Ford Racing Charlotte Qualifying

KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- Taurus -- "It's a very good lap for all the guys on the team. We've been struggling with our qualifying efforts over the last few weeks and we needed the little break we had a couple of...

KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- Taurus -- "It's a very good lap for all the guys on the team. We've been struggling with our qualifying efforts over the last few weeks and we needed the little break we had a couple of weeks ago and we learned a lot the other day. We're second right now, but we'll see what happens toward the end of the day. I mean, there are a bunch of good cars out there, but it'll solidly get us in the field and we'll just work on it for next week."

BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus -- THIS IS THE SAME CAR AS LAST WEEK, RIGHT? "Yeah, it's a pretty good piece and the more these guys work on it the more confidence I get and the harder I go. I think somebody is gonna run better than that, I just feel like it because of the times where the pole was earlier. But, still, it was a good lap. We ran a .40 last week, we ran a .56 in practice and anytime you can pick it up two or three tenths that's what you've gotta do. This car has been awful good and the team has been awful good. We've just gotta take it a step at a time. The thing about it is we keep improving each and every week and that's what this team needs to do. We'll get us a good solid start in the 600 and that's where we need to be come Sunday afternoon with this McDonald's Taurus."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- "I'm a little disappointed by that run. It wasn't bad, the car really handled great, but we blew up our qualifying motor. When we blew it we had to put our backup engine in there and we didn't get any time on the race track with it, so no time to tune it or anything. We got what we got, so it was a pretty good run. We ran a .48, but I thought the car was gonna be in the twenties. I honestly thought I'd be down there."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus -- "It was really good, but it just wasn't fast. A .40 isn't bad, it's nothing to shake a stick at. I mean, I hope it's in the top 25, but I really thought it was faster than that. The only thing I can think of is that you need to drive in a little bit deeper and pick that throttle up a little bit quicker. I thought I did, but it's obvious I didn't do it enough. I almost flat-footed one and two. I don't know."

DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "Well, that was a pretty good lap for us. The car's still a little bit tight, but I feel better about it that way than being loose. It was pretty good run. There'll be some guys that'll beat that, especially as it cools off some more. I think 600 miles is better for us and our team than 70 laps, but we enjoyed the other night and hopefully we can put it in Victory Lane Sunday night. We ran quick, quicker than we've been, obviously, but everybody is. That's going to maybe get us is the top 15, but there'll be a lot a guys who go quicker than that. I'm pretty happy with that. I didn't get the car loosened up enough, but that was by my choice. The other night kind of spooked me when we got that way, so we'll be good for Sunday night, I think. We loosened it up some, we just didn't go quite enough, but that was by my choice. There were a few things that we could've done, probably, but obviously running in the afternoon, not knowing just how much it was going to do tonight, we were a little bit conservative there. But we knew there were some guys that were extremely fast and we couldn't beat for the pole, so we were going to get us a decent starting spot, this should get us in the top 15 and that'll be okay for Sunday night."

CARL LONG --85-- Mansion Motorsports Taurus -- "I've had a lot of laps at Charlotte running some ARCA races and we tried the Cup race last year. Mr. (Thee) Dixon over the winter was able to purchase one of Roush's used cars and their used stuff is a whole lot better than ours. The car weighs up pretty well, but I think the body is too draggy. We did the best we could, but Mr. Dixon went and got us a true, full-blown qualifying engine and the car drove perfect. I drove it in as deep as I could get into the corner, I gassed it up as hard as I could gas up. I really thought I ran a 29.40 with the way it ran, but it didn't it was a .70 and I've gotta be proud of that. This is a dream come true if we can get in this race."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- WAS THE TRACK SLICK? "Yeah, I'll say it's slick. The last four cars are a second off. Our bad luck continues. We come here every week thinking things are gonna turn around and they just don't. We're just still going in the wrong direction. We've got a car capable enough of winning the race, but now we might have to go home with it. It's a shame." WHAT HAPPENED? "Well, the 5 car dropped a whole lot of oil and NASCAR's in a hurry to get this thing over with tonight. So, it's pretty slick out there. I think I hit it (the oil) with the right-rear and then hit it with the right-front and skated right up the race track. We've got a car good enough to win the race, but we might have to home because if you don't make it tonight you're not gonna make it tomorrow. It's just tough luck again for the Wood Brothers."

STACY COMPTON --9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus -- HOW WAS THE TRACK? "I went to turn into one and two and I guess hit the oil that somebody had dumped and the nose just took off. It's awfully disappointing. The Kodiak Melling Taurus is good. I mean, the guys worked awfully hard and we've got a great car. We're just a victim of circumstance I guess. I hate it. I hate it for the guys because we've got a good car -- it just didn't show up tonight."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- HOW DID YOU FIND THE TRACK? "Well, three and four were good, but one and two were greasy. You just couldn't get in the gas down there. It's a shame. We had a real good car. We were seventh-quick in practice and had a shot at the pole. I don't know what the answer was, but the track went all to pieces after they put the oil dry down."

ROBBY GORDON --13-- Burger King/Turtle Wax Taurus -- "I'm not gonna blame it on the track. We've got more work to do. We've made some gains. The car was comfortable it just didn't show any speed. I don't know where to start to be honest with you."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "That's what we were hoping to do. We had a great engine, a great car. Everybody at the shop has been working hard. You've gotta do it every week, but this team has. I mean, they're working their butts off right now and just doing a great job. They just keep fighting back week-in and week-out and that's what we needed was to be able to start up front and we'll see what happens." THIS CAR WON AT CALIFORNIA AND YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY GOOD HERE TOO. "It's a great car. I love this car. This whole team, they've done a great job. I think everybody is seeing that week-in and week-out this team is coming back hard and we're determined to win races and be back up front and to get back in the top 10 in points and we're gonna do that."

WALLY DALLENBACH --75-- TBS Dinner and a Movie Taurus -- "I think we made the right call (in bringing the same car that ran at California). We've just been chasing it and we haven't found a handle on it. This car is definitely better than the car we had last week, but we're not getting the speed out of it that I feel the car should be faster than what we're getting out of it. I don't know. It's gonna be awfully close."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus -- "I'm pretty happy with that. We were pretty pathetic Winston weekend and this week we've been middle of the road all day. I actually thought I could have done a little better than that, but that was the best lap I could get from the seat so we'll just have to be happy with that."

SCOTT PRUETT --32-- Tide Taurus -- "I'm a little disappointed. I'm happy because we didn't get a chance to come here and test, so we've been working hard on learning over the last week. The guys have been doing a tremendous job. The Tide car ran well and I thought we had a high .30 or low .40 in it. It's there, but here you've gotta have everything right and if you don't, you're just leaving time on the table. It just takes time. From my limited experience here I'm pleased, but for the team we're gonna go back and work harder."

BILL ELLIOTT PRESS CONFERENCE "I figured the pole would be an oh-something. It was hard to tell after Jerry ran if anybody would ever get there. I think what happened in one and two probably spooked a few guys of the guys out but it's hard to tell. There still could have been something down there, but you don't know until you get in the car and actually go. But it sure didn't phase Little E. I mean, he put it to it and I think that just comes back to the momentum you carry -- just like Jerry and just like myself. The past couple of weeks we've had a lot of good momentum carrying us into this point and that's what this business is all about. My guys are really pumped up and ready to go and let's just get the race started and see where we end up. Six hundred miles is a long way around this place and we've gotta wait and see what happens." WHERE DOES EARNHARDT JR. RANK IN YOUR MIND AMONG YOUNG DRIVERS? "Well the last two days he ranks number one. He's been able to prove himself. Whatever they've found together, and I think that comes back to looking back when Jeff and Ray came in from Busch. If you can cross that tie and keep your consistency with people and keep that magic or whatever you want to call it together -- but that line of communication, that's 90 percent of the battle in this sport. I think that's what's been good for Jerry -- getting in with all the guys there that have been in place and putting the thing together. You've been in situations and I have too that you get in and you get a mix of people that either don't get along or you don't communicate well with. It's hard because you go in the race track and you're already frustrated and it's hard to make that step. That's where I've been really good with the guys I've got week-in and week-out. I'm really surprised at where I'm at today, but Little E has been able to bring that from the Busch side and step right into this sport. They've put it together and my hat's off to those guys." DO YOU SEE THE CONSISTENCY WITH THOSE GUYS THAT YOU HAD IN '85? "I think they're farther ahead than what we were in '85, but, there again, the competition is a lot stronger today. We could be farther off in a race and come back and overcome a lot of obstacles and still run good at the end of the night or end of the day. You could do that back then, but today you can't. Track position is key. Everything is critical in these races, but he's been able to put it together on short runs and be very fast. He and I talked before The Winston Saturday night and I told him he had the car to beat. For the 10-lap run, everything I checked -- all the times and everything else -- he was the guy to beat. And the racing Gods were with him."

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Series NASCAR Cup