Talladega: GM teams qualifying quotes

Scott Riggs -- ...

Scott Riggs -- #10 Valvoline Chevrolet
4th position

DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO BE THAT QUICK? Well, actually, I thought we'd be able to back up to what we ran in practice. It seemed like we had a little bit left. But, I guess once you go through that room of doom and you have to put on better shocks and better springs, it's not quite what you had on the car. I'm just proud of all the guys. I'm happy for a good starting spot. I don't know if it's going to hold up for the pole, but thinking it will definitely be a top five. I'm real happy for the guys in the Valvoline Chevrolet. They did a good job of preparing this car after it got a little bit banged up at Daytona. They worked on it every day. Every time we go to a speedway race, it seems our cars are a little bit better than in the past.

DO YOU FEEL THAT HAVING YOUR ROOKIE YEAR BEHIND YOU HAS PUT YOU IN A BETTER SPOT? I definitely have a lot more confidence than we did last year. We have a good car. Being able to use my head this last year and learn a little bit. I think the guys around me see that I'm not going to do anything real stupid and take care of the car. I think they know they can race me pretty hard but clean.

IS THERE A POINT WHEN YOU'RE ON A LAP THAT YOU KNOW IT'S FAST? You can't tell. You can't tell how fast you're running when you're out there. You could be a half second difference and you can't tell out there. Just concentrate on being relaxed and not being nervous. Usually when you start trying too hard at a place like this, you start turning the wheel more. And when you start turning the wheel more, you slow the car down. I just try to be real relaxed and get as much speed out of it as we could. I feel that's a good spot for us.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet
6th position

It was quite a bit of speed that we picked up. And Chad and those guys focused and made some good changes to the car and got it running some good lap times. Hopefully we'll be top 5 but probably will be 6 or 7 when it's all said and done.

Yeah, you just want a good pit stall pick and that should get us that. And then, from there on, second, third or fourth doesn't really matter. It's the pole or nothing. We're very content with where we're starting. We haven't qualified the best on the plate races lately. This will be our best in quite some time. But we always race really well. I'm excited for the race.

IS THERE A LOT OF PRESSURE ON YOU RIGHT NOW? THERE IS WORD PEOPLE ARE BOOING YOU TO SEE IF YOU CAN MAKE A MISTAKE I make plently of mistakes, so I guess I'll take that as a complement. We try hard, we work hard. It's been tough at times. We started off the season strong. The last couple of weeks, we haven't had the best car but we've pulled out some finishes. You know, it's the cycle of the season. We're dedicated and focused to stay on our game and getting in the position to make the cut, and from that point forward to try to be the champion. We're very happy with the season and the way it's gone. A win already and two already if you count the Bud Shootout.

YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? Yeah, I do. This has been a great track for me. The spring race hasn't been very good for me. I've always had a bunch of weird stuff happen. The fall race has been good, so hopefully we'll get some luck in the spring race and win my first points restrictor plate race.

Dave Blaney -- #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet
8th position

They tuned it up a little bit. They got us to really lean on it in practice and they'll do it for one lap. Those RCR guys are pretty good-they know what they're doing. And, it's a good run for the Jack car, no matter to where it ends up. Thanks to Ron Liddell, my motor guy-he lost his Dad last night so we're thinking about him.

It was real good. That was the pickup we hoped we'd get after practice. The guys tuned it up. It worked good.

IS QUALIFYING IMPORTANT HERE? No. It gets you a good pit location and that's about it. You know, a Pole anywhere gets you in the Bud Shootout. If the Jack Daniels car runs well in the race, that's what we're thinking about.

AT TALLADEGA, PEOPLE TALK EARNHARDT AND GORDON. ARE YOU READY FOR THEM TO START TALKING BLANEY? Well, it comes down to having a good car in the draft here and having guys that will work with you. You know, I've got three teammates in this race, so that's a very good thing.

Tony Stewart -- #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
11th position

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ON SUNDAY? We need one good first place finish to go with those second place deals. No, we've had good luck here. I've just come up a little bit short. With all the point races we run here, we've got a lot of points running second. Hopefully we can get our first win here Sunday.

HOW WAS YOUR LAP? The run was fine. It had good speed. Hopefully this Home Depot Monte Carlo can stay up front on Sunday. It looks like we'll have a fairly decent starting spot.

DOES QUALIFYING MATTER MUCH HERE? I don't know. We've been 38th here in qualifying and still run well in the race. So, the good thing is you get probably a little bit better pit selection, but other than it's really not a huge deal.

YOU DID A GOOD JOB GIVING PEOPLE A PUSH AT DAYTONA, WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TO GIVE YOU A PUSH THIS WEEKEND? Whoever is behind me. I just want some help finally. We get a lot of good help here. There are a lot of guys that know we're a good car every time we come here. We finished second four times, so we know the equation pretty well to get there at the end.

Bobby Labonte -- #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet
15th position

I feel it's a good thing when you practice faster than you qualify. And like other guys said, this is all due to the guys in the shop. They do a great job. You know, our restrictor plate program is probably one of the best it could have been in the last couple of years. Worked real hard, stepped up to the plate, built some great engines and worked on the bodies and everything else to go along with it. It will pay off in the race on Sunday, too.

I ran pretty high on the first lap. Maybe even higher than I wanted i na few places. That just equated into a better second lap. The difference was we changed one thing in practice that didn't work right. We changed it back, hopefully to where we should have been in pratice. But we picked up where we needed to pick up.

