Lowe's MotorSpeedway NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Wins Pole "My lap was OK, but the guys did a good job in the pits getting a good, clean stop. You've got to thank them. They've done a great job...
NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Wins Pole
"My lap was OK, but the guys did a good job in the pits getting a good, clean stop. You've got to thank them. They've done a great job the past couple of weeks, and they shined tonight. I guess you could call it ego racing or pride racing. It's fun. I don't race any different whether it's points racing or non-points racing. I always go for the win.
"I'd say that obviously (my chances) are pretty good. We've been pretty thrilling here four times in the all-star race and the thrilling ended two years ago with a crash. Other than that we've won it and blew up when we were leading in the Open trying to get in the all-star race and ran second on old tires last year. We look forward to the race from a track standpoint. I really like the racetrack from an event standpoint. I really like the idea of running as hard as you can as long as you can for one night.
"I can't say one specific thing. Based on qualifying there's been no big difference (with the Dodge Chargers). Our cars have been qualifying great all year. I'd say from the racing standpoint we have made the car better aero balance wise. Everybody is doing that because of the spoiler change. Maybe it's just a coincident or maybe everybody is just working hard. I don't know.
"I wouldn't say it bothers my pride (that Kasey Kahne had a faster lap on the track tonight). I kind of keep track at that. Our car wasn't perfectly balanced, so we'll work on that for tomorrow night.
"I don't mind it (format) at all. I wouldn't go so far to say I like. I think it's cool to incorporate the team in an all-star event because this is a team sport. They are a big part of performance obviously from a pit road standpoint. Would I or they want to do it every week? That's a good question. You'll have to ask them. To me it doesn't directly matter. It'd be unique. It'd be kinda cool. To my knowledge this is only series that has ever done that as far as incorporating the pit crew into qualifying for an event.
"The separate deal, that's OK. Invert the field or whatever they do, that's OK. To me it's just about may the best man win and may the race not affect how the best man is as far as speed and the fastest man get inverted and not have a chance to work his way back up. Then I don't like it, but it makes a great show and it caters to the fastest car, which every race should. Then that's cool.
"Money is great. To me it's about beating everybody on a given night when they are trying as hard as they can because points don't matter. To me, that's a lot of fun. I guess you could call it glory or egotism or whatever, but I enjoy it."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"Right now, I'm just excited we got a good qualifying run. My guys are really pumped up. They had the fastest pit stop tonight. They had a 12.90. That was faster than any team out there. Getting on pit road, I did a good job there, but I left too much on the racetrack the first lap. I got too loose in turn one, and it really hurt my first lap. I think that's probably what cost us the pole position. At least my teammate Ryan got it, and that's good. Mark Martin, one of my better buddies is on the front row, and that's good, too. I really haven't time to think about it being my last one. When I'm done, I'll look at it and then I'll think about it. That's just my thought process right now.
"I've always worked real hard at getting on pit road real fast and trying to get off pit road real fast. My pit crew has been exceptional. They've been real, real good. In the Nextel pit crew challenge, our right rear tire changer and carrier were fastest. Our right front guys were the quickest, and then overall we got a penalty for a loose lugnut they told me. I wasn't there. Then tonight, it was gratifying again to see the pit crew was the fastest of everybody again with a 12.9-second pit stop. The second quickest was Ryan Newman's team at 13.0, so it shows that Team Penske has good pit crews. I'm unhappy that I left that much laying on the table on my first lap of qualifying. I learned a little something when I come back for the 600 qualifying next week. I've always had some good starting positions in this race.
"I love my chances, I really do. I unloaded. I didn't test here on purpose because I was concerned the track after being ground was going to rubber up. Travis (Kvapil) had a good test here. We used some of his notes. From what I heard, we went with a straight up setup. It was a little tight. We made a right rear spring change and a left front camber change and I got real happy with it. We were third quick when it was all said and done, and my car drives good. I'm very optimistic going into tomorrow. I'm not going to bed tonight thinking we've got to change this and that. I'll go to bed tonight thinking we've got to do this and that and see you later. We're ready to go. Put it on the line.
"I like the track. Turns one and two are a lot slicker. Nothing is slick out there, but one and two doesn't have as much grip as three and four. You can get in three and four and hammer down and get rough with it. One and two, if you hit the wrong spot you can get loose. If you run too low off that corner you can get very, very loose. I watched the guys that spun out come out of turn two on the bottom of the racetrack. You can't do that here. They didn't ground the racetrack as much down there as they did everywhere else. I learned that by talking and looking and asking questions. I like it. It's definitely better than it's ever been."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"It was a great lap for our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. The lap felt good, and the pit stop was good. I just hope I didn't give up too much getting on pit road. I tried not to hurt any of the equipment, and I might have given up a little bit. We didn't have any penalties and everything was good. It was a good lap. I don't see too many beating it, maybe a few. It's been a great week. We had a lot of fun stuff to do. It took so long for us to get our first win. I'm excited, and we're trying to bring some of that momentum here. The team was awesome again last night at the pit crew challenge, and we had another good pit stop tonight. The lap was good. It felt fast, and the pit stop was good."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
"You try to run everything on the edge out here. Everybody was doing everything they could. Sometimes you make mistakes. It doesn't take much to be off a little bit. That's part of it. We're going to win the race with a good racecar, and that's what we've got. It's probably the best car we've had here. It didn't show in qualifying, but it'll show tomorrow night."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
"The car had a good, fast first lap. I think I got it down pit road good. I worked with pit road all I could. I'm happy with that right now. I felt a little bit slow on the right side tire change, but the left side was fast. Everything turned out good. The buyout was kind of bittersweet. I helped build that company to what it was. Roger, I agree with him to have one owner to run the whole thing. It's hard to operate a team that big with that many partners, but he's been good to me. I'll continue to stay involved with the team. I want to do a lot of work with the sponsors. I'm happy with everything right now, as happy as I could be. This race is all about money and glory, so if you can get a little glory from the pole, that would be good."