TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus YOU WERE THE FIRST GUY OUT, DID THAT MAKE IT SLICKER? "That's part of the business. The track was actually not as bad as I thought. It was a little slick. We didn't change the car, but we found some stuff...
TODD BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus
YOU WERE THE FIRST GUY OUT, DID THAT MAKE IT SLICKER? "That's part of the business. The track was actually not as bad as I thought. It was a little slick. We didn't change the car, but we found some stuff we were doing wrong and they fixed it. That's a little over a second faster than what we did in practice. That's almost the exact same time I qualified last year, so I guess that's about as fast I can go around here. The Discover Card Ford was decent. We'll take it. Hopefully, that will be in the top 20."
IS THIS A HEAT SENSITIVE TRACK? "Yeah. When it sits there and bakes in the sun, the oils come out and then, especially with the Busch North cars running, their rubber doesn't match up with the rubber off of these tires, but you've just got to take what you get. It was a bad draw and that was the best lap we had."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus
"That wasn't good at all. It was the worst the car has driven all day -- it slid around a lot. I don't know. It just didn't feel good and it didn't drive good. It didn't have near the grip we had earlier today and we were slow."
DID THE BUSCH NORTH CARS HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT? "I don't know. Todd went way quicker than he has all day, so I don't know if that's an issue. That's a good half-second off what we ran in practice and it wasn't in one place, it was everywhere. I didn't miss a corner or anything, I was just slow everywhere."
EASIER TO PASS HERE THAN SEARS POINT? "I think it's probably easier to pass here than it is at Sears. Sears really doesn't have a good place to pass. This doesn't have a great place, but turn one offers an opportunity and you can also beat people off of the long right-hander -- which I think is number seven. You can beat 'em down the short chute and beat 'em into that left-hander, so I think there are more opportunities to pass here than at Sears."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus
"The sun has really taken this track over and having to go after someone else has been running on it is not good. That rubber will wear off and the track will get better for the guys with a later draw, so an early draw today hurt us. They really shouldn't run cars from the time we finish our last practice until we qualify, especially if they're not on the same tire."
BRETT BODINE --11-- Hooters Taurus
"I'm disappointed. I thought we could at least duplicate our best lap, but we fell short of that. We're not gonna have as good of a starting spot as we had hoped. We historically race really well here and I just wanted to start farther forward so I didn't have to run so hard to try to get up in there. We'll just have to make a good race car out of it and race our way in there." WAS THE TRACK SLICK? "We just didn't run as good and didn't do as good a job on the course as I had hoped and we slowed up. I might have been a little conservative. I'm way back in the points and didn't want to screw up and have to use a provisional."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus
"That's not as good as we would have like, obviously. The car lost grip up through the esses and I had to crack the throttle there. If you have to do that, you're gonna lose a lot of time and then I didn't get into the innerloop quite as good as I needed to. The last turn -- nine or 11 -- the car never really got set there either, so it just wasn't a real good lap. The track is a lot different than what it was earlier with less grip and that hurt us a little bit."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus
"It was a good lap for us. It's something where we just needed to keep all four tires on the track and keep focussed about the things that are important."
DO YOU TALK TO MARK ABOUT ROAD RACING A LOT? "I talk to him quite a bit. I noticed that my setup was the same as is just due to Jimmy Fennig's experience here at Watkins Glen. He made a change because the track always gets loose for qualifying here. We saw the speeds down at 111.6 this morning and they weren't gonna be near that fast this afternoon, so it was just a good consistent lap for us. We knew what happened last week when I shot for the pole and this week we were a darkhorse for it and we just wanted to make sure we got a lap in. This will give us a good top-10 spot."
WAS IT SLICK OUT THERE? "Yeah, I got a good lesson in that last week, so we learned from that quite a bit because track temperature does affect grip level. We say grip and that's just a quick way of saying that it's not giving us any better turning ability and it's not getting us anymore forward bite. When the temperatures go up, the grip goes down."
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "The meeting commenced this morning and it went exactly how I thought it would. The truth wasn't really told on the 41 side and that's the way life is. There are things he's gonna have to live with because he knows what he did wrong. We just move on to the next weekend. This is road racing. We had a great car at Sears Point and here we are at Watkins Glen to give it another run."
DO YOU FEEL THINGS ARE SETTLED NOW AND IT'S DONE? "Yeah, there really wasn't an issue before and then when he made that mistake he created an issue. We're not even really concerned about it on our side."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus
"I got in the very last turn and got in a little deep and had to lock up the right-front wheel. I had to wait on the throttle a little bit too much. It didn't slide out much, but I was just a little slower than I wanted to be. That killed me right there, but we've got a good hot-rod and it's running really good."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus
WHERE DID THE SPEED COME FROM? "Just a little confidence and a little more tape on the grille. That's the first time I really got to tape it up and see what it had, so it was a good run and a good effort after coming up here and testing. It's good for me as a rookie to get a good starting position."
WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST PART OF THIS TRACK FOR YOU? "Having more than four corners, I guess. That gives you a lot more opportunities to screw up (laughing)."
CAN YOU ATTACK THIS COURSE? "Yeah, for about one lap and then the tires give up it seems. Today is a pretty hot day and you can just feel the tires fall off as you go. It's something you've got to be really sensitive about."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus
"We did pretty good at Sears Point. We didn't finish, we broke, so we've just got to concentrate on finishing here and getting a top 10. If we get a top 10, that's really my goal for the weekend. I'd be happy with that."
WHERE DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO CONCENTRATE ON THIS TRACK? "If you miss the esses at all, there's so much speed through there that if you try going too fast and you miss the first corner of the esses in turn two, you lose all your speed up the hill and all the way down that long straightaway. It just kills your lap time, so I was real careful not to get in there too hard and I was actually probably too conservative. I probably left a couple tenths out there."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus
"I don't know where that's gonna end up, it's just disappointing on how we got taken out today. We spent so much time on that other car at VIR two weeks ago and finished sixth with it at Sears Point, and not to be able to run it here this weekend is tough. We've had a tough couple of weekends and we've just got to stick together and try to get through it. This is the rough part of our season. We've got a lot or races left, so we've just got to stick together."
WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE? "Well, a new rookie (the 46 car) coming in I guess and not knowing what's going on. He was swerving his car back and forth in the esses of all places. I don't know what he was doing. He said it was his first time ever in a Cup car and he was swerving going up through the esses running about 20 miles an hour and I was running 160, and instead of T-boning him, I had to swerve and spin my own car out. It's just frustrating. For some guy who had never been in a Winston Cup car, it seems like he would have had to pass some kind of test or something before he got here, but we're the ones that paid for it."
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus
"That wasn't good. We'll all benefit from a test up here. It's something we've never done. We'll be fine for the race, but we really had a tough practice and didn't have a good qualifying run."
WAS THERE ONE PLACE THAT CAUSED YOU TROUBLE? "There was more than one. You've got to have a good practice. We made some changes, but it just didn't work."
DAVE BLANEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus
"Boris said to keep it on track. This morning I went off track a few times. I was having all kinds of trouble braking and getting into the corners and wheel-hopping. Whether I was trying too hard, whatever, that was a pretty cautious lap. The car had more in it, I know, but I was just trying not to get off course."
SO THAT WAS A CONSERVATIVE LAP? "It was conservative. I just wanted to hit a good smooth lap. I know I left some out there, but that's OK. We'll start over tomorrow and try to get some speed. I don't know if we were trying too much, too fast this morning or what, but I just couldn't quite get to the edge. I'd go over the edge going into the corner, but that's OK. We ran what I was hoping to run, so we'll go from there."
BORIS SAID --67-- Jasper Engines Taurus
"We only made one run in practice in qualifying trim, so our emphasis was on race-speed most of the day. I had a good smooth qualifying lap until the last three turns when I got way loose. We're in the show, but I qualified low last year here in the 77 car (20th) and ran in the top 10 all day (finished 8th), so we'll be OK. Both Dave and I ran real good at Sears Point in June, but we didn't close the deal. Se we've got our work cut out here to put some good numbers up on t Sunday for both teams."