KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "That was an all right lap for us. It's faster than we were in practice. I thought we would have picked up more than a couple of tenths. That's superspeedway racing. These guys worked awful hard to...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"That was an all right lap for us. It's faster than we were in practice. I thought we would have picked up more than a couple of tenths. That's superspeedway racing. These guys worked awful hard to make the car better than it was at Daytona, and I think it is. We just need to get to work for the race now. We didn't have a good car in the race at Daytona. If we get it handling good we'll be able to race it up in there. Our goal is to finish the race Sunday. If we finish, we'll be in the mix somewhere."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"We picked up half a second from practice, but as slow as we were in practice we had to pick up something. All three cars are slow. Usually our three cars are good at the superspeedways. Whatever is wrong we've all got the same problem. We've got a brand new racecar. It's supposed to be one of the best ones they've built. It's not the car. I'm just not sure what it is. All three (Ganassi) teams are struggling so far."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"We got a little help in practice, but I think we realistically had a ninth-place car. I think we'll have a good car for Sunday. I don't see any problems. Maybe we would have ended up in better shape if we had started on points, but it doesn't really matter. Qualifying here is about 85 percent car and 15 percent driver. We had about 84 percent car today."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share Dodge)
"We wanted to pick up some time, but it looked like we matched our practice speed. We'll see if we can't keep it up front for the race, and I'll follow my teammates Ryan and Rusty. I think we've gained a lot of respect the last couple of weeks, but when you've got teammates like Ryan and Rusty to help you out that means a lot. This is the same Dodge we had at Daytona, and it was really good in the race there. We found some things in the engine shop and I think we've got a few more horsepower. We'll just hold on and hope for the best."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We weren't good off the truck, and usually if you're not good off the truck here you're not good until Sunday. This is the same car we had at Daytona, but we just can't seem to get it going. I'm not sure what it is. It's hard to tell what the problem really is at these places. We just can't seem to get any speed out of it. We'll throw some stuff at it in practice Saturday and try to make it better. Our Dodge has been good all year, so I'm sure the guys will go to work and get it right for Sunday."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"The guys have really done a good job here at Talladega the past couple of years. We were struggling in practice, and the guys found a couple of little things. They did all the tricks they do to it every time and we came out pretty good. We went out 29th and were 9th at the time. It was a real good effort by all the Target Dodge guys. The biggest thing here is staying out of trouble in the race. You run so tight here. Something can happen to a guy that's 10 spots away from you and it becomes your problem. If we can stay clean and stay out of trouble and stay up front that's the best way to get to the end of the race. We picked up half a second in qualifying. Sometimes you can expect to do that, and sometimes you can't. We expected to pick up, but we just didn't know how much. We were a little more conservative this time than we've been in the past. Usually we show our cards right away. This time we held them back a little. We knew we had something to gain, but we didn't know it was going to be that much. I'm pretty happy right now."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
"I'm really happy for the Cheerios Dodge and the Petty guys. Everybody on the team has worked hard, and it takes everybody on this restrictor plate stuff. We're run well this year. We've got room for improvement, but we haven't shown what we can do yet. Hopefully on Sunday we'll be able to show it. I don't know if anybody really enjoys it here, but we do the best job we can and it puts on a good show for the fans. We just want to have a good day on Sunday."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"We picked up a little more than four tenths, so you've got to be happy with that. I wish we could have gone faster, but we've been struggling. Some crazy things were going on in the front end. We undid those and got things back right. Another tenth and we would have been the same as our teammates. That's where we need to be. We'll draft good, and hopefully we can find some more speed and make it two in a row. Things were really great after winning last week, so hopefully we can do it again."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge)
"That wasn't a good lap. It's the same thing we ran in practice, and if we can't run faster than that we don't need to come down here."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"That wasn't a bad lap. We got a little help this morning in practice. I'm pretty happy with it. We've got the Kentucky Derby Dodge this week. It's a good looking car, so hopefully we can put that Dodge in victory lane. Used to you qualified here and laid the spoiler back and held on because you'd run 210 (mph). This is kinda like riding down the interstate when you qualify here now. The rdace gets interesting, but qualifying is probably the most boring part of it. It looks like those DEI cars are going to be pretty stout like they always are here. Maybe we can figure out a way to box 'em out at the end. I'd say those two cars are the ones to beat again."
ED WATKINS (Jackman No. 19 Dodge)
Watkins injured both patella tendons working out on Tuesday. He had surgery on Wednesday and went home today. He will be replaced temporarily by Rick Pennington. Pennington previously worked on the No. 7 Dodge.