RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 25th) "We were in pretty serious trouble yesterday. We didn't test here. We would have liked to, but as a single-car team you can't really cheat the system like these other guys do...
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 25th)
"We were in pretty serious trouble yesterday. We didn't test here. We would have liked to, but as a single-car team you can't really cheat the system like these other guys do by having two or three cars. They sort of blame it on another guy's test, but we can't do all that. We would have loved to have been here and tested, so we're just a day behind. We didn't have anything yesterday. We were really bad off and Fatback changed the car around completely from yesterday to today and it was better. It was too loose today and I probably left three or four-tenths of a second out there. You hear a lot of guys say it, but I think when you untape the grille a lot of that looseness will go away."
ANY THOUGHTS BEFORE YOU GOT IN THE CAR THAT, 'HEY, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I MAY DO THIS?' "That was a pretty good handful. When you have a qualifying day like today, it's kind of nice knowing you're not gonna have to do that again. But you have those days and they're not always perfect. But as far as this week being any different than any I've experienced over thirtysome years, it's really not any different. I don't think it will be until January because you always leave Homestead knowing you're gonna have some time off and this is no different. I'm just gonna have some extended time off."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 17th)
"We were just too loose. It was a lot faster than what we ran yesterday, which is a good thing. It's not gonna end up being very good, but I think our car is OK for race trim but it's really loose in qualifying trim here for me to be any good, so we knew we were gonna have to struggle through qualifying today."
WHEN YOU'RE LOOSE IN QUALIFYING THAT'S A GOOD SIGN FOR TOMORROW? "You like to think it is. I don't know if it always is, but you'd like to think it is. If you're tight in qualifying trim, you're gonna be in trouble in race trim. It's cooling down a lot, so it probably won't end up very good, but, overall, I thought it was a lot better than what we were yesterday and it was just too free to go any quicker."
KENNY WALLACE - No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Taurus (Qualified 36th)
"It seems like we're struggling. I can't get out of the car, really, want I want out of it right now. But, it's a long race, we'll keep adjusting. Just a little embarrassed, you know, with that qualifying run. Got it a little bit too tight. We were real loose last night."
WHAT'S YOUR COMFORT LEVEL THIS WEEK COMPARED TO LAST WEEK? "Just to do better than I did last week. Always do better, you know?"
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"That's a great qualifying effort. I actually screwed up a little bit in turn three there. I didn't do my job perfectly. We'll just go race. I'm so pumped about these new Office Depot Fords they built me. They're great cars. I love racing them and I'm just excited to race tomorrow."
HOW DOES THIS RACE TRACK SUIT YOUR DRIVING STYLE? "There couldn't be a better race track to come race the final race. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a great race track. The pavement seems to be getting a little bit slippery, which is fun. I love sliding around. And, it's got multiple grooves. I think it's going to be an awesome race."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"This is what I was dreading the most all weekend, but it turned out good. I want to salute my crew. They've given me such a great year. They've never given up and have always had their chin up. I think we probably have a better race car than I thought yesterday evening, so I love these guys and I really do appreciate the equipment they put me in."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAY SO FAR? "That was the most fun I've had in a race in a long, long time with the truck. I certainly have a lot to learn. I saw that today. I expected that. I knew I did. Now we know what we've got to work on for the next race and that was real important -- this race with Stonebridge Life coming on board and helping us make this race possible, and Jack Roush. This was a very, very important race because now over the winter I have some direction for my team to work, and when we come out next year I think we can start improving."
WAS THE TIRE STRATEGY SOMETHING YOU STILL HAVE TO GET USED TO? "We had tires there. I can't see the whole picture where I'm sitting in the truck and I didn't realize there was only 12 and I certainly didn't realize that every one of them behind us were gonna come but one, and did tires or I would have came. I would have had new tires and not lost anything, but we've got to make our vehicle better than that, too. Todd Kleuver hasn't had the proper opportunity to show what he's got this year based on our program being weak. We're gonna start strengthening that and try to give these next guys a better chance to show what they've got."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Post-It Taurus (Qualified 7th)
YOUR CREW CHIEF IS SMILING. ARE YOU GOOD WITH YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? "Yeah, real good. We're really worried about this race car. It's real, real loose in race trim and, which make a fast, fast car, but I was really worried about qualifying it, you know, I was nervous as heck, you know, that it wasn't going to stay under me, I saw a lot of guys spinning out. These guys did a good job. They did a lot of stuff to tighten it up a bunch. That's what we did and it stuck for us."
KEVIN LEPAGE - No. 66 Cabela's/Stihl Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"Another great effort from the PEAK team, especially with Cabela's onboard this weekend. I just gave it up a little bit in the race car. We were so worried about these guys wrecking out there, and just trying to get a good solid lap to get in the race. Just gave up about two-tenths out there, but, again, we're going out with a great note. We've had a great seven, eight weeks with these guys. Was a little disappointed last weekend, but, hey, that was only one out of eight races that we struggled with. But, we're just looking forward to next year. Jeff Stev and all the guys, they're behind me 100 percent. We're talking to Cabela's about coming back and joining this race team next year, besides several other sponsors. The Roush-Yates horsepower has been great. This whole team, if we can just start the season together, I think it's going to be a real good year for us next year."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"We made no qualifying-type efforts yesterday, we just worked strictly on race. I knew we had a really good race car. I didn't have any idea what it would do there, but it stuck really well and got us a good starting spot. I'm pretty excited about the prospects for tomorrow night."
CAN THE TEAM TAKE THE LAST RACE OF THIS SEASON AND USE IT AS A SPRINGBOARD THROUGH THE OFF-SEASON AND INTO NEXT YEAR? "There's a lot of things that we've done here differently. We've kind of stepped it up a little bit more each race. From Charlotte, we thought we were pretty good. Made some changes to go to Atlanta a little better. Texas, a little better. And now we've made some more aero changes here, so that's allowed us to do the things that we know we want to do with the chassis, so our program is much better. So, hopefully we'll just continue that direction and that'll help us get off to a good start next year."