CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 AAA Taurus NOTE: Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 AAA Taurus, will go to a back-up car after his primary ride suffered a blown right-front tire during this morning's practice session. The primary car suffered minor ...
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 AAA Taurus
NOTE: Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 AAA Taurus, will go to a back-up car after his primary ride suffered a blown right-front tire during this morning's practice session. The primary car suffered minor damage.
"I'm really glad we didn't hit the wall because that's a great race car. Right now, it's minor chassis damage, but mostly just sheet metal. That was just crazy. I'm driving down the back straightaway, we're working on getting the car to turn a little bit better, and, all of a sudden, this big bang, and the hood flew up. The tire just exploded. It was an audible explosion. The Goodyear guy said that's not normal. We probably ran over something. Maybe the back-up car is faster, though, because this one isn't that fast right now. So, it could be good."
YOU HAVEN'T RACED AT IMS YET. WHAT ABOUT THE LOSS OF TRACK TIME TODAY? "The track time is a concern, but I feel like the track is pretty straight forward. We came here and tested, and Kurt Busch helped me a lot, and I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to run around the race track. It's just getting the car to work. Right now, we need to get this other AAA Ford to be balanced well, because we came here and tested and we were really fast, and since we've unloaded this morning we've just been so tight we just haven't been able to get up to speed. So, I don't think the track time is so important for me right now, I think it's really important to get the car set up."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 31st)
"We were way faster than that in practice qualifying and I thought I'd be able to improve on it, but I was just way too loose, which is typical of the impound deal. To be right in the race, you're gonna be a little loose in qualifying and it seemed like that's what we were. It's unfortunate, but that's what we've got to deal with. We'll have to come from the back."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 24th)
YOU WERE A LITTLE TIGHT? "When I say tight it's just comfortable and you probably needed to be a little bit on the free side. I didn't get back to the gas quick enough in one, but from there I felt like it was a reasonable lap. I was running way warm whenever I came off of turn four and anytime you get these over a certain temp, then it's gonna be a little bit more difficult. It didn't have quite enough speed. This car hasn't had a ton of speed since we've been testing, but it seems to hold on really good and, hopefully, that's gonna be the case where we can maybe get some track position at times that we need."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 9th) - "The car has to be pretty good. A lot of those guys slowed down a half-second and we were able to duplicate what we ran in practice. The sun seemed like it's hiding on us right now. I hope it comes back out. We're gonna end up pretty good. I'm not sure where, but we're gonna end up pretty good."
YOU HAVE A GOOD CAR FOR TOMORROW? "Yeah, real good. I'm real excited with the way it drove in race trim and that's what we spent 98 percent of our time doing is working on race trim. That's where we think we're gonna be successful."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"I didn't think we'd qualify that good. I knew we were gonna have a great car in race trim. I didn't think it would be that fast in qualifying trim, but, again the guys surprised me. Todd and the guys made great adjustments from practice. I don't think that will hold up because we've got some clouds moving in and it should get cooler, but it should definitely be in the top 10 and that's all I can ask for." CAN THAT HOLD UP? "I don't think it's gonna stay on the pole. There's too much cloud cover and it's too cool. We've got Ryan Newman coming up and Gordon and a lot of heavy hitters, but that will definitely be in the top 10. The main thing is we've got a great car for Sunday. It's one of the fastest race cars I've ever sat in in my life. It's faster than the car we had here last year and we finished third with that. We've spent about six months preparing for this one race and right now it's showing more."
DO YOU FEEL THERE'S UNFINISHED BUSINESS FROM LAST YEAR? "Yeah. We ran so good. 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 almost wanted to cry. So we decided to come back and we need to do it two positions better. My crew chief has won here twice and I'd 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 have a pile of motor under our hood right now. We just have to put it all in play and make sure it hooks up to the ground and go get 'em on Sunday."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 20th)
"It was a lot slower than I hoped it would be, but we had a little bigger set of tires for qualifying and it made the car a little loose. You can't race very good with a pushing car here, so it was too loose to go any faster, so I was kind of encouraged that was the case because in the race you need to keep your car turning real good and I think we'll have a car good for the race."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 AAA Taurus (Qualified 38th)
"We just needed to get through that lap. We didn't make a qualifying attempt (in practice). I had about three laps on that car, so that's fine. We're working with what we've got. We had to go to that car and that's what we've got. We'll work hard all day tomorrow and it'll be alright."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"We've got a great car. That wasn't the best lap that I could have got with it. My car was better in practice. I lost the front end the last two corners. It's gonna be great in the race because we're gonna qualify better than usual, even though I didn't get my best lap."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Crown Royal Taurus (Qualified 37th)
"I was real loose. We were just trying to sort out the race package all day and didn't make many runs qualifying. Tape really makes a big difference. It makes the car real loose and that's a good indication for tomorrow."