RICKY RUDD WILL SIT ON THE FRONT ROW AFTER QUALIFYING SECOND FOR SUNDAY'S WINSTON 500 AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY. 10 - Ricky Rudd - Tide Taurus: (qualified 2nd) "I'm just tickled to death. There haven't been a whole lot of smiles this year,...
RICKY RUDD WILL SIT ON THE FRONT ROW AFTER QUALIFYING SECOND FOR SUNDAY'S WINSTON 500 AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY.
10 - Ricky Rudd - Tide Taurus: (qualified 2nd) "I'm just tickled to death. There haven't been a whole lot of smiles this year, so we're going to enjoy this one. I don't know if it's going to hold up for the pole, but it'll be close. The guys, they did a heck of a job preparing this Tide/Whirlpool Ford all year long. They've done a good job on the speedways. With the Robert Yates/Doug Yates motor, and all the Yates people over there working on this motor for us I don't know what to say, but thank you. This might be our race motor. I'm not sure. If it is I've never started then man I don't think I've ever started this race this optimistically. We knew we'd be quick. We only got a chance to run two practice laps so we didn't know what we had. I knew we had a little bit of tape left on the grill, and the guys said, 'don't worry about it'. We had a good race car and we got a good motor, plus everybody at the shop stayed late and worked a lot of hours. Not only did it qualify good, but I think if I can talk Robert and Doug into letting us use this thing for the race, I think we've got something to race with. This thing is bad fast. I think if we had had a chance to work with it we could have been a little faster. That shows how well prepared this car was off the truck. Robert and the guys put a little tune-up on the motor right before we run and this thing ran awfully good. I knew it was a pretty good lap just looking at the tach. It was pretty much uneventful. It wasn't particularly a scary lap. Sometimes when you come here you've got all you can do to hang onto the car. Maybe the car was a little bit too comfortable. We might have left a little bit of speed in it."
MORE RICKY RUDD FROM THE POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE: "I've been here before and qualified 30th. It rattled my teeth really couldn't even see straight. My vision was blurred and everything else because the car was so violent. This ride today is probably why we're not on the pole. We're on the outside pole, instead of the pole. I wouldn't say it was comfortable, but it wasn't all that uncomfortable either. What happens is that when you get everything working right it's not that terrible of a ride. All of the guys try to get their cars like that. They're pretty violent. Nobody really looks forward to qualifying here. Just in the last couple of races we've finally figured this stuff figured out. So it's with kind of mixed emotions seeing this rule change. With this car we sat on the outside pole in Daytona, and we're on the outside pole again. It's the same two guys on the front row, and there's not that much difference. I really hate to see the rules change myself. I've been in 30th, and I've been there when you have to use a provisional at Daytona saying this stuff is for the birds. You're going to hurt somebody. But when you finally get it worked out, it's not that terrible of a ride. Obviously when you go through the garage area and talk to people there's a big mixture, but the majority of them will tell you it rattles your teeth." WHEN DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THE YATES ENGINE? "I knew about Tuesday at noontime that we were going to have a Yates motor. Of course we've been hitting Robert up to beg, borrow or steal to get one of those things in the car. Finally enough begging finally paid off, and they said we've got something for you. They sent it over to the shop. Since Tuesday the guys have been working pretty hard to get everything converted to get it in the car."
6 - Mark Martin - Valvoline/Cummins Taurus: (qualified 9th) "We've got a great race team here. They're very good a restrictor plate racing. They always seem to find me some extra speed when it comes time to run. They have a good combination for qualifying. We're going to have a reasonable starting spot by doing the right stuff. This race team, Jim Fennig and all these guys are really pretty good at this restrictor plate stuff. I thought if I could run a 49 flat I'd be happy based on what I saw in practice and everything, but these guys have a good combination for qualifying and they seem to find us a little extra speed, and they did again today." DALE JARRETT JUST SAID IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU START. DO YOU AGREE? "Yeah, but I'd rather start in the front than in the back."
2 - Rusty Wallace - Miller Lite Taurus: (qualified 10th) "That's a pretty decent lap. The car has been about a hundred-rpm off, maybe 150 since we've been here. I don't know what that is. There's been some new spoiler rules, some new carburetor rules since we've been here. I think that's had an effect on it. I'm real surprised at how fast a couple of cars at the top have run. That's a good job on their part. This is the same car that drafted so well for me at Daytona so I expect it to run just as good here."
12 - Jeremy Mayfield - Mobil 1 Taurus: (qualified 15th) "YOU ARE ONE OF THE GUYS QUALIFIED FOR THE MILLION DOLLAR BONUS ON SUNDAY. WILL THAT LAP GET YOU A GOOD STARTING SPOT? "I think so. If we can come here and qualify in the top-15 we'll be pretty good. That's kind of the same thing we run in practice, actually a little quicker. If you can do that, that's all you can ask for."
99 - Jeff Burton - Exide Batteries Taurus: (qualified 16th) YOU GOT BEAT UP A LITTLE ON THE FIRST LAP, BUT YOU REALLY PICKED UP ON THE SECOND ONE. "I'm used to getting beat up on Thursday and Friday. But the Exide Ford was pretty decent. I run the high groove on the first lap to try to build speed for the second lap, so it always makes the first lap a little slow, but you only count the second lap so it really doesn't make any difference what the first lap is. We're not overly joyed with that lap, but that's the best we've run all day. We were a little bit off, especially compared to how we normally qualify here, but that will get us in the field."
