RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Newman led the way for Dodge by qualifying third for Sunday's race. Newman hasn't qualified lower than third in his past five races. He started third at Las Vegas, won the pole at Atlanta and ...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Newman led the way for Dodge by qualifying third for Sunday's race. Newman hasn't qualified lower than third in his past five races. He started third at Las Vegas, won the pole at Atlanta and Bristol and qualified second at Darlington.
"It was a good effort by the entire team today. It's our Atlanta car. It was 80 degrees yesterday and 50 here today. Let's say 30 degrees equals six-tenths. I think the biggest thing was the temperature. These tires are really hard tires. The track being black, I think is the other thing. When the ambient temperature comes down, the track temperature doubles.
"We blew a motor last year, but last year was my first Cup race here. It was probably one of the better races as far as speed and not having issues of water and everything else. I think with the track being a little older, obviously Saturday's Busch race is going to be the best eye opener for what the track has to offer, but I think it'll be a good race.
"Taping these things up for qualifying is totally different from what you'll see in the race on Sunday in race trim. I think it'll be a good race. I think the track will widen out. It's almost one of those places where the speed is so fast guys will be searching for places. They're going to make it wider. You're carrying that speeds and with the aero issues involved, they'll be looking for clean air.
"We've struggled at the start of some races, but we've been the fastest car at the end of some races, too. We've worked on a few things on the car and off the car. I think it'll show up here in a little bit. The track changes every year. I was here two years ago in a Busch car and it was the old surface. We came here last year and qualified 35th or 36th on the new surface. To come back here and qualify third is big. So many things have changed, we'll just have to wait and see what happens."