JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "We haven't really qualified well with our plate stuff in a long time. We made some changes before qualifying and it paid off for us. We didn't run good here in February in the 500. We'd get tight...
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We haven't really qualified well with our plate stuff in a long time. We made some changes before qualifying and it paid off for us. We didn't run good here in February in the 500. We'd get tight and couldn't get a real good feel in the front. We went back to more basics trying to get a baseline, and we're going to work from there. We've got a new body on it. It drives good, and our Dodge is running pretty good right now. I'm excited because the whole team has worked so hard on this car. I think we're headed in the right direction. I think we've still got a shot (to make the top 10). We've got some good tracks coming up. I feel like we're more geared up than ever."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"We didn't have any surprises in qualifying. We ran a 48.40 in practice and this is the car I ran in the Bud Shootout, and I asked to bring it back. It's got a more conventional body on it. It's got more downforce on the front end. I really hope it's going to race good, and I think it will. I knew it was going to be off in qualifying a little bit, but I think it's going to be what we need for the race. It was so frustrating last week to run that long in the top five. It's been frustrating the past couple of weeks. We blew up at Michigan running fifth. Last weekend we ran out of gas running fourth. We lost a lot of points the last two races that we shouldn't have lost. I'm a positive guy. I think we can still do it (make the top 10), but I never thought we'd be this far behind. It'd be real important (to win at Daytona), but I've come close several times. In fact, in my mind I've left here feeling like I won the race and didn't get the trophy. Daytona has been good to me."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I thought we could run a .20 or .30. This is about where we thought we'd be. We'd like to go a little faster, but that's about where we thought we'd qualify our Dodge. I'm looking forward to practice tomorrow and getting better for the race. We bottomed out a little bit there, and it kinda pushed the car around. I had to put more wheel into it, and as a driver you try to hold the wheel as straight as you can to get around the track."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"I'm happy with that after the way we practiced. That was a huge pickup (half a second) for us. The guys took a lot of time switching over. We even quit practice early to get things switched over, and the guys did a great job. This is pretty much a new car for us. We've got a whole new front clip on this car, and the whole body is pretty new from the last time we raced here. We've got some things to work on. It might take us some time to get right, but I think we're going to have a pretty good car for the race."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
"That was about all we had today. This is a little different car than we had here in the Daytona 500, so hopefully we can get it driving better. It's all about handling. We'll get it as good as we can in practice tomorrow and hope we'll be around at the end Saturday night."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We ran fourth tenths better than we did in practice. It really doesn't matter where you start here. You get the car handling good and try to hold it wide open for 400 miles. Lee and the guys worked on the car after practice, and we held back a little bit. We'll get the car driving good, and the Coors Light Dodge should be right in there. I've always enjoyed racing here. My dad ran good here and I've had a lot of top fives before we finally won one. My first career pole was here, so Daytona has been really good to me."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"That's pretty much where we practiced. We don't have many secrets, so it is what it is and this is what we've got. This is by far the best we've ever qualified here. It's going to be hot and sticky and humid and all that other good stuff for the race. I like night races for sure. The location is not ideal."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Engine & Transmission Dodge)
"We gained two tenths from practice, and the guys did the right stuff. I'm pretty excited. The guys are getting better and better at these restrictor plate tracks. Rusty and I and Ryan are trying to work together as a team and help each other. Having Buddy Baker to help us doesn't hurt, either. I have Rusty and Ryan that automatically help in the draft. I have some other friends like Jimmie Johnson. It is difficult for a rookie to find a drafting partner, but halfway through the year, we're no longer Raybestos rookies. We're one of the guys that run every week. Guys know if they can trust us or not. It'll be a little bit easier this time around at Daytona for the rookies to find a drafting partner."