88 - Dale Jarrett - Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus: (qualified 17th) "I'm happy. That's a tenth faster than what we practiced. We knew coming here, just like we did back in April, that this car wasn't going to qualify that good, but it does race awfully well so that's what we're excited about." IS THIS THE ONE YOU HAD HERE IN VICTORY LANE? "This is the one that won here last year, and won in Daytona in July, so we look forward to Sunday. That was wide open for two laps. This is not a qualifying car. It's a racecar. There's not many better cars out here." DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START HERE? "It doesn't matter if you start way in the back if you've got a good car you can drive and that drafts well. That's what this one does. You're going to be in about every position here on Sunday, so it doesn't really matter."
16 - Kevin Lepage - TV Guide Taurus: (qualified 18th) "That's the best the TV Guide Taurus has run all day long. Now we'll just go back to the garage and get ready for Sunday. It (the lap) was pretty uneventful really. It was a rough ride as normal. We picked up almost two tenths from practice, so that's pretty good deal for us."
28 - Kenny Irwin - Texaco Havoline Taurus: (qualified 20th) YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE WERE PRETTY CLOSE IN TIME. "Yeah. We just didn't pick up what we were hoping. You're always hoping you can pick up a couple of tenths. That's about what we run in practice. It should get us in the top 25, and that's what we want."
26 - Johnny Benson - Cheerios Taurus: (qualified 21st) YOU PICKED UP FROM PRACTICE. "Yeah, we did. That's one of the first times we've been here that we actually did. The guys did a great job on it so we've got to see where we end up. It was better than what we practiced so that's good. We're pretty happy with that." DESCRIBE YOUR FAST LAP. "It felt the same as the slow lap. The car felt the same no matter how you look at it. I'm just glad it was a little bit quicker than practice."
97 - Chad Little - John Deere Taurus: (qualified 22nd) "That's a lot better than we practiced so we're real pleased with that. The John Deere Ford is not quite as quick as it was at Daytona and the previous Talladega. It's really hard to say. We've got a good drafting car, and it's driven really well at the previous restrictor plate races. I hope that time will be good enough we can really concentrate on the race and not worry about qualifying tomorrow."
9 - Rich Bickle - Cartoon Network Taurus: (qualified 29th) YOU'RE 26TH RIGHT NOW. "Well, 26th is a lot better than 36th. That should put us in the top 30 pretty solid, I hope we can stand on that and get us in race trim. That's something we haven't got to do here lately so that'll be pretty good to get out there in the first practice session and get out there and draft with the guys. This car really races good. I raced against it here in the spring, and the car ran pretty strong. So I'm looking forward to running this Cartoon Network car up to the front tomorrow."
21 - Elliott Sadler - CITGO Taurus: (qualified 31st) ARE YOU PLEASED WITH THAT LAP? "Yeah, actually I really am. I'm so proud of this Wood Brothers Racing team. We have picked up a second since the first time coming here, and the car is driving a whole lot better. This is the last wild card race of the season. Anything can happen here at Talladega. We are really looking forward to the rest of the season. We think we've got our Ford Taurus bodies the way we need to. The motor program is good, and we're going back to some tracks where we run good. I'm really looking forward to next year, and this is a good stepping stone to do that."
11 - Brett Bodine - Paychex Taurus: (qualified 36th) "I know 36th isn't something to toot your horn about, but the guys did a good job. We picked up over a half a second from practice, and that's all you can ask for. As we were talking during the break there, if it rains tomorrow we're in the show. So you've got to look at the positive things here."
75 - Ted Musgrave - Remington Arms Taurus: (qualified 38th) "That picked us up a half a second (on the second lap), but we need to start on the second lap and pick up another half a second. But it's a little bit better than what we've had all year long. Our speedway program is just disastrous. It has picked up a little bit, but its still way off from what we need to be."
58 - Hut Stricklin - Turbine Solutions Taurus: (qualified 40th) ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THAT LAP? "No, I'm not satisfied at all. That's about as quick as we've run in practice. We're still a little bit off somewhere. We're going to have to keep digging. Hopefully we'll find something."
66 - Darrell Waltrip - Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus: (qualified 41st) "It's better than we've been here in the past. We'll just have to work on it tonight, and see if we can get it better for tomorrow."
98 - Rick Mast - Universal Studios Taurus: (qualified 43rd) "This car we didn't get to test. It's got a different body on it. We came here a couple of weeks ago to test, and it rained so we didn't get a chance to get on the racetrack. Today we've been beating the fenders off the car, and trying to get the car off the racetrack and from bottoming out. That's the quickest lap we've run, but not near quick enough. The motor seems to come up to speed real good, and the car drives real good, but we just didn't have the attitude right. It takes a little time to do that here."
77 - Robert Pressley - Jasper Engines and Transmissions Taurus: (qualified 44th) "We've just been struggling since we got here. Things have been slow, and when you come slow you end up slow."
90 - Ed Berrier - Hills Bros/Nestle Quik Taurus: (qualified 46th) "We've got a lot of work to do. The car is a little bit high, and it ain't getting down good enough yet. I hope we can get it going for Nestle and Hills Brothers Coffee and all them so we can get it in the show."