The final Winston Cup qualifying session of the season took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, and sticking with past weather trends, gray skies and cooler temperatures prevailed in Hampton, Ga. Qualifying began shortly after 3:00 p.m....
The final Winston Cup qualifying session of the season took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, and sticking with past weather trends, gray skies and cooler temperatures prevailed in Hampton, Ga. Qualifying began shortly after 3:00 p.m. EST, and all five Roush Racing drivers circled the 1.54-mile quad-oval with one car locking into the top 25, guaranteed of a starting spot in Sunday's race. Jeff Burton was the third of 56 entrants to qualify, Matt Kenseth 23rd, Mark Martin 28th, Kurt Busch 36th, and Kevin Lepage was the 52nd competitor to make his one lap of qualifying.
No. 99 CITGO SUPERGARD Ford Taurus (41st quickest, 29.488 seconds):
"We haven't been fast all day. The car is real insecure in the center, and you've got to run wide open here. We just haven't figured out what we need to do. It gets in the corners pretty good, but you're hanging on for your life in the center. We'll be starting in the back on Sunday, but we'll move our way up. You get paid for where you finish, not for where you start."
No. 17 DEWALT Tools Ford Taurus (23rd quickest, 29.140 seconds):
"The DEWALT car drove really well. We struggled early on. We slid around the race track during practice, but the guys did a great job with the car. I just didn't get everything out of the car that I could. We should have an okay starting spot."
No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford Taurus (6th quickest, 28.864 seconds)
"The car was a little free, but that made it more exciting for me. We were tight in practice and were ninth. Jimmy (Fennig) made some changes before qualifying and I don't even know what he did. It was a great lap and I'm happy with it."
No. 97 John Deere Ford Taurus (24th quickest, 29.180 seconds):
"We made a good gear change and some good shock changes after practice, and that helped us pick up time in qualifying. We picked up three tenths (of a second) from practice, and that's a sufficient amount of time at a track like this. It seems like you needed to pick up three tenths from practice to maintain your position on the leader board, and we did that today. I still think we need to learn how to get the car lower, and we need to free this one up some more before the race. We still have some room for improvement, and that always makes a solid qualifying run like this satisfying."
No. 16 FamilyClick.com Ford Taurus (40th quickest, 29.487 seconds):
"The FamilyClick.com Ford wasn't as fast as we would've liked. Our motor wasn't running great in practice, so we changed it at the last minute. The motor wasn't the problem. We had plenty of power, we just didn't nail the handling."