Silverados qualify "even" at Mesa Marin

TRAVIS KVAPIL, ...

TRAVIS KVAPIL, #60 CAT RENTAL STORES CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified second today as first rookie and first Chevy Silverado driver, with a 19.178-second, 93.858-mph lap. Kvapil is a strong Rookie-of-the-Year contender, placing second in Homestead. He's surrounded on the grid by veteran drivers Ted Musgrave in first, and Joe Ruttman in third, both in Dodges.

KVAPIL: YOU'VE HAD SOME EXPERIENCE ON THESE SHORT TRACKS: "Quite a bit. There's a track back home that's real similar to this. Madison International Speedway in Madison, Wisconsin -- similar bankings, real tight corners. I felt real comfortable right away getting out here today."

DID YOU MAKE CHANGES FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING?

"We sure did. Like at Homestead, we unloaded, we were not real good, we were decent. I felt we had quite a bit more in the Silverado. They changed a bunch of things before qualifying and we got going in the right direction. We got it together to get one good lap in."

ON THIS LAST PRACTICE SESSION:

"We had real old tires on it; they had 70-80 laps on them. Actually, we were able to run real consistent laps. The truck felt real comfortable for me. We developed a tire problem; we had quite a bit of tire wear on the right front. We didn't want to hurt the truck and we felt pretty stable for tomorrow. " MADISON OR NOT YOU'VE TAKEN TO THE TRUCK SERIES: "I think I credit most of it to the team, the whole Cat Rental team. We kind of gelled real well. We seem to communicate real well. Obviously they learned a lot of things from Andy (Houston, who moved over to the Winston Cup series this year). It gives me a lot of confidence this year knowing the truck is usually pretty good everywhere we go."

YOU HAVE THE VETERANS ON BOTH OF SIDES OF YOU ON THE GRID:

"It makes you feel good to know you can run with Ted (in first) and Joe in third. That's real good company. These guys are real good, hard racers and any time you are racing with guys with their caliber and experience it gives you a pretty good feeling."

DENNIS SETZER, #46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES CHEVY SILVERADO, claimed the No. 4 position, 19.213/93.687. Mesa Marin's half-mile oval is a Setzer favorite, as his first of five Craftsman Truck Series wins came here in 1998. He's captured seven track championships on half-mile or smaller circuits.

SETZER: "The #46 Acxiom/Computer Associates Chevy Silverado ran great in qualifying. We've been a little tight all day, but made some changes before qualifying. The track cooled off quite a bit, which helped with our speed. I like this track a lot. It reminds me of the tracks I began racing on back home. The guys with Morgan/Dollar Motorsports have been working extremely hard; we just need a little Irish luck (tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day) and we'll get this Silverado into victory lane."

BRYAN REFFNER, #3 MENARDS/DURACELL CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified sixth, 19.341/93.067.

RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO (20th, 19.630/91.696), is the top rookie contender in the series so far. With his second-place finish in Daytona and a fifth in Homestead, he's second in championship points.

HENDRICK: "Well, we are definitely disappointed. What can I say? We had a miscommunication and made an error with the tire pressure. They were about six pounds too low. It caused us to be really tight going in, really loose in the center and really tight coming off. The truck was hard to control. These results don't reflect our performance for the day. We were fourth in the first practice and ninth in the second. This team is so much better than our qualifying effort shows. Team GMAC will be ready to race tomorrow - you can count on it."

Ricky's teammate JACK SPRAGUE, in the #24 NETZERO CHEVY SILVERADO, qualified seventh, 19.424/92.669.

-GM Racing

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Joe Ruttman