ROBERT PRESSLEY -77-Jasper Engines Taurus (qualified 15th) - "It ain't bad, I mean, the car felt good out there, that qualifying run. It's a little quicker than we ran in practice and everybody else just slowed down a little bit. We're real happy...
ROBERT PRESSLEY -77-Jasper Engines Taurus (qualified 15th) - "It ain't bad, I mean, the car felt good out there, that qualifying run. It's a little quicker than we ran in practice and everybody else just slowed down a little bit. We're real happy with this Jasper Engines Ford. It's the fastest we've had out here in Dover in a couple of years."
MATT KENSETH -17-Dewalt Tools Taurus (qualified 31st) - "Yeah, we're pretty thrilled. We've been struggling since we got here with the Dewalt Ford. I don't know, we did this last time we came here, too. We were really bad in qualifying and just can't figure out what we need to go fast. So, pretty confused right now and pretty disappointed with that lap, so will have to start work on tomorrow."
MARK MARTIN -6-Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (qualified fifth) - "I just told him I don't think there was much left there. We were off a little bit today in practice, and we didn't quite run as fast as we did in practice, and the sun's out now, and I think the track's a little slower. We were 12th in practice and that's probably about where we'll wind up in qualifying. The car's just not quite fast enough today."
KURT BUSCH -97-John Deere Taurus (qualified 10th) - "The track, it's hard, because it's concrete and fast, you don't know how far to put it up on the edge. The more and more laps you get, the better you learn the track. The John Deere crew really helped me out getting me situated and acclimated to the car. We're just working on the first day. Hopefully, it'll be top 25, so we can work on it for the race set-up." RIGHT NOW, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE LAP? "Yeah, it ain't bad. We wished we could've picked up a little bit with our time, but we'll take it."
JIMMY SPENCER -26-Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus (qualified 26th) - "That wasn't that good. We have not got this car driving good yet. We have been loose ever since we unloaded. We've done a ton of things to it, we've got it better and better and better, we're still not where we want to be and now we're ready to go racing. Everything we tried to fix, tighten it up to qualify, now we're gonna have to take back off to get ready to race because it'll push in the race. So, it's just a stagger. Goodyear brought a tire, it has a lot of rear stagger in it. That's the only thing I can attribute it to. We haven't got it figured out yet, some other teams have. We're just a little too free, especially from the middle up off, right in the apex of the turn, when you put power to it. And that's usually stagger."
1BILL ELLIOTT -94-McDonald's Taurus (qualified seventh) - "It was a pretty good run. It was really, really good, I mean really good in one and two. I had a little problem in three and four, but overall, I'll take it."
KEVIN LEPAGE -16-FamilyClick.com Taurus (qualified 30th) - "We've been fighting a free condition since we've been here. We thought we fixed it for qualifying. The car's just too free in the center there. I think it'll be good come Sunday, but for a go-fast lap it was just too free for me."
RUSTY WALLACE -2-Miller Lite Taurus (qualified fourth) - "It really slowed me down. Took some air out of the right rear tire, tried to get it hooked up a little better but it was just way too loose. I shouldn't say way too loose, but too loose to run the speed I needed to." ON HIS LAP. "Yeah, third-fast. That wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. I got a little too loose off of turn four and had to pedal the car a little bit. Other than that it was a good run, it was good through one and two, but when I came off four, I said, 'Man, it's not going fast enough.' I had to lift out of the throttle and that hurt me."
JEREMY MAYFIELD -12-Mobil 1 Taurus (qualified first) - "This team's working hard. The last couple of weeks we've been really good or really bad. But, man, Mobil 1, Goodyear, everybody's still behind us. The Mobil 1 team's really working hard to get back to where they need to be, and this what we need, right here."
SCOTT PRUETT -32-Tide Taurus (qualified 34th) - "Just too tight. We were real conservative going into qualifying, thinking that the track would loosen up, but it didn't. Stayed too tight." NOTHING TO WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT? "Well, concerned with the speed, make sure it's enough to get in the race."
JEFF BURTON -99-Exide Batteries Taurus (qualified 21st) - "Man, I'm happy with that. We made first round here in the spring and looks like we'll make first round today. Probably three years in a row, we took provisionals, a 35th or something, so expectations aren't real high here. I don't have a really good feel for the car for qualifying here. To make first round, it's a goal for us, it's a low goal, but it's realistic for us at this point."
DALE JARRETT -88-Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (qualified eighth) - "Good through one and two and when it got to three the car just didn't stick there. I was carrying a lot speed, probably more than we had been and just washed up the track a little bit and that hurt our lap, probably hurt us a good tenth."
RICKY RUDD -28-Texaco/Havoline Taurus (qualified 14th) - THE POWER STEERING WENT OUT? "Yeah, disappointed as heck. We had a shot at a pole, I think. I noticed it just as I started getting up to speed, I couldn't hardly turn the car, and I said, 'Well, I gotta put in a lap.' And, that was the best I could do with no power steering. It's amazing we ran as fast as we did."
