TODD BODINE --66-- Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- IS IT ANY COINCIDENCE THAT THE TOP TWO GUYS TESTED HERE LAST WEEK? "It definitely helps to test. You work a lot of things out that you don't have time to work out when you come back here to race. ...
TODD BODINE --66-- Kmart/Route 66 Taurus --
IS IT ANY COINCIDENCE THAT THE TOP TWO GUYS TESTED HERE LAST WEEK?
"It definitely helps to test. You work a lot of things out that you don't have time to work out when you come back here to race. When you come back for race practice, you're just working on basic setup -- getting the balance in the car. When we tested last week, we worked on different things to see what they did to the car and put the whole package together and come back with that. We were pretty good when we unloaded, but we got better. We made some rear shock changes and got better, but we can still make it a little better. The whole thing now is that the practice last week is gonna relate into this race practice, where we only get 20 minutes. That's where we should be a lot better than most, hopefully. I mean, we learned a lot last week."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TOMORROW NIGHT?
"It's gonna be the same deal it always is. The one thing that's gonna be different is that Dale is not gonna be in it. That's gonna be a little strange for everybody. He always made it exciting. I'm sure somebody is gonna pick up where he left off and put some thrills and chills back into the race."
WITH THE RACE BEING SHORT, HOW KEY IS THE SETUP?
"It's big. If you're off, you don't get pit stops and tires to fix it. If you're off, you're off and you're not gonna win the race. The guy that hits the setup is the one that wins. That's why testing last week was so critical."
RYAN NEWMAN --02-- ALLTEL Taurus --
HOW MUCH DID TESTING HERE LAST WEEK HELP?
"Quite a bit. Just to get a good balance. Obviously, the race track changes with the temperature and the sunlight and all the cars running on it today, but it gives us a good place to start from and I think that's what helped a lot. We had a really great lap with the ALLTEL Ford. I didn't have the first lap that I wanted to and I actually think the first lap should have been a better lap based on how the tires fall off, but the second lap was good enough to pull it off."
YOU SET THE TRACK RECORD HERE IN AN ARCA CAR LAST YEAR. YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY
"This is the exact same car we set the track record with. It's an awesome race car. It's PRS-023 and we call it 'Patience' because of last year's race after we won here."
YOU SEEM TO QUALIFY WELL REGARDLESS OF WHAT LEVEL. IS THERE A REASON?
"I don't know. It's a place right now where it's one lap or two laps or whatever it may be, that I can really just shine. All of the downforce is on the car and you just go out and run as hard as you physically can. I'm getting used to running longer races, so I think that might be part of it. I don't know for sure."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET A GOOD START TOMORROW IN A SHORT RACE?
"I think where we're at we'll end up with a really good starting spot. I don't know if it will hold up for the pole, but starting next to Todd Bodine is gonna be a big deal because he's a good runner on a track like this. A 30-lap race goes back to my roots I guess you could say and I think we'll be pretty good."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus --
"It looks like they had some problems on the right-front, but that's all. These guys are nervous. They haven't done this type of Winston deal, so we just had one of those things. We didn't really have a good day today, but if you can't sit on the pole, I don't care where you start in this thing. There aren't that many cars and we just want to be somewhere in the switch after the first race and we'll go from there. If you can't sit on the pole -- I'm not gonna get down on myself or the guys or anything like that. We've still got another night to redeem ourselves."
ARE YOU HAVING FUN?
"Yeah, I'm having a ball. This is great. No points, no anything. I'd rather mess up tonight or tomorrow night or next weekend, so we'll get it all out of the way tonight and we'll kick their butt tomorrow night."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite/Harley-Davidson Taurus --
"I think what made the difference was a total team effort. The pit stop was incredibly fast. We made a lot of chassis changes right before we started. I remember the last time I stayed on the concrete and lit the tires up real hard. I made sure I got out on the asphalt to heat the tires and leave pit road and get up on the race track as fast as I could. We did that and the first lap was a 30.20, which was a pretty doggone good first lap, so it was all the guys -- a total team effort to make it happen. I'm real proud of 'em. Now we've gotta work real hard to get this thing handling for tomorrow night. We struggled today."
DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU START IN THIS RACE?
"Yeah, I think it makes a difference where you start. You're gonna have to drive hard. I think if you stroke around the first segment and get to start in the front in the second 30 it could be beneficial to you, but I don't know how to do that. I'm gonna drive as hard as I can in all three of 'em."
IS THERE ANY STRATEGY TO THIS RACE?
"There's really not much strategy, you just drive your guts out. All of the conservativeness and easy driving and all of that stuff goes out the window in this race, but I feel good about coming back next week. I've got old Mad Max, the car I won at California and the Michigan race and the one I ran so good with here last time, so I feel good about that car. This is a brand new one, so we'll see how it turns out."
