Indianapolis: Qualifying quotes

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): (Are you surprised by the conditions?): "It's kind of surprising for this place. You got to take what you can get. You think you draw a good spot, and sometimes it doesn't turn out what you want it to...

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): (Are you surprised by the conditions?): "It's kind of surprising for this place. You got to take what you can get. You think you draw a good spot, and sometimes it doesn't turn out what you want it to be. It looks like it will be equal, otherwise the next few guys may go faster. It looks like we got all we could out of our car. If I went back and re-ran it, I don't how I would do better. I was very pleased with the car. We'll have to see where we'll end up."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet): "The guys did a really good job taking notes and getting information from the other teams, plus the track is really cool right now, so there's a lot of speed in the track. I'm really happy with the speed we've picked up, but we're still going to be a long ways off." (Where do you need to start to be competitive?): "You've got the wrong idea there, bud. We've haven't qualified good here the last few years, but we're still competitive in the race. I don't know what we need for qualifying. We used to kick butt here in qualifying, and I'm not doing anything different. The cars are still great race cars, but we're off somewhere and guys have found something that works. Our teammate seems to have found it, and maybe we need to look at our approach, but for the race, we'll be fine."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet): "Not fast enough right now. It's going to be close. There's so many cars that are so close in qualifying trim. We just didn't get everything out of it. It was a little too tight, but we still got a good lap out of it. Anytime you can break the track record somewhere, you're going to really go fast." (Will your car be a good race car?): "Absolutely. It will be better than in qualifying."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet): "Hopefully the weather will stay consistent because the schedule is a little unfair for the guys who drew late. In racing you like to see things be constant. This isn't, but if the clouds stay over it could be." (On the changing conditions): "It's faster. Anything you can get good on hot day is better than a cool one."

DALE JARRETT (No. 88 UPS Ford): "You get that opportunity with a good draw and you've got to take advantage of it. We just had some problems yesterday with the front end of the car, and we tried to fix them with the chassis and it was way too tight today and just killed our speed."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge): "It was pretty good. We didn't pick up as much as we wanted to. I got through (qTurns) 1 and 2 the best I ever have, and then I got down into (Turn 3,) and I was feeling pretty good because I had gotten through there so good and something happened. It just went straight. It didn't turn for me, and we lost all our time there. Hopefully that will get us in solidly and have a good day Sunday."

JOHNNY BENSON (No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac): "Not too good. I'm just sliding all over. We've had that since we've been here. It's a little discouraging, but at the same token, we'll get it ready for the race and see what happens. Today didn't go as well as we'd like to have seen."

TONY RAINES (No. 74 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevrolet): "We picked up a little bit, but we needed to go in the first 10 cars. It was a little overcast, and it was cool. The sun come out and warmed it up a little bit. I think that's about half a second than we ran in practice. We did what we needed to do, but I think it will be enough. The track had good grip. The car was better in (Turns) 1 and 2, and I screwed it up in (Turns) 3 and 4. I was hoping to run a 49.5, so we're close." (On first Brickyard experience): "I'm still nervous, and I ain't even on the track now. Obviously we want to qualify for it, but it's going to be tough because the track is changing."

HERMIE SADLER (No. 02 TNA Wrestling Pontiac): "Track is great, and the car drove good. We just didn't get the speed that we wanted. There's a lot of things that go on here that we're not up the speed on. We drove good. We gave it the best effort we had. It just doesn't seem like we can get the speed that we need. So we're a little disappointed."

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet): "The car didn't handle good. It just didn't drive good. Didn't feel good. It was just uncomfortable. It wasn't set up good enough, I guess. I don't know. I just drove into the corner and didn't have the grip I need and couldn't cut a faster lap." (Do you have a good enough race for tomorrow?): "Yeah, it's (400) miles. It's a long race. There's plenty of race to make it happen. It just depends on how cautions fall and if you can use things to your advantage. But your car's got to be handling to get to the front. No matter where you start, you have to be handling good. If we don't get it handling good, then we'll have our work cut out for us."

