MATT KENSETH - No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 6th) THIS NEW FORMAT SEEMS TO AGREE WITH YOU. "I guess so. I never liked really just working on qualifying setup all day on Friday and qualifying Friday afternoon. To me, it almost...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 6th)
THIS NEW FORMAT SEEMS TO AGREE WITH YOU. "I guess so. I never liked really just working on qualifying setup all day on Friday and qualifying Friday afternoon. To me, it almost seems kind of silly because it's just a starting position and you're not really working on the race. But this was kind of fun because you can come out and work on the race setup all day Friday and basically go tape it up and qualify it. So that part is fun. The way the schedule is though, I wish we could do more on Saturday and less on Friday - do some more race practice. It's kind of weird. If you're not in the Busch race you sit around all morning, run two laps, and then sit around all afternoon. It's kind of a weird schedule, but I like qualifying what you race. I think it's a good idea. I think eventually it'll save everybody money and we won't waste time working on qualifying. We work on the race and that's what's important."
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? "It was nice and solid. There was probably a little more time out there, but it was a nice, easy, solid lap that will hopefully get us in the top 15. I've been happy with our car. It's been surprisingly fast the whole time we've been here and it's been driving good, so I'm looking forward to the race."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"I kind of messed us up yesterday on our mock run. I was a little over-optimistic and caused the car to push real bad, so we over-adjusted a little bit with the sun and everything. I got up higher than I meant to and then I had to go through the dirty stuff there where Blaney's car was and I just couldn't give it any gas until we got clear of all that. It really isn't gonna be that pathetic considering we fumbled and stumbled. It's still gonna be 15th-20th, so you know you've got a good car when you can stumble and fumble and still be respectable."
YOU HAD A GOOD BUSCH RUN. "The Busch car is killer. It's gonna be bad-fun, but this car is good, too. It's 500 miles. We start 20th every week anyway, so we're not gonna be far from where we're used to starting."
JOHN ANDRETTI - No. 14 VB/APlus at Sunoco Taurus (Qualified 24th)
2-FOR-2 IN QUALIFYING THIS YEAR. "I'm sweating but not because it's hot. I'm glad that's over with because we were really, really loose. In qualifying that's as loose as we've been during testing and everything. I was really concerned because I brushed the wall coming to the green even. I got sideways coming to the green, but it'll be good for the race. It'll turn now for the race."
DID YOU HAVE A QUALIFYING SETUP IN THE CAR OR RACE SETUP? "We had a race setup and that's why it's so loose. The whole point is that we have a starting position. That's the most important thing being outside the top 35. I'm just happy to be in. It's sort of a downward spiral kind of a thing. If you set up only for qualifying, you make the race but then you don't run good enough in the race to get the points to be in the top 35 and you never actually get out of the hole. So we're trying to do both sides and play both sides of the table. It's not any fun, but you know what? I think it's right. I think NASCAR has done the right thing, it's just not right for me right now."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"That was our first clean lap at qualifying. Yesterday we had trouble with traffic out on the track, so it was a good run. It's just a new program and everybody is trying to figure it out so today wasn't too bad for us." THE FORDS ARE DOING PRETTY GOOD COMPARED TO DAYTONA. "This isn't Daytona. It's our downforce-style race track and we'll see how it balances out. It's still a little too early to tell."
YOUR BROTHER ON THE POLE RIGHT NOW. "That's pretty early in his career to be sitting on a pole and he'll probably get it because it's gonna get warmer and I don't think anybody can challenge him."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"The car drove really well to me in race trim and that's what we were concentrating on. We had already decided coming out here that if we gave up something qualifying that's fine. We're not gonna be too concerned about that. It's a 500-mile race and you've got plenty of time to adjust your car and work your way to the front. I didn't really expect that lap to come out of there, but I knew with the adjustments that Mike had made for qualifying that I could be a little bit more aggressive than what I was yesterday when we made the one attempt that we made. It's pretty exciting." DAYTONA IS A DIFFERENT ANIMAL, BUT WILL THIS BE BETTER FOR THE FORDS? "We can only hope it will be better. I started on the pole and didn't get the chance to lead a lap and it was unfortunate. We obviously have some work to do there. We thought we'd come a long way, but we're still getting beat at those places, but now we're at California and this is what we have to worry about. I think our package is much better here and I think that it gives everybody - no matter what make of car you have - you have the opportunity to run well here. If you get your balance right and can work the traffic, then you'll be in good shape. It's gonna be interesting to see as we get into traffic how those spoilers make the cars drive, so it should be an interesting day tomorrow."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Post-It/National Guard Taurus (Qualified 5th)
HOW WAS THE LAP? "It was perfect. I tell you what, I'm so excited. I can't be more excited for the race tomorrow. This Post-It/National Guard car is a car that can win here. It's just a little bit on the free side and that'll be just right on the money tomorrow. Hopefully, we're gonna have the same kind of run we did at Miami. I feel like we are."
MORE ON HIS LAP. "The Post-It/National Guard car is good. The sun came out right there and that's not what we needed, so it was a little bit too loose right there. What that tells me is that race car couldn't be better for tomorrow. There's no way you can qualify and be the best and in race trim be the best. I think we're the best in race trim here and I think it's gonna show tomorrow."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"I was just loose. The track is slicker than it was yesterday and I felt like that's about as good as I could do. That's as fast as I could go and it was a handful, but we feel really good about our race setup. That's what we took a stab at right there and it just didn't go as fast as we needed it to. If we would have been just a little bit tighter, we would have been better."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"They worked on it late yesterday afternoon and made a chassis adjustment. I was real happy with it in race trim and I know Fatback said that's gonna help us in qualifying trim. I didn't realize it was gonna help us that much, though. It was a big pickup."
HOW WAS THE LAP? "We're still learning this qualifying situation like a lot of guys. Some guys seem to have it figured out, but that was much, much better than we had run yesterday in practice. We worked on race setup all day yesterday. I was really happy with the race setup, but we didn't really do much with qualifying. You get real aggressive with your qualifying setup and you go down in the corner and grind your front air dam off, then you're not gonna be able to race good. So we haven't quite got all that figured out. This is sort of the best compromise on qualifying. We're gonna end up somewhere around 17th or 18th and I know we're gonna race well."