ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st) - "I'm pretty happy with that. You've got to go through the room of doom and you have no actual help at all on the race track, so to run a 50.41 I'm pretty happy with that. The guys did a ...
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st) -
"I'm pretty happy with that. You've got to go through the room of doom and you have no actual help at all on the race track, so to run a 50.41 I'm pretty happy with that. The guys did a great job tuning the motor. The fab shop did a good job and I just want to start up front. This is the same car we finished third with in the spring and it's driving very, very well. We'll see what happens and see if that will hold out."
YOU AND DJ WERE THE ONLY FORDS IN THE TOP 20 IN PRACTICE. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SUNDAY? "I think that says a lot about our fab shop. Gary Beverage and his guys do such a great job. It seems like they spend 24 hours a day on these speedway cars, plus the motors we have are just unbelievable. They put so much emphasis on this restrictor plate program. We know we're at a disadvantage right now with the Ford. Everybody knows that and that's why there are only two of us in the top 20 (in practice), but we're definitely making the most of it here at Yates."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 43rd) -
"We knew it wasn't gonna be very fast in qualifying, but it's raced good for us the last three times we've run it. They were trying to build something that we thought would qualify faster, but we didn't know how it would draft so we thought we'd bring what's drafted good for us the last couple times. We thought we'd try that and see where we end up."
WITH THE NEW RULES AND ALL STARTING FROM THE BACK IS NO BIG DEAL? "Yeah and if you're gonna start from the back anywhere this would be it. You can go from the front to the back and the back to the front within 15-20 laps and with the bigger spoiler it's gonna be harder to lose the draft. So unless it goes green all day and the pack somehow gets separated, we should be OK."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 6th) -
YOU DID WELL AND JASON DID WELL. "It's a really good feeling. Like I told him before he went out, 'Just get the thing in high gear. That's your job right now because you know what to do on the race track. Make sure you don't over-rev it and make sure you don't miss a gear or anything.' That was really the only thing. He had a good race car. He came down here and tested and tested well, so that would be the only thing that could keep him out and he went out and did his job and did a great job of it. It's gonna be pretty fun."
A GOOD DAY FOR RYR. "Yeah, how about that. We haven't had many smiles at restrictor plate races lately, but thanks to Jason and a lot of hard work and effort on everybody's part at Robert Yates Racing. It seems like it's gonna be a pretty good day for us, so I'm pretty excited."
YOUR CAR IS PRETTY GOOD. "Yeah, it is. I wasn't really expecting a whole lot when we came here because this is a car that really hasn't qualified that well, but it drives good whenever we get in traffic. That's why we chose to bring it, but with a lot of the things Jason learned here testing we were able to implement those into this car and it picked it up speedwise."
JASON JARRETT - No. 98 CHI Overhead Doors Taurus (Qualified 25th) -
"This is as nervous as I've been at Talladega in a long time, but I guess when you have an opportunity like the one Doug and Robert have given me, it's pretty exciting. It's nice to have a good chance to be solidly in the field. I think the number we put up is gonna be right there with some good cars."
YOUR DAD SAID HE GAVE YOU SOME ADVICE ABOUT JUST GETTING IT IN GEAR. WAS THAT ON YOUR MIND? "I did, especially after he came over and told me that. He said to just make sure to get it in gear because you get up to speed in two laps, especially running the first two laps high. We picked up from practice on our timed lap, so I'm happy about that. I hope everybody is happy about it and I think it shows that the testing has paid off."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 47th) -
"That's a little on the slow side to say the least. This car has never really qualified that well and it's never run a fast lap by itself, but it runs great in the draft and in races. Unfortunately, you've got to get in the race first and that's gonna be close. That's gonna be real close as far as making it."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 36th) -
"It's what we expected. We're not that good in qualifying trim at restrictor plate tracks. That's known, it's company wide. Hopefully, I don't have to take a provisional. That's all I care about. If I do, I do. If I don't, great. It's a long race and the car drafts well. We'll see what I get dealt."
DO YOU FEEL HANDCUFFED IN QUALIFYING HERE? "You are here. It's just whatever the guys can do to the race car to get it to go fast. It's just slippery - the engine, transmission, rear end and drag on the body is all it is."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 15th) -
"That's awesome. This team deserves such better results than what they've gotten this year. This is such a great race team and it's an honor to drive and work with them. I'm so sad that this year has turned out to be so ugly for us, but if we can keep it all together, maybe we can go into next year and have another fairy tale year like we had in 2002. It's a great bunch of guys and they keep on digging. We tore this car up last time here and they pieced it back to be just as good as it was and that's pretty hard to do. They always seem to keep their chin up and they've done a great job. We have had some good cars this year and some cars that weren't good, but we've never had a string of misfortune like what we've had. Things could certainly go a lot better for us in the future. I think we've learned a lot this year and when things start going our way, we'll be able to put that to good use."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 41st) -
"We try to build the best car that we possibly can everytime we come to a plate track. Obviously, aerodynamics has the biggest role within it but the draft seems to equalize the cars. We usually can't wait until Saturday morning most of the time when we can get out there and practice and see what we've got."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 32nd) -
"That's what we ran in practice and we didn't have anything special for qualifying, so what we ran in practice is what we ran in qualifying. I wish we were faster, but we knew going in that we'd be lucky just to get back to what we ran in practice and that's what we did. I'd love to sit here and tell you how fast we're gonna be on Sunday. I think we will be fast. I'm sure we'll race good. We finished third in Daytona with some smart race strategy and the car was pretty racy. This is a different car and it seems to be faster than our other car by itself, but, again we'll know a whole lot more tomorrow morning when you run that practice. Race trim and qualifying trim have nothing to do with one another. Obviously, we're not a great car in qualifying, but in race trim I've seen cars worse than this be able to run up front. I thought we had a real racy car last time here and we got in a second lap wreck. The only thing I don't like is starting in the back of the pack because of the first couple of laps. I'm not a big fan of that."
TRAVIS CARTER, Car Owner - No. 54 National Guard Taurus - NOTE: Todd Bodine qualified 47th out of 49 cars and missed making the field for Sunday's race.
"We haven't done all that well qualifying all year for restrictor plate races. We've had a good race car that's raced real well, but given all the circumstances you can look back and say, 'I wish I would have done a little something different preparing,' but you kind of feel like at this time of the year you'll be in pretty good shape in points. And given the circumstance with all the work we've had to do and the accidents we've had and had to re-build cars, we felt it was in our best interests to try to focus on the other cars and try to make them better. We've had to build and re-build a lot of cars and felt we had to let the restrictor plate thing kind of sit on its laurels because we knew we could come and race well. Unfortunately, you had some guys that knew they'd be in the race with a provisional and it kind of bit us in the butt."
WHEN YOU SAW SOME OF THE MULTI-CAR TEAMS WERE BRINGING AN ADDITIONAL CAR TO QUALIFY WERE YOU CONCERNED? DID YOU SEE SOME POTENTIAL TROUBLE? "Yeah, we did, but it is what it is. It's a hard lesson learned and we'll just have to move on."