IS THERE A LINE TO CROSS IN THE WINSTON?
"There's no line to cross. I don't want to hurt anybody, that's for sure. I don't think we need to be running into anybody and hitting anybody or intentionally spinning anybody out. There is gonna be some accidental stuff because people are gonna be driving over there head, but that's what they're expecting out of us out there. I'm a big fan of the money, I don't know if I'm a huge fan of running this type of race or not. I mean, I like it. I can't say that I don't like running it, I do like running it. I hate taking a big 'ol pile of car all torn up home. I haven't done that many times, but I have done that a couple."
WOULD YOU RANK YOUR WINSTON WIN AS ONE OF THE WILDEST?
"Yeah, I think my win was definitely one of the wildest. I think the one Earnhardt had when he went flying through the grass was a wild one, but mine was definitely right up there at the top, I'll tell you that."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus --
"I'm pretty disappointed with our time. The car was really good on the track, so we must have lost a little time in the pits. I know we'll race pretty good, but it's a shame we couldn't be starting better."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus -- "That was ugly. I don't know what went wrong there. My laps weren't very good. The car killed getting in and I probably spun the tires too much leaving and the car didn't handle very good after that."
DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START?
"It matters. I mean, I thought we were gonna come here and win the pole because our pit stops have been so good this year. I thought we'd have a shot at it, but nothing seemed to go right. I didn't do a very good job and the whole thing didn't go very well."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus --
"The car was pretty good there. I was relatively happy with that. I think that we can improve on that next week when qualifying really counts. We had a little trouble on the right-front, it looked like a lugnut fell off, and it cost us a little bit of time."
A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE PICKED YOU TO WIN. CAN YOU BACK THAT UP.
"We hope so. I hope they're all exactly right."
COULD YOU SEE?
"Oh yeah. You can see fine, it's no problem. As these last couple of guys go, it may get a little dark but you can still see the race track. It's no problem."
WILL YOU PRACTICE TOMORROW?
"No, not during the daytime. There's no reason whatsoever."
ARE YOU GOING TO EVEN GO OUT?
"No. I'm not even gonna be here. My son has a baseball game tomorrow and that's where I'm gonna be. There's no reason to practice. We didn't even practice the first session today. There's just no reason. This is such a totally different animal when the sun goes down, so we'll just rely on past experience. When we did run this afternoon we made race runs. That's all we did. That was the first qualifying-type setup we had done."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus --
"I know we didn't end up where we wanted to, but I feel good about it. The car handled good and it was real good on the race track. I know the guys gave it all they had in the pits and I gave it all I had. That's all you could ask for."
COULD YOU SEE?
"Yeah, I didn't have any trouble. From here looking out it looks bad, but when you're out there it's not bad at all. It's real good."
WHAT ABOUT THE RACE TOMORROW?
"For all three races, you just run as hard as you can and get all you can get."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus --
YOU WERE THE LAST QUALIFIER IN THE DARK AT TALLADEGA LAST YEAR TOO WEREN'T
"I thought about that when we got ready to run and we blew up there. It was real dark. It hurt us a little bit, but that's okay. It's better doing it tonight and getting it done rather than coming back tomorrow. Even if I couldn't have seen at all, I would have made my laps and taken our laps and been wherever we were."
WHAT ABOUT PRACTICE?
"If they made me practice now I'd go home. It's way too dark for practice, way too dark."
IS THERE ANY POINT IN HAVING PRACTICE TOMORROW?
"No, I encouraged Mike (Helton) that if we can't run tonight, just to blow off the practice tomorrow. This weekend is for fun, it's all about having fun and coming in tomorrow and having a low-pressure day is what all the guys deserve to have. These guys work all the time and having practice or not having practice isn't gonna impact the competition. It's gonna be a competitive race no matter what, so the hell with it. Let's just don't have practice and show up here and race tomorrow. That's what I think we ought to do." HAVE YOU HAD FUN TODAY? "I've had a good time today. The off week did me some good. I've had more fun today. We've worked hard and had a good day and had fun, so I had a good time."
WHAT ABOUT THE SPRING RULE?
"I'm in favor of the spring rule because I don't think the bump rubbers and all that stuff do anything to add to competitiveness. It offers another way for something to go wrong and we don't need anything else to go wrong in this sport, so get rid of 'em and take that factor out. It's not gonna make the racing any worse or any better."
WHAT ABOUT THE ADJUSTABILITY OVER 600 MILES?
"You can still put rubbers in and out, you just can't start with rubbers in it. You can still get 'em in. It's the same for everybody."