Dodge Richmond qualifying notes

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I wouldn't go so far as to say it was smooth. We were one of the three or four slowest cars here in practice. One of the sets of tires was just better. They were three or four tenths better and we...

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I wouldn't go so far as to say it was smooth. We were one of the three or four slowest cars here in practice. One of the sets of tires was just better. They were three or four tenths better and we just couldn't believe it. With the shocks and springs and stuff, we slowed down about two tenths but everybody else is slowing down a little bit. As of about 2 o'clock I was on my way to the house because there was no way I could run fast enough. We had been fast on stickers. Everybody else had been slow on stickers. We put on the stickers and ran a .70 in practice and jumped up to eighth. I didn't know where it came from because we hadn't changed a thing. We just changed tires. We went out on them in qualifying and it was slick after Busch practice. It was hard to qualify, but we'll be OK. I didn't know where I would end up, but I knew I made the race and that's the primary objective right now."

BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T) "Every time we put tires on, we slowed up. I don't know what the problem is."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Andretti slipped and hit the wall on his second qualifying lap. He'll go to a backup car for Saturday's race. It's a brand new Dodge Intrepid. "The first lap got all messed up because it slipped out from under me on the first lap, too. I just didn't hit it right. The car was not the way we needed it, but it was as good as we could get it."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) "We spun up off turn four on the first lap and we just had to take it easy. We'll be OK once it cools off for the night race, but it's a little loose right now. We slipped off four on the second lap, too. We were so far off when we first started it took us the whole practice to get it straightened out. We never did slow down, but we never cut a good, fast banzai lap."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T) "We did a little of everything before qualifying. We changed the geometry in the front. We changed some shock and the way the rear end was under the car. We're still not like we need to be. We've got to work on getting the torque a little bit better off the corners. Terry (engine builder Elledge) and his guys have been working hard on that. We made a lot of progress with that last week at California, but we've got to make some more progress here. Our numbers were as good as last year, but it just doesn't feel like it on the race track. I feel great. This is the best therapy I could have had. It's like getting a good workout about 5 a.m."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Leffler led all Raybestos rookie of the year competitors in time trials. "It wasn't the greatest lap, but it was good enough to get us in the race and that's what counts. We'll work on it in the race, and I'm sure we'll move up in the race. We're looking forward to running all 400 laps. I've had three Busch races here. The last time we were here we ran pretty good. I think we ended up ninth or 10th. I like this track, but I can never qualify well here for some reason. "We qualified 28th, and that's nothing really to brag about, but we're in the show. I'm pretty excited about that. I made a clean lap and didn't overdrive the car. We just wanted to get in the show and get some experience."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I was pleased. We kept digging with this thing. Mike (crew chief Ford) and the guys did a real good job. I just screwed up the second lap. I feel like I gave up some. I could have given up the first lap, too, so we'll just take what we got and get ready to go race tomorrow night. We're going to make very few changes before practice. We don't have a lot of time. It'll probably be pretty close to the qualifying setup."

-Mopar

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Series NASCAR Cup