MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 2nd) "That was an awesome lap. I don't know where that's gonna put us, but it's surely gonna be in the top 15 I would hope. It was really fast. The car was a little bit choppy, but, for the most part,...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
"That was an awesome lap. I don't know where that's gonna put us, but it's surely gonna be in the top 15 I would hope. It was really fast. The car was a little bit choppy, but, for the most part, it was just really good."
DURABILITY AND SPEED ARE KEYS HERE, RIGHT? "That's the same as everywhere. You just have to balance it all. Some races are 300 miles and some of them are 500 miles, but you still have to balance it all. You have to say it's 500 miles plus 100 miles of practice here, so we've got 600 or 650 miles to go on our engine and we have to have it tuned for that. You've got to handle good. That's what wins races. What's under the hood this weekend, that's what we've got, and it's awesome, but you can't make that better or worse over the weekend. You can make the handling better or worse. That's what really makes or breaks you."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 37th)
"That wasn't very good. We've struggled since we've been here and it continued right there. The car is just not very good."
JON WOOD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 39th)
"I don't even consider it a lap. With what happened to Ricky's dad and the circumstances leading up to it, I don't think anybody is really in the right frame of mind, and I'm certainly not in the frame of mind to go out there and run as fast a lap as I possibly could. I just kind of wanted to make sure I didn't wreck it for him, so the car is in one piece and I think he'll be able to drive it. I think the stuff we worked on during practice yesterday and today will probably be beneficial for him, so maybe it'll be a good thing."
THOUGHTS AFTER THAT? "When I got out of it there was a spoiler on it and a grille, and stickers on both sides. That's all I wanted to do was make sure it was in one piece. It's very unfortunate what happened with Ricky's dad and everybody's thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. It's so unfortunate. I have always wanted to drive this car and I think I can name every reason and every circumstance other than the one to get in it now. It was not even bittersweet, I was just there filling in a space that needed to be filled. I hope the practice we did yesterday and today will be beneficial for him in tomorrow's race and we'll see what happens."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 23rd)
"That was awful. I probably tried to hard. We ran pretty good in practice and didn't do a qualifying run, but I thought I could run quicker than what Mark did. What we just qualified was what we ran in practice in race trim. I just tried too hard and had a terrible lap."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 15th)
"I'm ready to go racing. I've been more comfortable this weekend than I have in a couple of months. I just know we have nothing to lose. We're already on the outside of the chase, so we can't do any worse. We've come here and we need to run good. The guys we're running against in the chase are gonna run good. We need to try to win this race like we did last year. We think we've got a top 10 car and we'll keep massaging on it all night." HAPPY WITH THE LAP? "Yeah, because I didn't make a mock-up run in practice and we were just kind of guessing right there. I think that's gonna be in the top 15 or top 16 and that's respectable for not making a mock-up run. I'm proud of my guys and the adjustments they made to the car. They made it pretty good."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 4th)
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? "I don't know. We changed shocks for the race and I'm just proud of these guys. We had to abort a qualifying run (in practice) because it was so loose I couldn't even drive it, which is unusual. That qualifying run there, the thing just stuck to the race track. The track's got a lot of grip right now. I'm just excited about maybe getting the National Guard/Charter car up there in Victory Lane, but it looks like probably another good top five run for us."
ANY PREDICTIONS WHEN YOU MIGHT LEAD ON SUNDAY? "I don't know. The way that thing qualified it looks like it should be pretty quick again, but we'll see. You've got to lead the last one. That's the one they pay the money on."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Smirnoff Ice Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"It's great. It's just team communication. Jack came in and corralled us all for a meeting and it was like, 'Jack, we're gonna be fine.' He was worried that we were on the low end of the speed charts. This track, it's different than Michigan from a driving style, but yet the setup is still the same. So it's good stuff that we learned in Michigan."
WHAT ABOUT THIS TRACK AS FAR AS HAVING INTERESTING RACES? "This track keeps getting better with age - high groove, low groove. Right now, we're gonna start the race during the day and end at night, so there are so many things that you can adjust for at California. And then with the new gear rule, you're gonna want to run the top side, so that will be interesting. It will be fast on the low side early on, but then you have to run the top side. I enjoy this place. I have fun everytime I come here."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"I'm not the greatest qualifier and I'm learning a lot. Our team has been working really hard and, hopefully, that will hold up for the pole. Whether it does or not, that was a great run for us. I'm really excited to get to start up front in a race that we really need to run well in."
WHAT ABOUT THE POINTS STANDPOINT FOR SUNDAY? "I want to win this race. To win our third race in our first year would be awesome and I think this is a place where we can definitely do it. But, at the same time, I'm very aware of the points situation. To come out of here and distance myself on the good side of tenth place would be awesome."