DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Qualified 14th) -- "The car got a little high in three there the first lap. I knew the last lap was going to be the lap. I got off the corner good and the car stuck really well. It's...
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Qualified 14th) -- "The car got a little high in three there the first lap. I knew the last lap was going to be the lap. I got off the corner good and the car stuck really well. It's better than our efforts here in the past qualifying, or better than mine. I shouldn't say the team's. Hopefully that should get us a decent starting spot where we can run our race on Sunday. It worked out pretty good. I knew the car was pretty good and the last lap it stuck right around the bottom pretty good. I've struggled here qualifying so it was nice to get in a pretty solid lap. It will be out of the top-ten probably but it still won't be far from there. I'd like to try to win this race. We know we can run pretty well here. We have run well here, and we've run not so good. But the last couple of races have been much better. We think we've got a good racecar so we'll have to see what we can do."
WAS THAT WHAT YOU EXPECTED IN QUALIFYING OR DID YOU EXPECT A LITTLE MORE? "No, I don't know that we expected any more. We picked up almost a tenth from what we practiced. That's pretty good. We actually felt like we picked up two-tenths. It's been an exciting week for me already. I got to play golf with Arnold Palmer yesterday, and got home in time to see Zachery score three goals in his soccer game. So this has been a big week. (Laughing) So this was kind of a let down coming here today."
THAT WILL CURE YOUR BACK IN A HURRY WON'T IT? "Yeah. I think they reported I hurt my back playing golf. I actually hurt my back getting into the car Friday afternoon. It was a great experience playing golf with Arnold Palmer. What a gentlemen. Just a great person. He's been an idol of mine for a long time. He's been around for a long time, but he still hits it a long way, I can tell you that."
WHAT DID YOU SHOOT? "It was a captain's choice. Our team, I think, was seven under. But I actually hit some pretty good shots. I came close to making a hole in one, and that would have been the coolest thing in the world making a hole in one playing with Arnold Palmer. It's an experience I'll never forget for sure, just like I will Sunday if I can win this race." HOW IS YOUR BACK? "The backs pretty good. I got it worked on all week, and it's much better than what it was last week." WILL YOU HAVE THERAPY THE NEXT DAY OR TWO? "Right now I don't think so. I'm in pretty good shape right now so we'll just let it go and try to take care of it getting in and out of the car."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Paychex Taurus (Qualified 28th) -- "It's just unfortunate (the draw). That's just the way it goes. We were 10th-quickest in practice and I hope that time gets us in the show. It's just tough. It's tough going early. The track sat for an hour and a half with the sun beating on it and it's just gotten slick. It's gonna get faster and faster."
RICKY RUDD --10-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 8th) -- "That's a little bit slower in practice, I don't know if everybody is doing that or not. We were second in practice and ran like a ninety-something and then it was a flat, so I don't know. It didn't do anything wrong, it wasn't particularly great I don't think."
TOUGH HAVING AN EARLY DRAW? "Yeah, I think going early doesn't help, we'll see, but I can't believe it's gonna help the situation. The track seems like it's getting better as we go along."
BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus (Qualified 33rd) -- "I always have a problem here. I just don't have my shock package right or something, I'm just on top of the race track. I need to work on that a little harder. If I go out on heated tires, I'm pretty good."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 17th) -- "We're real happy with it. The Mobil 1 Ford has been good most of the day. We were off the truck kind of slow, but we really worked hard on it and got it to where it needs to be. We've got a good race car here." DID THE DRAW HURT? "A little bit, but for other guys it's worse -- the guys who went out in front of us. I'd rather go out where we did. The last time I went out we were third or fourth and that makes it a lot worse, but we had a good lap here."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Qualified 13th) -- YOU WERE FASTER ON THE FIRST LAP, WHY? "I drove in a little bit deep into three. I knew we had a fairly safe lap, that would certainly get us in first round unless something weird happened, and I went to go for it and just drove in a little bit too deep getting into three. That made it push the nose and it got loose off, but it was loose off because I had a lot of wheel turn to it trying to get it to turn. It's a little slower than what we had run today, I just made a mistake on the last lap."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 39th) -- "We just can't get around here. It's probably me. I don't know what I'm doing here at all. I don't know what to tell the guys -- how to fix it. I don't know what the car's doing in, middle, off. I'm just sliding around. I was scared of this place, scared of here and Talladega and this place is biting us so far. I don't know what in the world to even start to think about as far as trying to help us. The guys are doing all they can do, but when the driver can't tell them what's wrong with it they can't fix it."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 20th) -- "I was too loose when I qualified. I just couldn't get the rear wheels hooked up the way I wanted to and wasn't happy with it, so that hurt me. I didn't qualify as well as I wanted, so all I can tell you is we'll put the race package in and go back to work. I think we'll be fine on Sunday."
DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus (Qualified 22nd) -- "After the last several weeks it was the greatest laps of my life. I went too hard on my warmup. My first timed lap was my fast lap. That should be real good for the race. That wasn't what I was looking for, but it ain't bad."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (Qualified 6th) -- HOW WAS YOUR LAP? "They were two pretty ones. The second one was really nice. I'm real happy. I'm real, real, real happy. The difference between a pretty good car with a good lap and a bad lap is a top five or top 25 and we had one of those cars. I think I got a good enough lap to be close to a top five. The car was not spectacular, but it was real good and I got a real good lap."
