DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus "I think the track has picked up a lot. I don't think that's gonna be very good. It's hard to tell what it's gonna be because it's picking up so much, but we struggled pretty bad in practice this...
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus
"I think the track has picked up a lot. I don't think that's gonna be very good. It's hard to tell what it's gonna be because it's picking up so much, but we struggled pretty bad in practice this morning and we just didn't gain on it quick enough. I don't think that's gonna be real good, but who knows."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus
"It really screamed. We ran a 39.60 in practice and the guys put some new tires on it and they tuned the motor up and we made a couple of chassis changes. Then the old hot rod ran a 38.85 and that was hauling. This is my favorite car. This is old Mad Max, one of the best cars that Team Penske has ever built for me and it ran good today."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus
"I'm pretty happy with that lap. We were pretty good in practice too and this is a brand new race car. The guys put a great body on it and it's balanced good. I'm pretty happy with that. We couldn't decide if we wanted to run one lap or two laps, so we took some tape off and that might have hurt us a little bit, but I'm happy with that. If that stays in the top 10, we'll be happy."
DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME GUESSES SETUP-WISE FOR QUALIFYING? "No, Pat made a great decision in putting on stickers real early in practice before the rain came. We knew the rain was coming, so we got to make one sticker run in practice and that probably made the difference. I think we took a provisional here last year or qualified way in the back -- we were awful -- so to come here and run as fast as we did today, we're happy."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus
"You've got to have performance here. It's horsepower, it's car, it's downforce and these weather conditions just maximize everything -- the track grip, the tire grip. Goodyear brought a great tire and it's just a lot of fun to qualify here. Hopefully, it will hold up for us. That was a good lap for us. I think it could have been maybe a little bit better, but Kurt Busch did an awesome job too, knocking off a lap like that. It's wild going out there with those speeds. Sometimes you get into the corner a little bit faster than you think you are because of the wind."
WHERE DID YOU SLIP? "Not necessarily slip, it's just when you go out we gained over a second from practice and you ask, 'What do you expect?' So you have to kind of figure out what you expect and kind of predict the future and it's hard to do in a race car." AT WHAT DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A GOOD LAP? "I realized it as soon as I rolled through three and four coming to the green flag. When the car feels good you can push it hard and you have the confidence."
DID THE WEATHER AFFECT YOU? "It's good for performance, but it's good for everybody. It's not gonna change. It's gonna be windy, it's gonna be cloudy and it's gonna be cold the rest of the day."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus
"Four seems to be the lucky number. We drove our butt off through the corners and this is a great Roush car. Our hearts are heavy right now. Jack is making a speedy recovery and I hope he can be at the Michigan June race and join us. This is what this race track reminds me of and that's Jack's home. We're rolling as hard as we can and it's a great effort for the Rubbermaid Ford." YOU MUST BE GLAD IT DIDN'T RAIN. "It's the most exciting day. When you come to Fontana and the wind is blowing like it is, it generates fast speeds. You always have overcast when you come to California and today is track record-type conditions and we just didn't quite get it."
REGARDLESS OF THE RAIN, YOU KNEW YOU WOULD HAVE A GOOD STARTING SPOT. "Yeah, that's what we went after. We knew we could start fourth if it rained and we knew we could start fourth if we qualified. A top five effort is what we need. We're running solid and we're running for points."
JOE NEMECHEK --26-- Haas Carter Motorsports Taurus
"I had more left, but we never got to make a mock-up qualifying run. We changed the air a little bit and I was a little bit too loose. I just couldn't get back after the gas hard like I wanted to, but it was a good run. We've got a car in one piece and it was a good qualifying run for us."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus
"We've just been fighting to get the car to turn in one and two. The thing is kind of just hopping and skipping the front end across and I've got to wait to get back in the throttle. In three and four we seem to be pretty good. We're gonna be in the show because even if we have to take a provisional we'll be in the show. We've just got to work on it for race setup. Doug and all the guys have done a great job and this is our weakpoint -- here and Michigan, we haven't hit on much the last couple of years. Hopefully, we can do better in the race with the Hooters Ford."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus
"We're a lot disappointed with that. We just aren't doing a good job right now for whatever reason. We're working hard and we're trying hard, but we're just not doing good. We just can't get the cars to drive the way I need them to drive or what them to drive. I'm having trouble telling them what to do to fix it and they're having trouble giving me what I need to fix it, so we're working real hard. We'll find a way through it, but right now we just aren't doing a very good job."
GREG BIFFLE --16-- Roush Racing Taurus
HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU CHECK THE RADAR TODAY? "Probably 150 times (joking). No, I never walked over there and looked at it because I'm not a weatherman at all, but I was really, really nervous. They said, 'Boy, I hope qualifying doesn't rain out.' And I said, 'Oh, it won't. It does this out here, just mist a little bit.' But then Busch qualifying got rained out and I was just nervous. That set me off right there and I've been so nervous. That's part of the reason I couldn't drive it to the car's potential there. The track was really, really good. You can see how fast the track is and I just left quite a bit on the table because I couldn't make a mistake. I made a mistake out here testing and we lost one of our best cars, so I just wanted to get it in the show. We were really shooting for a top 20 and we'll probably be 24th when it's over, so we're pretty happy."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FIRST CUP START ON SUNDAY? "It's gonna be really cool. We're really excited for that. What's more exciting for me is I get to do two more practices in this thing before the green flag and try to get it better. I can look at some of my teammates' notes and see where I end up."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus
"The way things cooled off here I thought we had made the right moves with what we had done. We were fortunate. We ran our second set of tires before the rain came, so that gave us an idea of what the car was gonna do and what we could do. I still didn't go as hard the first lap as what I really could, so that's why I went on and ran the second lap. The car was just really sticking good, so Todd made a great call changing the right-front spring and that helped us a lot."
YOU HAD TO SHOW THESE YOUNG GUYS HOW IT'S DONE. "That's right. These young guys, we know they can go fast, but I wanted to show them that we can still do it too whenever it comes down to it sometimes. They do it pretty much on a regular basis, but I can get my times in there occasionally."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
"That's good for us. We typically don't qualify that good. I think the last couple of times we've been 23rd or so here, so that's not a bad place to start. We're used to starting in the back lately, so that's not bad. It's just a place to start and that will get us a decent pit stop. Hopefully, we'll be good on race day. We've always run awesome in our Busch cars here. We've won a couple of races and I've always been really, really fast in our Busch car. Our first year in the Cup car we ran good and last year we struggled so I'm, hopefully, looking forward to running good again this year."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus
"We were about 23rd-quickest in practice and we didn't pick up any. I think we only picked up about a tenth and a lot of guys picked up as much as a second. It's something that we're missing the combination a little bit on this Havoline Taurus. We haven't quite figured it out. This has got a new body on it for this race and it doesn't seem like it's getting through the corner like it needs to. We've got to work on it tomorrow and change a few springs and then I think we can get it to race good."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus
"It was a good day in the respect that we start off so-so and we just kept making progress. Everytime we went out we got better and with only six or eight laps that's pretty good progress."