Talladega II: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified Fourth "Well, this is a different kind of qualifying here, for sure. But, these guys are doing a great job at Penske racing with this ALLTEL Dodge Charger. I'm just happy to be qualifying...

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger) -- Qualified Fourth

"Well, this is a different kind of qualifying here, for sure. But, these guys are doing a great job at Penske racing with this ALLTEL Dodge Charger. I'm just happy to be qualifying as well as we are here, knowing how much it means for race trim as far as being fast and the potential to run out front. So, hopefully that means a lot and we'll have a good day tomorrow and Sunday."

Do you think the late draw helped you out at all?

"I don't think it helped a whole lot, no. I think it was pretty similar. Maybe yeah, maybe not."

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline-Texaco Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 15th

"I don't know that there's any more pressure here (carrying the Havoline-Texaco colors on the car). This is a really cool place to get to race this car. The Allison family grew up right down the road, and there are a lot of Texaco fans at this racetrack. So, it's cool to be able to come here and drive it.

"The car is good. This is just a show for the fans to come out and qualify because where you start at this track doesn't really show how good of a car you can have. Our car wasn't bad, though."

TRAVIS KVAPIL (No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Eng. & Trans. Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 16th

"Being out there by yourself, you really don't get much of an indication of how the car is going to handle in race trim. But, it did exactly what it did all day. It drove well. We're a little concerned because there's definitely more water temperature in the engine than we had in practice this morning. We didn't do anything different. We didn't even touch the car. We didn't even add or take away tape. We're a little puzzled about that. Maybe it's just a little bit hotter out. But, we're disappointed. The laps we ran this morning were legit, clean. And we slowed down here. I guess it's puzzling why. But, the car drove fine. Everything seemed normal to me."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 17th

"We picked up a little bit over 1/10th. We've got a pretty good car. It's better than normal for here. It's a different car, so they took a lot of time hanging the body on it, trying to get all of the stuff right. So, they've done a good job.

"The car was pretty good. This is the car that we ran in the spring. They went back and put a new body on it. I think the motor guys stepped it up a little bit. We're really pleased. We'd like to be in the top five, but it looks like all of the Dodges are kind of riding there together.

"I've got a neat paint scheme this weekend. It's a camouflage car, and Coors Light has the cans out there that look like camouflage. So, this is a pretty neat looking car.

"Well, I'm set for the '06 season. We're just doing the best we can. We really had a good car last weekend at Dover and we came from 10 seconds down to five seconds, gaining on the leader. And I thought we had a car that would've won the race, and we lost the engine. So, my guys, I couldn't say enough about them. They're working their guts out. And I'm driving as hard as I can drive. We're going to try and win us a race. We went to Kansas this week and tested. We had a really good test, and built a new car. So, we're going to give it all we've got and try to come out a winner."

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 29th

"The car has been driving fine. We'll see how it is in the draft. It should be just how it was at Daytona and here in the spring race. I don't think we made too many gains. So, we'll be about that, which is pretty similar to a lot of cars here, so we'll be right in the middle of everything.

"There are definitely things you can do to get your car better out here. Whether it's car or engine, it relies on a lot of both. I think the guys at Evernham Motorsports are doing a good job of building the cars, and obviously the engines are running well. So, we'll just have to see what happens during the race. We'll see how the drafting goes, but I think we should be able to race a lot better than we qualified today."

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- Qualified 33rd

"The car is driving great. It seemed like everything is going good. We just don't have any speed in it for some reason. But, I'm sure it will be good for the race. Our Dodge Chargers always seem to race well here. So, we'll be in good shape. Qualifying just didn't go our way. The speed is not there today, but it will be there tomorrow.

"It's all about if you have a good car. If you have a good racecar, and your car is running good that day, people will draft with you and work with you. But, if you don't you just kind of struggle and try to hang on. But here lately we've been running really good on speedways, and I feel like Kasey and I both are really going to work together good on Sunday. So, we'll try to help each other all we can and go from there.

