DERRIKE COPE --37-- MNR Productions Taurus (DNQ) "We tested good, but since we've come back we haven't been able to find it. The car has been a little bit too tight the whole time. We haven't been able to get it freed up and right there it...
DERRIKE COPE --37-- MNR Productions Taurus (DNQ)
"We tested good, but since we've come back we haven't been able to find it. The car has been a little bit too tight the whole time. We haven't been able to get it freed up and right there it pushed again and that just drags the speed out of the car. We lost RPM's from what we've been testing, so I don't know if it was the motor or what. We just haven't quite had it today."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 25th)
"We're pretty disappointed. We've been here since yesterday and this was the car we tested. We had a real good test. I guess the guys on this Havoline team tried to make it a better race car and went back and worked on it -- maybe worked on it a little too much. We're trying to get the handle on it right now. The car is real pushy and the front end wouldn't turn at all."
WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE FOR PRACTICE? "You don't have a whole lot of time. We had a lot of trouble where the car was bottoming out the whole time on the front cross member. When it does that, it just takes off in the corner. So, really, we didn't quite know what we had when we went to qualify. We weren't that good yesterday, so the guys put a setup under there they thought might be better and it just won't turn. The car will not turn getting into the corner. You can't have that at Indy, so, hopefully, the race setup will be a lot better."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 35th)
"I was way too loose. When I went into the corner the back end was hanging out on it and I just didn't get it near tight enough. We'll have to start way back, so we'll see what happens. I'm confident we'll have a good car on Sunday. I was just concerned getting through this qualifying stuff. It's always super-tough to get qualified here."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 40th)
"That was pretty awful. That's the worst the car has been since we've been here, so it's very frustrating. We were pretty good yesterday. This set of tires were in left field. It's just frustrating as good as we were yesterday and now we're gonna have to take a provisional. We had a good qualifying draw, a lot of good things going for us, so I don't know what happened. We missed it somewhere."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"We've got a good team, a good car and we'll have a fair start. That's a lot better than a lot of 'em, so we'll see what we can do."
HOW WAS YOUR LAP? "I'm disappointed. I told you I thought they were playing possum yesterday. We backed up our time from yesterday or improved some. That's not gonna be as stellar as yesterday, but I didn't think that was kosher yesterday. We have a great race car. We're running better in qualifying trim than we have in a lot of places. This place is so limited that the driver can't help much as a lot of places. I'm frustrated because I wanted to help and I wasn't able to help a lot. We'll just see what we can do here. I think our race setup should be better than our qualifying setup. We've got a good race team, so we'll just see what we can do here."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"The DEWALT car was pretty good. I got through one, two and three perfect, I just scrapped turn four. I think if we go back and add up the segments I think we would have had probably around a 49.50 or so and that would have likely put us in the top five or six. I just got too tight getting in there (in turn four) and pushed real bad coming off of four. I had to let all the way off the gas on the straightaway, so to come back and still run a flat, that was pretty good. I think we had a good three-quarters of a lap, it's just that you have to have a perfect one here."
"We're a little disappointed with that. We were good yesterday and I wanted to keep working on the car. I think that hurt us. I made a call to try something and when we did that, it didn't work at all. That kind of got us off center. It's a long story, but we didn't get the car back like we wanted it to be when we made our mock qualifying run, so we had to take a stab at it today. We were 12th-fastest yesterday on old tires. When we put new tires on it, we actually went slower but we had tried some stuff that I wanted to try, so maybe it's a case of monkeying with stuff too much. But that's what we do. We got to the point yesterday where we were pretty fast because we were monkeying with stuff and you never know when to quit, so it's my fault. I think I tried to get more than we should have tried to get yesterday and I think that hurt us for today, but we're OK."
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"We were just a little too loose. We were a little tight in practice, changed the air pressure around a little bit and was just a little too free. We debated it before we ran as far as what we were gonna do and we decided to leave it. That cost us a little bit because the car was just a little too free through the middle of the corners. That's the same we ran in practice, so that should be a decent starting spot -- somewhere in the top 20."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"We were fighting tight. It's really not a lot different than practice yesterday, which surprises me because they made some big changes. When we tested here we ran two days of race runs and never made a qualifying run. I'm thinking that's probably gonna pay off for us."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (DNQ -- Will start 38th)
"There's no sense in trying to change history here. When you pull a bad pill, it's not the same track conditions. I spun out."
GEOFFREY BODINE --09-- Miccosukee Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"We're pretty happy with that. We've been struggling since the test and yesterday we didn't run that well. We made some changes this morning and they worked, plus they tuned the engine up. This is our first effort out with this team at an unrestricted type race track, so you're up against tremendous odds when you do those kinds of things -- try to compete against teams that have run full schedules and even partial schedules. So we're really happy and I'm proud of this team."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 17th)
"The car wasn't sticking quite as good as I'd like. It was a handful to drive, but if you're gonna go fast, you're gonna have to use all of the track. We made a lot of changes and I wasn't sure exactly what it might do, but it was definitely better than yesterday."
WHY DID YOU PULL OFF AND NOT RUN A SECOND LAP? "We knew temperature-wise that we couldn't run that. If we were gonna try to maximize the very first lap, then we couldn't go because of the temperature in the engine. So I just pulled off there. We've got a decent starting spot and we'll just go from there."
WHAT ABOUT STARTING FROM THE BACK IN THIS RACE. IS THAT BAD? "No, it's not. The first time that I won it I started back pretty far, so it's not. As a matter of fact, sometimes when you start back there you tend to take a few more chances as far as things that you try to do maybe pit-wise or get out of sequence a little bit with everybody else to put yourself in a better position to try to win. So sometimes it works to your advantage. Starting up front is nice, certainly, but we'll be OK where we're at." CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RYAN NEWMAN? "I think he's got as much talent as anybody that I've ever seen. The guys can make one of these cars go as fast as anybody out here. He's learning about racing 400 and 500 miles. He's got a great head on his shoulders. He's a great competitor and he's somebody that will be at the top of this sport for a long time."
DAVE BLANEY-77-Jasper Engines & Transmissions Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"We were off yesterday a considerable amount and we made just huge changes today. Honestly, our car probably had a little more in it right there, I just didn't want totally miss the lap, and it was too hot to run the second lap. We'll take what we can get. I'd rather not start back in the 30s here, but that's what we got, so we'll make the best of it."
RYAN NEWMAN-12-ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"Congratulations to Tony Stewart and the Home depot team, those guys had an awesome lap for t he heat that they had to run in. The ALLTEL Ford was pretty good. It got a little tight there in turn three, but good enough for a top-five start. That's one better than last year, and hopefully we can race a little better." NOT BAD FOR A PURDUE GUY. "Not bad. It's could to be back home in Indiana."