JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Starting position: 13th How was the car in qualifying? "We made some small adjustments to free up the car a little bit, but we couldn't free it up too much. We had to be somewhat...
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Starting position: 13th
How was the car in qualifying? "We made some small adjustments to free up the car a little bit, but we couldn't free it up too much. We had to be somewhat conservative. Our car was pretty good. We ran what we ran in practice and I think it just goes back to the team making the call to free it up a little bit. There was more that we probably could have done, but we couldn't take a chance of not getting in the show."
How have you and your team dealt with the stress of having to make these races on time? "It makes you tough and those weeks that we had to go home just make you stronger. I think we've handled the pressure pretty well and we keep coming back, we're not getting down. That's all we can do with it. We can't let it get to us and can't let our confidence get down. As long as we, as a race team , keep our heads up, we'll be all right."
How do you feel about the Car of Tomorrow? "I love the Car of Tomorrow! Our team has not let the early races get us down, they've kept digging and now it shows. When you have to go home on Friday and not race on Sunday, that's hard. There are a lot of things that people focus on, but this is my life and this is what we do. The pressure that comes with that is normal and its just part of it. We all feel like we owe it to our manufacturer, our sponsor and our fans -- to be here on Sunday. And when you're not here, it beats you down and then the speculation starts. Then you can find yourself at rock bottom and you have to try to keep your chin up and stay focused. We've tried hard to keep our team's confidence pumped up and not let it get to us. We know that is the only way to keep moving forward."
Are you surprised that your team and Toyota have struggled to make races this season? "I think it has a lot to do with the points situation that we have right now. I don't think it's just the manufacturer, trust me -- Toyota has done a great job. They have given us great race cars, it's just a matter of putting all the right people in the right places. You can't just get a bunch of good people and suddenly win, you have to work at it. Toyota has a lot of new teams and they are going to all have to build together. Toyota is doing a great job of working with all the teams and it will just take a while to get everybody to work together."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing: Starting position: 22nd
How concerned were you to not have a guaranteed starting spot this weekend? "I know we've got two really good race teams and I didn't really think too much about even missing one of these races. We've qualified pretty good here in the past and I was hoping we might have qualified in the top- 10, but we missed that by quite a bit. We're still good enough."
How much does the Car of Tomorrow affect you this weekend in having to make the race? "It's a different package. Everybody has a learning curve that they have to overcome with the Car of Tomorrow. But we had a pretty good car last weekend at Bristol. We started practice today and I thought we were really good, but then it kind of got away from us and we never caught up. I thought we'd qualify a little better. It's just a little different race car and we've all been running different cars on different tracks for a long time. It's new for everybody and it might even things up a little."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Starting position: 38th
Did the heat play a factor in your qualifying lap? "The track didn't seem to change much to me. I ran the same lap time as I did in practice, so I don't really think the track made too much of a difference. There's nothing wrong with the Car of Tomorrow -- they are race cars with four tires. There are some things that have to be set-up differently with these cars, but we just need to keep improving each week. Right now that is our challenge."
AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Team Red Bull: Starting position: 40th
How was your qualifying lap? "All the credit goes to my Team Red Bull guys. Plain and simple, we stunk during practice. We were as bad as you can be and I was pretty much as confused as you can be. They made 14 changes to the car before qualifying and I just tried to turn a lap that I thought might be good enough to get in the show -- and it worked."
How have you dealt with the stress of having to make the races on time? "I hate this. One of these days, we're going to put down a lap that will put us second or third with no cars left and we'll have no worries and we'll be fine. This place is tough, you see it on TV and people tell you how tough it is, but it is a paperclip where you brake and you turn. It's really tough to get around and I'm sure the race on Sunday will get pretty hairy."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing: Starting position: 43rd
How do you feel about making the race today? "I'm thrilled that we made the race and now we have 500 laps around this place on Sunday. We'll work and try to get our stuff as good as possible. We squeaked in the show and hopefully we can learn something and make some gains on it. I know we will start pretty far back and here at Martinsville you have to be careful not to go a lap down early, but the important thing is that we're starting. We need to run all 500 laps on Sunday in order for our day to be a success. In order for us as an organization to learn anything, we have to get into the races. That is our main focus. Hopefully we'll go out in practice tomorrow and make gains on it and make our stuff better. We need to learn more in order to get better and that is our biggest problem, we just don't have a lot of information right now."
Are you surprised with the struggle you have faced this season? "I think we all knew that we were behind as a new organization in trying to build new cars, but I know we're gaining on it. I knew it was going to be tough. I would have hoped that we could have turned the corner a little more by now as an organization, but I think we have to a certain extent. I think we're doing a lot of things for Texas that will hopefully show more. I didn't think we would see a lot here because we are so behind on the COT stuff because of such a late start on those things."
-credit: toyota motorsports