DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "That was a little quicker than we ran in practice. It's gotten hotter, but there will be some guys that run quicker than that. We're just floating the front end getting into the corner a little bit...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"That was a little quicker than we ran in practice. It's gotten hotter, but there will be some guys that run quicker than that. We're just floating the front end getting into the corner a little bit and I just couldn't get it settled down there. I kind of had to change the way that I was driving a little bit right there in the middle of everything to try to make the most of it. It's a good car and we'll get ready to race on Sunday."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 43rd)
"We changed the left-front spring right before qualifying. The car was really too tight and I just brought it up a little bit and when I went out there that thing was so loose I couldn't hardly push the gas pedal. When I drove into turn one it took off on me and I said, 'Well, I'm just gonna have to pick it up the second lap,' and it wasn't much better. It was real loose on entry and then as I exited the corner it was pushing pretty hard. That's too bad because I really thought we had a top five car here after practice, it was really good and I made an adjustment on the left-front that took it over the edge."
HOW'S ROBIN DOING?
"He's doing really, really good. He'll be back next week and be 100 percent. He needed to do that and he's in good shape. I'm real proud of him to do what he did and we're gonna have to work hard to cover for him this weekend, but we'll be on the phone with him talking back and forth."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Roush Racing Taurus (Qualified 16th)
"That wasn't too terribly bad. We decided to keep the car the same as it was after the last practice -- just giving me a consistent feel and start building what we need to build. I knew it was gonna be tight and it was a little bit tighter than what we expected, but it wasn't a bad effort."
HOW HAS TODAY BEEN AS FAR AS COMMUNICATION WITH BEN AS CREW CHIEF?
"Today has been a big learning curve because I'm not up to speed with Ben. Ben has a lot of experience and has a different outlook on the setups. The setups have been completely different. I jumped in the car this morning and it's what you would call the first seven races that we've done so far all in one morning, so it's been a big change."
WAS IT HARD TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
"No. I can tell it's gonna be better in the long run. It was tough to leave a friend of mine and somebody that developed with me in the truck series. We developed together, but it might not have been the best thing for Winston Cup racing, so I've got to have somebody to try and get me in the right direction and give me some pointers, instead of me influencing what we're deciding all the time."
ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"We wanted to be better than that. I'm not really happy. We got loose and hadn't been loose all day. I got loose in both corners and even though that's pretty good, it's not what we wanted."
HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"We got here and unloaded and were off a lot. This is our first week with Yates engines and we never seemed to get the car going through the corner like we really needed to. We've been pretty tight and ended up making a lot of changes just before qualifying. I've got to give a lot of credit to Bobby King and all the guys that work on this car. They made a pretty calculated guess on it and everything they did was right."
CAN YOU TELL A DIFFERENCE WITH THESE YATES ENGINES?
"It's hard, but these engines don't run out. It seems like halfway down the straightaway the Yates engine really gets faster and faster and faster. That's probably the biggest change I've noticed over what we had and on a track of this size that really means a lot."
TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus (Qualified 15th)
"That's a whole lot better than what we ran in practice, but I'm a little unhappy with myself. We got through one and two great, but I messed up getting into three and never got the car to the bottom of the race track. That probably cost us a good tenth of a second, but to be where we were in practice, that should definitely be top 20. That's the main thing -- being close to the front. We've struggled a little bit all day and had the car way too tight, but at the end of practice we finally got close and made some more changes for qualifying that made it better. We keep improving."
MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"Right now that's 12th and if every car beats us we're 32nd, so that's the way I look at it (laughing). I'm happy with that. That's just about exactly what we ran in practice. Compared to our qualifying efforts of late, that's a good run for us. If we can just get in there and keep digging week in and week out we'll get better and better. This is basically a new team and we've got to get in the races first. We've been under a lot of pressure the last couple of weeks in regards to our qualifying efforts not being good. We weren't in line for a provisional here, but we're finally doing what we need to do. I'm happy."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"I don't know what happened there. I thought the track was gonna be tighter and it was way looser for me, so our car just got loose and I couldn't hold on to it. I tightened my car up and it got looser out there, so the track was a lot looser for me. It's too bad, we ran good in practice and had a terrible qualifying lap. Every other week it's been the other way around -- we've been terrible in practice and been able to pick up a little bit, but today when I needed to pick up time I couldn't."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Qualified 8th)
IT SEEMS YOU QUALIFY WELL, BUT DON'T HAVE ANY LUCK IN THE RACE. WHAT'S HAPPENED TO YOUR LUCK?
"Well, I thought it was bad last year but it wasn't. This year sets an all-time record, but that's okay. The car worked good today. We missed it a little bit in qualifying today. We could have been a little bit closer than that, but I'm sure a lot of other people could have been too. That's an excellent run on the track in the condition that it's in right now and with the way the car was handling."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 14th)
"I'm pretty happy. We were pretty fast in practice and that's kind of what we ran there. We slowed up a little bit, but a lot of guys slowed up more than that. You can't ask for any more. We worked hard and that should get us in the top 12 I think. We're happy with that."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SUNDAY?
"We just didn't want to mess up qualifying and end up in the back. We wanted to start up front and that will get us a good spot right there."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 11th)
"We're having a good day. This is a track I really like running at and that should get us in the top 12 or top 13. That's all we wanted to do. We can get us a good pick at the pits. We've got a lot of momentum on this team. We feel like everything we're doing now is pretty consistent. We know what to look for to make our cars pretty good and that's the main thing."
WAS IT HARD TO FOCUS TODAY BECAUSE I BET A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE CONGRATULATING
"I tell you, the support we've gotten from a lot of other teams and the fans has been unbelievable. Everybody is really happy to see the Wood Brothers and Motorcraft back in victory lane and I'm just honored to be able to do that for them. It's been pretty tough today, but when it comes down to qualifying you've got to get focussed and do the best you can. We're really, really tickled with this qualifying effort. We'll be good on Sunday."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus
"We're a little disappointed in that. I felt like we should have run down in the .60s, but it just seems like sets of tires are just enough different as we've seen. We've seen good cars really run bad and we've seen other guys pick up, so I think it's whatever you bolt on your race car. If it matches up to what you need, you run fast. If it doesn't match up, then you're not going very fast."
ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Qualified 12th)
"That was a pretty good lap. We're pretty happy to be solidly in the field. The last few weeks have been a struggle getting qualified and to get in here solid like we did is great. This has always been a good track for me in the trucks, so I was feeling pretty confident coming here that we could do well. Now we've just got to back it up on Sunday."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 6th)
"We had run quicker in practice and actually ran a .39 or something in practice and qualified with a .47. I'm not really sure. The track seemed like it gave up a little grip, which I guess is probably pretty typical as the day goes on because the track usually gets a little slicker."
USUALLY A LATE DRAW IS GOOD.
"That's kind of how our luck goes. I wouldn't say it's rotten luck, but we had a car that I felt was a pole-contending car and it just didn't get the break with the draw. If somebody comes out here and runs really fast late, then that sort of blows that theory out of the water, but I'm happy. We unloaded and going into qualifying were fifth-fastest in practice."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Qualified 31st)
"We've struggled at the Atlantas and places like this qualifying and we did again today. We did get in and didn't have to take a provisional or anything, so that's good. We qualified 35th last year and ran second. We qualified 31st today, so this is a real long race. I certainly wish we could qualify better. The way things are going it would be a nice morale boost to get qualified well, but we're in the show. If the car handles and I do a good job driving, we'll go to the front. It's been an interesting year, that's for sure. We won't take anything for granted right now, but we're looking forward to get back on track. This is a good place to do it."