MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 9th) "I don't know where that will end, but that was a good lap. Some of those guys picked up more than I thought they would, but that was a good lap." HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BE FAST...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"I don't know where that will end, but that was a good lap. Some of those guys picked up more than I thought they would, but that was a good lap."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BE FAST RIGHT OFF THE TRUCK?
"Usually when you come off the truck and you're slow, it's hard to gain on it. When you're fairly quick, you can usually hang in their somewhere decent, but if you don't work on it, you don't get any better either. It's nice when you get off the truck and it drives good and you can be comfortable with the setup."
IS PATIENCE A KEY HERE?
"It's the same as any other race, really. There are a lot of things to worry about, like fuel mileage because this is such a big track. You want to be toward the front, but you can pass. I don't think this is a very difficult place to pass at, so if you've got a good car, the good cars usually shine here."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 13th)
"Our day was going pretty smooth. We went to go do our bonzai run with fresh tires at the end of practice and we didn't pick up any speed. That was a bit disappointing, so we threw a couple of adjustments at it to free it up a little bit. Even with these hot temperatures, the car did what I needed it to do and we picked up time. We went from a .70 to a .50. It's not a .20, but we'll take it. I think we'll get in the top 10 or top 15 with that and that's just fine."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"That was a three-tenth pickup and that look like about what everybody is doing. We had a big struggle today, but I'm real proud of my guys. They kept working and working. The CITGO car struggled a little bit to start, but we made it decent at the end and I think that's a decent qualifying run. It's not great, but it's decent and you can win with a decent starting spot, so we'll be OK."
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WIN ON SUNDAY?
"Go fast through the corner, go fast down the straightaway, have good pit stops - it takes everything. Competition is so good now that if you're lacking in any area it's really hard to win. We ran OK here in the spring. We got a little bit tighter than we wanted to be, so we're just working hard on keeping the thing turning. If we turn well in the race on Sunday, we feel like we'll have a good chance."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"I'm not very happy with it, but it'll have to do I guess. We just can't get our car like we want it, it's just too tight on one end and too loose in the other. The track is really different all the way around - it has a lot of different aspects to it - but we'll keep working on it. It's the same thing as when we were here last time - identical. It hasn't changed. It's just like we were here yesterday, so, I don't know."
HOW WAS THE LAP?
"I was a little too tight down there in one and had to get out of the throttle coming up off the corner and that just kills your lap time. I was just frustrated that I can't get my car to turn coming off of one and I'm a little too loose down there in three and four, so we just need to keep working on the Grainger car and get a little bit better. We'll see how we do in happy hour tomorrow, but, overall, I guess I have to be happy with that run."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 23rd)
"We're real happy with that. We made a lot of changes before qualifying - educated guess stuff - and the car was a lot better. We tried something a little different coming here knowing that what we had last time was a 16th-place qualifying car and it looks like that's probably about where we're gonna end up again. But to get that run after what we were in practice, we're pretty pleased with it. I'm working well with Gary (Cogswell) and trying to get all of our ducks in a row and get better. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel."
DID IT COME EASIER TODAY WITH GARY?
"Yeah. Me and Gary - even from the first race we ran together with Buckshot's car in '01 - we've always just had an instant rapport that you look for between a crew chief and driver. We've always gotten along. We've disagreed, but we don't argue about it, we discuss it and figure out how we're gonna agree and what we're gonna do. That's what you've got to do. We're real happy with the situation and we'll just try to get better from here."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"We were really good in practice early on, but we really didn't get a chance to run our qualifying run like we would have liked. I guess we developed a hole or crack in the water storage tank you use for qualifying. The thing was blowing water during my qualifying run, so we didn't really know what we had. We had to go on stickers. Our car seemed to like scuffs a little bit better. I'm a little disappointed because we had a real good tunnel turn and real good front straightaway, but I couldn't get the car to stick in turn one and that really killed the lap."
IT'S A LONG RACE, THOUGH.
"Yeah, it's gonna put us somewhere in the middle of the pack. We had a little bit better car than that, but we're gonna end up somewhere in the middle to start. The good thing is it's a long day here."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"The M&M's guys did a great job. We had the worst hour and 40 minutes of practice I've ever had in my life, but we worked on it there at the end of practice and made it better. Right when I finished my lap I hollered over the radio to DJ's channel that the track had plenty of grip and to go for it. I'm very happy with that."
HOW MUCH BETTER WILL YOU SLEEP KNOWING YOU'RE UP FRONT?
"A lot better. It gives my guys better track position on the race track and gives them a better position in the pits. I really like this race track. I didn't used to like it, but I think it makes a difference when Robert brings so much motor. This is not the same car we had here the first race, it's a little bit different race car and it's one we think we can win with - that's why we brought it."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 8th)
"I'm pretty happy with it because this is a brand new race car. The front end geometry is a little bit different than what we've been doing and it took me a little time to get used to it. That's my excuse anyway, but Elliott and his team helped us some. They put on some rear shocks right before the end of practice and we put them on for qualifying and that helped us. That's what teamwork is about and, hopefully, we can have both of these cars up front on Sunday."
YOU HAD YOUR SECOND TOP-10 SINCE MAY LAST WEEK. ARE YOU TURNING THE CORNER?
"I don't know if you can consider that being back, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Everybody at Robert Yates Racing has put in a tremendous amount of work and effort. It's not from a lack of effort that we hadn't gotten back sooner, but, hopefully, we are heading in the right direction and we can start piling up top 10s and top 5s and that will lead to victory lane."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 14th)
"We had a horrible time in practice and that's gonna be a victory for us. Even though we were 11th in practice, we were all over the place and inconsistent. We made some more changes and we weren't exactly dialed in perfect. I didn't get one of those perfect laps. It's gonna be close to 15th and you can go racing from there because 32nd is a lot more of a challenge. I'm happy with that. That's quicker than I expected to run. I knew we had a good car, but I knew we didn't have it set up right, so I didn't know what to expect from it on that lap. That cost us. A tenth would look a lot better and I know that I left a tenth based on not knowing what the car was gonna do in turn one."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"We just got way loose in all three corners. I was afraid that was gonna happen. I'm just disappointed because we practiced pretty good. We didn't slow down, we just didn't pick up like everybody else did. We just missed it by one little adjustment."
WHAT MADE YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE LOOSER?
"Just from the way it was in practice. After that we taped more of the grille off and there's a little bit more sun. That, plus you run it a good bit harder in qualifying than you do in practice here. I should have gone with my instincts and tried to tighten it up, but I didn't want to get it too tight either. That's just the chance you take."