Charlotte: Ford drivers qualifying quotes

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 12th) - "Today is only Friday and there's a big-time auto race on Sunday. I think we're geared up for that already. Everything is OK. The Rubbermaid Ford has always been off a little bit in ...

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 12th) - "Today is only Friday and there's a big-time auto race on Sunday. I think we're geared up for that already. Everything is OK. The Rubbermaid Ford has always been off a little bit in qualifying here, but we know how good Roush cars are on Sunday during the 600."

DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 8th) - "It wasn't bad. We went about a half-tenth quicker than we did in practice, but I thought I really butchered the lap in practice. I thought I could get a couple tenths more. I don't know. We'll just see how it shakes out compared to everybody else. I don't think it's real good, but it should be in the top half."

WITH 600 MILES ON SUNDAY DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START? "Qualifying in the front half of the field will give you a little better pit selection. These daylight to dark deals, if you're really, really bad the first run of the race, you have a real chance of getting a lap down. So the further up you start, the lesser the chance that's gonna happen if you're way off. I don't know. You come out here to run good in qualifying, you don't come out here to qualify in the back."

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 15th) - "That's better than we were in practice for sure. There's something wrong, but we just can't figure out what. It's the same setup that we had last week that was so good off the truck, but today it isn't even close."

THE TRACK IS SO TEMPERAMENTAL. COULD IT BE QUALIFYING DURING THE DAY AS OPPOSED TO NIGHT? "Yeah, that's usually the case but that's not the case here. There's just something wrong."

JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Qualified 35th) - "We ran a lot slower than we ran in practice. There were like three or four cars that went out right with us and the sun came out. It looked like to me that the track just slowed down. The balance on the car wasn't that bad, we just didn't have the grip that we had earlier today. The track is real temperamental for speed and everybody around us went slow - some pretty decent cars all slowed down from what they had run in practice by quite a bit and it was all like three or four in a row. I don't know if the track slowed down some there or what, but the balance in the car wasn't that bad. It just didn't stick as good as it did before."

AT LEAST YOU HAVE 600 MILES TO GET TO THE FRONT. "We're gonna need it."

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 23rd) - YOU WERE SLOW IN PRACTICE, BUT THAT WASN'T TOO BAD. "That's because of the hard work and effort that was put in. Shawn and Jason got together and came up with some great ideas for us and really made the car feel a lot different. We just had to give this car what it was looking for and when we sate down and looked at shock travels and everything, we saw that we needed to go in another direction than where we were with our springs and shocks at that time. So I had a car that I could get around and hustle around a little bit, so, hopefully, it'll be good on Sunday."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 26th) - "We learned a little bit over there on the Busch car and brought a little bit of that info over here. It's a little bit different shock package. I was really struggling with this car. Our car we brought here for The Winston was really good. Even though I spun out qualifying, it was a really good car and a lot faster than this one. But, maybe we'll get something figured out here. Hopefully, this thing will get better. Six hundred miles is a long race, so we'll see what happens."

MARK MARTIN - N0o. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 21st) - "That was awesome. I wish I would have hit it perfectly because there was probably another tenth in it, but that's probably gonna be better than we had hoped for. We started 25th last year and we had a car that could contend to win and I know this car can do it, if we get the right setup under it for Sunday night."

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 42nd) - "We made an adjustment before qualifying. I think we were 33rd going into qualifying and we were loose qualifying. Maybe we overadjusted a little bit, but I don't think it hurt us tremendously. We were borderline being good enough to get in on speed when we got here. This is a different race car. We all thought it would be a better car than we had last week, but it's not. We're here. We've made our bed and we have to lay in it here and see what happens when we get it in race trim."

KEVIN LEPAGE - No. 71 Fast Boys Wings Taurus (Qualified 27th) - A WEEK AGO YOU WERE STRUGGLING. WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST WEEK? "Robert Yates horsepower. We worked hard all week long trying to find a motor, but everytime we turned there was a door closed. I called Doug Yates late on Tuesday afternoon and told him I needed a motor to go to the 600. He just told me to come on down and said they had one for me. I can't say enough for the guys with the CLR team and all the crew we picked up, including a couple of the guys that work full-time for me. Fast Boys Wings, they're the only ones that have stepped up so far to help me out. It's a small amount, but it's a big help to me and a big amount in my pocket. If there's somebody else out there that wants their name on the quarterpanel for the 600, we've got room because, right now, we need to try and find some tire money."

CARL LONG A FEW YEARS BACK MADE THE RACE. YOU'RE KIND OF THE CINDERELLA THIS YEAR. "Well, I tell you, it's hard sitting at home watching these guys race in both the Winston Cup and Busch Series and knowing that you're not part of it. I knew that this was close to home. We didn't need hotel rooms. There's not a lot of travel expense. This is my wife and I - this is our deal - we bit the bullet on the motor rental and the cars and everything. This is our ticket. This is all we've got. We needed to make this race and in order for me to continue, we've got to get some sponsorship. I don't care what it is. Any little bit will help me get through the 600 and maybe get back to another race somewhere down the road."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 2nd) - "We've got plenty of horsepower. This is a great race car. It's the same car I had at Texas and led the most laps with. I think the worst its qualified all year is third, so it's a great car and I'm looking forward to a good 600. We had an awful week last week. Both the 38 and 88 made a lot of changes this week. We had a lot of brainstorming sessions and I hope that will pay off for us come Sunday."

CAN YOU WIN ONE ON SUNDAY? "I hope so. It would mean so much to me to get Pedigree and M&M's into Victory Lane. Plus, Robert and Doug Yates for taking a big chance on a young guy. They've given me great equipment and Raymond and I are trying to make it work. We'll see what happens. I'm so proud of my race team each and every week and this is a great race car. I'm looking forward to trying to be up front on Sunday."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates