KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Krazy Kritters/Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge) "We were junk over here last Friday. We came back on Saturday and made huge improvements and from last Saturday until today we've made even more huge improvements. Those guys really...
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Krazy Kritters/Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge)
"We were junk over here last Friday. We came back on Saturday and made huge improvements and from last Saturday until today we've made even more huge improvements. Those guys really worked hard at the shop. Last week we went almost last for the Open qualifying. We went about the same time tonight and we were about seven tenths quicker this week with basically the same package. The driver still ain't much, but the team has come a long way."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"It was pretty close to a perfect lap. I think the track is going to get better for sure, but it was a good effort for the ALLTEL Dodge. The guys did a great job. This is the same car we had last week at the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully we'll end up in the top five. I'm pretty confident of that. We'll just have to wait and see if it sticks for the pole."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"The weather is going to play a big factor. I think the longer it goes the faster the track is going to be. I'm not looking forward to going out fifth, but the track surface was about 40 degrees cooler than the last time I'd been in it. We were quick. I just hope it's quick enough. A 29.20 is pretty strong, so we'll see where it ends up. I'm happy with that. We picked up a ton, so we'll see what happens. This is not the same car we had here last week. I think it'll be better."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share/Jasper Dodge)
"It's going to get a lot quicker, but a 29 flat around this joint ain't too bad. If we can stay near the top 10 I'd be real excited. I was hoping the board would fill up so we could take a picture of the three Penske Dodges on top. That would have been cool. I've raced 24 hours alone in a racecar. It was a lot tougher at Baja. Six hundreds miles is a long distance for a NASCAR event. The big deal is you have to have good engines. We've got good horsepower. Now we've got to keep that reliability up. This team is good at doing all the extra things you need to do in a 600-mile race, so I don't see the extra 100 miles being a problem. It's a long day. I got burned at California in 500 miles, and it's going to be hot here, too. The key to our lap today was the Nextel Open. We didn't fool ourselves today. We let the weather come to the car, and hopefully the Kodak Dodge will stay in the top 10. This is the Dodge we ran at California. I've had my best finish so far in this car, and hopefully we can kick it up a couple of notches here. This is the Dodge we planned to bring for the 600."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"We picked up from practice, but we weren't very good in practice. We've got a decent starting spot, so now we'll get ready to race."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We drug real bad. The whole left and right sides went down in the corners and drug the ground. I got back in the throttle real quick, but we were dragging and it slowed us up. It made the front push and slowed us up. I thought we would have been a lot better than that. Nothing broke. We were just going a lot faster in practice. It's going to be a long race, but it shouldn't be too bad."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Great American Bake Sale Dodge)
"We're getting a lot better with our cars. This is the same car we had in California. I think our racing luck needs to change. I'm looking forward to Sunday night. Hopefully we can put a whole race together and have a shot at a good finish."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I was hoping for a little bit better. We picked up a couple of tenths, and it's been weird here. We went out 38th and it really hasn't cooled off that much. We're in the top 15, and we've got a great race car. I think we'll be in great shape for the race. Today's my 35th birthday, but it seems like the older I get the younger I feel."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We were really tight. We picked up about four tenths from practice, but we needed to pick up about seven. We were just too tight."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"That was similar to what we ran the other night. This is a different car. We were going to make tons of changes, but we went back to the way we qualified last week. The way practice went this morning, we're really happy. I'm not feeling well. I've got a real bad cold. To come out in the top 15 was really good for us."