KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "The car seemed about everywhere. We picked up about two tenths from practice. That's not too bad for our Dodge. We didn't expect to qualify really well. We expected to have a good qualifying effort...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"The car seemed about everywhere. We picked up about two tenths from practice. That's not too bad for our Dodge. We didn't expect to qualify really well. We expected to have a good qualifying effort and have a good race on Sunday. So far, so good."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We just can't get it to go for some reason. We'll change it around and see what it is. It's the same car we qualified 10th with here in the spring. We just can't get it to go and we don't really know why. There's so many things on these speedways, but we'll go to work and get it ready to race on Sunday."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"Qualifying is so irrelevant here. It's kind of a pointless day for the drivers and the teams. These guys have been here since yesterday trying to get everything through the templates. We'd all just like to see a couple of hours of practice, impound them and then race. Racing is actually kind of fun here, but this is boring. We'll work on trying to get the car driving good tomorrow. This place drives so you just want your car to suck up well and we've got completely different cars than we had at Daytona on the Fourth of July, so we'll just see how it goes. We've got six straight top 10s, and we'd like to keep that streak going, but this is one of the places that we've definitely struggled at. We've been fast at times here, but we haven't finished well. I kinda joked around and told the guys we might break our streak, but they told me this place didn't count."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"There's nothing I could do about it. She was wide open all the way round there. She just needs more engine or something. We thought we did everything we needed to make it better for qualifying. I could tell on the tach it wasn't doing anything different than it did in practice. We ran a .92 in practice and it ran a .92 in qualifying. It's consistent, but we just need more power or less drag. Bottom line, that's what it is. Tomorrow we'll put the race setup in it and get it ready for drafting. That's the whole big deal, to make it drive good in the race. I was a little surprised with the car in qualifying. That's what we ran in practice, and I thought what we did to the car would pick it up a couple of tenths, but it just won't run. It's OK. It just doesn't do what I hope every time I come here it's going to do. The engine just feels like it's probably about 15 horsepower off. We've got really good engines, but we've just got to get the restrictor-plate thing better. We're just not getting done what we've got to get done."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We had a great car, and it ran a little bit faster than it did in practice. That's really all you can ask for. I love this place. It's awesome, and I love being here. I can't wait until Sunday. That's what's good about it. I know we're going to have a good starting spot now, and all the guys worked real hard so we could do this. We're going to be up front. If we're in the middle, that's fine. We're going to stay in the middle and wear 'em down. Whatever we've got to do, we're going to do. We're going to play offense this week. I've had good runs here, but we usually seem to get in trouble. I think we're going to try a different approach and go at it flat out. I'm really happy for all the guys. This Dodge is running good. We're not on the pole, but we've come a long way this year on the speedway program. This is Talladega, and you've got to do all you can. I love racing here four or five-wide all day long. I can't wait. I think you've got to have a good car and everything's going to be right. We're going to play offense this week."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"That was horrible. There's really nothing good to say about that. We were just really slow. If you can start toward the front it's a lot less hassle getting there, but it's a long race. Green-flag pit stops change a lot of stuff. I'm not happy or mad, but you get whatever you get here, and the car was just slow. You just run wide open most of the time, hit people as hard as you can and try to get to the front (said in jest)."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
"We picked up about three tenths from practice. I'd like to say I got up in the seat and drove the thing, but it pretty much did all the work on its own. That's the bad thing about coming down here. The driver can hurt you, but he can't help you too much on a qualifying lap. Hopefully we'll end up in the top 15 or somewhere close. My Cheerios guys made the right changes, and we went out first. You can win from anywhere here, and hopefully it'll be a good day for us Sunday and we'll get our Cheerios Dodge somewhere close to the front when it's all said and done. It's important to get a good pit selection anywhere you go, and Talladega is just another one of them. Getting in and getting out of the pits, especially under the green, and staying in that draft is our main goal. Just getting in with the right people and out with the right people is important."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge)
"I was happy with that. We gained some time and we knew we were going to be a little quicker. We were faster, but then the bad news was we were ninth out of nine when we went out. Everything worked great from my end. We nailed the lap. Buddy Baker had us in the right groove, so we'll just see where we end up now. You can do a lot at these places getting up to speed."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge)
"We ran a tenth slower than practice. We tried something different, and it didn't work. That's part of it. We knew we were going to make the race. We were trying to get ready for next year. We were trying some stuff we thought would help spring-wise. Some of it worked during practice, but the last step we made we probably stepped over the line a little bit."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"That was pretty good for us. Usually we stay the same and everybody else picks up a little bit. It was a good effort today for the ALLTEL Dodge and everybody at Penske Racing. We're just happy to get qualifying done for me personally and get into the racing stuff. You've got to handle the competition here. Handling on the racetrack is not a big deal here, but handling the competition is. You could lay back here in the race if you had to Sunday. I have before. I did last year. Me and Elliott and Labonte did. It's a possibility. I don't know who's going to do it and who's not. I think that will be determined off practice and stuff. Bottom line is the best place to be is out front. If you can stay there, you stay there. If you get stuck in the middle you want to go to the back. It's a hard judgment to make. We've finished the last three restrictor-plate races, so it's been good for us in that respect."