BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus NOTE: Elliott was the second-round fastest qualifier and will start 26th in the NAPA 500. "We never were good when we unloaded yesterday and we just struggled. We went back and thought about it last night and...
--94-- McDonald's Taurus
NOTE: Elliott was the second-round fastest qualifier and will start 26th in the NAPA 500.
"We never were good when we unloaded yesterday and we just struggled. We went back and thought about it last night and Mike and I made some decisions to re-analyze where we were at and then at the last minute we made a few changes on the car and that fixed it."
YOUR TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN FIFTH-FASTEST YESTERDAY, SO THE TRACK WAS OBVIOUSLY GOOD. "The track was good. It really didn't change any from yesterday. I wouldn't say it was a lot different than yesterday -- good cool conditions and the motor ran good. All in all, I wanted to re-run. I mean, it was one of those deals where I hated to give up practice, but I felt with as long practice was (45 minutes) that we really didn't give up a lot by not running that practice. Now we might look back and say we should have practiced, but we thought it was important to run again."
DID GUYS LIKE RUDD AND BURTON NOT RE-QUALIFYING AFFECT YOUR THINKING? "That and pit road selection is critical here. If you get a bad pit right off of turn four, it becomes a real negative on green-flag stops, so there were a lot of things that went into our decision to go again."
--9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus
NOTE: Compton qualified 27th in first-round qualifying and elected to stand on that time. When Robby Gordon, the last car to re-qualify, posted the 33rd-fastest time, it bumped Compton to 37th and out of the field.
"That's sort of the way our season has been this year. It's pretty disappointing. We thought 27th would be fine yesterday. We looked at the sheet this morning and even after the morning practice we felt a couple would beat us but that's it. Once again, that's about how our season has been. We hate it for Kodiak and we hate it for Ford. We were hoping to end our relationship on a good note, but we just got ourselves in a hole. We shouldn't be this far back in points to begin with, and I feel really bad for the guys. Everybody was pretty pumped yesterday about the run we had, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It's pretty disappointing right now, but we'll just dig a little bit harder next year and we won't get in this position anymore."
IT'S EASY WITH HINDSIGHT TO SAY YOU SHOULD HAVE RE-QUALIFIED, BUT DID THE THOUGHT EVER OCCUR TO DO THAT IN PRACTICE THIS MORNING? "Traditionally, second round is never quicker. When we looked at the sheet this morning we said, 'There are two guys that could possibly beat us,' and that's all we felt like could. We never even considered second round, especially since we were 27th. When you look at second round and looked at the sheet this morning, two cars could have beat us. That would have put us 29th and that's still way in the show, so we never considered it -- none of us. We worked on race stuff and never considered we were gonna get bumped. It's pretty frustrating."
--21-- Motorcraft Taurus
NOTE: Sadler requalified and will start 34th in the NAPA 500.
"That's a relief. We didn't start this relationship with Motorcraft by going home. We know this car is gonna race good. We struggled with qualifying the first time we ran it, but it races its butt off and that's all you need to do here. I'm just really glad we're in. I didn't sleep a wink last night -- none -- I mean, not even 20 minutes. I'm gonna sleep good tonight and we'll go from there. I'm just looking for a good day on Sunday."
HOW ABOUT THE LAP? "It was pretty hairy. Jack Roush came over here and worked on the motor right before we went and changed the gear in the car and it made a big difference. It's kind of good to have his input here and for him to come by and help us like he does. We're not a Roush team, but it's good when Jack can come over and help us like this and get us in the show."