BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Jasper Eng. & Trans./Kodak Dodge) -- 15th "For a racecar driver, just having a few sprinkles is one thing, but it filled my windshield up for both laps in turn four. But, once you take the green, you can't stop. I had...
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Jasper Eng. & Trans./Kodak Dodge) -- 15th
"For a racecar driver, just having a few sprinkles is one thing, but it filled my windshield up for both laps in turn four. But, once you take the green, you can't stop. I had to drive it, and I got pretty loose on the second lap. We were pretty tight and loose where it was just raining so bad. Slick tires without grooves, they don't like that water stuff."
"We came here and tested a bunch of times in the Craftsman Truck days. This track is just a great mile-and-a-half. These tracks in the Midwest get bumpy because you guys have Winter, unlike what we've got in Vegas -- it makes those bumps and ripples. Just like all these good mile-and-a-half speedways. They're pretty smooth for the most part until you get to the corners. They've got those ripples, and you learn how to get through them. Just bring a good Dodge and you'll be alright."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- 19th
"It felt good, but we've just been struggling speed-wise for some reason. I'm not sure what it is. I almost held it wide-open all the way around. I don't know if we're scrubbing speed off it, or what? It'll be a good lap for us. It still ended up pretty good.
"We're getting there. We're gaining on it. It just seems like when we have a good day, so does everybody else around us. And when we have a bad day, so does everybody else. So, we can't really capitalize on the points yet. But we're working hard on that. Our stuff is running good, and we're running up there every week now. It's just a matter of time.
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge) -- 12th
We had a problem in practice in practice and went to a different set of shocks, and that really helped us out. We actually pulled a little bit of tape off the grill, just because when we put on full tape it got the car really loose. We just tried to tighten it up just a little bit more, and we went out on stickers, and I think that helped us be a little freer. The guys on the Target team did an excellent job.
"It's very tempting here -- probably the most tempting to hold it (the throttle) wide-open. It's got a lot of grip. If you just roll out of the throttle just a little bit, maybe set your foot on the brake, and then you're right back in it, running a good lap. The guys that are running down in the 28 seconds are really close to probably being wide-open.
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- 14th
"We messed up, but it was still a good lap. I'm sure everyone said they ran wide-open, and that's how my lap was. I only ran one lap because I didn't think I could go any faster. That was pretty much all we had."
"We've raced well enough, and we've been fast pretty much every week. We obviously would have liked to have won a race by now. But we just need to keep doing what we're doing. I'm pretty happy with my team. We basically have said that we just couldn't have any more DNFs from here on out -- just try give people more room. But then we blew up at Michigan, and then didn't finish at Daytona either. So, we had two DNFs in the last four races, which is very disappointing. You've just got to keep fighting. There's still, what, eight races left before it's over? You never know what's going to happen in this sport. I never would have thought that we wouldn't have finished two of the last races. Maybe those guys will have that same problem and get us back to be close enough."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge) -- Eighth
"I think that was about as fast as we could make it go. We unloaded the ALLTEL/ Mobil 1 Dodge, not the fastest, but we kept working on it better, better and better. We got better, better and better, and that's where we ended up. We'll take that, though. We qualified 14th here last year and won the race. It's not like we're trying to set our goals to qualify 14 here today, though. We'll just put it in race-trim and go from there.
Can you use last year's setup notes for this year?
"I can tell you better tomorrow. It's going to be different conditions tomorrow, and obviously a different setup and everything else. We'll see, but the racetrack is the same, and it should be a good race on Sunday.
"We realize that we've done it before (won at Chicago), and we still want to do it again. Everybody has that mentality when they win -- not only at certain racetracks, but in general -- if you can win, you can win all over. We just go out and do the best job we can, and what can you say? We'll see where we end up.
"It's a good racetrack as far as racing goes because of the banking. If we didn't have the banking we wouldn't have as near as good of racing by a factor of 10, it seems. It's all just a matter of being in the right place at the right time when that checkered flag drops."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge) -- 38th
"Our Cheerios Dodge was driving really, really good, but we're just way down on horsepower. Cooler temperatures like this makes those guys be able to use their motor, you know. It's just disappointing. We're a lot better than that. That's just disappointing. This track has a lot of grip, but we've got a different tires. Honestly, I don't know whether anyone can tell you if the track has changed that much. We'll probably be able to tell more tomorrow after practice than today. The cooler weather and all that relate to grip, so it's really hard to tell if the track has lost anything or not."