Kahne Leads Top Four Dodge Sweep; Seven Chargers in Top 10 BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) NOTE: Labonte cut a right front tire between turns one and two in qualifying and brushed the outside wall. The team will ...
Kahne Leads Top Four Dodge Sweep; Seven Chargers in Top 10
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Labonte cut a right front tire between turns one and two in qualifying and brushed the outside wall. The team will switch to a backup Charger that was tested here as the backup car in January.
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) -- 42nd
"We're still working on it, trying to get the feel with this package and this tire, this track. We're playing catch up, but we'll be all right. We just need to have two good race practices tomorrow. The tires are different. The fuel cells are different, and the cars are the same. We only had a so-so test here and I think that's a little bit less than a so-so qualifying effort, so we've got some work to do."
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 10th
"I really went wild. Where did that come from? I wasn't aware that the car was capable of that speed. I took it like I thought I needed to take it out on the track and the Miller Lite Dodge performed like it needed to. We still have a few more questions to ask ourselves on where that speed came from and then what can we do to gain speed. I'm happy with it, and we'll go from there. It would be the ultimate (to win here). It's like a dream as a kid when you see the track built from the ground up. Now I get a chance to race here and race for a world class organization like Penske Racing. I'm living the dream. If we could win that would solidify everything. We made wholesale changes for qualifying. It was like shopping at Sam's Club. We bolted everything we can in it, and that gave us confidence that we might be able to fix our race setup, too. We're fast, but we just don't feel like we're doing it all the time. The tires are throwing us for a loop."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper/Valvoline Dodge Charger) -- 6th
"We were bad when we unloaded and just kept working on it in race trim and couldn't get anywhere. We just decided to go qualifying trim because we ran out of time. The left-side tires seem to be really sensitive. I didn't know what we were going to do in qualifying trim, and I was so gun shy in practice I really didn't get everything out of the car and I felt like that time I did. We need to qualify good, and we need a good finish as well, but first things first. You've got to qualify good to get a good qualifying spot, so I new it was a do or die situation. We were either going to get a good qualifying spot or crash trying. I knew it wasn't good enough for the pole. The pole will be a 38 by Kasey Kahne."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger) -- 22nd
"Billy Wilburn (crew chief) and the guys made a bunch of practice before practice. It was a total team effort. We changed shocks, springs and everything. The track had something to do with it, too. It was cooler and had more grip. That complimented the changes, and I'm really happy for the guys. That was a really good lap for us."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- 7th
"That was a good solid qualifying lap. We're solid in the top 10 and congratulations to my teammates. I thought David had the pole today, but he got in a real good lap and so did Juan. We'll work hard Saturday and see if we can race as well Sunday as we qualified today."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 4th - Top rookie
"One and two was pretty good. It's all about learning. Yes, fourth is great, but when I got on the gas I knew I could have got back on it a lot earlier. The car was a little tight, but we learned a lot today. I think it's a boost for the whole team to show the performance is coming. If I talk to you after my qualifying in Busch it might be different because I'm struggling a little bit in my Busch car, but Cup is the main deal.
"Things are getting better. All three cars qualified in the top 10 and it's a Chrysler race and having all those Dodges in the top 10 is a big deal. This is my first time here, so I can't tell you how it was here before. I think after the Busch race the groove is going to move up.
"I think it (win in Mexico) is a big boost. It shows we can deliver and get the job done. In a way it takes off a lot of pressure, but at the same time it puts a lot of pressure on us. In a way I have a good chance of winning a road course, but there are only two road course races against 34 ovals. You want to make sure you can be competitive on the ovals. The last race it was a lot of hard work in the race. We were really lucky on the yellows. By the end we had a good race car.
"Here we did a lot of work on testing to make sure we were comfortable with the car. I'm getting a little bit more comfortable. I need to learn to relax a little more. I think I pushed the issue a little bit in practice today, and you can't push this car. You've got to work with them a little bit more instead of abusing them."
-credit: dodge motorsports