JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE Racing Dodge Ram) "We slowed up a little bit from practice. I don't know what to say. We were turning the same RPMs and the truck moved around a little bit more, but it was nothing that major. We were probably...
JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE Racing Dodge Ram)
"We slowed up a little bit from practice. I don't know what to say. We were turning the same RPMs and the truck moved around a little bit more, but it was nothing that major. We were probably getting quite a bit of help in practice and didn't realize it. We thought we were getting clean laps. Any time you have trucks out there, you're getting help. We just weren't as good as we thought we were. It doesn't really matter. We're going to start close to the front and with a little luck we'll stay up there.
"I've got a great group of guys and a lot of support. They work real hard over here. I'm really excited about the year to come. I've known Jim Smith (truck owner) a long time, and he was really my first sponsor. Him and his dad have been great to me. ASE has sponsored my cars for a number of years, so this is a great place to be.
"Our two-truck team is numbered 1-2 this year, but we're going to finish 2-1 I hope. You have a lot more horsepower with these trucks. I've done a little bit of drafting at Talladega. It reminds me quite a bit of the rules we had last year in the Cup car. We haven't drafted at Daytona, and we haven't tested on the short tracks.
"I like Daytona, and I like drafting and working with the air and all that. We didn't get a very good finish down here last year, but we ran good in the Busch race here and we got caught up in a wreck in the Cup car here last year. This year is going to be different.
"Dodge has had years to mature here, and we get a lot of help from Dodge. It's nice to be in this position."
BILL LESTER (No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram)
"I guess I'm a little disappointed with that, actually I'm very disappointed. We should have been in the 48-second range. It's going to be a long race. I'm just hoping we're going to have a good race truck. We didn't get to practice this morning. We made a motor change and got a little behind. When we were ready to go out, they had the gates closed, so we didn't know what we were going to have. I think that hurt us a little bit. Who's to say?
"We ran a flat yesterday, and we were expecting to go faster today. I guess I'm a rookie. I think we should have done better. I didn't draft in the open test, so I guess we'll start doing that tomorrow. I've drafted at Talladega before in the trucks, so I think we'll be all right. I'm going to be happy to work with the other Dodge trucks. Hopefully, they'll work with me. It feels good to get qualifying under my belt. It wasn't the lap I was hoping for, but we're looking forward to the race."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge Ram)
NOTE: Musgrave won the pole with a lap of 187.215 mph.
"Joey Arrington that builds our motors has been doing a lot of development trying to get things better and better. Gene Nead is our new crew chief. He's got different ideas of how things are to be prepared for qualifying. It's like a Winston Cup deal. You make any effort you can to make it better. We taped up for just one lap, getting the oil temperature right, getting everything right. We just put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
"We did a lot of things to free the truck up. You definitely wouldn't be able to race it like that. It's a handful now. It was all for a one-lap effort. We've been testing at Talladega quite a bit. We've been in the wind tunnel Gene Nead has been down to the superspeedways quite a bit. He's been really good on superspeedway setups. I think it's just a package deal. We've done a lot of testing at Talladega for endurance and durability. I think we had five trucks down there and put 400 or 500 miles on each motor. It's everything from the body hangers to the motor builders to the guy who fits the wheel bearings. It took everybody to get it done.
"That was just qualifying, a one-lap all-out deal. Actually I was a little bit worried because when Jason Leffler, my teammate went out, and ran a little slower it was because the engine temperature wasn't up to snuff to get the thing to pull good. He wasn't the guinea pig, but he came back and said his didn't pull right and told me I needed to get a little more temperature in the motor than he had. It was a team effort. That's what got it up there. I could have easily run his same speed if I hadn't got that feedback.
"It's Daytona, it's the kickoff of the season and it's nice to get the pole. Last year, we weren't worried about getting the poles. We tried to get our truck set up for the race. We weren't pole contenders a lot. We always worked on race setups during qualifying practice just to get a head start. This year, we might turn it around a little bit just to see if we can get up front. I know I lost the championship to Jack Sprague last year because I didn't get to lead laps a lot. Maybe we need to look at that effort to get us over the hump.
"I was always slow in Winston Cup, so I want to be fast here. That was faster than we expected. That was an all-out effort. We didn't leave anything behind. I thought I could run a flat or close to it, but Jason went out and didn't pick up a lot of speed. We readjusted our truck for that. I was surprised. It was a handful, but you've got to do it that way to qualify. I'm pretty much used to driving that way by driving the cars. These trucks drive a lot better than the cars. After I ran that lap, I knew it was going to be pretty good. I was a hurry to look up on the scoreboard and see where I ended up next to Hornaday.
"Ron ran a .44. We did run a little quicker in practice. A lot of guys were losing two tenths by the trucks sitting there and getting cold. I think 90 percent of the trucks out there did slow down. We knew what we needed to do so the temperatures didn't affect our rolling resistance."