JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) Third place qualifying interview "We had a good lap. We thought we had a good car yesterday in race trim. Obviously how we qualify is how we race now, so that's a good sign. We went out...
(No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
Third place qualifying interview
"We had a good lap. We thought we had a good car yesterday in race trim. Obviously how we qualify is how we race now, so that's a good sign. We went out early, so that helped us. Brian went out a little later, so he must have a good car, also. We had a good lap. The Dodge Charger is running good. It's balanced good, so we'll see what happens.
"We pretty much did all the race stuff yesterday, so it should be just like it was. I feel real good about it. I know the conditions will change after the Busch race and on Sunday, but it's as good as we can possibly get it. We can work on it during the race, but hopefully there's not going to be any drastic changes going on with the weather or racetrack.
"The tires are good at first, which allows a lot of speed for a lap or two. Then they slow down, which should bring pit strategy and all that stuff back into play. Every stop you'll have to decide whether to take two or four. Most guys will be taking four all the time. It should be interesting. It's part of the deal and part of what makes NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing exciting.
"Right before we started to qualify my crew chief said 'get us a good lap and you can have the rest of the day off.' I said, 'if I give you a good lap we'll all take the rest of the day off.' It's pretty neat. It's more of a relaxed practice session for me. You're not stressed during practice because you've got to qualify right after. I think practice helped us a lot and that should help us a lot on Sunday, too. It's been pretty cool.
Is there a difference between the track now and when you last tested here? "Yes. There's a big difference -- speed for one and the winds were another. I'm not sure if all of you here are familiar with what happened with the test, but we had like 60 and 70 mph gusts going on in all different directions. About the time you thought you knew which way it was going to go, or you've got it figured out, it would change on you and blow the other way. It was a tough way to test. We didn't really feel like we gained anything at the test. But we went back and learned a lot more than what we thought. When we came back and there wasn't any wind blowing it was like an added bonus."
How are the cars performing with the different spoiler height here? "We'll know more about it after the race tomorrow. But that's going to be something that, I think, if you went and asked everybody in the garage area -- if this was the end of last year -- and you said, 'Do you want to add an inch to your spoiler, or do you want to cut an inch off your spoiler?' I'm pretty sure that you'd get, 'Add an inch to the spoiler we had last year.' And we cut an inch off. I don't know how the racing is going to be. I know that the cars are pretty free right now. Then you have to tighten the chassis up and all that to overcome that. And then when you get in traffic and you take the air back off your car, you're even going to be looser or tight-loose or something. We're not sure what's going to happen yet, but we'll know tomorrow."