ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 10th) "I'm really happy with that run. We've got a really good race car. I left a little bit on the table. I got too loose a little bit off two and had to get back out of the gas, but I was...
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"I'm really happy with that run. We've got a really good race car. I left a little bit on the table. I got too loose a little bit off two and had to get back out of the gas, but I was after it. I really wanted to get a pole, but I'm so proud of the guys and how hard they worked this week. We went to Kentucky and tested. This is a brand new race car and they really put a lot of time and effort in it. I think that's gonna be a good top 10 starting position, so we'll see what happens."
YOU'VE QUALIFIED WELL ALL YEAR. "Exactly. We definitely have qualified great all year long and, hopefully, we can keep that going. We just really haven't been where we wanted to in the races, but that has changed a bunch in the last two months. I think our communication is getting better and my team is coming together really good. I think everything is coming together well. It's gonna help us to have a good starting position and now we just have to take advantage of it come Sunday."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"That wasn't bad. We tested here last week and did a lot of race runs and we picked up over a half-second from when we qualified here, obviously because of these track temperatures. That's not bad. It's better than what we've been lately. I think the last time we qualified real well was Bristol and that was a short track. The speedway stuff, there are a lot of different aero changes on what could be good and what could be worse so this wasn't too bad. I'm real excited about race trim."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"I'm happy with our effort but I'm not happy with our result. We worked really hard and tried a lot of things but just never got it. Unfortunately, our best lap on the track was our very first lap and then we weren't good on scuffed tires. I don't know why that is. I feel good about our chances on Sunday. I know we're starting toward the back, but I really think we have a good race car. I know everybody always says that when they qualify bad, but my car drives good, it just doesn't go fast and I think it'll be OK on Sunday."
WILL WE SEE SOME PASSING ON SUNDAY? "I think we'll see a lot of passing. I think it will be a very competitive race. The older the race track gets, the more side by side action you'll see and it wouldn't surprise me to see it here Sunday."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"We picked up a lot from qualifying, so I'm pretty excited about it. We made a bunch of changes on the car. The 21 car helped us out a little bit with some of the changes, but we made a lot of changes for qualifying. We threw the kitchen sink at it, so to speak. It picked up and I was pretty happy with it. I got a little tight on my second lap and had to back out of it early, but it probably wasn't gonna be better - maybe about the same."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 23rd)
"That was obviously the best we had run, but we've got one problem. On every corner the car gets tighter and tighter. On the qualifying lap, one and two was absolutely perfect and three and four was just a little too tight. On the second lap, it was even tighter in one and two and that's when I quit because I knew it wasn't gonna be any faster. For one lap we can get the job done, but now we've got to figure out how to keep it running the whole time."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 13th)
"Anytime I can pick up from practice and anytime I can look up on the board and see I'm somewhere near Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, that's pretty good. We did have a good test here last week and I'm really excited about the race. The car was better than what I was right there. It actually stuck and performed better than what I thought it maybe was capable of for a qualifying type run. I probably left a little bit out there, but this is a lot better than we've been qualifying and I'm really happy with that effort."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THE TEST? "First of all, just time on the race track. We haven't had a lot of time on this track that I remember about anyway. We were able to test a number of different things - chassis things, shock and spring combinations - things to get me comfortable and let these guys know what I was looking for in the car and the things we had to do to the car and to the chassis to make all of that happen. I think we came across a good balance to where I can be more aggressive with the car and race up front where our fans and the employees of UPS want to see us race."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR. - No. 35 Wawa/Marines Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"I got a little bit loose and I really thought we could have run faster, but running in the top 36 was all that mattered. At the beginning of the we tried to run Atlanta and didn't make the show. I told the guys then, 'Well, we won't never miss another one. Either I'll bring your steering wheel back or we'll go home one.' But it worked out good. Harold and all the guys got it driving good and told me we were gonna be OK. I was a little worried about the tires, but it all worked out."
HOW DOES THIS HELP FROM A CAREER STANDPOINT? "It's definitely a feather in your cap. I mean, we're 13th in a field of 43 of the world's best drivers. All the money is over here and all the talent is over here and we took a Busch team and come over here and qualified in the top 20. We're tickled to death about it."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"I guess it's disappointing because we were fourth-fastest in practice. I think I ran a high .20 and we qualified with a mid .30. We only actually had one lap that we ran a .28, we got a little help. The rest of the laps were in the thirties, so that's about what we ran in practice. I would have liked to have been a little farther up the grid. I didn't think we had a shot for the pole, but I thought a realistic shot at a top five and it looks like we're gonna end up about 19th."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 41st)
WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING? "Pretty much the same thing as practice. I don't know. The thing feels pretty good getting down in there and then right after you get to the middle and get back to the gas it just goes real loose on me. It came to the green good and felt like it was gonna be tight enough in three and four, but I got real loose again up in turn two for some reason. We really thrashed today. We weren't really prepared to get the backup out and we had a lot of work to do with the car to get it ready to get out on the track. We didn't get a lot of time with it, but it's a great car. I know it will be good in the race, but we just have to start a ways back."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE LUCK YOU'VE HAD THIS YEAR? "I'd rather be lucky than good any day. You always have to have a certain amount of luck go along with your season. Flat tires and things like that you can't control, but the two things we've had go wrong the last two weeks are both things that we can control. We had parts break last week that we probably shouldn't have broke and I crashed the car. I shouldn't have crashed today in practice, so those are just human mistakes that really has nothing to do with luck."
DO YOU HAVE TO BE A LITTLE MORE CONSERVATIVE TOMORROW WITH THIS CAR? "No, we've got a whole boat load of them at the shop so that doesn't matter. We're just out there running and trying to figure out how to get it going the best we can. If I was taking it easy I almost wouldn't have wrecked in qualifying, so we're just approaching it like every other weekend."