SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th) "We're pretty happy with that. That's a couple of tenths quicker than we did in practice. This is my first time being here, and all of the guys are having a lot of patience with me...
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th)
"We're pretty happy with that. That's a couple of tenths quicker than we did in practice. This is my first time being here, and all of the guys are having a lot of patience with me today and letting me take my time to learn what I need to learn and slowly find my limitations. I just like to have confidence in the car that first lap with those stickers. We didn't really get a good feel for the first set of stickers that we made a qualifying run on. All of the guys on the Nesquik Ford Taurus told me that it was going to stick on that sticker run, so make sure I drove it in there. That was pretty good. That was the fastest we have been all day, and maybe that will be a top-10 for us."
YOU WERE THE FIRST CAR TO QUALIFY; DID THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY? "We're too dumb to know any different. I think that with the time of day it is, I don't think it's going to change a whole lot; I think it will be this hot for everybody."
YOU OPTED NOT TO TEST HERE TWO WEEKS AGO, SO THIS IS TRULY YOUR FIRST TIME AROUND THIS TRACK. HAS THAT CHANGED THE LEARNING CURVE? "We're using everything that we've accumulated so far this year, and that seems to help close the gap. The track is definitely different. It's not smooth and easy to figure out. It has a lot of bumps and humps and things going on, and you really have to figure out where you need to be. We usually go out everywhere in race trim right off the truck to get a feel for the track. We gave up the chance to come here and test because we thought we needed the help in Nazareth, so we tested at Nazareth and wound up with a second-place finish because of it. That was good for us, and we want to use that momentum to get us going this weekend."
JEFF BURTON-9-GAIN Ford Taurus (Qualified 16th)
"We were just way too loose. It was my fault. I know we needed to tighten it up, but we didn't get it tight enough. It was still a pretty decent lap, just slower than what we needed to be to sit on the pole."
WAS YOUR EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW A DISADVANTAGE TODAY? "I don't know. I don't ever like to be the first four or five cars. I think that going sixth or seventh is better than going 20th today. It's going to get hotter and hotter, so you never know. Charlotte is so temperamental it's hard to decide what to do with your car. I just didn't get it tight enough."
MARK GREEN-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"We beat a few of them there that we didn't in practice. We made a few changes on the car and it really drove good there. I kinda messed up in 3 and 4, trying to get more than it wanted to give me. I had to wait on it a little off of 4, but it's driving good and that's what matters. The body that we have on this car, it's a really good downforce package, so it should race a lot better and it goes fast."
THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT YOU WOULD BE DRIVING THIS CAR MORE THAN YOU WERE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED. HOW HAS THAT IMPACTED THIS TEAM?
"It's got us spurred up a little bit. With Christian's inexperience, we don't to the track not wanting to win, but we've got to go there giving him a comfortable race car, not maybe a fast race car. Now we've got to switch that thinking a little bit. With my experience, we can get after it and do the little things that might make it difficult for Christian to drive yet. We're definitely getting after it, but we've also had some bad luck here of late. It's going to turn around because we have a good car and a good race team."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 29th)
"That wasn't what we were hoping for. We were sixth fastest in practice and that's going to drop us into the 20s. We changed the car around so much after practice that I just missed my marks in 1 and 2. I drove in too deep and too high both laps in a row. I didn't get it to the bottom and that cost me three or four tenths, and that's the difference between being in the top 10 and the top 20. I think this is a better race car than what we showed in qualifying, so we're not too worried about tomorrow."
TODAY WAS YOUR FIRST TIME BACK IN A RACE CAR SINCE NAZARETH LAST WEEK. ARE YOU FEELING ANY NAGGING INJURIES?
"I feel great. I'm good and I'm not feeling sore. I got checked out yesterday and when I got in the car first thing this morning it was business as usual."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd) -
EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE CLICKING WITH YOUR RACE TEAM. "We haven't figured out what some have because we haven't won half of the races. We still have a little bit of work to do to get to that point, and whether we do or not, we're still happy with the progress of our team. The Marines Ford has been fast everywhere that we've been, and we just keep doing our deal. All we've got to do now is untape for Happy Hour and go. So many of these guys make qualifying efforts and we don't. We're tickled to death. No matter what kind of deal they put us through every week, we just keep battling back. That shows the strength of this team and we're looking forward to the rest of the year."
DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS TEAM IS UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF NASCAR RIGHT NOW? "You can tell because every talk that you have going on in the NASCAR Busch truck is about us. A lot of teams don't believe that we can be that fast, but we show them week-in and week-out that we are. What else can you do? We have Yates power, we've got Fords and we've got the Marines, so we ought to be fast."
KASEY KAHNE-98-Channellock Ford Taurus (Qualified 20th)
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN THREE RACES THAT QUALIFYING HASN'T BEEN RAINED OUT. "We finally got it in and it went pretty well. We're 16th right now and it looks really good. I'm really excited because the Channellock Ford is really good and we got a lot of help from the 28 Cup guys - Fatback and Raymond - so it's pretty nice of those guys to help us out."
HOW MUCH HAS THEIR EXPERIENCE HELPED YOU TODAY? "It really helped. As hard as the Channellock guys work every day and week, getting the car ready and thrashing to get our backups done and everything going, it makes it nice when we have a couple of other really good people helping out."
DOES THIS CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY THIS WEEK BECAUSE YOU WERE ABLE TO QUALIFY AND YOU WON'T BE FORCED TO START IN THE REAR DUE TO YOUR PART-TIME STATUS ON THE CIRCUIT? "That will be a lot better. It won't change my mindset, though. I thought we had good cars in the last two races also, so I think it will make it a lot easier because we won't have to start so far back. Hopefully we stay where we are and work our way forward as much as possible."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 6th)
"I lifted probably a little bit more than I should have on the first lap. Most everybody's first lap has been their fastest, but I tried a little too hard and just had to back up on the second lap to get a good, solid lap in. We've had a good car since we unloaded, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
WHAT KIND OF RACE ARE YOU ANTICIPATING TOMORROW? "It's going to be your typical Charlotte. It's going to be slick, it's going to be sunny and it's going to be hot so you just have to hold on."
HOW GOOD IS YOUR TEAM RIGHT NOW? "We're good enough to be in sixth place right now and I'm not real happy about it here at Charlotte; I've always run bad here. We're just on a roll, we want to keep it up front and keep going. We've been practicing in the top 10 most of the morning and that should put us right there near the top 10. We usually race a little a better here than we qualify, so we're looking forward to tomorrow."
WAS YOU LATE DRAW AN ADVANTAGE? "Typically, it helps to go out later, but we saw last night and even today, that's not the case. I'm not sure if it's the Goodyear rubber or what exactly it is, but it seems to be pretty even across the board."