MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 21st) "The sun shines only when we go out, except in Chicago and then it only rains when we go out. We weren't good enough to be killer anyway, but the sun has been peeping in and out and we've got a...
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 21st)
"The sun shines only when we go out, except in Chicago and then it only rains when we go out. We weren't good enough to be killer anyway, but the sun has been peeping in and out and we've got a lot of clouds coming, so an early draw could have been a good thing here. There are so many patches in the clouds that it didn't do us any favors. The car isn't quite as quick as it was last time here, but I think we didn't have the car as good as it could be in the race, so if we get everything out of this car that's available for the race, we should be really strong."
DID LOSING AN HOUR OF PRACTICE HURT TODAY? "It doesn't hurt. This is my second-favorite car. It's the car we won Dover with and ran well at Charlotte, but it's my second-fastest car. It's a little off in qualifying trim, but in race trim if we get it just right we'll be a contender."
HOW WAS THE LAP? "It was a good lap. The car felt good. I would have liked to have run faster, but this car is a little off from the car that we had here last time, but we didn't really have our car dialed in in the race last time here, so if we do a good job with this thing and get it tuned right in, it should be a spectacular day Sunday."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"We tried a little different setup than what we were here the first time. Even though we qualified 10th, we thought we might try to make a little more speed out of it, and I think the lack of time there may have kept us from going back to where we were. If we would have had that, we might have gone back but we only had three runs at the most. It's not a big deal. We've got a good race car, but it was just something a little different to try for qualifying."
THE SUN IN AND OUT IS KIND OF HIT AND MISS TODAY, TOO. "Yeah, the guys that are fortunate enough to get the clouds are gonna pick up a little time and the other guys are either gonna hold steady or maybe lose a little bit because the track is definitely a little hotter than it was."
YOUR TEAM HAS SOME GOOD MOMENTUM AS FAR AS TRYING TO GET IN THE TOP 10. "We're starting to do the things now that we need to do and that's be more consistent week in and week out and put ourselves in the top 10 and top five. Then we'll give ourselves a chance to win at that point in time, so I like what I see. Mike (Ford) has done a terrific job in getting our people and now our cars in the right place at the right time, so, hopefully, we can make a good run here."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep It Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"Our car did the same thing in practice, it's just not fast through the corner. You have to wait on it and it doesn't get the grip that it should, so you have to bleed off a little more speed with the brakes. When you do that the stopwatch ticks away and you're not going anywhere. We were a little tight on exit, but the main thing is you have to bleed off too much speed because the car is not really gripping the race track as hard as it needs to. I can't sit here and say lack of practice time is our problem. We've got a really steamy motor under the hood, so we've just got to get better through the corners."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"I think that's gonna be pretty good. I'm really proud of my M&M's Ford Taurus. We made some adjustments from practice that made it better and I'm real happy with these guys. It might not be on the pole, but it will be close enough where I can see them and get us a great spot for Sunday."
HOW HARD IS IT TO FIND THE BALANCE HERE IN THE CORNERS AND WITH THE HORSEPOWER? "It's awesome. My guys do so much work in the engine shop and to have this kind of horsepower coming back to Pocono is unbelievable. I really have to take my hat off to the engine shop and all they've done. I think all of us Ford drivers are really happy with all the hard work and the motors we have. Todd (Parrott) is used to working with this type of horsepower because he's been a part of Yates for a long time, so he knows what we need to be successful."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"We used our time to practice the National Guard car in race trim and didn't do any qualifying trim at all. But that's really good for the first lap I've made in qualifying trim and we made only one lap. I thought I had a better lap coming, but I got a little bit loose down there in three, just trying for a little bit too much probably with my aggressive nature. I'm really proud of the guys. I probably shouldn't have tried for that last little bit and maybe we would have been second or on the pole for now anyway."
YOU'RE GOING BACK AND FORTH TO PIKES PEAK. HOW WILL THAT WORK? "We decided before we came here not to go out and practice and do happy hour in Colorado just because of the time frame. And then of course today with the fog delaying us we wouldn't have made it anyway. Mike McLaughlin is out there driving the Charter car and doing a great job for us. We talked to him a couple of times and they seem real happy so far, so that's good. We'll leave tomorrow after the first practice, so we're gonna miss our second happy hour here in Nextel Cup. That's why we used all of this morning while everybody practiced qualifying, we decided to do all race setup and try to figure out some shock packages that we think we're gonna use for the race. I think we're gonna be pretty decent in the first practice tomorrow and then we'll go out there and run the race."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus (Qualified 23rd)
"This is a new car for us and we feel real good about it, but we're trying to figure out what it wants. We weren't very good in practice and I'll be honest, I didn't drive the car hard enough. There was a lot more grip out there than I anticipated. That's sixth tenths from what we ran in practice, but we needed to pick up more with the conditions the way they are. I probably didn't go as hard as I should have."
HOW MUCH FLEXIBILITY DO YOU HAVE IN THE SETUP FOR SUNDAY? "Your car has to handle well the whole time. It can't just handle well at the end or handle well at the beginning. It's got to handle well the whole time. Hopefully, we can get the right stuff underneath this thing and make it drive as good as I think it can."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Qualified 15th)
"We had the backup car prepared well and that's a car we've raced several times before and it's the car we had here the last time, so I feel good about it."
HAVE YOU FELT WORSE THAN ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TODAY? "Yeah, I have because it didn't cost us anything today. That car was actually kind of an experimental car and it wasn't driving very good this morning, which might turn out to be a good thing, I don't know. I wanted to get a whole weekend on it and hoped it would work better to run it at Indy, but what we have here is kind of tried and true. We've run this car many times and its run good for us. I feel bad about it because it was stupid, but I don't feel too bad about it because the guys are in a good mood and we qualified good for us. Anytime we're 25th or better we're pretty happy with that and to be 15th is good, although we needed to be 17th because we've never won farther up than 17th."
WHAT HAPPENED COMING DOWN PIT ROAD? "I just wasn't paying attention and hit the wall. I just hit the corner of the wall up there (on the entrance to the garage) and opened up the side like a can opener."
SO THIS WAS THE FIRST LAP TODAY WITH THIS CAR. "It's the same car we had here in June so everything is pretty much the same. I feel pretty good about the car."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"It's a great run for us. I don't know if it was the speed of the race track or the adjustments we made. It's hard to know because we never qualified all that hot, so it was just a great effort on the team's part. We always want the best pill draw you can possibly get and today was a benefit. Next week is a more important pill draw because you have to go out early in the cool conditions. So going out late today helped us in the cool conditions."
YOU'VE RACED WELL HERE OF LATE? "We have. It's just been a good track on the long run for us, like many of our race cars are built. It's just the way that the deal is. Maybe I'm taking too much from my teammate Kenseth on qualifying mediocre and racing well. But when you race well you get the points and that's what I hope we can do."