ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 Pedigree Taurus (Qualified 16th) "I'm really frustrated. We're just struggling this weekend. I mean, that's fast, I know, but the track's just so much faster. We're not that good at all. We got a lot of work to do for the...
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 Pedigree Taurus (Qualified 16th)
"I'm really frustrated. We're just struggling this weekend. I mean, that's fast, I know, but the track's just so much faster. We're not that good at all. We got a lot of work to do for the race tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
"HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IS IT TO PRACTICE ONE DAY AND ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY THE NEXT? "That makes it tough, too, but we're struggling so much that it makes it that much worse. We'll see, maybe that'll be in the top 25 and we'll go from there."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 6th)
WITH AS FAST AS THE TRACK IS RIGHT NOW, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR TIME? "Yeah, just the way we were able to run a 48-second lap time. But the way that the car has been running in qualifying trim, it has been horrible. Just the condition where we can't even approach the corner with any speed - the car wants to jump to the right. So, we're struggling to find out what that is. We've changed everything geometrically, and toe-wise, you just can't get it right. I think it's aero, and once we put it in race trim, we'll be good.
DID YOU TEST HERE? "No, we didn't run a test, and we would've found this stuff during a test, but we felt comfortable. We haven't worked on the car at all for speed. We've jut been trying to get this problem worked out of the car."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 34th) - IT WAS ESTABLISHED EARLY THAT THE TRACK WAS GOING TO BE FAST. WERE YOU HOPING THAT YOU WOULD'VE PICKED UP AS MUCH SPEED AS MANY OF THE OTHER DRIVERS? "Yeah, obviously. When you get that opportunity with a good draw, you got to take advantage of it. We just had some problem yesterday with the front end of the car, and we tried to fix it with the chassis and it just was way too tight today, so it just killed our speed."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 31st)
Yeah, fairly happy. Once the sun came out, it slowed down half a second, and those guys that went early had a big advantage. The guys who go late have a real disadvantage. We're right there to out-run the 8 and the 10 and those guys with the same track conditions - we're pretty happy with it. The car was still little too tight up off the corner, which hurts the straightaway speed a little bit, but I think it'll be in the race, that's the main thing.
IS THE DRAW HERE VERY IMPORTANT? "Yeah. This is probably the worst time of day to have qualifying. They need to start it about noon. The track doesn't change a lot from noon to 2:30 or so, and that' when you need to be doing this, not at 10 o'clock in the morning."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Rent-A-Center/Motorcraft/USAF Taurus (Qualified 43rd) - "This car, we ran it at Loudon, and it was a pretty good car there, but we had to do some body work and we brought it back here, so it was untested. I think it'll race good, it just will not turn on the qualifying lap. We go down into the corner and turn the steering wheel, it just keeps going straight. It doesn't want to go around the corner. So, we've got a little work to do."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 Smirnoff Ice Triple Black/DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 17th)
It was pretty good. I thought it was decent. I think the track conditions slowed up some from this morning, and I was pretty with my lap. It was pretty good.
FROM YOUR STANDPOINT, GOING OUT 19TH, AND YOU SEE SOME OF THE SPEEDS THAT WENT UP EARLY, WHAT RUN THROUGH YOUR MIND? "Well, you run a hard as you can run every time you go out, but the track here, it's such an advantage to go early and a disadvantage to go out late. We're kind of in the middle, so hopefully it'll end up okay. When it's cool here, it's a big advantage. If you come and test and you run a lap at 9 o'clock in the morning compared to running a lap at noon, it's almost always a second faster. The track here changes a lot with weather conditions. You can't do anything about the weather, but if it was totally sunny with no clouds and qualified from 2 o'clock to 4 o'clock that would probably be the most fair for everybody. But, it's just the way it goes. We had a draw in the middle. We didn't have a real late draw, so that's alright.
IS THE DISPARITY HERE BIGGER THAN EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE CIRCUIT? "It's pretty big, just because the corners are kind of tight, but it's a two-and-a-half-mile race trackand you carry so much speed, so it's a lot of speed, it's not a tenth or two, it's always like a half a second or three-quarters of a second, it seems like, so hopefully the weather will stay pretty constant and keep warming up and I think we'll be okay if it does.
YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT TOMORROW? "I was real happy with my car, I mean, I wished could've run faster there, but I just think that it backed up enough. I think if we could've ran early, we had a real good car and could've run quicker and that. So we picked up from yesterday in about the same conditions so I'm pretty happy with that."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 25th) -- "I am happy with it. I would have liked to have qualified better. If we would have gone out at 10:15, we'd be up there pretty good.
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT THOSE EARLY RUNS? "Yes and no. I mean, they were fast because it was cool. The sun has been out now and this track deteriorates really fast. I feel like that was an awesome run for what we had to work with. It wasn't a pole run at any time, but that's pretty fast for what we had to work with. That won't put us in a good position. We're gonna start 25th or something like that. It's not awesome, but it's awesome for when we went."
BRETT BODINE - No. 11 U.S. Micro/Brick Car Taurus (Qualified 37th) - "That's not gonna be quick enough. I'm just really disappointed. You can't do anything about the weather and we just happened to catch the time when the track was at its hottest. We could have been better. Mark ran faster than us right ahead of us and we just missed it a little bit, but it doesn't take much here.
A LOT OF EFFORT WENT INTO THIS THOUGH. "Yeah, so much effort. It's mind-boggling and draining. I don't know what I'm gonna do from here."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 18th)
The sun keeps coming in and out here and then I look over there and it looks like the clouds are gonna be here the rest of the day, so that's gonna hurt us and knock us down. This track is really sensitive with temperature. I left some on the table there. I mean, I left a fair amount on the table, but it's my first time around here, so I just didn't know what to expect and I didn't want to overdrive it. You're better to underdrive it than overdrive the car. That will get us a top 20 starting spot, maybe a top 15 depending on what the weather does, so I think that's good.
MARK WAS HAPPY WITH THE LAP CONSIDERING WHERE HE QUALIFIED. DO YOU FEEL THE SAME? "Absolutely, yeah. The sun has been out quite a bit. Nobody is gonna beat the 29 car, I don't care what happens. The track is not gonna get back there, I don't think. Unless it cools way off, he'll probably be on the pole."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Taurus (Qualified 20th)
I didn't think the car was that bad fighting the weather deal here. It depends what you get for the track temperature. I think the car was a little tighter than I was hoping it would be. I ran so good yesterday in the heat of the day, so I didn't know what we'd have in cooler temperatures, but we got what we got.
CONSIDERING THE SPOT OF THE DRAW ARE YOU HAPPY? "With Stewart going out one spot after us and running a tenth better, yeah, I'm pretty happy with that. I didn't think he car was that good at all. It was quite a bit too tight and that surprised me. I saw it right off the bat that the weather was gonna be a factor and I'm kind of disappointed that it did, but that's part of it."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Citgo Taurus (Qualified 44th)
It's been real frustrating because we came here and tested the week before last and had a great test. We felt real good about our stuff and we unloaded and haven't been anywhere near like what we test, so I'm real confused about that. I don't understand that one bit, so then we got behind and we've just been kind of having to guess at what to do and we haven't hit it. I don't know what to tell you. When we left here from testing I was thoroughly pleased and we can't get anything near like we had here testing, so we don't understand it. That's all I've got to tell you. I don't know. We certainly hope when we get the tape off of it and go to race trim that it's better than it is in qualifying trim because in qualifying it drives awful. It's not that we're not working or trying, it's just that we got behind somehow."