NOTE: Kurt Busch and Dale Jarrett were involved in single-car accidents during Friday's first practice session and were both forced to backup cars for qualifying. RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 11th) DID BUSCH PRACTICE DO...
NOTE: Kurt Busch and Dale Jarrett were involved in single-car accidents during Friday's first practice session and were both forced to backup cars for qualifying.
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 11th)
DID BUSCH PRACTICE DO ANYTHING TO THE TRACK? "I don't know. We lost a little over two-tenths from what we practiced, so it's just hard to say. The track is definitely different, but I don't know if we adapted better than anyone else or not, we'll just have to see. I don't think it's as much the track has slowed down as much as the tires just don't re-fire real well. Everything has had a chance to cool down. The sun's not out and the track's not quite as hot, so I just couldn't get a real good grip. I talked to Sterling afterwards and he was the same way. I was a little tight and he was a little loose."
HOW WAS THE SEALER? "It was awesome this morning. There was an ungodly amount of grip, but it's the same for everybody."
YOU LOST FROM PRACTICE, WHY? "I think it's just the race track. We couldn't get the grip we had earlier today. I think it's gonna be the same for everybody. I think the weather is gonna be about the same with the sun behind the clouds. Hopefully, that lap will be pretty good for maybe a top 10 run."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 23rd)
"I think we're in trouble with that. The track has gotten a lot slower right now, but it's probably gonna get better. All the Busch cars running on it -- they didn't get any practice yesterday so they didn't have a choice, they had to run on it -- but that's hurt the guys that went early. That's not gonna be very good. That's four-tenths off of what we ran in practice, but it's hard to guess on what the track is gonna do when you have that big of a change, so, whatever that is that's what it is and we'll take our lumps and go on. I don't think we did a bad job, I just think we got a bad draw."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 12th)
"Like everyone else, we had run a little bit quicker in practice, but it didn't seem like we gave up as much as everybody else. I wish we had one more lap -- a third lap would have been nice to run. Hopefully, that will stay in the top 10."
ARE THERE A LOT OF CHANGES IN THE TRACK? "Not really. The track gave up a little bit of grip, but I think that's because everything is cold right now. It would have been nice to have had a third lap to warm everything up. But, considering when we went at that time of day, we were pretty good. This is a good race car. It's the car we won with last fall here, so they brought it back. They haven't touched it and it hasn't been raced since then, so we're excited about it. I think we've got a good race car."
NOTE: Rudd has the highest average finishing position of all drivers over the last six races at 7.16. Sterling Marlin is second (8.50), Rusty Wallace third (9.83), Jimmie Johnson fourth (10.33) and Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth fifth (11.16).
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"These guys have become very good at qualifying in the top 10. I don't know, I just feel like we make progress every week. I had my hands full at the beginning of the day. I had a certain complaint and they corrected my complaint. That's all you can ask. They made big improvements on how the Tide Ford got into the corner. If we would have had another hour of practice, I think we would have been able to perfect the middle and the exit, but you can only ask so much out of a two-hour practice."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 42nd)
"This is just one of those short track days. I hate coming to the short tracks. We got lucky at Bristol. Things didn't fall our way in Fontana, so here we go into the grind of the season. We're already starting to struggle, but it's just me making stupid mistakes."
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PRACTICE ACCIDENT TODAY? "The car shoved its nose so bad that it got up in the loose stuff and then it swung around with the rear end and I backed it in the wall. That's what it tried to do again in qualifying, so it must be something I'm doing."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"We hoped for a lot more than that. We ran like a .12 in practice, but the track has really cooled down and the tires just needed more heat in them. If they would let us run three laps, I guarantee you the old hot rod would run quicker on the third lap, but it was all a heat issue. Trying to get enough heat in the tires was the problem."
RICK MAST --90-- Duke's Mayonnaise Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"We unloaded and the car was like 12th out of 40 cars at first. We ended up getting a little quicker, but everybody else got a lot quicker in practice. The car kept getting tighter and tighter and we couldn't figure out what was going on. We kept loosening it up and right before qualifying we started checking and somehow we got the toe-out out a half-inch, so we changed that back and it changed the characteristic of my lap. That messed me up a little bit. I wish I could go back out there and do the lap over again with a couple of adjustments and it would be a lot better. But we'll take that and run."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"The car had a lot of speed in it, obviously. I didn't have a great lap. I've had laps feel better than that before and be slower, but the car was balanced pretty nicely. I tried to take it easy the first lap and we still had a fast lap. I didn't think it was very fast, so on the second lap I went for it. I got a really good one and two, but when I got into three the car slipped off the bottom and cost me some time there. It's still a really good run for us."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"I don't know. I guess we shouldn't have changed the car after practice because we got it unhooked from the race track and didn't go anywhere."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 40th)
YOU DIDN'T HAVE ANY PRACTICE LAPS WITH THIS CAR AFTER THE ACCIDENT? "All you can do is go out and make your two laps. You try to get what you can, but you can't take a chance of trying to do too much because we don't have another car here. It's just a bad day."
WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE? "We cut a left-rear tire down. It's got a big cut in it and Goodyear saw that. Somebody standing in the corner down here (turn four) said that they saw it when I came through. I felt the car really turn good, but it drove up off the corner and I guess it just lost total traction."