Brian Vickers in the No. 40 Emp/U.S. Army Dodge was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Charlotte. Vickers will start eighth and took highest qualifying rookie for the first time this season. He was Raybestos® Rookie Of The Race once this season when he finished seventh at Richmond.
"We've got the Airborne with the Army on board this week and EMP and we're glad to give them a good run. I've got to graduate tonight so it's always good to get back to graduation with a top-10. It's (the car) pretty good. We weren't quite that good in practice, but that says a lot for the team. We've got a good group of guys that work together and (they) got it a lot better for qualifying. It was pretty good getting into (turn) one; a little loose all the way through. A little free, that's the way you like it. Free is fast. Same in three and four and three here is where it usually make you or breaks you. I got a good line off in there and came out with a pretty good run."
YOU GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT.
"It's been a long time coming, that's for sure. It's been tough racing and doing school at the same time. My Mom and Dad always said to keep a high grade average. It's going to be a lot easier to concentrate on racing."
YOUR TEAM PLANNED TO RUN A LIMITED SCHEDULE THIS SEASON TO BE WELL PREPARED FOR EACH RACE THAT YOU ENTER. IS THIS RUN TODAY A PRODUCT OF THAT PLANNING?
"It's helped the guys; it's a new team. It's helped them a lot to stay ahead of the game. I think taking a couple of weeks off here and there from some of the tracks helped, but I'd like to be out there every week. But that's the way the year is planned out and I'm still looking forward to it. I'm enjoying myself but I'm also learning a lot."
HOW BIG OF AN ADJUSTMENT IS IT GOING TO BE TO RACE FULL TIME? IS IT GOING TO BE A BIG STEP?
'A little bit. It's not going to be a real big step because even a limited schedule in the Busch Series is hard on you. I enjoy it, but it's full time. It is definitely a full time job and when we go to a full time schedule it's going to be even worse but I'm looking forward to it."
SCOTT RIGGS NO. 10 NESTLE NESQUIK FORD, QUALIFIED 12TH.
"We're pretty happy with that. It's a couple of tenths quicker that we ran in practice. A lot of the guys (on his team) had a lot of patience with me today. They let me take my time and learn what I needed to learn and slowly find my limitations. I had to have confidence in the car on that first lap on those stickers. We didn't really get a good feel for the first set of stickers that we made a qualifying run on. All the guys on the team told me that it was going to stick on that sticker run. That was pretty good, as fast as we've been all day. Maybe that will be a top-10 for us."
YOU WERE THE FIRST CAR TO QUALIFY. DID THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE HERE AT CHARLOTTE?
"We're too dumb to know any different. I don't think it's going to change a whole lot. I think it's going to be this hot for everybody."
KERRY EARNHARDT, NO. 12 SUPERCUTS CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH.
"I figured we would get in the 29s. That was the first time we had been on the bottom all day. In practice it wouldn't stay on the bottom, it would slide up. In qualifying we ran right on the bottom and ran a little faster in qualifying than we did in practice. I feel like it should have been better than that. We're still happy with it, though."
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 98 CHANNELLOCK FORD, QUALIFIED 20TH.
"The Channellock team did a good job and did a lot of work to get here. I'm happy for those guys. We've got a top-20, hopefully. There are a few cars left, but we should definitely finish in the top-20 and it will definitely be a better starting spot than we've had the last couple of races with the rain. I like this place. I'm excited to race tomorrow. We get to have our race setup in the afternoon and we'll see how that goes."