"It's driving really good. Our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger has been really good off the truck, driving good. We're just trying to get some speed. That's what it's all about here. No matter what happens today. But you've got to have a good handling racecar, and that's what we've got here.

"You've got to be able to stay out of trouble and be there at the end. That's the name of the game here, and that's what we're going to try to do is just be there at the last 20 laps. That's all that matters on Sunday.

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- Provisional start, engine failure

"The oil was very, very hot when they sent me out there, and the engine never came up all the way. It was like 500 RPMs off, so I hit the radio button on the backstretch and said, 'Guys, we've got a problem here. Something's wrong.' It was 500 RPMs off. And finally coming to the starting line, it just blew itself to crap. So, that was it. It welded the bearings up and kicked some connecting rods out and everything. So, it was definitely an oiling issue, and I think it was probably because we had very light oil and a really hot oil tank, and I think we just overdid ourselves there.

What's your strategy now for Sunday?

"Get the car handling really good, strike really quick and get it all up there. Don't mess around and hang out in the middle of the pack. I'm just going to draft as hard as I can and try to get that thing up through there. And I'm going to need a good handling car so I can do that."

"We just blew an engine today. So, you've got to change engines. You're going to have to put engines in it and get ready for practice tomorrow. It's not an impound race, so we'll be ready to go. It's just unfortunate that we lost the engine today. But, that's racing. I never saw it coming because we ran so well in practice. It was just really running great in practice. We were sixth in practice and I really thought I had a legitimate shot at the pole, but as soon as we fired it up and pulled out I knew I was in trouble. The engine just welded itself shut. I think we actually got the oil way, way too hot, trying to go for that extreme horsepower and blew it up.

How do you look at this race?

"I think everybody looks at this race with concern because anything can happen here. I'm not really concerned about starting in the back and getting my way to the front because if you're going to have it happen to you anywhere, this is the place you want to have a problem, so you can get yourself up to the front. The draft is the great equalizer, and it always has been. So, I'm optimistic. I'm not going to have tears in my bears tonight at dinner, that's for sure. But it was a let down because we were running so well in practice and I really thought we had a good shot at the pole."

Is the big wreck more of a possibility or a probability?

"It's always a probability that you're going to have a big wreck. And it's always somebody else's doing. Somebody gets really aggressive, three and four-wide, they get bumping through the tri-oval and somebody loses it. Let's just hope that doesn't happen. And if it does happen, let's hope I get through it and I'm in the front already when it's happening behind me."

How do you feel about this being your last restrictor plate race?

"Well, it sure wasn't a good qualifying run, that's for sure. I hope I really run well here. But, this is one place that I won't miss coming back to. I'll come here to hang out, watch the races, get up there with the fans and drink a Miller Lite and cheer with them. But, I'll tell you what, being in that thing it's pretty frustrating when that baby is upside down at 200 mph, and you've got 43 of them hitting you and knocking you around in circles. So, when you get here and I've lost an engine in qualifying, that's a big letdown. But, I really do like the place. If you don't have a problem. If you don't get in a wreck, it's a fun place to run."

You're going to start in the back on Sunday, what can you do being in the mix there when something might go wrong?

"I wish I knew the answer to that. I've been coming here for many, many years and I still haven't quite figured that one out, as a lot of these guys haven't. There's been talk about just hanging out in the back, letting all the stuff happen. I can't do that. I've got to drive that thing right up in there like I know I'm accustomed to do and avoid all the problems and do my best job behind the wheel."

How satisfying is it to have this type of season at this stage in your career?

"I'm definitely on top of my game right now, and the team is -- we're doing great. We had a little bit of a set back today with the lost engine, but you know what? It's the only engine I've lost all year long. So, again, if you're going to have a problem, you ought to have it today. So, we're going to have a fresh engine in it for tomorrow. It's not an impound race, so we'll be able to practice tomorrow and make sure everything looks good and the engine is tuned up nice, and get ready for the big race on Sunday."


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Series NASCAR Cup