ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Saturday, Aug. 6 SCOTT WIMMER (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge): "Not too bad. We didn't slow down too much from practice. Pretty comfortable, not a lot of grip, sliding around a little, but...
ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Saturday, Aug. 6
SCOTT WIMMER (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge): "Not too bad. We didn't slow down too much from practice. Pretty comfortable, not a lot of grip, sliding around a little, but that's what's fun about this track. It just loses a lot of grip and during the race. It's a lot of fun." (About impound rule): "Really, we just worked on race setup. We are in by points anyway so we didn't have to worry about qualifying. Hopefully our car races as good as it felt because it felt real good. Just missing a little speed, but that is what you have with impound races."
BRIAN VICKERS (No. 25 Garnier Fructis Chevrolet): "I wouldn't say we came here feeling like we have anything in the bag by no means, but I have always enjoyed this track and the test went pretty good, and this team is right now is really clicking. The GMAC Chevy team is awesome. We were real happy with the car in race trim, and we taped it up, and it turned out to be a pretty decent qualifying car. We'll see what happens. Coming here to the Brickyard is just amazing. I don't even have the words in my vocabulary to describe it. You can't even really compare, it's just two traditions, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. This race really carries its own weight, and it means a lot to the drivers and the fans."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge): "The car was just really, really loose, and we couldn't run near the way I wanted to run in qualifying. We did our qualifying runs about midway through practice, and because of the impound race, we had to focus on getting the race setup right. We had to loosen the car up a little bit to get that right, and we never made another qualifying run. I think between the sun being out, the track temperature being up and some small adjustments being made on the car it would have made it better for the race. It hurt us on qualifying. It's not a good thing; it's not fun when do you do something like that, but we're here and we were fast time in practice. The biggest thing we have to do now is to fix this race car and get it back going for the race, because I think it's a good race car."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Rally's Chevrolet): "(The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard) is definitely ranked up there with the Daytona 500. It's steadily getting more and more coverage and seems to be more and more important to all the teams and drivers to try and win here at the Brickyard. Getting out there and qualifying was OK, but I thought we slowed down a lot because the track temp was so different. It was so much hotter, about 20 degrees hotter. Our number one draw was the best we could do. Yesterday, unfortunately, the way the rain changed the schedule, it ends up being the worst we could do. So that hurt us a lot, but we will be OK in the race."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 44 ditech.com Chevrolet): (About Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "It's a neat place. It's a tough place to race, and track position is really important. It is kind of hard to pass sometimes. I think the thing that's so neat about is all the history and tradition over the years that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has." (About qualifying): "We're not very good. We weren't very good in practice. Our race practice was pretty good and we got ready to qualify, and we weren't really that good."
RICKY RUDD (No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Ford): "I'm more excited about our race effort then I am our qualifying effort. I'm not sure where that is going to end up shaking out, somewhere in the top 10, I feel like. We spent 98 percent of our time working on race trim. This car was run at Pocono, and we learned a few things there. Finished in the top 10 there with it, and the guys tweaked on it a little bit, and brought it back here. I am real happy with the way it runs."
BORIS SAID (No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet): "I think this is the most pressure that I ever felt in qualifying. I wanted to make this race so bad. At the Daytona 500 -- one of the biggest races in the world -- it was all car in qualifying, and I had a great car there. Here, it is so easy to mess up and miss your marks. I don't have that many laps around this track, so to be able to outqualify someone like Bill Elliott, I mean, I feel like I won the race so far. I'm in the show now, and I'll get some experience, and that's what I need. There's nothing left now in the world where I can race that I would even put on my list. I've done them all -- all the big ones."
KYLE BUSCH (No. 5 Kellogg's/Delphi Chevrolet): "Practice today, and when we were here testing went well for us. We're just trying to get a good feel for the race car to the track. We've just been working on that basically, trying to find that. It hasn't been too bad. I am pretty optimistic about the race tomorrow, and I think we'll have a good shot for it. It's definitely one of those places where you love to come here and participate. To have that for myself with the opportunity Hendrick, Delphi and Kellogg's have given me, I am very optimistic about this week, in general. But we still have to produce the result we need to, and that's just to be out there and have good pit stops and be solid all day."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 49 Red Baron Pizza Dodge): "(The Indianapolis Motor Speedway) is the granddaddy of the racetracks. Daytona is our granddaddy, the Super Bowl, but when you talk racetracks in the world, this is it. So it is special any time you can come here."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 50 AlliedBuildings.com Dodge): "I never even got the green flag. I spun out coming off Turn 4. I don't really know what happened. It just got real, real loose. I just thank Don Arnold for giving me the opportunity, but it won't happen this year."