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- TV Guide Taurus (Qualified 36th) -- CONSIDERING IT WAS YOUR BACKUP CAR ARE YOU SATISFIED? "Oh for sure. The guys did a great job to get this TV Guide Taurus turned around. They were consistent laps. That's not the best motor, our qualifying motor is in the car we wrecked and this was our backup, but we'll just see where it shakes out and then determine what we'll do tomorrow."
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MORNING IN PRACTICE? "Hung a brake. I hung a left-front wheel getting off into one. It just turned around. There was nothing I could do about it. We'd been working hard to get the car to turn. We were using a little bit of brake and it had just a little bit too much."
KENNY IRWIN --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 27th) -- "That was OK. We didn't quite get back to where we were in practice, but it's pretty close. Hopefully, it will keep us in the top 25. The first lap I felt like we were gonna be really strong and if we could pick up anything we'd be good. I just got a little tight off of four and that kind of killed our lap."
RICH BICKLE --9-- Cartoon Network Taurus (Qualified 10th) -- "I'm pretty happy with for this Cartoon Network car. That's a lot faster than we practiced. I just wish I could learn how to qualify at the other race tracks as good as I run this joint, but the guys have worked really hard. This car we haven't run this year, it's the first time I've been in the car and it drives good. For some reason I just get around this joint real well."
RICK MAST --98-- Universal Studios Taurus (Qualified 12th) -- "In the show again. The car has had a little bit of push in it in the center of the turns since we've been here and we've not been able to get it out. We adjusted it a good bit right before qualifying and it helped it somewhat, but we still didn't get it right. I kept searching all three laps for a place to get the car to work right and finally the last lap in the middle of three and four I found what it needed, but I was like a half a lap too late for that. We'll just take this and try to do a little bit better Sunday, stay in the top 10 all day Sunday and finish in the top five."
TED MUSGRAVE --75-- Polaris Taurus (Qualified 2nd) -- "Right now you're looking at qualifying and we have no provisionals at this time, so you want to go out there and make sure you put in a decent lap to get in the show. Sometimes the easier you go around Martinsville the faster you are, so that worked out for me."
YOU SEEM TO HAVE DONE WELL ALL YEAR ON SHORT TRACKS? "We've done well a lot of places. We were really doing well at Michigan and other places, just had some faulty things happen. It just hasn't been our season, but every now and then it pops up and stays with us and we run good."
HOW BIG WAS THAT LAP FOR YOUR TEAM? "It's good. The car's been good. The guys have been working great. Maybe it's just putting the package together. That's what we had to do."
ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 15th) -- "We knew we could do it. We thought the car was gonna be pretty good. In practice we changed just about everything but the front seat, but we were real happy with it. We knew we were gonna be a little bit free, but we got together and decided to get a conservative lap. We made that first one and then messed up, but we'll be alright. That's first round and now we can get ready to race."
TED MUSGRAVE PRESS CONFERENCE "To tell you the truth, it kind of surprised me a little bit. Here at Martinsville, sometimes the harder you try the worse you get. I alluded to that earlier where a year or two ago I had the track record. I went out and said to myself, 'OK, I'm just gonna warm the tires up the first lap, kind of get it running.' And went out there and, I didn't know it, but it was a track record. I thought to myself, 'OK, now you've got the thing warmed up and now I'm gonna take off and really try it,' and it was the slowest lap of the day. So I learned from that and did that today."
YOU HAVE STRUGGLED QUALIFYING THIS YEAR, OTHER THAN YOU'VE QUALIFIED WELL HERE BEFORE, WAS THERE ANYTHING DIFFERENT? "Unemployment (laughing). No, actually, Martinsville has been a place where I held the track record a while back. Like I say, it's a place where sometimes you can have a car that's really fast in practice and hook a curb or whatever and lose a couple tenths either way. You can be a hero or a zero. Yeah, our qualifying has been OK every now and then. This has been the high being on the front row this time, but we qualified well at Michigan and we qualified well at a couple of other places. Don't get me wrong, front row is a good place to be. Like I say, we didn't do anything "different. This is the same bunch of guys, the same car we had here in the spring, it's just getting the right amount of time on the tires. Now we went to a different qualifying deal here today. We had actually like three laps and that told us we didn't want much time on our tires. I think some guys went out on sticker tires, brand new tires, and some went on just very, very light scuffs which is the same thing I did. There was an equation in there also, but I think we just need to know what Joe did because we'll have to do that next time."
THIS IS A DIFFERENT GROUP IN THE TOP THREE. IS MARTINSVILLE A HIT AND MISS? "The only one thing about it is the aerodynamic package is not that critical here at Martinsville. You have to have a great motor, which I did today. We buffed in the tires just about right, evidently Joe did about the same as I did, and the handling package. That's the biggest thing -- the shock and the spring package here is really important because you come from the asphalt to the concrete and there are some bumps and the car does jump around a little bit. Getting the shock absorbers just right for the qualifying effort. That's the package right now. You don't have to have a car that goes to the wind tunnel 20 times and things like that. I know we all have been on the pole here. As a matter of fact I think Geoff and I were on the front row here not too long ago when it was the Hoosier-Goodyear war or something like that. It was a good effort for the team. We've had crew chief changes. We've had five different spotters, a couple different owners. We've had a bunch of different changes and now we're starting to hit on things. It's the end of the year and a lot of things are changing. They're gonna mix it up again, but we're just starting to finally get on the same page and things are starting to work. We'll just see how it goes from here."