RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 2nd "We unloaded off the truck really fast and we look forward to coming back to Martinsville after the way we performed him last year. We got beat by three thousandths of a second, but I've...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 2nd
"We unloaded off the truck really fast and we look forward to coming back to Martinsville after the way we performed him last year. We got beat by three thousandths of a second, but I've won 'em that close before, too. I wish we could have done better, but this isn't too bad. I think the track slowed down a little bit. You can't get the pole every time. We had the fastest car in practice, but we lost it. You can't have the fastest car and then slow down and be happy about it. If you are you're not a racer.
"We just got a little loose in qualifying, and I don't know why. I don't know if the track changed or what. Scott did a great job and picked up more than anybody else. We look forward to the rest of the weekend. We're disappointed with second but we still understand that's a good starting spot. That'll give us a good pit selection.
"I know the guys will go back and change a lot of things. The racetrack is the same and the racecar is the same. It's just a matter of tweaking on it to make it good in race trim. We'll see if we can do that.
"Everybody thinks it's just me because it's qualifying. It's a team sport and you have to hit everything. It's the driver versus the racetrack at that point. There's no dirty air, no excuses as far as those things go. We enjoy it. It's a good way to get the weekend started."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 3rd
"We brought a new car here. It's one of our Evernham Motorsports chassis and we had one last week and qualified good too. Anybody sitting up here will tell you the better the cars, the more grip you've got, the better you run. It wasn't fast enough to get the pole, but we're in the top five and we've got a good starting spot.
"I think today starts the weekend. It's so important to qualify well and have a good pit se.lection and be able to start up front. We've got the first part of our job done. Tomorrow we'll fine tune it and Sunday just try to stay up front all day, make the right calls in the pits and if the driver doesn't make any mistakes we'll be in good shape.
"We've done a ton of testing the past four or five weeks. It's really just a bunch of little stuff. Toward the end of last year we weren't as good as we were in the beginning and Kasey wasn't, either. We started off the year thinking 'let's continue what we've been doing.' Sometimes you've got to fall in a little bit of a rut to be open minded and change the direction you're going. It's really just a bunch of little things. The new chassis is working extremely good. We were skeptical about coming here, but we were good off the truck. I know the 9 struggled a little bit today, but they're right there with us and they'll get their stuff back, too. I wish I could tell you it's the body or nose piece or whatever, but I think for the most part it was about being open minded and doing the things that you may have to do different whether it's springs, swaybars, spindles. There's so many different combination to come up with the magic setup for you. Once you find that, you get balance numbers and they work everywhere. That's what we're on to now. I feel real confident that we're going to turn things around over there again and head back in the right direction. You see teams do that a lot. The 29 team just came out of a slump last week. You'll see other teams that win a championship and can't run the next year. They're not doing anything wrong. They're just doing what they've always done and sometimes that gets you in trouble. It can make the driver look really bad or really good when that happens. Our team has worked so hard. We sat down after Vegas on Monday morning, and it was so open-minded. Everybody laid out on the table the direction they thought we should go in and it was all in different areas. Ray pulled everybody together and we all did our part and we've made a huge turnaround even though it hasn't shown yet.
"It's frustrating when you're trying to get in your zone and get pumped up for qualifying. It rained just enough to give you a letdown a little bit. Everybody had to go through that, and when that happens you see the track change every time. If you're the beneficiary of the gain, sometimes you are and sometimes you're not. I think it hurt us a little bit today, but we were still able to maintain a pretty good starting spot."
"I was just thinking about that this week. I don't keep up with the impound races. I don't know if they're impound or not impound. All I know is when we get to the racetrack we'll know then. The guys know, but I don't. I found out this wasn't an impound race I thought the same thing you did. Not questioning NASCAR by any means, but I'm thinking everybody would like to have Saturday off and go home and spend time with their kids. You can't this Saturday. You can when we're in California when you can't get a plane ticket back or Vegas or somewhere, but I think you'll probably see them make adjustments, hopefully, throughout the year. Maybe they'll look at everything and maybe next year do the right thing and kind of consider that. I think most of us if we had the day off would be bored and hang around and watch the truck race. Who knows?
HAVE YOU EVER FLIPPED ANYONE ON THE TRACK? "Let me ask you this. If I have and I say I have, will I still get fined for it? I've got to tell you something. If you only knew how many times during a race you get the bird. You flip everybody off. They flip you off. There's more flipping off going on in a racecar than there is anywhere. It's crazy. Then you go up to the guy who flips you off and ask him what's wrong and he don't even remember it. The cool thing about it is the next week everybody is fine. It's just part of the deal. Last week, I think, it was a different story."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 19th
"It was OK. We haven't run good in qualifying trim since we've been here. We ran more than 100 laps this morning in race trim just because you don't want to get out of practice doing your race stuff. It was all right. I can't complain. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. We probably didn't do but two qualifying runs. Everybody has gone to impounding, so we kind of stayed true to qualifying by doing race practice. Our race stuff is really good. We're really pleased with that."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 4th
"That was a pretty good lap. It was a little freer than I wanted going into turn one. I really had to guard the rear end getting in there. I ran a .61 and that's about what I ran in practice. I thought we could pick it up and we didn't. We'll see how it ends up. I was concerned a little bit (about the marbles on the track). I was loose getting into turn one, looser than I wanted to be. I had to pedal it getting in. I really didn't think it was going to be that good with the way it felt, but that was a good lap for the Miller Lite Dodge. That should get us a good starting spot in this week's 500. Once we get the car in race form, I think it can be every bit as good as that Charger we had at Bristol last week. It'd be pretty hard for it to be better than that car. That car last week was unbelievable. It's amazing how fast that car was."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 29th
"We were off from practice. We didn't make a lot of changes to the car, just small things, but we've got to blame it on something. The jet dryers cleaned the track, and I thought we'd be faster after that. The balance wasn't bad. We just lost a lot of grip. Sometimes it's an advantage here and Bristol starting in the back versus the middle. The car was good this morning in practice in race trim. It's the best car we've ever had here, and we finished second here the last race."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 17th
"It wasn't bad. It wasn't what we thought we'd run. We were a couple of tenths faster than that in practice. Everybody is slowing down a little bit. I hope everybody will slow down a lot like we did. I think it'll end up in the top 15. I thought we had a shot at the pole, so it's a little disappointing to fall off a little bit and not know why. We qualified fifth here last fall. It was my first Cup race ever. I love coming to the short tracks. I thought we'd have a top five car today, but we've got Happy Hour tomorrow, and we'll be good on Sunday. We needed that last week at Bristol. We've run good at about all of the races. We just haven't got the results, so we finally put it together and got a good finish last week. We need to do the same thing here."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 20th
"We just needed a little more grip. We lost front grip. I think everybody slowed up. I don't know what the deal is. We'll get 'em Sunday."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 35th
"We slid the nose and the back got loose because you've got so much wheel in the front. It was ill-handling, completely different than the way it was in practice. Everybody is slowing down, but we were battling the same things in practice, so I don't think that hurt us. We need Happy Hour tomorrow. We'll get as much practice in as we can."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 14th
"We wanted to be a little bit better. We beat some guys that were ahead of us in practice, and a couple of them beat us. The track slowed down. The car felt really good. This is a brand new car. I'm proud of the guys. It's really good in race mode."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 24th
"It was OK. We ran that in practice, and I was hoping we could go faster, but the track slickened up a lot, so to repeat what we need in practice was pretty good I guess."