Martinsville II: Rusty Wallace qualifying interview

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- Qualified Third "We unloaded and it was fast the whole session. I was happy with it. We picked it up in qualifying and it's driving good and turning good. It's a brand new car, and I feel real...

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- Qualified Third

"We unloaded and it was fast the whole session. I was happy with it. We picked it up in qualifying and it's driving good and turning good. It's a brand new car, and I feel real confident. Every time they give you something new you like it.

"I had a couple of bad stops at Charlotte. I had a lugnut come loose and I got behind. I had a flat tire. Right there at the very end I found myself racing real hard. Lately I've found there's three or four races going on. There's definitely the top 10 guys racing each other. You've got the race for the Lucky Dog. I've seen that a lot. There's a lot of hard running going on there. The guys out of the top 10 they don't care about the top 10, that's for sure. I was out of the top 10 last year and I had the same mindset. There's a lot of different style racing out there, but Tony (Stewart) is right. If he's faster than me I'm not going to burn up my brakes holding him back. I'm going to let him set sail, and he'll do the same thing with me. The prize at the end of the rainbow is really big, and you can't do too much of that, but you've got to respect the guys you're racing with. The worst thing in the world is to have the competitors you're racing with not like you and talking smack about you every week. On the other hand, I've got to drive smart and aggressive at the same time. I don't need to get myself in position like I did with five last to go last weekend, just getting myself in the top 10 and got three wide on the exit of turn four and crashed because of it.

"We used to come here and bounce all over the place because the track was rough. The temperatures were cool today and everybody had fast speeds. My car felt exceptionally fast. I could really get good bite in turn one, and it turned well. I just think we've got good grip for some reason. Maybe everybody got a little smarter from the first race. Some people have the same car and others have fresher cars and have learned more from the first race and that's helped increase the speed.

"We'll start out with the same setup we had in the spring. We had a real good car in the spring. I came down pit road and got a pit road penalty. We had to go to the back and got up to fifth. I'm always optimistic when I get to come to Martinsville. I've won a lot of short tracks in my life, but we've got a lot of good tracks coming up. I love Phoenix, and I've won there. We had a great car at Homestead last year. As a racer I'm thinking we can win at any of the tracks coming up, but when you look at the statistics you think this is going to be your best shot."

It's my best chance to get caught up. I feel real good about my chances here. I like it. We brought a new car, and it's got a good feel to it. I like it. We were fourth quick in practice. That's positive. I'd love nothing more than to win here Sunday. I've won here seven times, and I'd love to win another one. I think I need to lead about 69 laps to reach 20,000, and I'd definitely like to do that. You go to a lot of racetracks, and I feel good about a lot of them, but I think a lot of people look at me as the favorite here. I kinda feel that when I come into this track. I've got a little extra step in my stride when I come into this track because I've been so successful here in the past.

"I think everybody in the top 10 or maybe in the top eight can still win the championship. I think I can win it, too. Stewart crashed at Charlotte and it closed right back up. A couple of guys around me, that could happen, too, and it would close right back up. I'm going to take advantage of these good tracks to get where I need to be.

"This is the track for Rusty Wallace. I've got one more test session left. They had the whole world here testing, and I didn't test at all and we unloaded right on the money. I wish I could test more at places like Atlanta. I'll be at Homestead, but I wish I could have tested at a couple more of these tracks to get better.

"That was a good qualifying lap. I'm proud of my guys and I'm proud of that lap. The guys built me a brand new car and right off the truck it was fast. I wish I could have got the pole, but Tony has a good hot rod, too.

"I was aggravated last year to lose this race, but the one that was really bad was the first race this year. I'd led it all day long. I sped down pit road and got busted and had to go to the back. I made it back up to fifth. If it hadn't been for that I probably would have won the first race here this year, but we're going to get another shot at it. I was probably more aggravated last week at Charlotte."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace