Dodge Richmond II qualifying notes

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T) "That was a good lap. If I had to do it all over again I would probably give up a little bit in turn three. The car was balanced good and running good. That was about what we'd hoped...

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"That was a good lap. If I had to do it all over again I would probably give up a little bit in turn three. The car was balanced good and running good. That was about what we'd hoped for. It's hard to tell what the track is going to do and what everybody else is going to do. No clue where that's going to end up. I felt the lap was pretty good everywhere except in turn three. I hurt my practice lap there, too, so I guess I haven't got turn three figured out yet."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We weren't good in practice. The track is going to get a little slower, but not a lot slower, and it could turn around and get faster toward the end. We qualified good here for the first race this year and had a pretty good race. The car is not the same as last time, and it's changed. We're just not getting hooked up to the track. We'll be blessed to get in on a provisional."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I had to give up the first lap a little bit. My car didn't run that good on the first lap. The team has been working hard, and we had three different sets of tires and all the staggers were different, so they did a good job figuring out which set to qualify on. We've got a little extra incentive this week with the No Bull 5, so we'll be going all out for that. I didn't think the lap would hold up for the pole, but it was better than we ran in practice. It gave us a good starting spot for tomorrow night. If we win some of that No Bull money, the team is going to get a good part of it, I can tell you that."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I just got loose. It was real loose off turn two, and I about spun out and hit the wall."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The first lap was junk, but I was real careful. For once I didn't totally screw up the lap. I'm real happy with it. We end up 35th in practice it seems like every week, and then we pull off something for qualifying. The first part of the year, I'd be top 10 in practice and then qualifying 35th. I like this better, although it's not good for your heart."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I was about halfway down the front straightaway and the car just got loose and I lost it. It's pretty slick out there. It's disappointing because the car was pretty good in practice. I thought we had a chance for a good starting spot."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I took it a little bit easy the first lap. The track got a little slick. I didn't want to make the tires mad the first lap, and they came in pretty good for me on the second lap. I went through three and four on the warmup lap and was just all over the place. I took it easy on the first lap to feel the car out. It felt like it came in pretty good. I think I've been here more than anywhere else, and I always seem to run pretty good here. I even ran good in the last two races with this car. We just didn't get good qualifying runs. Maybe we can get a good finish this time. The first time I ever came here in 1998 in the Busch Series, I qualified sixth. It's been downhill from there until now."

STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The guys made some great calls all day. We've been good since we got here. We felt like we could run a little bit quicker, but the track slowed down for us. I lost a little bit of grip. I couldn't get back on the gas as fast as I needed to. It was a good lap. I don't know where it's going to stack up, but if we're in the top 15 that'll be a good starting spot. I figured we could run a .70. When I came off the corner, I looked to see if we were up on the scoreboard. The car felt good. It felt like a good lap, but it wasn't quite good enough. We'll take it. This team has got some momentum going. We've been running a lot better the last few weeks. The results just haven't shown yet."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I got a little loose the second lap. Going into turn one, I gave up a tenth or so. We had a real good three and four. I thought I could run a .60. I almost spun on my second banzai lap in practice. I knew we could run a .60 if I hit it right. We were pretty good in practice. I just went too deep in turn one. It's a good starting spot. Hopefully we'll have something going for us Saturday night."

BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I wouldn't change much on the car. I just messed up in qualifying. We should have run faster than what we did. We're in the show, but we should have been a lot better."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Atwood will start seventh in Saturday night's 43-car field and was the fastest Raybestos Rookie of the Year qualifier on Friday with a lap of 123.819 mph.

"We ended up 25th in practice, but on our qualifying run we got held up by a caution, so we didn't get to make our mock run. We were pretty good all day. I'm really happy with it. We took a provisional here earlier this year and ended up 12th. It was a good run for us, a good top 10 start and we'll try to capitalize on it Saturday night and see if we can get a good finish.

"I've always run pretty decent here. The first time I ever came here was in '98 with a Busch car and qualified sixth. It was the first time I'd ever seen the place. I had a little bit of bad luck here lately in qualifying. Earlier this season I hit oil on the track and took a provisional. We had a decent car there, too, and made our way up through the field and finished 12th. It does kind of fit my driving style. It's a short track, and I grew up on 'em, so I feel more comfortable with these.

"My car was really loose the first lap. The track seemed to get a little more greasy than practice. I just rode and got a good balance in the car and tried to go for it on the second lap. I knew it was going to be slick. When I went down into three and four on my warmup lap it was slick. I decided to ride it out the second lap and go for it on the second lap."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We were like ninth fastest in practice, and I got a little loose on my banzai run. I thought we could run a .60 something in practice, but I got a little on loose qualifying on the qualifying run on the second lap. I don't know if we had anything for Jeff or not, but we might could have beat Rusty. It was a good run for the Coors Light Dodge. It's about my best start here, so I'm looking forward to it.

"They did a good job with the sealer. The track's got a lot of grip. I guess some guys wrecked a couple of weeks ago practicing, but the Busch race will wear the bottom lane off a little bit. It made a great race last year and the year before. You can move up and get the second groove going. It's a great deal here, unlike New Hampshire where it all builds up and clumps up.

"I knew coming into this season that the testing we did over the year that we had a good race team put together. We did some testing at some tracks that we had been at and ran better than we did with the Chevrolet. With the personnel that Chip (Ganassi) and them put together and the motors Ernie (Elliott) and them guys doing the motors and our own fab shop, just changed a lot of personnel at the shop, it worked out for us. It feels good again.

"I talked to Gary Nelson today about it, and when they do them deals... For years, if they wrecked we finished under caution. To put everybody in that situation, especially at Darlington, guys had been out there on tires awhile and if you're sitting 10th, 12th, 14th, you can dive in and get new tires and them guys are running a lot faster than you. It just causes a situation with three or four laps to go, 'hey I'm going to knock somebody out of the way,' and that's what happened. It wound up tearing up a lot of equipment uncalled for. We got a pretty much top five car and got wiped out and wound up 16th, so it happens a lot on road courses. They'll throw a caution with five laps to go, and it's a deal of 'I'm just going to drive in the corner a little further and knock 'em out of the way.' They've just got to look and see how much stuff it tears up. It's hard to fix these cars. It costs the owners a lot of money. Ward was going to win the race anyway. It didn't make any difference. They should have just let us finish.

"We go to the trailer and talk to them about it. I think it's been flooded by guys that got tore up in the wreck. I think Dale Jr. went to them after the race, but they're going to do what they want to do anyway. We're just here. If they run it under green, we'll run it under green. If they throw the red and stop it again, we'll do it again and tear up some more cars.

"It's been hard to keep up with him (Jeff Gordon) since he came here, so they've got a great race team. Jeff's a great driver and they put it all together. They had kind of an off year last year and didn't run as good as they had been. It looks like they got the tire deal figured out pretty quick. Unless Jeff has a little trouble and falls out, the championship is pretty much his. If he has a couple of bad races and it comes back to us, we might can make a race out of it and see what happens.

"We're still going to the wind tunnel a lot, and that side of the business, I don't mess with it. They still send my check from Ganassi, and that's all I know."

-Dodge Motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon