CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T) "We were hoping to pick up a little bit from practice, but it got tight on me a little bit up through the esses and I had to let off the gas. You normally go through up there pretty...
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We were hoping to pick up a little bit from practice, but it got tight on me a little bit up through the esses and I had to let off the gas. You normally go through up there pretty wide open, so I think that's where it cost us. The car felt good everywhere else. Hopefully that will put us in and we'll get the Sirius Dodge up there and race. It's fun. It's just a little frustrating because these guys are so good at road racing. I haven't done it that much. I don't have that much experience. We'll see if we can't get some time on the track Sunday and we'll be better next year."
SCOTT PRUETT (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It was real loose. I thought we had a lot better car than that, and we do have a lot better car than that. We'll work on race trim now. I think we can run up front. Winning involves a lot of things. I think a top five would be good. Mark Martin came up to me after qualifying and said the rubber on the track took away the performance of the race track. He said he got real loose, and I got real loose in qualifying as well. Unfortunately, not meant to be this weekend for the pole, but we have a real good car. The Target guys are doing a good job. We hauled the mail this morning in practice and unfortunately we couldn't back it up. The car is there. Now it's just a matter of getting the right balance for the race. I almost lost it going up through the left-hander. I haven't had a loose car here almost forever. Then the rest of the lap was fighting the same thing - loose, loose, loose. When you have a lap like that, you just have to make the most of it. We have a good pony. We showed the speed this morning. I was shocked (in qualifying). Just going into turns two and three I couldn't stay in the throttle. The car got out from underneath me and killed the speed. We need to have a smart race and do the right thing. We need to have a good race and have a little bit of luck. That's the name of the game here. We had a pushy car here last year. It's loose this year, so hopefully we can hit that midpoint by race day and be in good shape."
WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I screwed up the last corner. I tried to get a little bit more out of it than was there. We should have been four or five tenths faster. We made a lot of positive changes before qualifying. They were all good for me. We've just got to work hard Sunday and finish the race, not get off the track. The last two races here we've had problems. We broke last year and the year before that we ran in the top five all day and left a lugnut off the rear on the last pit stop."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"The lap was OK, pretty uneventful. We've been off since we've been here. That's a lot faster than we ran in practice. We made a couple of changes that seem to be in the right direction, but we've just struggled since we've been here. We'll go back and regroup and get ready for the race. We should have picked up in practice. We never got in a position where we could. We changed some stuff and it helped."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I wish we could have been better, but we picked up a little bit from practice. A lot of guys are slowing down. The track got slick and we got a good lap in. Our qualifying has really picked up. I think this is the best car I've ever had here. I'm not a very good qualifier in road racing. We'll get in the show and pick it up in the race. It just takes patience. You've got to save your brakes and keep the transmission in the car."
TOM HUBERT (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I'm very disappointed. I thought we could qualify much faster than that. We needed more time this morning. We only got six laps and we were way too far off. We loosened it up quite a bit and it helped it, but it made me overcharge a couple of turns. It would get tight and then loose. It wasn't very good."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We've got to go to the rear anyway because we blew an engine this morning. We just wanted to get a lap in and get a pit stall. We probably had a little bit left, but there was no use killing the car and taking a chance wrecking. We probably left a couple of tenths out there. It might not be too hard coming from the back. Some of the guys in California started in the back and they finished in the top five. It ain't impossible."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
Will start fourth, marking the fifth straight race that Elliott has qualified in the top five. Two of those five were poles and two were victories.
"I'm so proud of these guys. We've run so well this year. If we can just keep chipping away at it we'll be OK. We've got things going in the right direction. We've just got to keep getting it better. We backed up practice, and that's what it's all about. Sometimes you get better and sometimes you get worse. At least we had a top 10 car. We were seventh in practice, so any time you can stay in the top 10 you're in pretty good shape."