A 90-minute rain delay before the first practice session pushed back first-round qualifying at Daytona International Speedway until 8:30 p.m. EDT. Under the lights of D.I.S., all five Roush Racing drivers circled the 2.5-mile oval in Daytona...
A 90-minute rain delay before the first practice session pushed back first-round qualifying at Daytona International Speedway until 8:30 p.m. EDT. Under the lights of D.I.S., all five Roush Racing drivers circled the 2.5-mile oval in Daytona Beach, Fla., with four cars locking into the top 25, guaranteed of a starting spot in Saturday's race. Mark Martin was the eighth of 46 entries to qualify, Chad Little 11th, Kevin Lepage 12th, Matt Kenseth 14th, and Jeff Burton was the 29th competitor to make his two laps of qualifying.
Mark Martin, No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford Taurus (5th quickest, 48.332 seconds):
"The Valvoline/Cummins team did a super job. It's fun to go to the race track when you're running good. This is the quickest car we've built, and we've been running better lately than we had been. I knew it wouldn't be the pole, but it should keep us up front. I'm really pleased with that lap."
Chad Little, No. 97 John Deere Ford Taurus (19th quickest, 48.686 seconds):
"The John Deere Ford was good and free through the corners. That's something that you strive for here at Daytona. Everybody at the Roush Racing shop has been putting in overtime working on this car and they deserve a good run here. That's where we practiced at. We would have liked to pick up over our practice time, but that's exactly what we ran earlier and we expected to be pretty close to that time. We're pleased in that respect, but no matter what position we end up in, we hope it's in the top 25."
Kevin Lepage, No. 16 FamilyClick.com Ford Taurus (29th quickest, 48.839 seconds):
"We're not at all happy with that lap. The guys have worked for two months building a brand new race car for these superspeedways so we could improve, and we're still a few tenths off. I don't know what we can do to get better. The motor was performing, and the car felt stable in the corners and smooth down the straights."
Matt Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Tools Ford Taurus (22nd quickest, 48.717 seconds):
"That was an awesome lap. These DEWALT guys built a brand new car for this race, but we struggled during practice. We were disappointed because we couldn't find any speed in practice. The guys at the shop and here at the track worked really hard to give us a tune up. That was five tenths faster than practice, and that's a big jump."
Jeff Burton, No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford Taurus (9th quickest, 48.457 seconds):
"We had a good run today. We picked up four tenths from practice. I thought three (tenths) would have been successful, so we were pleased with four. I've been a top-15 qualifier with restrictor plates here the past two years, and two years ago we were on the outside pole. Your starting position doesn't mean a whole lot here, but you always want to qualify well."