MATT KENSETH (No. 17 Smirnoff Ice Triple Black/DeWalt Ford): (Did the car bottoming out hurt you?): "It seems like it hurt me quite a bit. Yesterday, it didn't rub at all, and today it was just scraping all around the track, and taking a lot speed off. For the time of day, it wasn't a terrible lap for our car. Everybody around us was running a little slower, so hopefully the conditions will stay the same. The sun will stay out, and the track will keep backing up. Qualifying is the luck of the draw than how fast your car is. You've just got to go out early."

KEVIN LEPAGE (No. 57 CLR Ford): "We had an early draw, and the CLR guys did a good job preparing the car. We were off a little bit last night and worked on it pretty hard over the evening. I'm just hoping Mother Nature comes out and gives us a little sun. Without any provisionals, we need to make the show on time. It was a pretty good lap. It was all I had. We'll see where it stacks up."

KURT BUSCH (No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford): "With this overcast sky and the cool temperatures this morning, it feels like it's getting cooler here standing here, but maybe it's just the sweat on myself. This place is the most sensitive to temperature, and you have to adjust for it and have your crew on top of the game to make the adjustments you need to lay down a lap. We laid down a 48-second lap, and that's pretty good." (Did you have to rely on notes to adapt?): "We've been struggling with our car all weekend with a condition we're having. I believe it's aerodynamic where it wants to turn right as soon as I set the nose going into the corner. When wants to turn right at 200 mph going into a left-hand corner, it's not all that good."

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge): "We didn't have the run that we wanted to have yesterday, but to pick up a second-and-a-half is really awesome for the Alltel Dodges. (Crew Chief) Matt (Borland) and everyone on the crew did a great job. We'll go on, and if we get the pole, we get the pole, but if not, we should have a starting spot with a new track record." (What changed the most?): "The conditions were really nice, but it was raining down in (Turns) 3 and 4 when I was out there and I lost a little grip for that, but we'll see what happens." (What would it mean to you to win here, being an Indiana native?): "It's another win. It would be awesome, but you never know until you do it. To come back here and see the changes that have been made to the Speedway, and for it to still be the Speedway is really cool. Just being in Indiana, you really get the 'Back Home Again in Indiana' feeling."

JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet): "It was a real good run, especially looking at where we were last year, taking the first provisional. To make it, hopefully in the top 10, is a big accomplishment for the Lowe's team." (Did you brush the wall?): "It was off of (Turn) 4. You have to use the whole race track here, and I definitely used it all up. I just brushed the wall a little bit. I didn't hurt anything."

KEVIN HARVICK (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet): "It was a great lap for GM Goodwrench car. We took our practice yesterday and made six laps and tried to pay attention to what we did last year. We knew had a good draw, so we knew the car was going to need a little bit different gear, and we needed to be a little bit free yesterday afternoon. That's what we did and so far, so good." (On the conditions for his run.): "We tried to concentrate on our car being on the neutral to loose side, and for the most part, it was. The track's got lot of grip in it now, and unless it gets really hot really quick, there's still a chance somebody could beat it." (What would it mean to win the pole here?): "Anything you do here means a lot to me. Obviously there's a lot of history with open-wheel and stock cars. It's an important place for the GM Goodwrench team."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge): "I'm really happy with the progress the CAT team has made since we got here. The Caterpillar car is going to be in the top five or top 10 somewhere. To not have tested and to have struggled on the fast tracks, the high-downforce tracks is really a big boost for us. I just hope we can back it up on Sunday."

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 32 Tide Pontiac): "A little cloud cover would have gone a long way. We certainly improved the car, but I know we had sun when we went out, and you can't even put that into percentages. It's pretty big. You're only guessing, but I would have like to had that as opposed to anything I could have done to the car."

MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Viagra Ford): "I would have liked to qualify better, but if we had gone out at 10:15 a.m., we'd be up there pretty good." (Are you surprised about how fast the early cars were?): "Yes and no. They were fast because it was cool. The sun's been out now and this track deteriorates really fast, and I feel like that's an awesome run for what we got to work with. It wasn't a pole run at any time, but it's fast for what we had to work with."

ROBBY GORDON (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet): "I like Indy. Indy is great. Every year we get to come here and race at the Speedway. I'm fortunate enough I get to race here twice a year and have even more fun. I'm pleased to get in the show. We were going to get in the show anyway because of the way the points are, but I'm pleased to get a good qualifying position, and we'll race our way to the front. I'm very happy for my teammate Kevin Harvick. I think the Cingular Wireless car will be strong on Sunday for the race."

