KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 27th) "This is the same car we ran at Daytona and I didn't qualify all that well. The good thing is it raced pretty good on Sunday, so that's what we're looking forward to is Sunday." DOES IT ...
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 27th)
"This is the same car we ran at Daytona and I didn't qualify all that well. The good thing is it raced pretty good on Sunday, so that's what we're looking forward to is Sunday."
DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHERE YOU START HERE? "It dictates how well you can run during the race. Obviously, if somebody qualifies fast they're gonna be fast in the race. We've got our work cut out for us, but it's not anything different than what's normally happened to us in the past, so we'll do the best we can."
YOU'VE HAD GOOD SUCCESS ON THE PLATE TRACKS. "We've been competitive at the plate races. Last year we finished fourth and third, respectively, here so it's always fun to come to the plate races. So far we've had momentum this year, so we can't wait until Sunday."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 34th)
"The guys are working real hard on the car. We thought we would go a little faster than that. We're surprised that we didn't pick up from practice, doing the things that we do and the oils that we change and having everything nice and hot out here on pit road. We thought it might have been a little better than that, but we'll look at it afterwards and see if we can make it better and make it better for race trim. That's what we've got to look forward to now."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"The M&M's Ford Taurus is fast again. We were one of the fastest Fords in practice and I think we backed it up pretty good here in qualifying. That will give us a good top 10 or top15 starting position for Sunday. The car is driving very, very well. Again, Robert Yates horsepower and they've done a good job of bringing me a real comfortable car. I'm looking forward to getting rid of some of the bad luck we had last week and trying to get this thing in Victory Lane down here in Alabama."
TELL US ABOUT THIS BASKETBALL CHARITY GAME? "We're doing a deal called Hoops for Hope with Elliott Sadler and it's to raise money for the Autism Society of America. I've got a lot of my buddy race car drivers and they're gonna be playing basketball against the media May 15 in Charlotte. I'm looking forward to doing that because we're doing it for a great cause. We're doing this hand-in-hand with Artie Kempner from Fox and everybody - M&M's - has been so supportive of this deal. We want to put on a good show for the fans, but also raise money for a great, great cause. So it was a good announcement today followed by a pretty good run, so it's been a great weekend so far here at Talladega."
ARE YOU A JUMP SHOOTER OR REBOUNDER? "I think they're gonna want me to shoot the ball a little bit, so I need to go home and practice some."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"The driver's job is the easiest job in the house when it comes to qualifying at Talladega. That's just all we had. We picked up two-tenths from practice, so I guess that was good. We're still not gonna have a very good starting spot, but it's gonna be a lot better than where I thought we could have been."
ARE YOU MAKING A BIG DEAL ABOUT BEING THE POINTS LEADER? "Well, it's a big deal but it is early in the season. It's much better to be where we're at than to try and come from behind, that's for sure. But it's such a long season. We put the same effort into every single race and do the best job we can qualifying and racing. If you finish the best you can every week, then the points will kind of follow. We just try to be consistent and do the best we can every week and race as hard as we know how to race every Sunday."
WHO ARE YOU HOPING TO DRAFT WITH ON SUNDAY? "I don't know, it's hard to tell here. Obviously, the DEI cars are real tough. If you can even keep up with them, it would be good. It seems like a few years back you could find one or two cars to draft with and you could stay with them the whole race. Now it's a case where as soon as everybody finds a hole they get in there with their car. It's just more difficult to stick with one or two people throughout a race than what it used to be."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 38th)
"We were actually eighth-fastest in practice and ran well. We had help one lap in practice when I thought we really ran that faster lap, but I really thought we were gonna be about a 51.80 and we ended up running a 52.30. I'm not really sure why. I noticed the temperatures didn't come up like they're supposed to. I don't know if we got the motor too cold or what, but it was real sensitive. I don't know if the heater broke or what, but the oil was real, real cold. That had to have something to do with it."
YOU HAVE 500 MILES ON SUNDAY TO GET UP FRONT. "We weren't gonna win a pole. I thought we had a shot a top 10, so I'm a little disappointed from that side of it, but we'll be OK in the race. I'm not concerned about it. I'd rather be towards the front, but everyone is gonna find themselves in the front and the back at least two or three times during that race."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"It's not over yet, but, golly, we picked up a lot. Bob Osborne and Ben Leslie and this Viagra team, they deserve that. They did it last week, too. They took a 35th-fastest race car in happy hour and made a fifth-place car out of it in Texas and this week they pulled a rabbit out of the hat. I was feeling real bad for them before I went out. I felt bad that they worked so hard with all that dedication and we were gonna go out there and take a whooping like that, but they hadn't given up yet and I guess that showed. I just want to congratulate Ben and the whole Viagra team for making this thing go fast."
IS BLOCKING ON SUNDAY A NECESSARY EVIL HERE? "Oh, yeah. You have to because, unfortunately, that's the way it is. It would be impossible not to block here. I don't even think the race would be any good if nobody blocked because it's four or five lanes wide and the draft means everything. Without it you're nothing, so you've got to do everything that you can to stay in line or in a hole or in a pocket of air or whatever it takes. I think that's what makes the racing exciting here."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 36th)
"This car has never qualified well. It races good, so I'll just do what I do. This is pretty much the same thing with the same spot in the order as Daytona. It's just the same old, same old."
THIS PLACE IS REALLY ALL ABOUT HAVING THE BODY RIGHT, ISN'T IT? "That's right. Some guys have tricks and they go fast, but we don't. What we've got is what we've got and there's nothing we can do about it. We'll just go out and race 'em. Hopefully, that's good enough to get in and we'll just go race 'em."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"We slowed down a little bit from practice. As I was saying earlier, I'm not sure the track doesn't slow down a little bit as it gets cooler here, but that's not an excuse. That's all we've had today. It's a brand new car and, hopefully, when we get into drafting tomorrow we'll see that it's good and we can work our way up on Sunday."
YOU HAVE GOOD HORSEPOWER BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DEI CARS ON SUNDAY? "I think it takes a little more than horsepower. We've got the horsepower, I think, to do that. I don't know if we have everything else, but that's why we really went to work after Daytona. The guys did a terrific job of building Elliott and myself new cars here and, hopefully, it will be something we can compete with on Sunday."