WHAT WAS YOUR IMPRESSION OF THE FIRST DRAFTING PRACTICE SATURDAY MORNING? "It looked like a short track out there. I've never seen anything to beat it. We were out there and saw somebody run John Andretti slam-down to the grass in practice. And this wasn't even a big group of cars. There were only like seven cars in that deal and they ran him all the way to the grass. I'm thinking, 'This is about stupid.' Guys just aren't using their heads."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CAR FOR TOMORROW? "I think we've got a good race car. What we saw in practice was pretty good. It's by far the best car that this Conseco Pontiac team has ever had at a speedway race. We ran OK the first practice. Speed-wise we weren't that good, but we could race with them and that's all we need to do."

NOW THAT YOU'RE IN YOUR THIRD SEASON, IS THE RESPECT FACTOR A LOT HIGHER FOR YOU AT A PLATE RACE? "It's a lot higher. The biggest thing facing us now is that this car has never run that well in a restrictor plate race, so we're almost back to that rookie status again because people don't want to work with you because they don't feel we've got a good race car. Hopefully in practice we've shown them that we do have a decent race car and I feel like we can race with them. I think people are realizing we've got a pretty good race car this week and I think they'll work with us."

IF YOU KNEW THERE ONE CAR THAT HAD DOMINATED THE ENTIRE RACE AND WAS THE CAR TO BEAT, AND YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO FOLLOW THAT CAR TO THE FRONT AT THE END OF THE RACE, WOULD YOU STAY GLUED TO HIS BUMPER AND TAKE A SECOND PLACE FINISH? "I would follow him until five [laps] to go and then it's on. Those are the rules of engagement. If he's got the best car out there, I'm going to do everything I can do to get hooked up with him and follow him to the front. But, when you get to the front with five laps to go and I've got a chance to win the race, I'm going to hang him out to dry.

"I know that's pretty blunt, but I think anybody out there would say the same thing. I think they'd be kidding, if they didn't."

YOUR TEAM HAS PREPARED GOOD RACE CARS AT THREE VERY DIFFERENT TRACKS THE PAST THREE WEEKS...IS THAT THE BEST EVIDENCE THAT YOU ARE GETTING BETTER? "I think it is. To the average fan, the past three weeks might not be that big a deal. But to the people that really are close to the sport, I think they realize what we have done the last three or four weeks. I think what we have accomplished recently is impressive. We went to Bristol, went to Texas, went to Martinsville and now have come here and been good at all of them. Those are completely different race cars and I think it shows that we are turning the corner. We can do this with the right resources and with enough time. That's what we kept telling everybody. 'Give us six months. If everybody can just give us six months, we can get this thing turned around. But, we've got to have six months to make it happen."