KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 7th) "We picked up quite a bit. I'm real proud of the new team I've been working with here -- the new Rubbermaid guys. They're working hard, it's the same story as everybody else, but I'm ...
KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"We picked up quite a bit. I'm real proud of the new team I've been working with here -- the new Rubbermaid guys. They're working hard, it's the same story as everybody else, but I'm getting used to Jimmy Fennig and the whole new crew. It's just a little bit here and a little bit there, it's all gonna come together."
HOW ABOUT THE MOMENTUM FROM DAYTONA? "It's a great feeling. A top-five at Daytona, nothing beats it, nothing could ever compare to it except for a win. Just working with Jimmy, now we're in the normal grind of things -- Rockingham, Vegas, Atlanta -- we need to be solid so we can get a good effort and not be in a position like we are now. Hopefully, we'll be in the top 10 after the first four races."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 4th)
"Thank goodness we picked up from practice. They did a great job. Part of it was that we were just working and working on the car. Jimmy and Todd did a great job of making adjustments there and I'm sure Doug (Yates) and our engine guys are a little conservative in practice until we see exactly what this one-engine rule is gonna do to us. They did a great job and we're pretty happy with that."
DO YOU LIKE THIS PLACE? "Yeah, I like the race track because it has a lot of different elements to it that you have to learn to cope with and deal with. The surface is worn out and your tires don't last very long, but that puts it in the driver's hands and the crew's hands to make a good handling race car. We've had a lot of success here. We've only been to victory lane one time, but we've been in the top five quite a bit, so we need a good run here."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"That's as good as we could do. I'm so proud of the Tide team. They gave me a perfect car. I challenge you to find anybody in the garage area happier than I am. This is really a lot of fun."
THIS HAS BEEN A GOOD TRACK FOR YOU. "Yeah, statistically its been good to me, but it's not complete until we win one. I really think it's gonna be a great year for the Tide team and we just have to keep working hard."
IS THIS A ROCKET? "It was for two laps. We tested here and that always helps. I'm looking forward to the race. I think we're gonna be good in the race."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 17th)
"We made good progress at Daytona. We were pretty sorry most of the week and on race day it was good. They made progress here at the end of practice today. I think it's gonna take us a little time to find our way, but I think once we find what we really like and get some really good stuff under us I think we're gonna be alright. I like the team."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 25th)
"I'm not really happy with that. I would have liked to have run better than that. I was hoping this one-engine deal would even us up and get us a little bit better in qualifying. If it's not a provisional it's an improvement for us because our qualifying is usually so bad. Hopefully, that will get us somewhere in the middle of the field and that will be better than we usually start here."
ANY CHANGES FOR QUALIFYING WITH THE ONE-ENGINE RULE? "We pretty much treated it the same. We tried to be a little bit more careful with the engine -- not to shock it and get it super, super cold. We did all of our practice runs without some tape open, but, really, we did everything pretty much the same."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 38th)
"It was just real loose. I don't know. I thought we ran a whole lot faster than that, but we just got real, real loose. That's just part of the deal."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"We unloaded pretty decent, we just never made any gains on it. It seemed like old tires really confused us a little bit when we made changes. It just didn't make sense, so qualifying was kind of a guess. We didn't quite have the grip we needed. I was a little bit loose getting in, but the main thing is I can't drive it in the corner like I need to be able to. To go fast, you need to drive in the corner deeper than I can, but that's a lot better than we were here in the fall. We really struggled here in the fall qualifying. We took a provisional and didn't race worth a hoot either. This is the same car, we just came back with some different stuff bolted on it, so, maybe we're learning. That's as important as anything. We had always run really well here and we didn't the last race and that concerned us. I don't know, we'll keep digging and see what we can get."
WHAT ABOUT THE ONE-ENGINE RULE? "We've got to make sure we don't get 'em too hot, that's for sure, but we can tape off at places like Rockingham and shorter race tracks without causing a problem. Where we'll get into a problem is the bigger race tracks where they get too hot. We don't really have anything different as far as the cooling package from what we've had, but we do have to keep an eye on it. We really snuck up on it in practice to make sure we weren't gonna get it too hot because that is the engine we have to race. We're not as aggressive on timing and we're not as aggressive on the special tricks that we do. We just can't do those anymore. You can gamble how much you want to push it, but we're not big on gambling on reliability, so we took the conservative route. Next week at Vegas, where it's a slower lap time, it's gonna come into play more because you can't get these things 240-250 too many times without causing problems, but here it's not an issue."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Dura-Lube Taurus (Qualified 31st)
"We're real proud to have Dura-Lube back on the car with us here at Rockingham and Las Vegas. The guys did a good job today. We started off on the wrong foot and got a little behind, but we kept picking away at it. I just want to thank all the guys that stuck with us here at the shop and for getting this car prepared. I want to thank Doug Richert for coming on. He's a great friend of ours and I really appreciate him coming down to help us."
IS DOUG AN INTERIM CREW CHIEF? "He's just gonna help us out for a couple of races. Doug and I have been good friends for a long time and he's gonna help us out at the race track. I still have a good group of guys here and they're plugging away and doing their jobs. We'll just see what happens."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 8th)
"We made a right-rear shock change and a little bit more swaybar and some air-pressure work because the car has been really, really loose for some reason. But that helped it a lot and that was a pretty solid qualifying run for us. For a guy that ran a 24.20 to a 23.79, I'm not gonna complain."
YOU TAPED OFF THE WHOLE FRONT FOR QUALIFYING. DID YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY? "The one thing we don't want to do is get the motor over 230 degrees in qualifying. For qualifying it was only 215 and that's with it taped off solid and I've been really paying attention all through practice to keep the motor below 200 degrees. We don't want to shock cool it with the devices we use now to cool the motors down, so we've got to be easy on the block."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"That was about a tenth of a second faster than what we ran in practice. I don't know what happened. We used to come here and sit on the pole a lot and run up front, and qualify up front, but the last couple of times here we've started at the back and then gone to the front. I think we'll race good."
DID YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT FOR QUALIFYING? "No, not really. The only thing we didn't do is run a lot of ice water through the motor in practice because we didn't get the motor hot in practice. We didn't run as many laps taped off in practice because we tried to take care of the motor."