DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "Today is about guys back in the fab shop and the car that they gave us. It's a brand new race car and the adjustments Todd and these guys did to get me ready to make two laps today, so my job ...
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"Today is about guys back in the fab shop and the car that they gave us. It's a brand new race car and the adjustments Todd and these guys did to get me ready to make two laps today, so my job starts tomorrow - getting it ready for the race. I'm looking forward to that. I think we've got a really good car here and Sunday should be fun."
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RACING AT DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA? "It's kind of like night and day now. It used to be a lot of the same things, but the cars are different and obviously the drafting here and a lot more three and four-wide racing here. You've got your hands full all day long and, hopefully, you're in the right spot at the right time towards the end of the race to make a move and try to get to the front."
HOW DOES A GOOD QUALIFYING RUN TRANSLATE TO RACE DAY? "It doesn't matter. I'm gonna go with the guys that may not qualify that good and tell you that it literally doesn't matter. It does give you a chance early in the race to see how you stack up with the other guys who have fast race cars, and it gives you a chance to give you those five bonus points if you can be up front, but in the overall scheme of the whole race it doesn't make a whole lot of difference."
HOW HAS IT BEEN WITH TODD? "Things have gone really well. We had a good weekend last week even though we didn't run as well as we wanted to. It was still fun communicating with Todd. And then this week we had a day at Kentucky and that went extremely well. A lot of the talk we've have about the upcoming races and cars we were gonna take, you just see that focus in Todd. He wants to make sure that each and every track that we go that we're as well prepared as we can possibly be and that's the kind of leadership we've really been missing with the 88 car and it's nice to have it."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 12th) - "I don't know how I managed that. That was pretty surprising, I think, for all of us including Robbie. Those guys tuned the car up because the drivers don't really have anything to do with qualifying here today. It's all about the team and the car and getting it through the air and down the straightaway, so they did a good job tuning the motor up and getting the car to run a good lap."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET BACK ON TRACK THIS WEEKEND? "I think there are 10 races once you start the chase and, really, every race is equally as important. Obviously, you'd like to keep momentum and get as much back as you could this week, but every race is equally important. We just have to go out and do the best job we can every week."
KEVIN LEPAGE - No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus (Qualified 38th) - "That's kind of disappointing, really. We ran a .40 in practice with a clean lap and I don't know if we just got the oil too hot and that got the water real hot because when we got to the white flag it was already 240 and these things don't run after 225 - 230 is max. I ran the whole last lap at 240, 250, 260 and it was 265 at the line. We somewhat backed up practice, but I think we could have run a .10 or a .20 if we hadn't got any heat in it, but we're in the show. Now we'll just race on Sunday."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st) - "We've got a lot of bullets yet to come out. I know Scott Riggs and those guys have been fast, so we'll see what happens. All in all, my guys have done a great job. Robert and Doug Yates put a lot of effort into coming down here to Talladega. We want our speedway program to run good and we've got a lot of people from M&M's here, so we wanted to come up with a good showing. So far, so good. The car is driving good. I'm proud of my guys for their hard work - everybody in the engine shop. Kevin did a great job last week and he might have his first pole this weekend as a crew chief so we'll see what happens."
TODAY IS ALL ABOUT THE CREW, RIGHT? "Yeah, today the driver's got it pretty easy. This all goes back to everybody at the fab shop and everybody at the engine shop. Doug Yates and his guys have done just a remarkable job. I've got to thank everybody on the 38 team. They've prepared another great, great race car for me and I'll try to keep this one on the ground this weekend and see if we can get a checkered flag. We'll see what happens."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie Taurus (Qualified 22nd) - "It was good. We didn't quite pick up like we thought we would. We dropped a little bit actually, so there's probably something wrong with the car. We'll check it out, but in race trim the Sharpie Ford usually sniffs its way towards the front. We'll see what we can do to team up with Dale Jr. or Jeff Gordon. Those guys are usually pretty quick here and we'll just give it our best run. We've had some bad luck the last two weeks and now it's time for some good luck."
HOW AGGRESSIVE DO YOU GET WITH 8 TO GO? "It's business as usual. You can't get too aggressive at Talladega because the guys are just so tightly compacted together. You just don't want to step out of line. You want to have a good finish and we hope that we've got the Yates power to go and do it."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 9th) - "To be honest with you, I wasn't really looking forward to Talladega. I was nervous about this race. We don't predominantly run as good here in qualifying, so to come here and run 12th off the truck, we were super-excited. The big thing is will the car back it up, and the car definitely backed it up with a 50.85. We're really happy. The guys just prepared this car perfect. If we can finish during the race, we'll be all set."
HOW HAS YOUR PLATE PROGRAM PICKED UP AND WILL YOU HAVE A BETTER SHOT TO WIN? "We do. They took the thing to the squat rig and checked the travels and did all they could to get the thing to travel as best they could. The did a few updates in the wind tunnel. We got in a little bit of a wreck here with it last time, so we were able to change some body parts. We think our restrictor plate program has come along good and we'd like to add Talladega to my restrictor plate win list."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 World Financial Group Taurus (Qualified 11th) - "That's my crew right there. We've struggled coming to these restrictor plate races. Bob Osborne and the guys cut the body off the race car. I mean, I did most of the body work at Daytona in that wreck, but they spent a lot of time working on it and it really showed. I think that's 11th right now, so even if it's 12th or 13th at the end of this thing that's an awesome day for us in qualifying at a superspeedway."
WHAT'S YOUR MINDSET FOR THE RACE? "This whole race is pretty much kind of a controlled disaster. That's why they're so much fun to watch and why there are so many grandstands here full of people on Sunday. I think, for me, the biggest decision I have to make, and I think all of the other drivers face the same thing, is is it worth racing up to the front early to try to be in the front, or is it best to kind of hang back and do your best to defend your race car for most of the day. I think this qualifying effort will allow us to have a little bit more of an opportunity to be in the front and if we can be up there in a somewhat orderly fashion in the top of the field for most of the day it will be an awesome day for us."