YOU HAD A BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON LAST WEEKEND It kind of felt like a career best finish, I'll have to admit! It was a great race for us. We didn't have the best finish all night. It was a little tight in the center, but we missed everything that happened in front of us. Finally we got one of those nights where we finished. It was a good finish. Everybody's doing hard work, sometimes it's just hard to finish a race without a problem.

Jason Leffler -- #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet
18th position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? It was good. We basically backed up to what we did in practice. In practice we ran like a 12, 13, 14 and 15. And I ran a 14, I think. So the car is right there.

SAME AS PRACTICE? Yeah. You can't ask for anything better than that.

Jeff Burton -- #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet
27th position

HOW WAS YOUR CAR? We think we've got a much better car to race than to qualify. It's the car we ran in the Daytona 500 and it was really fast down there. I'm looking forward to Sunday.

STRONG FINISH IN PHOENIX Well, that was our best finish but it wasn't the best we've been running all year. We've just had trouble finishing races where we've been running. The last two we finished where we've run. That means a lot to us to get the finishes we think we deserve.

Martin Truex, Jr. -- #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
32nd position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? It's good. We're pretty slow in practice. You know, we were like 42nd or something, and we picked up a half second, so we'll see where that puts us. We just hope we're in-that's what we're here for.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO DRIVE THE CAR OUT THERE ON THE SUPERSPEEDWAY? It's feel good. We had a lot of fun in Daytona running the Cup race. We just hope we get our Bass Pro Chevy in. We had a really good run at Daytona and ran in the top 10 all day until we blew up at the end. I think this car drafts real well, we just need to get in the race.

Mike Wallace -- #4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet
33rd position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? Qualifying is quicker than what we ran in practice today, but you never know until we end. Unfortunately we're one of those cars that has to qualify.

The #1 ran a little faster than the #66, also. All I can do is hope that it's good enough and get in on time.

DID YOU CHANGE MUCH FROM PRACTICE? No, everything is exactly the same. Little stuff like oil. We made a last run on oil in practice. It ran better. I'm surprised it ran that much better. We did a little bit different procedure in qualifying. The first lap under green, I didn't run as far up the race track. We were taking a gamble that if anything went wrong, water got hot, burn a gear up or whatever, we'd at least have one lap in the books. When you're outside the top 35, you approach things a little differently. Or the other guys get to approach it differently, I should say.

Kyle Busch -- #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet 35th position

HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? It wasn't that good. The Kellogg's Chevrolet is a strong race car, it just doesn't have the qualifying effort into it. We're worried more about Sunday-that's payday and trophy day. We're going to try to go get them then. It's all about trying to find friends out here. You know, you've just got to work with the veterans a little bit and get them on your side so you can go out there and draft to the front. Hopefully we can do that. If not, we'll probably finish mediocre midpack if we don't get caught up in the big one.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -- #8 Budweiser Chevrolet
36th position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? It's disappointing to qualify as bad as we do, compared to how we used to run here. I think, you know, just like Daytona you know, we were slow in qualifying. We will get up there somehow in the race. We always do. We've got to figure out how to get these things to run a little bit better by themselves. It's a little embarrassing. But it will be alright.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE OUT THERE? I was just holding onto the wheel. It was not quite as fast as we wanted to go. We just haven't been that fast on our own on the plate tracks. You know, we'll figure it out. The car will race good. Martin looks like he might make the race, so we'll have three teammates doing all we can do for each other. It should be a lot of fun.

WHY DO THESE CARS RUN SO DIFFERENT ALONE THAN WITH OTHER CARS AROUND THEM? Well, I don't know why it won't run by itself better. It's kind of fun starting in the back, anyways. We've started in the rear and go to the rear because of early wrecks and stuff like that and won races. It's kind of fun starting in the back and cutting up through there, so that's one positive way of looking at it.

Brian Vickers -- #25 GMAC Chevrolet
37th position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? Well, we need to be better, you know. We cut the body off this car and rebodied it with the exception of the roof and some of the posts. And that helps some, but we didn't spend the time on it we wanted to spend on it. Normally we spend four weeks on a speedway car and we spent a week. On certain areas and in other areas we can to cut time.

THIS IS YOUR DAYTONA CAR? Yeah. You know, it's better than it was, but it's not where we need to be. Our teammate Jeff is the fastest in practice, Jimmie's faster than us and the #5 car is faster than us. So we've got a little room for improvement. But I thank the guys for the amount of time they had, they worked so hard. And we picked up a little bit from practice. That's all you can ask for, you know. But, are we happy? No. The GMAC Chevy still needs to get a little more out of it.

ARE YOU CARRYING MOMENTUM FROM LAST WEEKEND? Yeah. I think team morale and confidence has everyone pumped up and excited about this week. Right now in qualifying, we've just got to get it together.

Michael Waltrip -- #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
38th position

HOW DOES THIS SET YOU UP FOR THE RACE? We'll be fine. When they start drafting on Sunday, we'll be a part of the show. That's all you ask for. These cars just draft so well and run so well with a little bit of air stirring around. And I'd rather have that then being the star today.

GREAT RUN LAST WEEKEND We just have had a good year all year long. A couple of engine failures early in the season and since then we've been building on a lot of good things. I give a hand to Tony Eury Jr. and the guys. I feel real good about things.

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. -- #32 Tide Chevrolet
40th position

HOW WAS QUALIFYING? Slow. It picked up a little, but I don't know if that's in or not. When you're so slow, whatever happens, happens.

DID YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES AFTER PRACTICE? No, we just unloaded slow and only picked up a couple of tenths. I thought we were going to pick up more than that. We'll just have to get in and see where we can go.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Bobby Hamilton , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Mike Wallace , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Vickers , Dave Blaney , Tony Eury Jr. , Kyle Busch