Ford Racing Richmond II qualifying

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 9th) -- "I'm a little bit disappointed. We didn't run as good as we did in practice. I don't know if the early draw hurt us or what, but we were about a tenth-of-a-second slower than we had...

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 9th) -- "I'm a little bit disappointed. We didn't run as good as we did in practice. I don't know if the early draw hurt us or what, but we were about a tenth-of-a-second slower than we had run. We'll just have to wait and see. It just could be the track condition. I just didn't get through any of the corners. I don't think the heat of the day is the problem, but sometimes these race tracks sit a little bit and get greasy. I never have liked going early, but we'll have to wait and see."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Qualified 25th) -- "I messed up on the second lap. The second lap was gonna be two to three-tenths quicker and I just tried to get too aggressive with the throttle in one and two and just lost the whole second lap. That was a pretty good first lap. I knew what I had on the second, I just messed up. That's really gonna handicap up us Saturday night. We're gonna have to start really far back and we're gonna be in for a long night."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Qualified 19th) -- "That was spectacular. The car might not have been, but I couldn't have gotten luckier with my lap than that. The track was slicker and every slide I got in never interrupted my gas pedal foot and always ended in being pointed in the right direction and you can't do that. Part of that has to be your luck, so even though that won't be really good, it is really good for what we had."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 32nd) -- "I was too tight in the middle and too loose off. It's not good. It's another provisional and I just don't know what to say. We don't ever qualify good here and we didn't qualify good again today. It's just a bad day."

1JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 30th) -- "It was a lot slicker. I just got real loose and didn't understand it. I'd been pretty good the whole practice, but I just couldn't get in the gas. You never know about this place because it changes on you. A lot of guys have slowed down and some have picked up, but we'll take this Mobil 1 Ford and make the most of it."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 24th) -- "I'm a little frustrated because we thought we'd be better than that. The race track has been sitting and got a little hotter. We were about in the middle in practice and I believe that's where we're gonna finish. The first lap you can't run hard enough to tell what you need in the car and the second lap you know the first one isn't gonna get you in, so you've got to kind of be conservative on the second one."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 2nd) -- "There's nothing you can really throw away at all. I mean, the second lap I got a little better grip. When I went into turn one and two the first lap it was good. I went into three I got in a little high and I said to myself, 'I left a little bit laying there. Don't screw up the second lap,' and I didn't."

TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus (Qualified 12th) -- "We changed a lot of the car before qualifying because we were so bad in practice, so I didn't really know what I had. The first lap was just kind of a feeling out process to see what I had and get the tires hot and up to pressure, and then you go for it the second lap. That's the way these tires work and the way it is at Richmond. You've just got to feel it out the first lap and go for the second one and the Kmart Blue Light Special was a lot better than it was in practice."

HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Qualified 43rd) -- "We tried a different combination and it just didn't work. I don't know where we stand right now provisional-wise, I don't know if we've even got one, but at this point that's all I can hope for. We had to try something different because the last few weeks we've been struggling."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 16th) -- "That's about what we ran in practice. I see a lot of people slowing down, so from that standpoint it's pretty good. We probably lost somewhere between a half-a-tenth and a tenth on my second lap from three to the start-finish line. I probably got a couple of feet outside of where I needed to be right off the line and that hurt me, but, otherwise it was pretty good. That will give us a decent starting spot and we usually race a lot better than we qualify here."

WHY ARE THE SECOND LAPS FASTER THAN THE FIRST? "It's hard to get any grip. The tires are cold and we've been sitting here for over two hours since we practiced last. The tires are cold and the track is hot and slick, so that combination makes it difficult to get it hooked up. Once you get some heat in the tires it's not too bad."

RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 15th)
THE GARAGE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR CAR. "Yeah, my goodness. It was a pretty bizarre set of circumstances, but it didn't really hurt the team. Cosmetically, the car looked worse than it really was. It didn't really hurt it. Maybe it messed our rhythm up a little bit. I can come up with all sorts of excuses, I don't have to use Jimmy Spencer backing into me to do it."

YOUR LAP WAS PRETTY GOOD. "Yeah, the second lap I really went after it and it just didn't stick, but it's fun to have a good first lap and then the second lap to let it go."

WAS THE TRACK SLICKER? "Yeah, it seems like it's a little slicker. It doesn't have quite the grip, but it's not dramatic. Normally, when you get ready to qualify you feel like you've got a little extra and that wasn't really the case today. It seems like Jeff Gordon was the only exception."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Qualified 4th) -- "The last four or five months we haven't been qualifying great, but we've been picking up from where we were in practice. Today, we ended up 14th in practice and now we're gonna be third or fourth today. That's certainly good for us and will give us a good starting spot. Now we've got to get this Citgo Ford to handle the way we need it to handle and maybe we can be something to deal with on Saturday night."

WAS THE TRACK SLICKER? "I think the track is slicker. It almost looks like somebody broke and engine or something. I know they didn't, but there's a real shiny groove and it's just real slippery. I think it's the same for everybody. I thought it was getting slower as qualifying went, but Gordon went and ran his speed and we ran our speed, so that's probably not the case."

RUSTY WALLACE PRESS CONFERENCE -- "We qualified second and that's a good run for us. I was real happy with it. I thought I had the pole and it was disappointing not to get it. I've been trying all year long to get a pole. When you look at last year with nine poles at this time and I have none this year, I really thought I would have got it. I guess the upsetting thing about it is that every single time I've qualified second this year I got beat right at the very end by Gordon -- everywhere, so that was a tough one. I knew when he had to go out behind me that it was gonna be a shootout, but it was a good run for us. We're starting second and I'm pretty happy with it."

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN PUT YOUR FINGER ON OTHER THAN GORDON AS FAR AS NO POLES? "Yeah, it's the tires. The tires are so much different that every setup I had perfected last year is totally different this year, so that's been the biggest problem I've had. Other than that, it hasn't been bad. We've had good qualifying runs, a lot of second places and a lot of good top-10 runs, but I would have bet we'd have a lot more poles right now than none."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmy Spencer