Indianapolis: Friday practice quotes

DAY 1 -- FRIDAY, AUG. 6, 2004 Brickyard 400 Post-Practice Quotes JASON LEFFLER (No. 60 Haas Automation Chevrolet): "The Haas Automation Monte Carlo ran really good. The guys are doing a great job. We had a great test here, took the car home...

DAY 1 -- FRIDAY, AUG. 6, 2004
Brickyard 400 Post-Practice Quotes

JASON LEFFLER (No. 60 Haas Automation Chevrolet):

"The Haas Automation Monte Carlo ran really good. The guys are doing a great job. We had a great test here, took the car home and worked on it and made it even better. Of course, you have all that Hendrick horsepower under the hood, which helps on these long straightaways. Indianapolis is incredible. I just love coming here. I'm really excited just to be a part of this race, and come tomorrow morning hopefully we can start somewhere up front. It is a really fast race car. Maybe we have a little bit left. We have a good draw, we go out 11th, and that's going to be a lot of it. I'll just be happy to start somewhere. I'll be ecstatic to start somewhere in the top 10. I'll just be happy starting the race tomorrow. We got a busy day going back between IRP (for the Busch race) and here. Once I run that lap tomorrow, I'm going to be happy man, and if we're solid in the field, I'll be real excited."

ROBBY GORDON (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet):

"We're pretty happy with it. The car was out of the box quick, and I think that's real important because tomorrow we'll come back and just do two laps. You're going to have to make it count right out of the box, and that's what we focused on today, being quick out of the box, not doing a lot of laps and not just bang off a quick lap as you can. Strategy for Sunday is to stay up front. Track position is worth so much. It's a different tire than what we used last year, and tire management will be a little different. Last year, we were able to do two tires, and this year I don't think you'll be able to do that with this Goodyear tire."

KURT BUSCH (No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Ford):

"We went out for the first session and just grazed the wall a little bit so the crew guys will have to work overtime tonight. It was nothing severe, all the lasers turned out straight, just a little cosmetic damage. Our NASCAR boys can take cosmetic damage and get away with it, where Indy car guys can't. Tomorrow we got a great draw for qualifying, we'll be going out early, and we'll have the nice, cool, morning sun draping down over our Sharpie Ford and hopefully give it a good run. I think we were sixth last year, so we hope to better that."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 30 America Online Chevrolet):

"We just went into race trim and did a bunch of race work. We are not looking much at speed charts today. I did like my car in race trim. We go out late to qualify tomorrow anyway, so we may be in a little bit of trouble on the draw. We will just take what we will get."

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet):

(About his chances for victory): "It's hard to say. You don't know until about halfway through the race where you're really at, to be honest. But I'd like to think we have as good a shot this year as we've ever had."

MATT KENSETH (No. 17 Smirnoff Ice/DeWalt Ford):

(About his point situation being different going into this year's Brickyard 400 than last year's): "I don't think it'll really approach the race or how we run the race or anything like that. I think we'll do everything the same. We're fairly comfortable in the top 10, but with one or two problems, we could be out of it, so we have to be careful to make sure we're still in the top 10. But at the same time, whether you're fourth or fifth in points ahead doesn't matter when it comes to race number 26, so you definitely go out there and run hard and try to win."

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge):

"Our car is really good. I think all three of our cars are top five. So the car is good. We go out late tomorrow, and that's not good here with the heat, but maybe since it's so cool out, it will be this weekend. We qualified like 20-something last year, and I think by the first pit stop I was in the top five. So if your car is good here, you can pass. You've just got to hope you can turn down underneath guys. But qualifying is important everywhere."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge):

"Pretty good. We wound up, I think, third quickest. It is pretty good. You want to be number one, but it was only our second time out on tires. We got a bad draw. It sucks how they do the qualifying up here."

JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet):

(About new point system): "It is what it is. We just have to get to work and try to win the championship either way. There's a lot of people talking about it, but there's a lot of races left. We're not the champions right now. We have about 16 or so races to go before we could ever be crowned that anyways, regardless of the point system. We'll just keep up the good work and hopefully be there at the end when it counts."

KIRK SHELMERDINE (No. 72 Freddie B's/Embassy Suites Ford):

"The day actually went pretty well, but, boy, we're awful slow. The car is actually a lot better than it was when we tested a couple weeks ago. Everything is great. We're just about three or four seconds off. That's not going to get it. We always find a good bit, but it is not going to be enough. It is one of those 'throwing good money after bad' situations. It is time to fold this hand, I think."

-ims-

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Series NASCAR Cup