least of all places. You never know what's going to happen. There could be a big crash in the first two laps. It's not hard to plan, but it's hard to make happen (drafting with a teammate). Once you get together it's hard to stay together, probably more so here than at Daytona."

***

SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 32nd

"We didn't put any emphasis into qualifying. We just made sure it drove good in the draft. We put the gear in we needed for the draft. We knew it was going to hurt us for qualifying, but it doesn't really matter where we start. We just want to stay out of the wrecks and have a good run. The car pulls up pretty good. In practice you always get big runs trying to catch up with the pack. We didn't put a lot of emphasis on those stats from yesterday. We just want to make sure it drives good and we're in the right position to have a good finish."

***

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 37th

"We've been working hard to get things turned around. I guess it's just going to take a little more luck. It's just like today. We didn't qualify good and that hurts, but we'll get it turned around."

COMMENT ON SOFT BUMPERS "I'm not going to try to hit anybody if it's going to tear up my front end. They had to do something. I guess that's really the short-term fix. Probably the long-term fix is if you're going to hit anybody you're going to tear up your bumpers, front or rear. It became a deal when you got hit it would knock you out of shape or pick you up or whatever. It might require a little more finesse. You might not be able to pull up and slam 'em, but you might be able to hit them a little bit."

COMMENT ON YOUR SEASON "We've been down before, but we've been able to come back. Our deal is we've got a lot of new people. We had a great car at Daytona and got in a wreck and it set us back. We had a decent car at Atlanta and cut a right front tire down. We blew a motor at Martinsville. That's three out of eight races that just killed us. Now we're 34th in points and it looks a lot worse than it's really been. It's not the team chemistry as much as it is bad luck, too."

COMMENT ON NEXT WEEK AT RICHMOND "I wouldn't be surprised if we don't pull another one out of the hat. We've got some good things going on after this week. It's going to be pretty exciting for us. I'm looking forward to Richmond. We had a good test there. We were actually better than the 9 or 10 at Richmond. Who knows? We might turn it around there.I'd like to see us be competitive again. I feel real confident that Richmond is going to be the place. We're testing Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think you'll see a big difference there and at Richmond, probably from here on out. I feel real good about that. As long as we're headed in the right direction, I'll feel good about it. For me to stand here right now and tell you we're headed in the right direction right now, we haven't been. We've been having bad luck, but we haven't been running like we wanted to, either. I feel like the next couple of weeks will tell the story."

ARE ANY TEAM CHANGES PLANNED? "I don't expect any changes other than we might add a few people. Chris (team director Andrews) and I have started to come together. It hasn't showed up yet, but it's better than it was a couple of weeks ago as far as him understanding what I like and me understanding how he does things on the car. It's just like Dale Jr. and Michael Waltrip when they switched up. You saw what happened on that deal. Dale Jr. couldn't hit his butt and Michael took off running good. That's just part of what we're going through right now."

DID ADDING THE 10 TEAM HURT YOUR TEAM? "I don't see how. Ray added that deal and it slowly got added into our program. It wasn't like it was a big shock. If anything, I think it might be helping us a little bit. Scott is doing a great job. Scott and Rodney (team director Childers) have been together. They kind of built that team around Scott. I think what has hurt us is a little bit of luck and chemistry. I get all the help I want. It's just a matter of applying it to the racecar."

ARE YOU USING LAST SEASON'S SETUPS? "We're searching around a little bit. We're searching quite a bit. We know what they've got, and they know what we've got. It's just about getting the most out of your equipment, and so far we haven't got the most out of ours yet. The car is sitting there and it'll run fast. We've just got to get all of it out of the car. That could come down to one little thing."

ARE YOU OUT OF THE CHASE? "I don't know. I'm not going to stand here and tell you we're going to be in it now. We're going to do our best, and that's all we can do. It was a pretty big setback for me having to learn everything all over again. I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to roll over. If we can come back and win a race or two this year and finish in the top 20 in points or top 15, then I'm happy with that. Are we going to reach our goal of being in The Chase again? Right now, it looks pretty slim."

-dodge motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP