RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Qualified 24th "Our lap was uneventful. I just tried to hold a pretty steady wheel. We ran laps yesterday in practice in traffic and the car could be quicker. For qualifying, we just wanted to get a good...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Qualified 24th
"Our lap was uneventful. I just tried to hold a pretty steady wheel. We ran laps yesterday in practice in traffic and the car could be quicker. For qualifying, we just wanted to get a good temperature reading tape wise for our teammates since we went out first and repay the favor."
HOW IS YOUR CAR WORKING IN THE DRAFT? "It seems to be just average. We're kind of mid-pack. The Alltel Dodge doesn't feel super strong like the stuff we had in Daytona. We'll see where we end up."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) Qualified 13th
HOW IS THE CAR? "The Texaco/Havoline car was pretty good. It was much better than expected. Brian (Pattie, crew chief) worked really hard on it this week to make it a little faster. We normally qualify like 30th here. Out of the first nine cars (to qualify), we're third. It's good. It felt good yesterday in practice and we tried a few things on it. Here, the engine has a really hard time. We decided to do what we had to do and park it (not participate in the second practice session yesterday). You look at how many wrecked cars there were yesterday. You work really hard on the cars and you hope that it pays off."
LOOKING BACK AT THE SPRING RACE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IN TRYING TO BEAT KYLE BUSCH? "I think we could have beaten Kyle. I thought Kyle was the last guy to win that race. I thought it was either going to be myself or Denny (Hamlin). We crossed the (start/finish) line and got white flag and I thought that I was just going to go for it (race win). If I go too early, I'm going to friggin' cross the line in 15th. But if I would have done it (gone for the lead), I probably would have won the race. But if the wreck behind wouldn't have happen, I probably would have finished 15th. I think it was a smart thing to do."
ANY MAJOR CHANGES FOR TOMORROW BASED ON THAT EXPEREICE IN THE SPRING RACE? "No, not really! There's not much that you can do. At this place, you have to be there at the end. You have to stay away from the wrecks. It's pretty much out of your hands. There are a few cars out of control out there, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) Finished 30th
HOW IS THE CAR IN RACE TRIM? "The car is pretty good in race trim. I think it is a better car than what we had here last time. I feel pretty good about it. It seems like it (the car) pushes people better than it did earlier this year. It's going to be a good racecar, good all day tomorrow."
WHAT WILL BE YOUR STRATEGY TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE AROUND FOR THE LAST 20 LAPS?
"You've got to be lucky and you've got to have a good car. Obviously, if you're close to the front, it's a little bit safer up there. If you're there for the last 20 laps, you've probably made it past the big obstacle of the day. As long as you make it to the end and you've got a good car, you have a shot at a win or the chance of finishing 25th. I think we have a good racecar that can push people pretty hard. I'm pretty excited about our chances."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) Qualified 32nd
QUALIFYING WAS AVERAGE, BUT YOUR CAR LOOKED GOOD IN RACE TRIM YESTERDAY: "Our car was fair yesterday. I don't think that we were too great, but not too bad either. I think we were third fastest in practice. Our Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge has some really good speed when I had the right drafting partners with me and behind me. We're amongst a lot of cars that seem to be running the same speeds. It's a lot like IROC racing. You have to be there at the end to give yourself a shot at winning. We unloaded well yesterday and you're only as good as you unload here -- there aren't many changes that you can make with theses restrictor plate cars
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 McDonalds MONOPOLY Dodge Charger) Qualified 40th
YOU CHOSE NOT TO RUN THE SECOND PRACTICE SESSION YESTERDAY. HOW GOOD IS YOUR CAR IN RACE TRIM? "I think that we're pretty good. Our McDonald's MONOPOLY Dodge drives really good and pulls up to the car in front of it pretty good. We don't have too many Dodges at the top of the qualifying chart, so it's going to be important for us to work together like we did in Daytona. We'll have a few drafting partners back there. It's a 500 mile race. We'll just keep on digging and try to be there at the end."
KASEY KAHNE SAYS THAT YOU'RE A VERY GOOD DRAFTING PARTNER. WILL THERE BE ANY STRATEGY TO GET YOUR TWO CARS TOGETHER TOMORROW? "We'll see. We have a great understanding of each other. We work together great as teammates. Our understanding is don't do anything to hurt one another. Don't put yourself in a position to hurt your car to help your teammate. We know that going in, so there are no hard feelings if we can't help each other tomorrow during the race. We think that we've learned a lot from each here about drafting. We'll try to help each other when we can, but we're not going to hurt each other either."
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Qualified 33rd
HOW IS YOUR CAR HEADING INTO RACE DAY TOMORROW? "The balance felt good on our Miller Lite Dodge Charger. The car picks up pushes from behind and seems to push cars in front of us fine. I can change lanes -- go high, go low, go in the middle -- I think that's where we'll find ourselves most of the day -- in the middle. I haven't found much success on the bottom of the track yet since we've gone to this new style car here at Talladega."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) Qualified 38th
WITH ONLY A FEW LAPS ON THE CAR HERE AT TALLADEGA, WAS THE BACK-UP CAR WHAT YOU EXPECTED TODAY IN QUALIFYING? "Yeah. It felt just like our primary care. This is a little bit older car, but as far as balance and how it drives, it's very similar to the primary car."
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH DRAFTING PARTNERS HERE TOMORROW? "I think so. Elliott (Sadler) is always a great partner to have out there with you. He always seems to get in the right racing lines at the right time. Elliott does a good job at figuring out where to go, so if I can get with him and push him around a bit, I know that our cars will run well here tomorrow. We just haven't been able to hook-up much here in the past. I think that if our Dodges can get together here like we did in Daytona (500) that we'll have enough to be very competitive with another shot at a restrictor plate win."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 MAPEI/Menard's Dodge Charger) Qualified 42nd
"I feel good about where we're at. We were fourth quickest yesterday in race trim, so I'm not concerned about our qualifying whatsoever. I feel good about my Dodge and look forward to Penske power on race day."
WHAT IS YOUR RACE STRATEGY? "Ride around at the back. It's going to be boring for our team. It is what it is. You have to be around at the end."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge Charger) Qualified 23rd
A NICE QUALIFYING PASS FOR THE 45 TEAM, WERE YOU IN QUALIFYING TRIM? "It was a really nice run for the 45 team. We had a good day yesterday and basically carried our package over here for qualifying. Because we ran so well yesterday, we decided not to put the car in qualifying trim today. We're actually a little surprised that we ran that well. The motor seems strong. The car handles well in the draft. If we can keep in one piece to the end, I think that we can have a solid day tomorrow."
SAM HORNISH JR (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) DNQ
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT QUALIFYING? "We've been kind of junky on all of our qualifying attempts for the two-and-a-half mile tracks. We haven't been in the top 40, so I mean it's been pretty tough for us. We've got to keep working away at it and find something different. I'm really happy with all the guys effort that they gave to it today. We even went with bringing more parts in last night, different parts, and put them in the car and picked up a half a second from practice to qualifying, but it's obviously not enough. The best way to do this deal is to be in the top-35."
-credit: dodge motorsports