RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) - Fifth "I thought we could get the pole, but when (Jimmie) Johnson knocked off that 29.93-sec., I said, 'Man, that's pretty strong right there.' I ran a 30.17-sec. in practice and qualified a ...
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) - Fifth
"I thought we could get the pole, but when (Jimmie) Johnson knocked off that 29.93-sec., I said, 'Man, that's pretty strong right there.' I ran a 30.17-sec. in practice and qualified a 30.10. It really went through turns one and two like a bullet and also in three/four. I thought I'd go for a second lap to see if there was anything there, but there wasn't anything there. We'll take that. The car has been quick all through practice. We tested here a couple weeks ago and learned a lot of things. We've popped up, so maybe this is the week.
"Yeah, the first time here we led all day long. Then, right there at the end we made a pit stop and left too quick. NASCAR nailed me for speeding, and that was it. But still we came back from dead-last at that restart to make it up to fourth. Last year we finished third. Hey, we're close to Missouri, and that's hometown. I'm supposed to be doing good up here.
"That's one of the main reasons we came over here a couple of weeks ago to test. We're trying to get everything just right. This track has been really good to me. Everybody knows it's been a longtime since I've won. We've been so close so many times that maybe this is the week. I feel like I've got a great car on a racetrack that I really like.
"I couldn't think of anything that I left out there in qualifying. The car ran great. I told the guys when I got out of it that this car felt really, really good. But, when Jimmie laid that 29.93-sec., that was a pretty strong run.
"I think this racetrack has a lot of similarities to turns three/four at Texas. It actually has a lot of similarities to Kentucky. Probably, Kentucky is the closest feeling track that I've been on as compared to Kansas City."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - Eighth
"That was a good lap for us. We feel pretty good about this Dodge, but I'm sure somebody else will be pretty good later today. I'm proud of the guys, though. They've worked hard for us. Hopefully that lap will hold up."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Berry Burst Cheerios Dodge Intrepid) - Ninth
"We're pleased with that lap. We don't have anything to fall back on. We've got to do it. These guys have been bringing me great racecars since I've been in this car. This is my third weekend. They're going to have a hard time running me off - Richard, Kyle and all of the guys. Everybody at Petty Enterprises really supports Jeff Green, and that's what it takes to put a team together. Hopefully, we can keep that going.
"It makes it a lot more fun for me. I'm sure it's a lot more fun for these guys. We've just been in the right place at the right time. Dover was a really good week. Last week we could have been a little bit better, but it could have been a lot worse. When a driver can control stuff like we can here at Kansas, it makes it a little bit easier on the driver. This Cheerios Dodge is really, really handling well and driving really good. So, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race practice, and I think we'll have a really good Sunday."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - 11th
"I didn't get into turn three the way I like to and especially off of four. Turns one and two felt really good, but you've got to have all four corners for a good lap. I wouldn't say we're happy with that, but it should put us near the top-10 for Sunday.
"It was a good run for the ALLTEL Dodge. We were 15th in practice, and if we can come out of qualifying with a top-10 then that shows improvement and a good start for our weekend. This racetrack is pretty sensitive to heat as far as grip goes. When the sun comes out it'll definitely put some heat on the racetrack and slow down the cars a little bit."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid) - 12th
"It was a good run for us. We picked up a lot from where we were in practice. I think the quickest we ran in practice was a 30.50-sec., and I think we ran a 30.20-sec. out there. I'm not sure, exactly. I'm just really proud of Jimmy and the guys. We were tight the whole practice, and then right there at the end we freed the thing up pretty good. That wasn't quite enough, so we did some more. I thought maybe the change was going to be a little bit too big in qualifying, and it worked out really good for us.
"We qualified fourth in Chicago, and that was really good for us. We've had some decent runs, but this is definitely one of the better qualifying runs that we've had. Definitely, at Talladega and Daytona, when you qualify well there it says a lot more about the team than the driver. To come out here and do this, it's a combination of both and it feels really good."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge Intrepid) - 15th
"We had a big improvement from practice. The guys did a good job. We really struggled. I think we were 35th in practice. This car races really good, but it just doesn't qualify very well. I think to qualify that way then we'll be in pretty good shape for Sunday.
"I think it's good that we picked up as much as we did. Me and Donnie (Wingo, crew chief) kind of got together after practice and changed a lot of stuff. So, I'm pretty happy about that run."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) - 16th
"We had hoped to be a little bit faster than that, but we've still got a good racecar here and it should be good on Sunday. We just didn't get the lap that we wanted to. But, we'll keep working to get this Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge a little better, and we'll be better on Sunday.
"I think, definitely, some momentum is heading our way into Kansas. We're all excited about it. Our guys have worked really hard on trying to get us a good car here. It's our favorite car, so we should be in pretty good shape here."
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid) - 27th
"Well, when we made our qualifying run in practice it messed me up a little bit because I didn't get into turns three and four like I needed to. Once again, it felt like I lost it about the same in one/two and three/four - about a tenth of a second left with that. I didn't think we had any shot at the pole, but I really felt like we would have been in the top-10 or top-15. But now, it's not looking too good. We picked up about ¼ sec., but all in all it's not going to be where we want to be. Tommy (Baldwin, crew chief) does a really good job of setting the car up. We had a really good car in Chicago. This is the car that we ran in Charlotte in the spring, and we had a top-five with it there (fourth). We feel sure that we'll have the car running good for the race on Sunday."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid) - 29th
"We picked up a little bit from practice. I thought I had it really good in one/two, and I got a little greedy and drove it into three a little too deep and got it pushing. We had a lot of trouble in practice. A jack bolt froze up. We had a flat. All kind of mess was going on, and we didn't get to work on the car as much as we needed to. This was a good track for us. We came in here in the first race and led some. Last year we got caught in a wreck pretty good. We'll get this car handling good and try to get a win for Coors Light. I'm hoping so (the racing groove widens out). It seemed like it got a little bit wider last year. We're going to need it for the race."