Phoenix II: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger) HERE IT SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE ABLE TO PICK UP SPEED ON THE SECOND LAP. WHY IS THAT? "The tire is probably too hard. No, I don't know. That would be a good excuse to have I guess. I don't...

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger)

HERE IT SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE ABLE TO PICK UP SPEED ON THE SECOND LAP. WHY IS THAT? "The tire is probably too hard. No, I don't know. That would be a good excuse to have I guess. I don't know if it's a combination of the asphalt being a little like it is which could make it a little hard for that lap to get going. We saw in practice that my eighth lap was the fastest lap. A combination of the asphalt and the tire probably has a little bit to do with it. You have to bank on your second lap a little more than your first lap."

HOW IS THE NO. 43 CHEERIOS/BETTY CROCKER DODGE THIS WEEKEND? "We weren't very good in practice. I won't be last right now, but isn't going to say a whole lot for us later on. We weren't very good. We were like 35th in practice. Usually when we qualify like two-tenths faster we're still going to end up about 35th. It wasn't very good. We just have to make it better. We know what we have to do. We just have to work on it tomorrow, because we missed a little bit on it today."


KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger)

"I thought that we had a good amount of speed with the Miller Lite Dodge we just need a little more I guess. Another tenth would put us on the front row. We were just a little bit tight with the front end. We had been like that most of the way through practice. I just thought that we made the right changes to get that out of the car. Still not a bad effort, we'll take it."

DO YOU FEEL THAT THE PENSKE RACING COT PROGRAM HAS PROGRESSED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR? "We still would like to gain more speed, but you know everyone has done a great job from the engineering department to the guys building the motors. We want to learn more about the bodies on these COT cars, and I know we'll do that during the off-season, so all-in-all I would give us a B for our COT program thus far. Now we just need to bump it up to an A so we can get it into victory lane."


SAM HORNISH, JR. (No. 06 Mobil 1 Dodge Avenger)

DOES DRIVING A BUSCH CAR HELP YOU QUALIFY THE CUP CAR? "Definitely getting some track time and all of that stuff is going to really help us out. Hopefully we'll have enough to make it in the race. That's all we're doing is trying to get as much experience as we can this year in preparation for next year. We're going to keep working away at it and keep our heads up. All the guys at Penske Racing have been working a lot of hours to put us not only in the Cup car, but the Busch car as well, so we'll have fun with it."

TELL US ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? "We keep working away at it. I think I picked up the throttle a little too soon coming off of two and probably lost a little bit there. It's a learning process and we keep trying to learn as much as we can. "

WHERE IS YOUR HEAD AT RIGHT NOW AS YOU TAKE ON THIS NEW CHALLENGE? "it's all about making this Cup race. I guess it is how everything plays out now, but that's where our head has been. Yeah, there are announcements and all this stuff going on, but we're here to try and get into this race, try to get some seat time in the Cup car, and try to do the best we can."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/Lifetime Powertrain Warranty Dodge Avenger)

"It felt pretty good. The car handled good. Everything was right. We were sliding around a little too much to go much faster, but it was still a good lap. I felt like that'll end up pretty well and hopefully the car drives like that on Sunday. We'll have a good shot."


RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge Avenger)

"We struggled in practice. We changed a lot of things before qualifying. It was my first time to feel it out. I think we did a good job making the car better, so if we can keep doing that tomorrow we'll be good both in the race practice and in the race."


PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Valvoline/Sears Auto Center Dodge Avenger)

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THIS HAPPY TO QUALIFY FOR A RACE? "Never, ever, not even close. I think I am happier to make this race than I was to get the pole in Montreal. So, I have to say thanks to Dodge because they gave me the opportunity in Montreal that led up to this today. It's pretty amazing. I'm really happy."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? "I was on the wall when Jimmie Johnson went out and I looked at him going into turn one and I was like 'man I am really slow getting in that corner'. He really got deep and of course I am not even close to what he does. Then that is what I got in my image and I said I am going to do a 26.4, a 26.4 and I kept doing it, doing it (in his mind). Kenny Schrader told me, he said 'you do it like you lost your daughter and you need to get her back, that's how bad you need to want it.' That's what I had in my mind actually before I left and I said I am going to get this thing, pumped myself up and it worked out so it's great."

HOW ABOUT THE RACE ON SUNDAY? "I just want to do laps. I don't want to be in anybody's way. I just want to run around, look at the guys how fast they run and what they do and hopefully stay out of everything and just do the race."


DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge Avenger)

"It's been like our normal deal here lately; we can't qualify very good."


REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Avenger)

"It's been about like we've been all day. We haven't been good all day. The car's been loose in, loose off and doesn't turn in the center. So, that's the hardest thing we're trying to fix. We'll make some big changes before tomorrow morning; it's just been really bad all day. At least that was our best lap of the day; I mean we still have a long way to go."

HAS THE COT BEEN INCONSISTENT FROM TRACK TO TRACK? "We're changed stuff on the car too, which makes it even more inconsistent. We're still searching. We've got experimental stuff on there now and it's not very good. It's trying to find stuff for next year and be fast at the same time; it's just tough to do."


JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger)

"It was too loose. In practice it was pretty tight and tried to run the same line I ran in practice and nearly wrecked on the second lap. It was just loose all the way off the turns and I nearly wrecked on the second lap off turn three and four so I lost a little bit of time there."


KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Avenger)

"It was okay. We've been fighting grip up off the corner and that was what we were fighting in practice."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Team Penske