JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram) "We put all we had into our qualifying lap - I mean we were just running wide open on the bottom. As far as practice went, we spent a lot of time just trying to get our Dodge where we need it to...
JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram)
"We put all we had into our qualifying lap - I mean we were just running wide open on the bottom. As far as practice went, we spent a lot of time just trying to get our Dodge where we need it to be. We're just out of trucks right now. We've wrecked three trucks in the last two weeks, but that's what we've got to deal with. We want to try and be up front in tomorrow's race, especially running a Dodge. Anytime we get behind we're at a big disadvantage. We're going to have to keep working on it. All of the guys on the team have been doing a great job. Everybody's keeping their spirits up and just doing what we've got to do."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram)
"We worked a lot on our qualifying setup, but it didn't turn out like we had hoped. Our qualifying time was as fast we can run. We ran flat out for two laps and it's not at all good enough for the front row. We better go back and do our homework before tomorrow's race. It means a lot to get out in front at Texas and get some clean air. We've seen how many times that happens, where a guy gets out front and can really run away and a guy in the back of the pack will struggle. Who knows? There could be a big wreck in the first field. But we unloaded and Gene Nead our crew chief said, 'All we're going to do is work on qualifying stuff and get the pole.' But that didn't work out. We'll just try what we can do to get back to where we should be. We need to get our race stuff going and try and win some races, not worry about poles."
ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 18 Square D/Dickies Racing Dodge Ram)
"Our qualifying time was what we ran in practice, so we backed it up. I don't know where Mike Bliss came up with his time, but he gave everyone something to shoot for. I think we have a good race truck for Friday's race. We really worked on more race stuff than we did on qualifying setups. Whenever you're at Texas you've got to be able to hold this thing to the mat all night long, and that's what we worked on. Whoever does that will win this race."
BILL LESTER (No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram)
"Our Dodge was great right off the hauler. Really, all we did in practice was communicate a little bit about what I needed to make it better, and the guys made the changes to make our truck go faster. I was hoping to qualify on the front row. We were really shooting for the pole. I wanted to reward our team for the hard work that they've been putting in this year. We've had a lot of unfortunate incidents happen to us, and they deserve better than what they've gotten. We'll just see how it all works out, but the important thing is to get a good finish in tomorrow night's race."
JOE RUTTMAN (No. 4 Square D Dodge Ram)
"Well, we were mostly working on the driver all day in practice. The driver did a little better by the end of the day but not good enough, so we're going to keep working on him. I think we'll be okay if we can get him up to speed. He was out there looking at his life, and thinking about the next two or three years that he has left to live.
"We were just running slow in practice. We made four or five major changes, and I'm not sure what made the biggest difference. I think some of it came from changing gears, and I think the boys hit it pretty close. We qualified almost a full second ahead of our practice time, which is a lot of time to pick up. I've been known to pick up a tenth of a second or two, but not a full second. The team obviously did something good.
"One of the things that hurt when Bobby Hamilton asked me to drive here, was that I've had pretty good success on this circuit with the exceptions of three tracks. Texas is one of the tracks that I have not had most of my success at. I was hoping he'd pick me for I.R.P. or someplace where I've won or done good. But he picks me for Texas where I haven't done a hoot at this track."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA/Orleans Dodge Ram)
"I can't say I'm entirely upset with qualifying fifth. We finally had a shot at the pole, and that's what the NAPA gang came here to do. So we gave it a chance. I ran that lap with a dead, flat foot, and the NAPA guys gave me a hell of a Dodge to run, but some of these other makes are tough right now. We gave all we had to qualify up front.
"We've been happy qualifying up in the top-10 - we're usually shooting for that eight to 12th starting position. We're now back at tracks that we've been to a couple of times, and it's time for us to start running like this every week. We're the highest qualifying Dodge, and that's one of the things that we needed to do. We're running the same truck that won here earlier this year, and it's still fast. The other guys have a little bit of an advantage right now, but to be the fastest Dodge out there shows that the NAPA guys are worthy of it."