MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 6th) No matter where we end up in qualifying, that's a great way to start. I haven't run very good at Darlington for probably three years. When I first came here we always ran really...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 6th)
No matter where we end up in qualifying, that's a great way to start. I haven't run very good at Darlington for probably three years. When I first came here we always ran really good, but for about three years we haven't run good at all. Even on days when we did run good, we'd qualify really poorly, so it feels good to have a good qualifying spot. That should get us in the top 10 at worst, I would think, so I'm pretty happy with that. I'm not very good at usually picking up for qualifying. What I ran in practice is about what we had. I felt pretty good about it, but Mark just went pretty fast and he wasn't that fast in practice, so I'm sure we'll get beat for the pole but it should get us, hopefully, in the top 10."
IS IT AN ADVANTAGE TO GO OUT EARLY TODAY?
"I think it would be a disadvantage because I think the track will cool off a little bit. It's pretty hot right now."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"We were 29th in practice and I was sweating about being able to back that up. I believe that will back up practice or maybe even be a bit better. I wish we could have gone faster, but I think if I would have given it any more gas I would have wrecked. I wished I could have, I felt like I needed to but I think I would have wrecked if I would have given it anymore."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"We kind of had some stuff get up on us today. On our first run we had a mechanical problem on stickers and then, of course, we only had one more sticker run. On old tires our car was really fast, but on new tires we didn't know what to do. The changes we made were the wrong changes. That was a pick up for us. We gained some. We didn't gain enough, but we gained some. Tires are so crucial here. We threw away our first run and didn't learn anything from it and that hurt us."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"It wasn't bad. I'm kind of disappointed actually. I thought that we were gonna be a little better than that. I did a .27 in practice earlier and I thought our car was a little better than that and didn't back it up. We went a .30, but that will be around 10th or so. That will be a decent starting spot."
WAS THERE ONE TROUBLE SPOT?
"Just a little loose down there in three and four."
YOU HAD A CREW CHIEF CHANGE, BUT RAN WELL TODAY.
"Yeah, I think that says a lot for our team. This team is pretty strong and we're continuing to do well every week. We're kind of getting more of a rhythm right now and even though we made a change this week, we're still pretty decent. I'm getting used to working with Doug and doing stuff a little bit different, but it's a change and normally -- I'm not saying change is always good, but a lot of times it sparks some new things."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 4th)
"I was pretty happy with the lap. We put on a set of tires in practice and they were absolutely horrible. We ran a second slower and that's why we were only 18th-quick. We made a lot of adjustments for qualifying and the driver just drove over his head a little bit. I drove in a little bit too hard into three and left some on the table, so I should have run a tenth or so faster. I was just trying too hard, but I think that will be a top 10 and a good starting spot for Sunday's race."
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL FOR 500 MILES HERE?
"I think patience. We should have won the race here in the spring, but I was driving way over my head trying to catch the 24 car and hit the wall. I learned a big important lesson in that race here in the spring, so, hopefully, I won't do that again here on Sunday."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"I was really hoping I could run a .30 because we ran a .54 or something in practice. I was probably not aggressive enough in turn three to get down where some of those guys were, but that's gonna be a pretty good starting spot. I thought the Jasper car was right there, but I wasn't quite aggressive enough in turn three to really get a good lap. I went out there hoping to run a .30 and that would be a good safe lap for us and not get us in trouble. The car is right there, so that's a good thing."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE TRACK?
"I love coming here. You just slip and slide all over the place, so you've got to do things to keep your car under you and those guys have to give you a good handling race car as well. You work real hard at nothing but handling here and keeping the tires underneath you. It's fun and it's as much a challenge here as anywhere."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"It was exactly the same as it was in practice and we ran just a little bit faster. At least we backed that up, but we're missing it in the shocks a little bit. That's where we made our gains in practice, but we've got to keep working on it. We basically just ran out of time."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 30th)
"That was better than we practiced, but I was a little disappointed because we hoped for more based on last week's performance at Bristol. You come here on a high note, but we've struggled since we've been here. We picked up a little bit qualifying. If we would have gotten one more tenth out of it, we'd have probably been top 15 instead of starting 30th. I guess everyone wishes for more, but it just wasn't meant to be today. We actually got through turns one and two really good with pole-like type speed, but in three and four we were losing a lot of time there for some reason." WHY ONLY ONE LAP? "I knew I bobbled pretty good on my first lap. There was a little breakdown in communication. I was waiting for somebody to tell me my lap speed and they never did, so I completed the second lap because I didn't know if that bobble hurt us a lot or not. Watching the tape of it on television, though, that didn't hurt it any."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"That was a lot better than what we were. I had a ton more grip. We made some adjustments and they were good adjustments. The car was actually better than the lap that I made. I like it when we pick up. We picked up quite a bit, we just needed to get it a little bit closer to start with. We're kind of in the middle, but the car is good and I'm a lot more happy with it right now."