GREG BIFFLE (No. 16 Grainger Ford): "The sun keeps coming in and out, but it looks like the clouds will be staying for the rest of the day, and that's going to hurt us. It will knock us down. I left some on the table. I left a fair amount on the table, but it's the first time around here, and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't want to overdrive. You're better to underdrive it than overdrive it."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge): "I wish I could I went earlier. A lot of guys picked up, and we picked up six-tenths, but a lot guys picked up a second and that's not really fair. It's still cool, but I could have gone at 10 a.m., I'd go at 10 a.m. It shows. Kenseth ran a .35 and he ran a .70 yesterday. Guys that weren't too good yesterday picked up a whole lot. They need to do this at 2 p.m., or 3 p.m., to make it easier for everyone."

JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge): "We struggled a lot yesterday, and that's the fastest we've run by far. It's still three to four tenths off of where we should have been. We thought we could run in the low 49's, but it was only a (49).70 so it's not too good."

JEFF BURTON (No. 99 CITGO Ford): "We came here and tested the week before last and had a great test. We felt pretty good about our stuff, and we unloaded and haven't been near where we tested. We're real confused about that. I don't understand that one bit. We got behind, and had to guess about what we had to do, and didn't hit it. I don't know what to tell you. When I left testing, I was thoroughly pleased. We can't get it anywhere close."

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 81 Kraft 100th Anniversary Chevrolet): "So far, so good. The Kraft Chevrolet has been really good since we unloaded it. Had I not made some mistakes in qualifying-- I was trying to get more than maybe I should have, but that's the point to qualifying is to get everything you got. Tony (George) just needs to move the wall a little bit. They said they concreted (Turn 2), and I used that, as well. The only thing is you need to use the part underneath your feet and not the one on the side. It's a good run for us. I just needed to be a little more conservative." (On the conditions): "They told me it was 14 degrees hotter when Harvick did his lap. Kevin was awful fast in practice yesterday. He got the right conditions, so did some of the other guys. Some got average conditions. I didn't think I was going to challenge him for the pole, but you've got to give it a shot. After I brushed the wall, I thought: 'Now it's time to make the race, John. You're not in unless you qualify on speed. They won't let you in because they like you.'"

ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 4 Kodak Perfect Touch Pontiac): "That's as good as we've been here, but not coming and testing I think put us behind a little bit. We'll take what we got and see where it falls out."

TED MUSGRAVE (No. 07 Sirius/hhgregg Dodge): "It's just our luck. We've been really good, but when I started my lap, it started raining. We started the run and went to the radio to tell the guys what they wanted me to do, and no one had a radio on to tell me to come in, because they would have let me run again. That's bad preparation on our team."

CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge): "This isn't home, but in a way, it's like coming home. I'm meeting all these people and seeing people that have known my family for years. It's a good time, a lot of fun. To have a good run here at the Speedway is at the top of my list."

DAVE BLANEY (No. 77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford): "I don't think the car was that bad. We're fighting the weather deal. It just depends on what you get for track temperature. I think the car was a little tighter than it would be. It ran so good yesterday in the heat of the day, so I didn't know what I had in the cooler temperatures. But we got what we got. "

TONY STEWART (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet): "With the temperature climbing like it did, I'm pretty happy where we ended up. We're close enough to the front that that's a good enough starting position to do what we need to do." (Were you surprised by the times turned in?): "Not at all. Every year we go faster here. I'm not surprised at all. If the track could have stayed cooler, we would have run faster. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the clouds were coming, or how thick they were going to be. They are pretty broken up today and real small patches. The top clouds weren't moving too fast, but the lower ones were moving pretty quick, but not fast enough to give us cloud cover."

STEVE PARK (No. 30 GM America Online Chevrolet): "We went out late and had a bad pick going out late. The guys who went out early were really fast. It's one of those situations where it's the luck of the draw and where you pick and where you go out. Not a bad run. It was what we expected for this time of day. Now we can work on what we need for race trim."

DERRIKE COPE (No. 37 Friendly's Chevrolet): "We just didn't have the speed. We picked up a lot of speed from practice, but the later draw -- obviously the track is not as good -- and the cloud cover tried to help us out a bit. We just didn't have enough today."

