RYAN NEWMAN-12-ALLTEL Taurus (qualified 3rd in The Winston Open) "We didn't leave anything on the table, we just didn't have as fast of a race car as we thought we did. It's definitely a good race car." ON GETTING AROUND LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY.
RYAN NEWMAN-12-ALLTEL Taurus (qualified 3rd in The Winston Open)
"We didn't leave anything on the table, we just didn't have as fast of a race car as we thought we did. It's definitely a good race car."
ON GETTING AROUND LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY. "We've been fast here before, we'll be fast here again, we just missed it on these two laps." WHERE WAS THE WORST SPOT? "Just didn't have overall grip. It felt like the whole race track."
RICKY CRAVEN-32-Tide Taurus (qualified 9th)
"I'm always happy with the cars. They're all very good, but this one has been a little bit of a challenge, particularly getting the Tide Ford down in the corner. But, it's going to be a lot of fun. This is going to be a great opportunity for us to use the times and the race to prepare for the 600, which, in my mind, is one of the greatest races of the year and is something that we really want to win."
DOES THE 600 MEAN AS MUCH TO SOMEONE FROM NEW ENGLAND AS IT DOES TO DRIVERS FROM NORTH CAROLINA? "Yeah, it is. This is cool. This is really neat this year because we've earned our way into it with the win at Martinsville. And you think about how significant the group is, a group of Winston Cup winners and I'm proud to be a part of that. This event is for the fans. They are going to see some aggression, they're going to see some excitement, some muscle and I'm going to be somewhere right in the middle of it with the Tide Ford."
JEFF BURTON-99-Citgo Taurus (qualified 4th)
"I don't know if that's any good or not, I have no idea. If you're qualifying, normal qualifying, you have a good idea what speed you need to run. This deal, we'll know after four or five cars run how that is, but we have no idea right now." DID YOU GET HELP IN THE PITS? "I don't know. It felt good. It seemed like it went quick. I'm a pretty good judge of pit stops as far as how fast they are. I thought it felt fast. The laps felt pretty good."
DALE JARRETT-88-UPS Taurus (qualified 15th)
"We made the car feel like it would drive a lot better, so that's more of what we were after, probably, because the pit stop is what's so important as far as getting a starting spot here, but we wanted to make sure that when we come back next week we had a good idea of what we needed to do to get qualified for the 600. We struggled with the car all day, but we've made it better as we've gone along, so that's encouraging."
DID YOU GET HELP FROM THE CREW TONIGHT WITH THE PIT STOP? "I don't know how things really turned out or anything. Obviously, we weren't the fastest - I don't know exactly why that was, but things went pretty smooth."
KURT BUSCH-97-Rubbermaid Taurus (qualified 11th)
"It's a great team effort. You feel the energy that it brings because every team member has to hit their marks, and even though you have a bad pit stop there still can be time gained on the race track, so you can really feel the team camaraderie about it. And the Rubbermaid guys did a great job, our first effort at it. It should put us in the top 10, which is a good deal."
DID YOU GET HELP FROM THE CREW ON THE PIT STOP? "I guess our stop was a 14.2 which is average, it's not quite what it will take to sit on the pole for tonight. And then our laps we ran were .70 and .90, so that's not good enough to be on the pole, either. But it's perfect top-10 material and that's where we need to be at in the third segment on Saturday."
RICKY RUDD-28-Havoline Taurus (qualified 8th)
"This whole format, it's a different format and that's what The Winston is all about. It's a little bit different race structure. This, really, is about how good your pit crew is, not how good, because you can have a good crew and they can have a little bit of a problem, but it's all about how good the pit stop is and how quickly the car exits pit road, and the on-track has a very small thing to do with this qualifying effort. But, our guys did a good job, had a little bit of a problem on the stop, not really sure, but they practice hard and they gave it their best and we're gonna end up somewhere, hopefully, in the top six or seven."
UNDER THIS FORMAT, YOU REALLY CAN'T COMPARE THE TIMES TO ANYTHING, BUT DID IT FEEL LIKE A GOOD RUN? "All you can really do is hope for a good pit stop, obviously, and a lot of it has to do with how you exit pit road, how much traction you get when you leave the pits, if you light up the tires you never do get the car hooked up and it never does come to you. These guys on the Havoline Taurus team have been working hard, worked on our pit stops, and I hate it for them. Had a little bit of a problem on the pit stop, nothing major, but it doesn't take but one little hiccup and the next thing you sknow it cost you a little bit of speed. But this race car is running pretty fast. On-track speed was there. We just came up a little bit short, but these guys gave it 100 percent."
ELLIOTT SADLER-21-Motorcraft Taurus (qualified 6th)
IS THIS A DRESS REHEARSAL FOR THE 600 NEXT WEEK? "Oh, yeah. That's not the car we're bringing back, but we'll use pretty close to that same setup. I'm really, really, really proud of my pit crew. Did a lot of practicing this week, I'm really proud of my guys. They showed a lot of heart tonight."
THERE'S A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE CREW IN THIS FORMAT. "That's the way it goes, it's a total team sport. I'm glad that The Winston is so important to us and what R.J. Reynolds does for this sport, no other company in the world does anything for one particular sport like they do for us, so I'm glad that they get the whole team involved. It means more to our crews tonight to be able to perform in front of all these fans and on TV than anything else we do, so I'm glad they let us do this."
RUSTY WALLACE-2-Miller Lite Taurus (qualified 21st, received a 3-second penalty because of a loose lugnut)
"It was a good run. I bottomed out going into three, I cut in a little too early and hit the bottom of the race track, cost myself a little time there. But, still, we had the front row, I just didn't anticipate a lugnut getting loose like that, but it happened."
MATT KENSETH-17-DeWalt Power Tools Taurus (qualified 1st)
"I knew they did good because my laps weren't pole-sitting laps. I was probably top-10 laps, I didn't think my laps felt that good. I knew we had a killer pit stop. Those guys stepped up to the plate. I knew we got off pit road pretty good, too. That was pretty awesome. This is the only way I can win a pole in Winston Cup is have help from my time because I'm not usually a great qualifier." IT'S A GOOD RACE TRACK FOR YOU. YOU MUST LIKE THIS PLACE. "Yeah, it is, it's awesome. This is an awesome facility to come to."
MORE ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT. "Our DeWalt guys did a great job. I don't think I probably ran the fastest laps tonight but we had the fastest pit stop of the night. This is great team effort for these guys. We try to give as much time as we can, and Robbie and Andy and all of the guys that coach our pit crew do a great job at it, and they're a huge part of that."
DOES IS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT TO START UP FRONT? "It always helps to start up front, and the pit crew's going to be real important tomorrow night with that green-flag stop during that 40-lapper, so I can't wait. When we unloaded this thing, our first lap out felt great. This car's never been to the race track before tonight, and it's been a two- or three-month project, trying to build this car the way we want it to, and so far it feels really good."