MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus HOW IS YOUR CAR? "It's OK. I'm struggling with it a little bit more than we did last time. We're a little tight in one end and pretty decent on the other end, so I've been trying to work that out.
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
HOW IS YOUR CAR? "It's OK. I'm struggling with it a little bit more than we did last time. We're a little tight in one end and pretty decent on the other end, so I've been trying to work that out. Overall, though, I think we're pretty good and the car is pretty decent."
HOW IS THE TRACK SURFACE? "It's OK. I don't think they've changed anything, so I think it's OK. It's had a little more time to age and I don't foresee it coming up. The weather is a little bit cooler and three and four have had a chance to age a little bit, so I think it's gonna be alright."
WHAT ABOUT THE RACING GROOVE. COULD IT BE NARROWER UP HIGH? "It's probably about the same as what it was. It seems like three and four is a little more difficult than what it was last time just because some of the pavement is gone so that groove is a little bit slicker, but it's really hard to tell until we get into the race and we get all of our cars out there. There's different rubber from the modifieds and the Busch North cars on the track, so the groove we're not running in right now is pretty slippery because we haven't been running it, but I think once we all get out there and get side by side, you'll be able to pass pretty good."
DO YOU HAVE TO SET UP A GUY A CERTAIN WAY TO PASS ON THIS TRACK? "You just try to pass wherever you can. The outside groove was almost better last time we were here, but the problem was the inside car would run you up too high and get you in the marbles. So you've pretty much just got to get under someone. The best place is to turn underneath somebody from the center of the corner off, if your car is good enough to pull alongside, and finish the pass getting into the corner."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL/Mobil 1 Taurus
YOU MUST FEEL GOOD STARTING ON THE POLE TOMORROW. "Yeah, we definitely feel good. It's a good qualifying effort, but, overall, we've got to have a good race. We've got to keep the car clean, keep the nose clean, and have good pit stops. No matter what, it's gonna be tough. There are a lot of guys out there that don't necessarily qualify well but they race real well, so, hopefully, we can race as good as we qualified."
AT DARLINGTON YOU CAN ONLY PASS IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE TRACK. HOW IS THIS TRACK IN TERMS OF PASSING? "It's pretty much the same at every race track in terms of setting guys up to pass, but Darlington more so than others. Here it's definitely an issue, but the biggest thing here is that it's tougher to find those good places to pass. That's what makes it difficult."
HOW IS THE TRACK? "It seems to fine, but it's not super-hot. It's supposed to hotter tomorrow from what I've been told, so we'll have to see what it's like with 43 cars out there."
EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THIS FIRST WIN BEING INEVITABLE. IS IT HARD KNOWING IT'S RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER? "We're waiting for it to happen and we're working hard to make it happen. That's what we've been doing all year. We haven't changed anything. We've been knocking on the door, but it's tough. The thing that's important is we've been doing a good job as a team and hopefully sometime in the near future we'll get that first win."
GOLFERS LIKE TO SAY YOU CAN'T WIN A TOURNAMENT IN THE FIRST ROUND, BUT YOU CAN SURELY LOSE IT. IN RACING IT'S SIMILAR TO SAY YOU CAN'T WIN THE RACE ON THE FIRST, 10TH OR 20TH LAP BUT YOU CAN LOSE IT. "That's right. You've got to keep everything there. I guess you could say you've got to keep all of your clubs intact and that's basically what it comes down to. You have to know how to attack the competition as well, whether that ends up being the race track or the other competitors out there."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus
NOTE: Busch was fourth-fastest in happy hour. "We're very happy with the car. Fourth in happy hour is just that fastest lap, but it's obviously maintaining that throughout the run and the car wants to do that. We tried some things that we wouldn't normally try just to expand our horizons and expand our limitations. Some of those worked and some of those didn't, so now we'll just go and weed through what we feel is right. The car is gonna struggle early on -- the first five or six laps of the race when the track is cold. Hopefully, we can keep our car in one piece and we roll from there."
ARE YOU HOPING FOR LONG RUNS TOMORROW? "Yeah. It's decent on the short runs and it's better on the longer runs. Either way, we've got to race. With the sealant on this race track it's slick. It's gonna be a little bit warm. I hope it doesn't rain on Sunday, but this sealant creates yellows and when you have a yellow that creates more yellows. So, hopefully, we'll be able to get into a groove of long green flag runs and green flag pit stops because that's my kind of racing."
IS PATIENCE THE KEY TOMORROW? "I enjoy the track thoroughly after the changes they made on it. It creates another groove that if your car is able to adapt to that groove, you can pass cars. It's very difficult to pass cars on the same tires when two guys are running up front, but here last time we were 29th with 20 to go and we finished eighth. We passed a lot of cars with fresh tires, so the track is very raceable after the changes they made and, hopefully, it'll stick together tomorrow."