Rockingham II: Ford Racing qualifying quotes

MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 5th) -- "That was a ton of pickup from practice and that was due to Ben and the guys and the adjustments they made.  The car was really fantastic on used tires in practice, but when we put new tires on...

MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Qualified 5th) -- "That was a ton of pickup from practice and that was due to Ben and the guys and the adjustments they made.  The car was really fantastic on used tires in practice, but when we put new tires on we were sorely disappointed.  The guys made some good changes for this thing and I reached in and got me a lap.  I know this car is gonna be awesome in race trim with the way it's driving today.  I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and eventually Sunday.  I think it's gonna be a great car for the race."

RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 1st) -- "That's only two laps.  The race is a totally different race.  I'm just happy to have a good run in qualifying here for the ALLTEL Ford and see what we can do.  Buddy Baker was pretty instrumental in helping me out at this race track.  He's got a great school here."

WHAT DID BUDDY TELL YOU?  "Like anything else -- go fast.  You've got to know what the race car wants and what the race track wants and that's a good combination to have here." 

YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING THE BUD POLE AWARD ALL THE TIME.  THAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU ISN'T IT?  "Without a doubt.  It's an award and that's what we go for are these awards.  Anything you can beat somebody else at when you've got fortysome other competitors in the garage is what we're here for.  I'm happy to have a good run, but, like I said, this is only one small race compared to Sunday's race."

DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK?  "I really like the race track, it's a lot of fun.  It's a driver's race track.  It's kind of like Darlington where the tires fall off and the grip falls off,  you've got to move around on the race track.  There are a lot of grooves here.  This is not a race track where we talk about a lot of multiple grooves, it's a race track where we talk about racing."

IS IT HARDER TO GET A PERFECT LAP HERE?  "Running a perfect lap is no different than running the best lap a car has and I'm just pretty much at the mercy of what the race car has to offer.  I just go out there and do the best I can and, fortunately, the guys did a good job preparing a good car."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 19th) -- "Both laps were exceptional compared to how we've been running.  They were just really good laps.  That's the best we've been and I actually just barely held onto it, so that was good.  We made some changes that went in the right direction and we just happened to get real good laps for how we have been running.  That was good."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 27th) -- "We're just missing the boat somewhere.  We just can't get the grip in the car that we need.  That's a shame because we really wanted to come and test last week and were unable to get a motor or something.  We left a lot on the table to come here.  We really like this track, but with the tires and stuff steadily changing, we're just a little bit behind on it.  It isn't from a lack of effort.  The guys really worked hard to try to give me a good car, but we're just missing it somewhere.  We'll just keep digging and hope we get something better for Sunday."

TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Qualified 3rd) -- "That was pretty good.  I think the only thing I wish I could do over was turn two.  The car got just a little loose up off there and I couldn't quite get to the throttle the way I wanted, but this is awesome for Haas Carter Motorsports.  This is the best they've run here in a long time, especially myself.  I love this race track.  I've won twice here, but I just have not been able to run good in a Cup car, but qualifying good is a start."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Qualified 20th) -- "That was about two-tenths better than we practiced.  In practice, if we would have run a flat, we ran a .13 or a .14 in practice, we would have been 10th or 12th.  We ran in the nineties for qualifying, so that's not too bad for us." 

HOW HAVE THINGS BEEN TODAY?  "Actually it's run very smooth.  These guys have stepped up and did a really good job.  The communication was really good.  It would have been nice to test, we've still got one test session left, but I think these guys tuned it as good as they could for qualifying.  I don't really think it made a lot of difference whether Michael was here or not.  These guys stepped up pretty good."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 8th) -- "We definitely picked up a lot.  On the last run of the day we put in a bigger swaybar and that really made the car better.  We found that out about our third time out on tires and the car ran the same speed as the very first time.   We knew the tires were backing up two tenths everytime we'd make a run and this time it stayed the same, so we thought we really had something and obviously we did." 

IDEAL QUALIFYING CONDITIONS?  "Yeah, it was real ideal conditions.  It was nice and cool.  I thought the car ran really good.  I would have liked to have been a little bit tighter off turn two, but, other than that, I had a good car."

KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 7th) -- "It's been a good day for us.  We went out to do a Rockingham scrub.  We saw the temperatures were cool and the first lap it was difficult for guys to get a good lap, so we actually threw away a lap at Rockingham to go for it on the second one.  It turned out OK, we just didn't pick up enough time." 

DOES GOING LATE HERE REALLY BENEFIT YOU?  "It benefits you, but we didn't really capitalize on it.  I just thought it would speed up the car in general, but what it did was tighten us up.  What it did to a lot of other people was it made their car handle better, but for us it tightened us up too much." 

IS THIS THE BEST ROLL YOU'VE BEEN ON SINCE THE TRUCK SERIES?  "Yeah, since the trucks or when I was winning the Southwest Tour championship and we won four in a row at one point.  It would be great to beat that kind of string, but it can go downhill just as easily as it went up.  But we've got a couple of great tracks like Rockingham, Phoenix and Miami to finish off and we can't wait until 2003 to start."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Buddy Baker