KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "We adjusted air pressures from practice, and we were a little bit freer. Hopefully that will end up somewhere in the top 15. It wasn't that great of a lap. I think the track might have slowed down a...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We adjusted air pressures from practice, and we were a little bit freer. Hopefully that will end up somewhere in the top 15. It wasn't that great of a lap. I think the track might have slowed down a little bit, but it was still pretty good. We backed up what we ran in practice. It wasn't the lap we wanted, but hopefully it'll end up in the top 15."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
"We're pretty happy with that. We picked up three tenths. We had two sets of tires to pick from for qualifying, and I think we picked the right set. We had good grip, and I don't think going out early here is a bad thing. The cloud cover probably didn't make any difference. I'm proud of my Cheerios guys. We're getting better racing, and one of these days we're going to be up there in the top five consistently. That's what we're after. I think we're going to be pretty close to the front to start on Sunday, so that's good. We're just going to try to be around at the finish. We'll get the car handling good. Three and four are probably the toughest corners for everybody. If you can get three and four figured out, I think you can get through one and two and have a pretty good race."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)
"We just needed a little bit more. We were pretty good in one and two, but we were off about three tenths in three and four. We needed some grip. We ran race runs all day in practice and thought we were in good shape, but we just didn't pick it up for qualifying. I've sat on the pole here and we've got some top fives and top 10s. We're ready to win one Sunday. About everything has to be perfect to win these days. Look at Mark Martin last week in Atlanta. He dominated the race and the way it shook out at the end he was a sitting duck."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"It wasn't our day for qualifying I don't guess. We just haven't got hold of the racetrack yet. It's a little slick, but we just haven't got it going yet. I hope we know what to do to make it better. We'll soon find out."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
"It was just a little too loose getting into turn three. Other than that turn one was really good. Turn three just wasn't where I needed it. The last three or four runs we made it was a little free. We put some air pressure in the tires and put a little wedge in it to try to fix it, but we just didn't go far enough. It was a good, solid run. I feel good about Sunday. We'll see what happens."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL/Mobil 1 Dodge) -- Newman captures fourth straight pole, third season-long pole award with ninth pole in '04.
"It was just a fast lap. I have no other explanation other than a lot of hard work went into it. We've got a new paint scheme on it this week, and evidently the paint was pretty slick because that was a pretty fast lap (track record). I've never been to victory lane here, but we always run well here. We enjoy being back. It's a nice racetrack, a lot of good fans out here, and we enjoy it. My opinion on racing twice at the same track is that we shouldn't do it, but it's not a bad track to come to twice. I wish we'd race once at every racetrack. I had a great lap. I'm standing here hoping nobody beats it.
"I was a little worried about Harvick and Nemechek, but we just did the best we could and that's all you can do. For sure it's going to be a top five run. This track is not tricky. There are some places on the track you can hit and you might move around a little bit. One and two are obviously different than three and four. We'll have to adapt the same patters we had in qualifying setup for the race.
"The car was pretty close to perfect today. The guys have done an awesome job. If it holds up and we get four in a row, that's a feather in my cap. It's nice to be out here in Phoenix. We didn't come out here to test. We came out here to test once before and struggled all weekend. It seems like we quit testing out here and started running better.
"We've got the Bud Pole Award locked up today, and that's something I'm very proud of. I know the team is proud of it too. It's spectacular to win four poles in a row. The next thing after that is five I guess. We can finish up with 11 poles again if we do it right. We can improve on that. We had a rocket at the second Loudon race and we got rained out. People can say the same thing, but we've had some cars capable of getting the pole. We had three seconds in a row back in May. We've been close, and we know we can do better. We'll continue to strive to do that.
"I like qualifying. It's me against the racetrack. It's the only opportunity I have all weekend to compete against what I'm racing with and that's the racetrack. To go out there and just be me in the clean air, that's something I enjoy. I enjoy racing against other cars, but you can focus more on what's going on when you're the only car on the track.
"We've always found that qualifying helps with the attitude on Thursday and Friday if you do well. It helps the entire weekend to start off on the right foot. You get a good pit selection and five bonus points if you can lead a lap. I've always liked to be No. 1 no matter what I do."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"We made a lot of adjustments before qualifying and just didn't go far enough. It was a good lap for us. We had more in the car, but it was just a little bit too free. We couldn't hustle it like we needed to. We'll take it and get ready to race.
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"We picked up about a tenth and a half from practice. I really wanted to run a .90. That was my goal going into qualifying. We've got a good, sold car. We ran some race trim stuff in the morning. I felt like the car was real strong. I've still got a lot to learn here. Jamie did a real good job coming here and testing. We basically put his setup on and the car was running real good.
"Ryan Newman is fast, but it never looks like he's out of control at all. He does an excellent job. He's by far the best qualifier in here. I know I'm driving as hard as I can and my car is running all over the place and I end up seventh. His car never looks like it bobbles or moves, and he does an excellent job. There's definitely a technique for being a good qualifier, and Ryan's got it handled. It's not like he just qualifies well on the big tracks. He goes to Martinsville and wins the pole, too. He's well-rounded as far as that goes. He's got everybody covered when it comes to qualifying. You've got to have a special mindset for qualifying. You've got to think your car is better than it is and go out there and hope it sticks and make something happen."