RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 5th "I didn't do anything any different to pick up any speed, but it was a good effort for sure. I don't know what to expect for the whole weekend, but obviously to have a fast racecar is...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 5th
"I didn't do anything any different to pick up any speed, but it was a good effort for sure. I don't know what to expect for the whole weekend, but obviously to have a fast racecar is good when you're looking to lead the draft. We had some oil on the back of the car after qualifying. I don't know what it was from.
"The track must be different or something. I didn't go any faster. The guys are doing a great job. We've got great horsepower and a great car. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week, and when you've got a fast racecar guys are usually behind you. It's good to start up front. The best thing is when you have a fast racecar guys want to push you along. Hopefully we'll be in position to do that.
"There is no science here other than being smooth, and there's no science to that. You take the shortest distance between two points in a circle. That's the tightest radius I guess you could say, and that's what we did. We put together a good, clean lap. The guys did their part, and I just did what I could.
"It's kind of role reversal here compared to some other tracks. The teams are happy because the driver doesn't have to contribute that much. It's still a team sport, and this is our best qualifying effort here by far. Qualifying is fun. It's actually safer than driving down the highway, but other than that it can be pretty hectic.
"After Daytona, I thought we had a car that was competitive, capable of a top 10 for sure and maybe a top five. We proved that in the 150 and the Shootout. This is probably the most excited I've ever been about a restrictor-plate race, other than being a rookie and not knowing. I think we've got a good shot at running up front Sunday. When you've got a fast car, guys line up behind you."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 25th
"We picked up about 15 hundredths from practice. This isn't the same car we had at the beach. We've run in before, but we've done a lot of work on the body and the motor guys have been working real hard. We didn't qualify real good at Daytona, but I think we're going to race real good with this car. The other car we had at Daytona is more of a downforce car, and this is our Talladega Charger. I like to race here. You kinda wish it would bust up a little more than it does. We see some wild stuff going on every now and then, but as long as you're in front of it you'll be OK. It just depends on which lane you get in and who goes with you. They've got us locked in with the rear springs and the rear shocks. You just have to work with the front springs and shocks a little bit There's not a whole lot there, so really when you unload here what you've got is what you've got. If the car drafts good and sucks up good you can be fast."
TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 9th
"It's fun to go that fast, but being out there by yourself is like going down the interstate. This is a brand new car, and we've got some great horsepower under the hood. All the Penske cars have been running fast this weekend. Usually in the past the plate program isn't that great. I think we'll end up toward the top and hopefully Rusty and Ryan will be up there with me. Buddy Baker has been a big help for me everywhere we go, especially here. Where I'm going to be able to lean on Buddy will be Sunday. He'll be up there with a radio and tell me what to do and what not to do and when there are holes and when to go and when not to go. I'm looking forward to him helping me on Sunday. We thought we had a shot at the pole. You never know what guys have got and what they haven't got. I thought we'd qualify in the top seven or eight. I think a rookie can win this race. It's probably more suited for a veteran, someone who's learned the draft. If I've got a fast enough racecar hopefully I can keep it up in the top 10 all day and maybe when it's time to go they'll go with me. This is a brand new car. We learned a lot at Daytona and we really have an emphasis on handling for Sunday."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 13th
"Some of the teams maybe fool themselves before they go through the room where NASCAR checks everything. Our car was right. It always goes better when you put it in full qualifying trim. We didn't surprise ourselves. In fact, we thought we might go a little faster than that. It was a really good pickup from practice and a really big improvement from Daytona. Our superpspeedway group of body hangers has gone back and worked on our cars, and the engine shop has given us better engines. We haven't qualified that well, and when you come to a place like this the driver is irrelevant. There's not a whole lot to this place. In Sterling's words you run high two laps and run low for one lap (in qualifying). There's not a whole lot you can do as a driver."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 26th
"I guess that was OK. We picked up from practice. I think we've got a good racecar. We'll find out in practice tomorrow. We've got to work on everything, engine, aero, every little thing. We've got to try to fine tune everything we possibly can and get ready to race."
JEFF GREEN (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 39th
"You can start anywhere here and win if the car drives good. That's been where I've struggled a little bit. I haven't been able to put the car where it needs to be during the race. If we can do that Sunday, we'll be better off. We've been running well this season, but we haven't put a whole day together. We're getting better. The guys are working hard, and we're trying to get the balance on the car. We'll get there."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 20th
"I was hoping it would be faster. I ran a .13 in practice, and I thought I could run a flat. This is the car I had in the 150 at Daytona that I tore up. I was going to run it in the Daytona 500. It's a good car. It's one of the faster cars I've had here. I feel good about it for the race."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 22nd
"I thought we were going to pick up more than that. We picked up a little from practice. That's all you can ask for. I think we'll be good in the race. I feel good about it."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW/Longest Yard Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 19th
"That felt good. I ran high the first lap trying to get the temperatures up as much as possible. I ran a good second lap right around the bottom. That's all it had. The guys did a good job helping pick up some time. The car feels really good. Hopefully it'll draft like crazy and it should draft well on Sunday and we should have one of our better restrictor plate races. It worked out well. I feel like we've got a good car. It's pretty cool for us to have the Longest Yard paint scheme this week. It's a new movie with Adam Sandler and it comes out May 27. I get to meet Adam on Sunday. He's going to be the grand marshal here. It should be an exciting weekend. This is the car we had in the 150 at Daytona, but we crashed in the 150. We put it back to where it was and hopefully made it a tad bit better. It seems like every time we get to these places I end up working with someone different in the draft. We find out early who will go with the 9 and who won't. We'll have to try to make some friends."