KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge) -- Qualified 28th "We didn't practice qualifying. We saw there were only 43 cars here, so we practiced our race setup this morning. We ran good at Vegas and Atlanta earlier in the year, and that's...
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge) -- Qualified 28th
"We didn't practice qualifying. We saw there were only 43 cars here, so we practiced our race setup this morning. We ran good at Vegas and Atlanta earlier in the year, and that's the way we spent most of our time -- working on race setup in practice on Friday morning. We struggled a little bit off and on the past five or six races, so when we saw only 43 cars today we went straight to race setup. We threw a qualifying setup under it and picked up a second, but it's not a true second. It looks good on paper. That's all car and team. It's got nothing to do with the driver. They made it drive just like it did in practice. Our race setup is pretty good. We've still got to fine tune on it, but we feel like we've got an hour and a half jump on most people."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) -- Qualified Ninth
"I drove it in a little tight down there in one and two. It ran up the racetrack a little bit. I drove it in to straight in turn one and it started pushing, but other than that three and four were pretty good. We picked up four tenths from practice, and I was real happy with that."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge) -- Qualified 13th
"We really struggled in practice. We've got a good starting spot, so we're happy with that. We finished seventh with this car at Vegas and Texas, so we're going to see if we can't get a top five with it Sunday. The tire combination has thrown us a curve. The guys have been working hard, changed everything we can change and got it better. The biggest thing I've been having a hard time with it's tight getting into the center. I can't get the car to turn. I'm curious to see what it will be like in race trim. I think we'll be better off in race trim than we were in qualifying trim."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) -- Qualified Eighth
"We made a few changes and picked up a bunch in qualifying. We made race runs all day in practice. We made one qualifying run. The car is driving good, and the motor guys have really stepped up to the plate. I think we're going to be in good shape."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 77 Kodak Easy Share Dodge) -- Qualified Fifth
"I'm pretty happy with it. We gained three tenths. Let's see what everybody else gains. We're trying to get better each week with our Dodges, and anytime the driver doesn't screw up it's a good run. We were really solid in three and four. With any luck we'll stay in the top five, and it should be in the top 10 at least. I've always loved California Speedway. It's been good to me for a long time. We survived last week. We were the top finishing Raybestos rookie. It was our career best finish. If the caution flag had flown 50 feet further I would have been 10th or 11th. We'll take it. To finish 13th at Talladega and come out of there with our Dodge in one piece, the Kodak boys are pretty happy with that. We try to keep improving each week. Our career bests keep coming. You keep knocking off those career bests all you've got left is No. 1, and that's what we're working on."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Qualified 20th
"It was a good lap. It's not going to be what we thought we were going to qualify, but it'll be decent and we'll get a good starting spot. We've got a good racecar. We're running good every week now. It's fast and it's going to be real good in race trim. We're just learning more and more every week and that's what you've got to do. We slowed up a little from practice, but we'll be all right. I think we'll have our Dodge up front Sunday. It seems like handling means a lot here now. It seems like the track is a little rougher. Shocks will play a big role here, and the aero balance and all that. I don't think it'll come down to fuel mileage, but you never know."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Qualified Seventh
"The track is a little tricky today. It feels different on every lap. The wind makes it so sensitive. I wish it had more banking so the wind wouldn't mean so much. It's sensitive in qualifying because you're so much on edge in the first place. Then you get a little gust of wind and it just kind of throws you off. I don't remember it being this windy before. Two years ago it rained before qualifying, and that's why we went so fast. Last year it was pretty calm and the tires were different. Park got the pole on the second lap. Nobody can even come close to a fast lap on their second lap today."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) -- Qualified 12th
"We weren't that good in practice. Donnie (crew chief Wingo) made some changes and it was really good in qualifying. This place is easy to overdrive, and I might have done that in turn one a little bit. We got through three and four pretty good. I think the wind died down on my lap. I couldn't feel it. This morning I could feel it every time out. It's a big change from testing at Sonoma the last couple of days, but our car is really good. I'm excited about our chances in the race."