DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "That was a little quicker than we ran in practice. It's gotten hotter, but there will be some guys that run quicker than that. We're just floating the front end getting into the corner a little...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"That was a little quicker than we ran in practice. It's gotten hotter, but there will be some guys that run quicker than that. We're just floating the front end getting into the corner a little bit and I just couldn't get it settled down there. I kind of had to change the way that I was driving a little bit right there in the middle of everything to try to make the most of it. It's a good car and we'll get ready to race on Sunday."
"It's a fast lap. You know that you're moving around here, but there is a lot of grip to the race track so I don't think it's too fast."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS NEW TIRE?
"They've done some work with the sidewall and the compound is harder. I think just the overall construction of the tire is better and there's a lot more comfort. They worked real hard and listening to the drivers when we said we had a little bit of a wiggle going into the corner. At those kind of speeds, yeah, that's not a lot of fun. But Goodyear has done a really good job at taking that out and you can go out there really hard. That makes it a much more comfortable 190 miles an hour."
ARE YOUR NOTES OF ANY USE TO YOU FROM PREVIOUS YEARS?
"What we found last year was that our old stuff didn't work and that everything we had from the previous four years didn't work at all, so we had to kind of change what we were doing. There's not a lot that we have used in the past that helps us right now, so we've just kind of kept and open mind. We've been very fortunate to have a couple of engineers come in and look at the data we have and understand what we're seeing. Brad Parrott has done a good job of looking at the tire and the tire rates that Goodyear gives us and I think it's just a combination that all of that is working together for us right now, but the stuff that we've had over the last five years really doesn't work."
HOW CLOSE WAS THAT TO A PERFECT LAP AND HOW MUCH WILL IT DROP OFF OVER 500
"As far as perfect lap, I thought I could go harder than what I could, but as I got out there the front end of my car just wouldn't stay down getting into the corner. I don't know if we needed to be softer on the front springs than what we were or something, but it didn't allow me to attack the corner so that changed the way I drove the second lap totally. As far as the race, you're gonna have to go hard here. This is a race track that you're not out of the gas much. You won't charge the corner quite as much as what you do qualifying, but you're back in the gas really early and you carry a lot of speed around here."
WHAT ABOUT TALLADEGA?
"I don't know. I mean, I think it's made racing so totally different than what we have become accustomed to. It's totally three and four-wide all the time and to be quite honest, I think what we've talked about -- a number of the guys that have been around a while -- is it's taken some of the expertise that we have acquired. That's kind of out the window now and it's just a matter of getting up in there and doing as much as whatever you want to because the draft will pull you there and get you to where you want to go if you're wanting to get there in that big of a hurry. I think what everybody means is that there is the potential for something to happen. To ask 43 guys not to make any mistakes or get impatient in 500 miles there is asking a whole lot and if something does happen, if a small mistake is made or if somebody gets a little bit impatient, then the consequences are gonna be much greater because all 43 cars are right there together. If it happens in the front, there's not much of a way to miss it, but that's what we've got to race with so we'll hopefully use our heads."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF A BOYCOTT?
"I don't know who came up with that or where that got started. I guess people may have said that, but nobody is gonna skip these races. It's not that type of a situation. We're not gonna do that. I mean, the fans love the racing and if the fans love it and it's good TV, then we better find a way of getting used to it because that's what we're gonna be doing. We'll just have to adjust to it."
WHAT ABOUT THE RULES?
These are the rules that we have to work with. This is the seventh race of the year and we're learning a little bit more about what our cars are asking for and what we need to do to work with the rules that we have. That's the way it looks like it's gonna stay, so I think that you're gonna see a lot of different makes of cars and drivers and teams up there. This is a good race track to race on and I think you're gonna see a very exciting race."
WILL THERE BE SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING?
"Yeah, I think we're gonna see some good side-by-side racing. The other forms of racing that have been here have certainly brought in another groove and they've worked on the race track and smoothed out some rough spots. With this tire and the places that we've run, the high line has come in on the faster race tracks so I think you'll actually be able to see some people make some passes on the outside. There should be some terrific side-by-side racing."
ON DALE EARNHARDT JR. WINNING THE POLE.
"This is pretty cool with Junior winning this. I think this is something that's pretty big. It's nice to see good things happening to him right now."