ELLIOTT SADLER -21-Citgo Taurus (qualified 22nd) - "Pretty good. We made a bunch of changes right before qualifying and were probably one of the few cars that didn't slow down. So, we're pretty happy with that. We think we got it driving better for racing conditions. Probably should've been on the gas a little more. Twenty-second is a little bit disappointing but, hey, that's first round, that's what we came to do and that should be a decent starting spot for Sunday."
HOW MUCH EASIER IS THE WEEKEND WHEN YOU QUALIFY IN THE FIRST ROUND? "A lot easier. That way we can concentrate just on the racing stuff in the morning, and we're gonna sleep better tonight. We've been running really well here lately in racing trim, so we're looking forward to Sunday."
KURT BUSCH PRESS CONFERENCE
WHAT IS YOUR THINKING NOW, YOUR CONFIDENCE LEVEL AND THE WAY THAT YOU FEEL ABOUT RIDING IN WINSTON CUP? "We just got to get back in the transition of the truck this afternoon, and then we'll be able to concentrate fully on the Cup car for the rest of the weekend. It's just Jack Roush's equipment, the opportunity that he gave me to jump in it and go. I mean, it's really just great people he's got around over there, and the Cup program is running top notch. We got a little bit of work to do with the 97 car and, again, we're searching for a sponsor for next year, so we got some work ahead of us."
HOW BIG A DIFFERENCE IS IT BETWEEN THE TRUCK AND THE CAR? "It's quite a bit different at a track like this, the speeds are relatively high for the trucks and for Winston Cup, so the trucks with the drag that they have down the straightaways, they just don't get down the straightaways as quick, and, of course, they're always looser in the corners. They're a bit harder to drive, where the Cup cars are stuck with the aerodynamics that they have. It's probably a less of a transition from a Busch to a Cup, but it's tough for me because I haven't been able to jump back and forth between cars for a few years now."
JEREMY MAYFIELD PRESS CONFERENCE
"I'm excited about our team. We've had a couple, three, four bad weeks here and come right back and get the pole. There again, story again, we just keep fighting back, keep coming right back to the top. So, if we can just have a good car on Sunday, we'll be in good shape here. This is the car I had at Bristol that when the caution came out and Bobby Hamilton hit me in the back and just about totaled it out. We took it, put it back together, put a new body on it and, man, the guys did an awesome job on it."
DESCRIBE THE QUALIFYING RUN. "We were good in practice and then all of a sudden, I saw the 10 car, he slowed down a little bit, Rusty slowed up a little bit, and we were concerned about what the track was doing. Everybody we talked to, they said they kind of loosened up from their practice times. So, with two or three cars to go, we put a little extra in the right front tire, and went out and stuck and was perfect. You couldn't ask for any better. When you get a pole in the Winston Cup Series, your car has to be perfect, and that's what we had today."
ON BEING FAST ALL DAY. "I think we were the only car that kind of backed up from what we ran at practice. And I think just due to track changes, this place changes a lot and you gotta be careful not to let your left front hit that apron because in qualifying we all try to run a little bit harder and try to hustle the cars a little more, and I was just trying to make a good, smooth lap like we did in practice and ran the same speed. Just went fast. When you got a fast car, it makes my job easier, for sure, and makes the whole weekend go good."
WHAT DOES BEING ON THE POLE DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE FOR SUNDAY'S RACE? "Mentally, anytime we have something good happen to us, it pumps us up, you know, gets our confidence back up. We've had a couple of bad weeks and then when you do that, these teams get in slumps, the guys, morale, all that stuff goes down, and we needed this to get us right back up. We're confident that we can win the race on Sunday, we got a great race set-up, great engines from Penske Engines, and just excited about getting it going."
TEAMMATE RUSTY WALLACE HAS THE TRACK RECORD HERE. DID HE GIVE YOU ANY POINTERS? "Yeah, he did. He was the one that told us he got loose in qualifying and a lot of other guys did. Probably, if he hadn't told us that we wouldn't have made the last-minute air-pressure adjustment, so that's probably what helped us. Rusty's good here and Bristol and all those places, qualifying, and lately the Mobil 1 team has been stepping up a little bit in qualifying and I think a lot of that is he's got so many poles to put the heat on us, so we had to try to get us out here." HIS RACE STRATEGY. "Well, we're gonna not do what we did at Darlington and try to just dominate, you know, we don't want to do that for sure because that got us in trouble. We'll be there at the end, and we're gonna do whatever he have to do to be there the last 50 miles or whatever, and that's where this team needs to be. We're fast, we've got good cars, we just seem to either beat ourselves or something goes wrong. So, this week we're gonna focus hard on being there at the end of the race, having the car in one piece and then try to win the thing. I think we can honestly win with this car, it's a great car. It's just a matter of us, if we beat ourselves or not, and that's what we're focusing on."