KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 36th) "We didn't slip a tire on the qualifying run, so I thought it would be a lot better. The track is in good shape. The weather is nice today. Hopefully, we won't have to use a provisional.
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 36th)
"We didn't slip a tire on the qualifying run, so I thought it would be a lot better. The track is in good shape. The weather is nice today. Hopefully, we won't have to use a provisional. That'll be the only good sign."
DID GOING OUT FIRST HURT? "No, not really. I mean, at this place you can go out first or last, or you could go out on seven cylinders and just about run the same laps time. This place is very difficult to get a hold of and I just haven't quite found the knack for qualifying yet."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 20th) -
"I think that'll be decent. We were 16th in practice and it looks to me like, hopefully, we ought to be able to be that good in qualifying. The car really worked good and I let the car do its job. Now that it's over with and the lap was so slick, I wish I would have tried harder. But the car was working and it was hooked up OK. That was better than practice. I would have liked to run a .59, but that will get us a top half of the field starting spot."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"I'm pretty satisfied. I ran a .59 in practice and that was a .51. I thought that was pretty steamy, that's pretty good. We'll see how it holds up right now, but that's a good run for us."
HOW IS THE TRACK? "I think that the track is controversial at the moment. It was real bumpy and real rough and now it's smooth but has no grip because it's so porous as far as the grind job. I really think it's better than it was honestly."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 18th)
"We're a little disappointed. We just got extremely loose under acceleration coming off the corner. It turned good. The hard part at Martinsville in qualifying is getting the car to turn and it turned really good, but when I jumped back in the gas it was really loose. I'm not really sure what the deal was to be honest with you. It's a different track. There's no grip. It's Martinsville with no grip. You've got to work on forward bite and trying to get off the corners and not spin the tires like we just did."
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Qualified 32nd)
"That's terrible. We fought a forward bite problem all day as everybody has. The guys that have it figured out are gonna go fast. That's Martinsville. That's what you've got to do is get off these corners and get down the straightaways and we didn't do it."
HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS TRACK? "From the way it used to be to the way it is now it's just terrible. There's just no grip. The times show it. They're almost a second off of what we had last time for the pole, so they definitely didn't do us any favors by what they did."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 30th)
YOUR SECOND LAP WAS BETTER THAN THE FIRST. "Yeah, but the bad part was I got sideways off of four and that killed my speed to start the second lap. But the car was a lot better. We struggled a little bit in practice, but Ryan and the guys re-grouped a little bit and got it going back the right way and got me driving a little better. I would have liked to have gotten another half-tenth or three-quarters-of-a-tenth out of it, but that will be mid pack I guess."
HARD TO FIND GRIP? "Yeah, it's hard to find grip off the corners. I've been struggling bigtime all day trying to get off the corner at all. I feel like I'm really good through the center, maybe too good, and I just can't get off the corner. I don't know. We're still hunting around here. Maybe we'll find it."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 17th)
"I thought I could have done a lot better than that. The guys did a good job preparing our DEWALT car for Martinsville. We went out and scuffed a set of tires that seemed to be a lot tighter than the rest. I was hoping we'd be OK qualifying, but it was just a little too tight and when you have to wait on the car to turn in the middle of the corner here it just costs you a lot of time."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 15th)
"I was trying not to get too out of hand and abuse the tires one the first lap because I had been watching some other guys and they seemed to pick up on the second lap. We ran faster than what we practiced by a little over a tenth, so that's always good."
HOW IS THE TRACK? "You have no grip up off the corner. The entrance into the corner and down to the center is really good, you just have to really work the throttle up out of the corner. That should get better. I'm sure as the weekend goes on that's gonna probably get better, but it's a real challenge right now."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 35th)
"On our first set of tires the rear wheels wouldn't hook up at all. Then we put on set two and it pushed really bad. So we had two different set of tires with two totally different characteristics for whatever reason. We didn't really know what to do and, sure enough, we were too tight on our qualifying run. It's been a struggle all day. We unloaded and weren't good at all and we're still not very good. I don't know. The track is a lot different than it normally is and we just never caught up to it."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"We should have been better than that. I messed up. I've got to carry the blame there because I just messed up. I touched the curb and that upset our lap and that's the lap that needed to be the best one. We probably should have been in the mid-sixties, but, hopefully, that will get us in without using a spot. That's really critical to us right now."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 14th)
"It was about what we expected. I'm really looking forward to the race on Sunday. It was one of my favorite race tracks before we won last fall and now it's obviously more of a favorite. It's back to the good old days of racing where you can lean on one another and mix it up and go at it for 500 laps and have a lot of fun."