JASON LEFFLER (No. 11 FedEx Express Chevrolet): "It's all right. The guys did a great job. We've been working hard. We were one of the few guys to pick up. We had a good draw it turned out with the new changes to the schedule and everything. The car is decent in race trim, and hopefully it would get us a top 10 this weekend. It would be awesome." (About chance of finishing in top 10): "I think they are really good. If you are off a little bit, then you fall way back. But all you have to do is gain a little bit, and you can go way forward. The guys are working hard. Mike Ford and I and Spider and everybody on the crew are really working overtime." (About changes to track from the new diamond grinding): "It honestly feels about the same (as last year). It doesn't feel like that much more grip. I think I ran faster last year than I did this year. We had more spoiler last year, too. As always, the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway did a first-class job. They always do. Any time they do any improvements to the track, you know it is going to be good."
MIKE SKINNER (No. 23 The History Channel Dodge): "We slowed down a lot like six- or seven-tenths, something like that. Rusty (Wallace) went in there and crashed. I watched it. I said, 'I think Rusty just got in there a little hard.' It looked like he just got tight, and when he tried to save it he got up in the wall. Maybe he got loose in the loose stuff or whatever. I really felt the racetrack was OK. I took our History Channel car in there and found out that the race track wasn't OK. There was something down there. We just jumped sideways and wiggled awful hard. We just had to get out of the gas. I just tried to bring it back around, and fortunately it was just enough to make the show."
JEFF BURTON (No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet): "We were a little bit too tight, a little tighter than we wanted to be, so we freed up. With this impound rule, we are just way too loose to qualify. I think we are OK for the race, but pretty pathetic for qualifying."
MARTIN TRUEX JR. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet): "I was a little nervous coming into it. A lot of the guys who had to qualify to make it in the race were faster than us this morning. Our car was really good off the trailer in race trim but for qualifying, it got real loose. The guys did a lot of work while I was out at IRP, and they made it a lot better. Just real happy we got a good qualifying lap in. It's just a real cool race to be part of. It was really fun to be a part of the Daytona 500 and now this."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet): "We were pretty realistic to believe that the impound would help us. We knew our car would race well, and we also were confident that we could use our race setup to qualify well. Impounds are cool. I like them. They came along 20 years too late, though. Maybe I could have won a few more races if they'd done them a little sooner. I would love to win here. I love to win anywhere. But any time you can pick up a Daytona 500 or a Brickyard 400 certainly means a lot. I believe we can win it. Kasey Kahne's car's running really good. Matt Kenseth's car is running really good. Tony (Eury) Jr. made some changes to my car, and I was loose all day long. Just then I was still a little loose, but not as loose as some of the others. I'm thinking the changes he made will help me in the race, as well. I thought when we started practice this morning that I could get the pole. I felt like my car was going to be fast enough to get the pole. I don't really know how I could have gotten three-tenths faster. Elliott (Sadler) put down a good lap. I thought I could when I left, but it didn't work out." (Did the track get faster in qualifying?): "I think it was probably the perfect scenario of the equal track. The first guys that went maybe suffered a little bit, but then again, that's usually the case after a track sits awhile. The track temperature was consistent from the beginning of qualifying to the end. The darn deal with a 10 o'clock Saturday morning qualifying is ridiculous. And it's unfair. It all depends on who draws what number. So now we had us a fair qualifying session, and we came up with a good qualifying spot." (More Waltrip to come in transcript)
MIKE WALLACE (No. 4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet): "Unfortunately, our qualifying run wasn't anything too great. It's the slowest lap we've run the whole time we've been here practicing and everything. It's a disappointment for the whole Lucas Oil Chevrolet team. We came here with high hopes thinking we can run really well. It doesn't appear as if we will be able to run the race." (About impound rule): "We should have probably done better period than everybody else did because we just put ourselves in qualifying trim regardless. We just didn't turn as good chassis-wise as we had been, and it bit us now."
MORGAN SHEPHERD (No. 89 Cornerstone Bancard Dodge): "We didn't get to come up here and test and we practiced on seven cylinders. We really didn't get to give the car justice. That was about as good as we could expect."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline-Texaco Dodge): "It wasn't bad, just a little bit loose. I saw that Casey obviously got into the fence there and my car was a little bit loose on the first lap, and I thought I would run it mid-pack and try to get it fixed for the race. Not great, but not bad. It's just going to get faster. It's the luck of the draw as to where you go out at. Sometimes going out early is good, and we're in the middle so I guess it doesn't really matter for us."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Eng. & Trans. Dodge): "It was definitely disappointing. We didn't have the speed in the car that we thought we were going to get. We slowed down a couple of tenths from where we practiced. We thought we were going to get some speed just putting a little bit of tape on the car and then really going for it for a lap, but it got pretty loose. I was a little bit surprised. It kind of took me by surprise because we were fighting a tight condition for most of the day. Hopefully we'll untape it and be all right tomorrow. It's definitely warmer right now than it was this morning. You just lose a little bit of grip, so I'm not really sure what the factors were. We did some things on our own that probably contributed to it."
CARL EDWARDS (No. 99 AAA Ford): "That was a backup car. We had a tire explode in our primary, and it ruined it. That was about my third lap in that car, and I didn't have any qualifying practice. That's OK; we didn't wreck, and we'll be in the race."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet): "It was good in race conditions. It's just that this impound racing for this car isn't good for us today."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Fruit-of-the-Loom Chevrolet): "We're pretty happy with it. We stayed focused the whole time. We stayed focused and didn't get too discouraged. I never knew what to believe with all these lap times that would pop up, and we wanted to make sure that we did something that was real. There was a bunch of guys that got tows and stuff, and you really didn't know what to believe, but I'm very happy with that."
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet): It was definitely exciting. I just didn't know what to expect with the heat, and I got pretty free there in qualifying. I just couldn't get the throttle down, and I tried giving it all I had, and man, you're right there on the edge. That thing wants to come around when it's loose like that. We'll take that. We have a good race car."
DAVE BLANEY (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet): "It was just way too loose to run fast. That's what you get into with these impound races once in a while. You don't want to compromise any of your race trim so we just have to figure a way to do it better to make that one good lap. I'm sure we'll race good; we just paid the price today."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Box Tops/Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge): "We actually lost a little bit. I thought we would run more like our morning practice, but the temperature's a lot hotter. Of course, all of us want to be better, but that was a good run for our Cheerios Dodge. We tested really, really good. We really worked on race setup all during testing and all this morning. We just threw in a banzai run at the end. You've got to get a good starting spot. I would think that will help us get a good, competitive day tomorrow."
KEVIN LEPAGE (No. 37 Tequila Patron Dodge): "Actually, I am pretty happy with the way the Tequila Patron Dodge ran. It ran and responded the same way it did all day today. Mark and all the guys did a great job. The only thing is we just lost a half of a second. Most guys have been losing three-tenths or six-tenths. We lost a half of a second. We are just hoping that it will stand up so we can be in this big race tomorrow. But if not, we gave it our all, and we will have to get ready for next week."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet): "We almost had a top five last year, and I was really happy about that. The field is going to be a lot tougher this year than it was last year. We are going to have to pull some stuff out of our butts like some pit road strategies and stuff like that to get some spots. My pit crew will be on their game." (About the big crowd): "This is crazy. This is amazing. It beats anything I have ever seen as far as all the fans who show up for qualifying." (About the help of teammates): "It is just hard to pass. Teammates won't be able to pass you. Where they help you is where one is fast and one ain't (fast). You can swap information and stuff like that. That helps out a lot. Like Michael (Waltrip) was pretty good today. We've been benchmarking off of them a lot here lately. It has helped us out, and we'd be foolish not to use that information." (About the weather): "It is still real humid. The temperature hasn't cooled off a whole lot, so that has a lot to do with that, I believe. The track with the added grip, you will be able to have guys run comparable speeds within an hour before what you run. It has closed that gap a little bit. It is not as quite as temperamental as it used to be."
KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet): "It wasn't bad. We were just a little too free. It wasn't a terrible lap. We ran the same thing we did in practice. That's good, considering everybody else has slowed down. The car did really good after a couple of laps in race trim, so we're pretty happy with it. We were pretty loose coming off of all four corners, so we made some adjustments beforehand just to make our car a little bit tighter. We probably didn't go quite enough, but all in all, it was pretty good."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet): "It is always an adventure around this track with these stock cars and this flat, fast race track. It is always tricky. I am really proud of these guys and the DuPont Chevrolet team. We grew a great number, and that certainly played a role, but I am really happy with the information we gave back and forth and the adjustments we made for qualifying. This being an impound race and as good as I felt our car was for the race, to be able to qualify up front like that I am really excited about this weekend." (About his setup): "Most guys are in race setup, and they are just making big adjustments to air pressure and different things. That is the way we were. We are in full race mode but just playing around a lot with air pressures and track bar and adjustments that we can make. I felt a lot better for the race than I did for qualifying, so that is certainly encouraging. The lap was a good lap. The car was well balanced. I got a little bit loose over in (Turn) 3, and that cost me who knows how much time, but it did cost me a little bit of time. To be sitting where we are right now, I am pretty happy."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 38 M&M's Ford): "It's one of the fastest race cars I've ever sat in in my life. It's faster than the car last year we had here last year that we finished third with. We've spent about six months preparing for this one race, and right now it's showing for us." (Regarding last year): "We ran too good to finish third, and I remember getting out of my car on the front straightaway and watching Jeff Gordon celebrate with the fans, and I almost wanted to cry. So we decided to come back and we need to do two positions better. My crew chief's won here twice. I would love to give him his third win here and my first win. We came loaded for bear. Doug Yates did a great job with the motor. Me and DJ got a pile a motor on that hood now. We just got to put it all to play and put stuff to the ground and go get them on Sunday." (More Sadler to come in transcript)
DALE JARRETT (No. 88 UPS Ford): "We were way faster than that in practice qualifying and thought I'd be able to improve on it. But it was just way too loose. Unfortunate, but that's what we have to deal with. We have to come from the back."
TONY RAINES (No. 92 TBA Chevrolet): "It was real disappointing. We should have run better than that. We ran a lot better than that in practice. The motor didn't seem to run. We lost RPM, and the car was a little loose. I guess those two factors there slowed us down. So we don't make it. We'll try again next year."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge): "We didn't get a good lap in qualifying. Here this morning I thought we could've run a flat or a 90. I thought we could've run it flat here now, but we didn't. The car was a little loose getting into the corner, but it's going to race really good, I think."
MIKE GARVEY (No. 66 EAS Ford): "I don't know if the temperature just got us or what, but we didn't run nowhere near as fast as we did earlier today. It's going to be pretty marginal whether I get this in the race at all or not. We're a little disappointed in that, but we'll just hold out hope and see what happens."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 91 Stanley Tools Dodge): "I'd be surprised (if it's good enough to get in). We're going to be on the corner of it, I'm telling you. We try to do race trim and we probably screwed up, you know. I don't know. We're just going to have to see where things shake out here. Right now, it's just one of them deals, take what you've got and go from there. I felt like we left a lot, kind of on the table. The problem is that we've just got to get it figured out."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Marsh Stores Dodge): "We were pretty quick. We had a good run. We didn't do much in practice. We kind of struggled in practice, but once our guys hit our qualifying stuff, we were really good. What we got is what we got and that's how (an impound race) affects setups. That's just how it goes, man. What we got is what we got, and that's pretty much it."
GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 National Guard Ford): "I got a good race trim, but I just wasn't very good in qualifying. I think we're going to have a good day (tomorrow). We've got a fast race car. The problem is, we're just going to have to come from the back."
MATT KENSETH (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford): "I'm frustrated that we're not running as good as I thought we would this time of the year. I'm pretty happy with our car. I think it's pretty good."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 00 Aaron's Chevrolet): "We've been behind the 8-ball since we got here. Michael Waltrip tried building me a car and, you know, we didn't get it tested and it was all over the place. But, you know, you come here, hoping to make the race. I've made it all, and it looks like we're going to miss this one. It's a little heart-breaking, but we've just got to be a little bit more prepared."
MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Viagra Ford): "I lost the front end the last two corners. It's going to be great in the race because we're going to qualify better than usual, even though I didn't get my best lap. I'm really pleased with our speed because it wasn't the best lap that I could've got. We were a little too tight, I lost the front end a little bit on Turns 3 and 4, but it's going to be really awesome in the race. It's a great car, one of the best I've ever had here."
MIKE BLISS (No. 0 Net Zero Best Buy Chevrolet): "I hit three corners really good, and I missed the last one. I missed four. I got greedy and went in too hard, and I got loose and had to baby it off. I screwed up, actually, quite a bit there. It'll put us in the middle of the field, but that's not where we wanted to be. We just practiced a little bit today and weren't too bad on race trim, but we'll just see what happens. It depends on the weather. If the weather's bad, who knows?"
TONY STEWART (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet): "It wasn't what we wanted, but it's still going to be a good race car. I got a little bit tight in three and couldn't get back in the gas, which, you know, the cloud cover helped us, but it ended up biting us, too, a little bit and got us too tight." (About passing at IMS): "We've done it in the past; there's no reason we can't do it again."
STUART KIRBY (No. 51 Marathon American Spirit Chevrolet): "We had a good practice run, but during our qualifying run, I don't know, it felt like something was dragging, so we didn't get the speed we needed out of it. We just didn't get the right speed, so, we thought we could back up what we ran in practice, which would have put us pretty good into the race. So we're very disappointed in the Marathon Chevrolet, but we'll get them and we're going to Michigan, so we'll just learn from this and take it to there."
P.J. JONES (No. 34 PEO Pros Chevrolet): "We unloaded, and we were pretty decent and got better and better and we were like, mid-pack for a while and in the high 20s and then all of a sudden, I don't know, everything went the wrong way and I don't know if it was a motor issue or what we've got, but it's just slow. It's unfortunate, and we knew there was a chance, coming in here with our small team, trying to get in this race and unfortunately, we missed it."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge): "I was loose at the get-go coming off of Turn 4. Coming to the line and I hauled it down into 1, thinking the tires just needed to get up to temp a little bit. I got down to 1, and it just never got to the bottom of the racetrack. It got up on the track, and I couldn't even pull it down, and it just got out from underneath me and that was it. I just can't believe that. I'm surprised how much we tightened the car up from practice and still needed to go more. The backup car is the car I wanted to run here. This is the car we raced at Pocono, and I can race this for sure, so we're bringing the 35 car. It's one of my better cars and the first one I wanted to bring here to start with, so it should be a good car. That's probably the best car in the house, to tell you the truth."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): "That's all we do is race stuff. That's why I was worried about qualifying. We were 41st in practice. The one qualifying lap we made in practice wasn't that good and we ended up, like I said, 41st. The guys made a few changes and we came out and it was perfect. Just a little bit on the free side, which is what you need. Jjust a great race car." (About track conditions): "At this point, it changes so much. It might be a little better now, but it's always slick. Our car was good. I'm not saying the track was good. The track's always a little bit. We just kind of prepare for that. I'm just so happy. If I was going to be happy in the top 15, I'd have been real happy, so at least second right now is real cool." (More Mayfield to come in transcript)
BOBBY HAMILTON JR. (No. 32 Tide Chevrolet): "I'm OK with it. Of course, we have other races, I mean, we have to get in the show first, and we'll just go from here."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): "Yeah, I'm happy. We were hoping maybe to track for the pole, but just wasn't in it. We were a little too loose all the way through Turn 2 and Turn 4, but those are the key corners for tomorrow in stock car in order to pass and in order to run good, and those are where we were our best today. If you take the tape off and take it out of qualifying trim and the race trim, those are our two best corners, and that's pretty big here, I think. With a stock car, it's real big. I'm real excited here for tomorrow. If we end up here in the top five, we'll have a great opportunity at the Allstate 400 tomorrow." (Ray Evernham has won here several times as a crew chief and as an owner): "He has something everywhere, and this is one of the tracks he really strives to run well. He always has. I'm just lucky enough to run his cars and have that opportunity to try to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard."
KURT BUSCH (No. 97 Crown Royal Ford): "It was just real loose. We were just trying to sort out the race package all day, and didn't make many runs qualifying. The tape really makes a big difference, it makes the car real loose, and that's a good indication for tomorrow. We were just trying to get a decent lap. We thought we were at least top-15 material, but we were way too loose on that run. We'll just come from the back, and it's always happened for us before."
CHAD KNAUS (Crew chief, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson): (What was the problem with passing inspection?): "We just had a little problem with the chain that holds the droop on the right rear. NASCAR didn't like the way it was. It wasn't a big deal. We were trying to fix it; we just didn't have time. We didn't come up here and test, so we spent a lot of time after practice trying to make sure we had the exact shock and spring package on the car that we wanted. It put us behind from the get-go. We left the garage about 15 minutes later than we were supposed to, and that put us behind. And then when we had that issue with technical inspection, we just couldn't recover from that and get out there in time." (Have you talked with Jimmie?): "No, I haven't talked to him yet. I'm sure he's probably a little upset. But I'll go over there (Jimmie's motor coach) and talk to him, and everything will be fine."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge): "I am happy with it because we almost backed up what we had in practice, and I think the track is definitely hotter and has lost a little bit grip. That's the good thing; the bad thing is that it wasn't good enough for the pole. So I think the track is going to continue to cool off here a little bit and get a little bit better, especially in Turn 1, especially in the shade. We'll just have to see where we'll end up. Hopefully it's in the top 10. We've had a pretty good string of qualifying efforts here, and we don't want to ruin that. But tomorrow is the big day."