SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th) "This is the first time in a while that we'll be able to see the guys up front when we start a race, but it's still not where we need to be; it's still not what we're capable of. We...
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th)
"This is the first time in a while that we'll be able to see the guys up front when we start a race, but it's still not where we need to be; it's still not what we're capable of. We still have a better team than we've been qualifying lately. We felt like we had a good qualifying car, but we weren't that good on stickers. It seemed like when we were out there this morning doing our simulation runs in practice, our third lap on stickers was our best one. The car kept getting better both of those laps out there now and I felt like if we had one more lap, we would have been good. We couldn't scuff tires here, but I think we learned something from our qualifying effort to have a good car for the race."
IS IT A GOOD SIGN THAT THE CAR GOT BETTER AS THE TIRES GOT MORE WEAR ON THEM? "Sometimes it is. I definitely think what we learned in our qualifying package is something that we're going to go with in our race mode."
WITH THE CHANGES MADE TO THE TRACK SINCE LAST YEAR, HAVE YOUR POINTS OF REFERENCE CHANGED? "I wasn't anywhere near where I needed to be last year. I was way off last year. Having a lot better car this year gives me a whole different perspective in the first place. I think all of my visual points have changed just by having a better car, much less the track being different."
KASEY KAHNE-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"It was a little bit tight through the center and that pushed the front a little bit, but that's a big improvement for our short-track program. There are some people that have helped us and it's really paid off. I think we should definitely be better in the race, too."
WHAT HAS HELPED YOUR SHORT-TRACK PROGRAM AS OF LATE? "It has a lot to do with getting the cars to handle right and we never got to test on any short tracks. We weren't able to throw anything at it ourselves and we got some help from some guys over the last week that has really paid off. It's really pretty nice."
HAVE THE ASPHALT PATCHES CHANGED THE TRACK ANY? " It hasn't changed it a lot. I like the backstretch and what they've done there, and the tunnel is definitely a nice thing, too. I think a second groove will come in in one and two because of that, and I think it will come in in three and four, too. It should be a good one-mile race track. I think the best spot will still be the bottom of one and two, but you'll be able to run on the outside a bit. You aren't going to be able to pass a good car on the outside, but you'll be able to race there."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"We're really not any good at all. The car has been OK, but not really good and it's about the same as we practiced. If you don't pick up time in qualifying, you usually fall back from where you stacked up in practice. It's not going to end up too good."
HAVE THE ASPHALT PATCHES DISRUPTED THE HANDLING OF YOUR CAR? "No, I don't think so. It may add some grip but you still need to have your car turning through the center and the patches are late in the corners so I don't think it going to affect it too much."
DOES THE THREE-DAY FORMAT HELP YOU AS A DRIVER WHEN YOU HAVE AN ILL-HANDLING CAR? "We've got the extra day to figure it out and I hope we can figure it out."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 4th)
"IT LOOKS LIKE HARVICK HAS THE FIELD COVERED IN QUALIFYING? "That's why I just got back from the Busch truck. Every week those guys are complaining about something we do, and it just isn't normal that all they do is put oil in the car and change tires and pick up half a second. It just ain't right. I don't mind getting beat, but I just hate being out-cheated. We'll just keep digging and do what we have to do. The good thing is we can say our time is legitimate."
WILL THE RACING BE BETTER ON SATURDAY WITH THE CHANGES THEY MADE IN TURN TWO? "What they did to two gave you more racing room. You can get in the gas early and stay in it harder. Three and four, right where the tunnel is, it's right at the exit so you can really be in the gas and whatever end of the car is acting up that grip will hold it. It just made the track overall faster and it will race better. You will see better racing over here in turn two. I think you will see that high line come in better and you'll be able to pass more. I think a lot of people are going to start moving up to get off there and if you can turn under them, you'll be able to race under them and beat them down the backstretch."