BILLY BIGLEY Jr. (No. 79 Arnold Development Companies Dodge): "I think it was really to our favor. We got a cloud cover about three cars before us, we just missed the setup a little bit. The valance hit the racetrack pretty hard, which scrubbed some speed, and then the driver made an error. I hung it out pretty hard and bumped the wall in Turn 4, and that really hurt our lap. I think we had a pretty good lap to at least make the race until we bumped the fence."

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet): "It worked out good for us, because on most days, it would be hotter than this, so it helped us out. We had a pretty decent lap. We ran better than we did yesterday, so we picked up on it, so that's good. Our qualifying speed is indictive of the weather. You can't really control that."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge): "The way the weather was today was funny. You watch the news, and they show the fishing forecast and they tell you the good times of the day and bad times of the day, and that's the way it went. I think the day started phenomenally well. The first 10-15 cars really got a good shot at. Then it went through a bad stage. Then it got good. Then it got bad. Then it got good. Then it got bad. It's hard to tell from us. We probably picked up more than anyone out there, but we've been so far off with both our cars."

TODD BODINE (No. 54 National Guard Ford): "This is probably the worse time of day to have qualifying. They need to start it at noon. The track doesn't change a lot from noon to 2:30 p.m. or so, and that's when you need to be doing this. Not 10 a.m." (On his run): "It wasn't bad. A little too tight. The clouds make a big difference. Kevin put out that lap and then the sun came out. But we'll take it. We'll be in the field."

RICKY RUDD (No. 21 Rent-A-Center/Motorcraft/USAF Ford): "We had to do some bodywork on the car and it was untested. I think it will race good, but on the qualifying lap, we go down in the corner, we turn the steering wheel and it just goes straight. It doesn't want to go around the corner, so we have a lot of work to do."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 0 NetZero Hi Speed Pontiac): "That's fast. It was capable of going faster, but we didn't get any practice yesterday because I blew the motor up. That was lap five and six for the weekend there. I wasn't really worried. There's more left in it. We just need more laps around here."

KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Stacker2 Dodge): "Just a real temperamental racetrack. We saw the real quick speeds early, and we ran a 49.70-something. In reality, that's a real quick lap. It look likes the speed is out of the track. Maybe we should start at noon, because that would be a little more even, but I'm happy with the car."

JIM SAUTER (No. 71 ARAN Trading Chevrolet): "The run went good. It was a little bit tight and probably hurt our run three or four tenths off our time, and we certainly didn't need that today. We gave it our best shot, and we loosened it up quite a bit and only picked up five tenths. Everyone is picking up seven tenths, so I don't think it will treat us very good."

BRETT BODINE (No. 11 U.S. Micro/Brick Car Ford): "That's as quick as we've gone, but it ain't going to be quick enough. Just really disappointed. You can't do anything about the weather and we just happened to catch the track at its hottest. I could have been better. We just missed it a little bit. But it doesn't take much here."

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet): "(The weather) didn't make much of a difference. It was probably pretty close to what everyone else had."

MIKE SKINNER (No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac): "It went well, but I don't want to make excuses. That's the hottest the racetrack has been, 106 degrees. Our Army Pontiac drove really good. I got loose in (Turn) 1 yesterday making a mock-up run, and dog gone, I did it again today. I think I left too much on the table down there. I didn't want to make a mistake at both ends of the racetrack, so I was a touch conservative at the other end."

DAVID REUTIMANN (No. 04 Kodak Easy Care Pontiac): "Horrible. Horrible would probably be an understatement. That's the best way I can sum it up. It's not from lack of trying. It's not from lack of effort. It's not from lack of good people. It's just off a little bit, and you can't be off a little bit at this stage of the deal. You have to be 100 percent or you're not going to make it. And we didn't make it."

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge): "I heard a lot of guys say they didn't drive it hard enough. I wanted to make sure I drove it hard enough. I just scuffed (the wall). It's part of going fast on a qualifying lap."

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): "These guys done a great job on the car. We were loose at the end of practice yesterday, and picked up eight-tenths or seven-tenths. That's pretty good for how hot the track got and slowed down toward the end. We're happy with that."

-ims-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick