ROBBY GORDON (On the effect of the diamond grinding): "I thought it would be really hard on the tires. I haven't been out there to check out the track since the Indianapolis 500. It's something I will probably do tonight, if it got smoothed out ...
ROBBY GORDON (On the effect of the diamond grinding): "I thought it would be really hard on the tires. I haven't been out there to check out the track since the Indianapolis 500. It's something I will probably do tonight, if it got smoothed out during the race or if it's still rough and grainy. It feels like it has a lot of grip. We're just getting up to speed. We're in race trim right now, so once we get into qualifying trim the car will get a little more iffy,and you'll be able to feel it a little more." (On what can be gained from the rain-shortened day): "What it will allow us to do is do a lot of research tonight, work on it real hard and then come back tomorrow with at least a little better understanding of Indianapolis in a stock car. We'll progress quicker tomorrow than today."
RICKY CRAVEN (Did you learn much despite the short day?): "We did. Our objective today was to run both cars and settle in on a car, and we've done that. We'll have a great day tomorrow, sort of isolating it to one car and getting as many runs as we can." (Thoughts on the track surface): "It's first class. It's very nice. It has a lot of grip right now. That's a challenge here at Indy during the heat of the day. I was impressed with how much grip it had under some very difficult circumstances."
TODD BODINE: "Fortunately Donnie (Wingo, No. 26 car crew chief) had a good setup to start with. They were on the pole last year with Jimmy (Spencer), so we had a real good setup, and we just refined it and got better and better. So it was real easy for us to get going." (The drivers have had different opinions on the diamond-ground surface, what are your thoughts?): "I can't tell the difference. It's got a lot of grip, but it's always had a lot of grip. It's smooth -- there ain't a bump in it, but it's never had bumps. I think for those guys, the Indy cars, they're so much faster the grip factor is a lot higher, and the downforce is more, so everything is multiplied. For us, we're just big old heavy cars just sitting on top of the racetrack so there's not as big a difference. But it's nice. Surface is great."
KURT BUSCH: "You got to utilize it (short day) the best you can. Being pinched by the rain hurt as far as the overall logistics of the day. We had to change things around and go to more of a short-term program, which is what we do on a normal day." (On the track): "It's incredibly different; it's fast. We're not even out of the throttle all the way in Turn 4. That's just in race trim for us, so it's going to be incredibly different. We brought back more downforce, more power. We're probably going to set a track record this year."
MARK MARTIN: "It appears to be better than usual for us. We didn't do any qualifying. You just have to prioritize your stuff and get on it." (Any difference in tire wear, handling or grip this year?): "Not too much. Not too bad. Tires seemed to last. Grip seemed to be a little better. By the time it gets sunny I don't know if it will differ too much or not."
STERLING MARLIN: "We lost a little time, doing what we need to do. Seems like everywhere we've went this year it's rained, when we're testing. The track seems in real good shape. The track, since it's been ground, has got a lot of grip to it. Look at us, we're a second quicker in race trim than last year, or a second and a half. Everybody is, too. It's not just us. Used to, you'd get out in the black stuff the car would just take off. Now if you get into it you can still stay in the gas. It won't push."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (Did you notice the SAFER Barriers or ground surface?): "No. I didn't even think about it." (General thoughts on the track): "I like it pretty good. It's kind of difficult to get your car to handle good going around here for some reason. We've run all right here the last couple times. We didn't finish real good, but we ran up front all day. It's really difficult as a driver to get around a flat corner, for sure. It takes a lot of finesse and ability and a good-handling car. We tested a Chicago and we kind of brought the same setup we learned from there to here. A lot of tracks do cross over." (What did you learn from today?): "Not a whole lot. We tried a few things, but I don't know if we really learned much from it. Tomorrow will be a long, hard day for us."
STEVE PARK: "We got a good start on tomorrow. Tomorrow's supposed to be pretty good. It's better to be on track for a couple hours today than not at all. It kind of threw us a curve ball with the rain, but we got on track and the track is really in good shape. The soft walls have not changed the line, and the racetrack is in good shape. We've got a lot of grip throughout."