NOTE: Today Leffler earned his series-high sixth pole of the year. The all-time record for Bud Poles in a season is 10, b7 Mike Skinner in 1995, the first year of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been pretty...
NOTE: Today Leffler earned his series-high sixth pole of the year. The all-time record for Bud Poles in a season is 10, b7 Mike Skinner in 1995, the first year of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been pretty good. I overdrove it in turns one and two pretty bad and it cost us some time there, so I didn't know if it was going to hold up for the pole. The track was starting to get quicker and quicker. The Ultra Bad Boys did and awesome job. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been pretty quick in qualifying all season long. I can count on this team to give me a fast truck week in and week out, and that helps me to focus on what I need to do come race time. The track conditions were pretty bad for Ted and all those guys who went out first. By the time we got out there the track was pretty good, so that wasn't even a factor for us."
"To get the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge in victory lane this season we've just got to do our job and have a little bit of luck. We gave a couple away, and we've had a couple taken away from us. That's racing. Everybody at Ultra Motorsports is doing an awesome job. The guys have give us some amazing pit stops. I've got to thank everybody involved, Team ASE, CARQUEST, Dodge, Arrington Engines. Maybe we'll get it tomorrow. We say that every week, but hopefully we'll get it tomorrow.
"Our Dodge was really good in race practice. We're just going to have to stay out of trouble. It looked like we were going to take second-place last weekend when the leader blew up and we were caught up with him and ended up fourth. We'll be in the hunt tomorrow. Whether we'll be in there for the whole distance I don't know, but we'll just keep trying.
"Kentucky Speedway is a great facility, and I think they've done a really awesome job resurfacing it. I tested here about four times, and last year when we tested it was really rough and slick. They've done a great job though, because the surface is great now. I think there's going to be two grooves tomorrow, so I think everyone will see some really good racing.
"The Dodge program is pretty extraordinary. Dodge puts a lot of effort behind us. We're so far behind aerodynamically with the rules because they've penalized us so much, that we do a really good job to keep up. I think that's just a credit to Ultra Motorsports and all of the guys that work really hard there. The Fords and Chevys Definitely have an advantage on us when it comes to traffic in race circumstances, but that's what NASCAR wants. They just want to try and make it even. Right now I feel that we're a little behind.
"I would like to go back to Winston Cup Racing with an established team and in some equipment I can win in. Right now, this is the best group of guys that I've worked with since I've been in a stock car. There's no doubt in my mind that we could all go Winston Cup racing with the right equipment and win races. Right now our focus is on winning that NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title at the end of the year.
"Dodge has got an incentive program for any Dodge driver and owner who wins a drivers championship, they each win a 2003 Dodge Viper. So, that's what our goal is.
"We've got six poles. There's nothing to be disappointed about that for. We've got three second-place finishes, and we keep knocking on the door every race. Eventually we're going to get there. We're bringing home good points. I don't know. It doesn't bother me at all. We could have no poles and still have not won a race.
"We just keep working harder. It'd be easy for everybody to give up, and you see some other teams who do that. We've got Matt Puccia back at the shop building our Dodge bodies. He's really extraordinary when it comes to hanging these bodies. We just try to make up for the distance and keep digging. It's tough, but it's part of racing. You've just got to keep dealing with it.
"I feel bad for Dodge, because they get penalized for the effort that they put into this series. If Dodge backs down to what the other manufacturers put into this, it'll just hurt the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."
BILL LESTER (No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram)
NOTE: Today Lester matched his career-high qualifying spot of third set last week at Kansas. He is the top-qualifying Raybestos rookie contender for the eighth time this year.
"The track wasn't very slick for us. In fact, the track was the best for us that it's been this whole day. I was able to get into the power a little bit quicker than I had been earlier. Whatever the No. 8 Dodge crew did to the truck today, they did the right thing. I owe it all to the crew, they gave me a great truck."
"I'm really happy about how fast we are under one and two laps, but I'm really more interested in getting a good race run put together here. It's not how you start, it's how you finish in these races. I'm happy because a good qualifying run rewards the guys in terms of how well the setup the truck, but it's up to me to bring our Dodge Ram home with a good top-10 finish. That's our objective."
"We had a real good, solid qualifying effort rolling off third. The most important thing we're focusing in on is a good strong finish this weekend. Basically considering this as the beginning of the second-half of our season, we've had a lot of interesting learning experiences in the first half. A lot of things that have not been our doing have been undoing us in races. I'm just very optimistic that we're going to have a good, strong truck for tomorrow, and that we're going to bring it home in the top-10. I want to give credit to the Bobby Hamilton Racing team. The crew did a fantastic job repairing the No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram from an experience we had in turn one at Kansas that basically led to our undoing in turn four last weekend. So, we're pretty happy."
"This track is not as similar to Kansas as I was led to believe. I was given the impression that whatever you run away with at Kansas translates directly into Kentucky. We've actually had to make a shock and spring change or two today, so there is a little bit of difference between the two tracks, but it's not a direct carryover. The configuration is very similar with both tracks being 1.5-mile tracks. I would say that Kentucky has less banking on the entry into the corners and probably more banking on the exit as opposed to Kansas."
"I think Dodge is doing a terrific job here in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Dodge takes this program extremely seriously, and spends a lot of resources in its engineering, aerodynamic, motor programs to make sure that we're competitive. As a driver, we can't ask anything more than to have stout equipment underneath us. All I can do is commend Dodge for the seriousness that they bring to this program, the effort that they put forth, and the engineering that these guys provide us. I'm happy that the Ultra team and the Bobby Hamilton Racing team is holding up the Dodge program this weekend."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram)
"The Mopar Dodge is running fine. It's always just the luck of the draw for qualifying. A guy blew up at the end of practice and all of the oil was down in the corner, so everyone had to run through it. The first guys that went out today suffered pretty badly from that. As time went on it got better, but we were just one of the first ones to run through the oil. We were about a half a second slower than we were in practice. There isn't anything you can do though, you've just got to go, take your lumps and then start from there. There's nothing that the Mopar team did wrong today, we just had to run through that oil."
ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 18 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge Ram)
"The oil that was out on the racetrack made it really bad. It made us really loose. But there's really nothing they can do for that. Bill (Bobby Hamilton Racing teammate, Lester) went out right after us, and there's really nothing that you can complain about. He just put it on the edge and made his lap count. We're happy with our lap. We worked on a lot of race setups here today, so it's like we're giving up qualifying for that. We managed to pick up two-tenths from practice, and I bet we're the only ones who picked up time from practice today."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA/Orleans Dodge Ram)
"We can't be upset about a top-10 qualifying spot. That's basically what we said we want to shoot for in qualifying. Shane (crew chief, Wilson) and I have been craving to get up there a little higher though. At these tracks we think we've got a chance at the pole. Kentucky is so much like Las Vegas, and we really spend a lot of time on these kinds of tracks. We really thought we had a shot at it today. We had good power, and it just twisted on me a little, but we caught it."
CARLOS CONTRERAS (No. 43 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram)
"We knew that this wasn't going to be a great truck for qualifying, but we have it here because it'll be really good for the race. We ran this Dodge last weekend and I'm very comfortable in it, so we'll use the same setup that we did at Kansas. A lot of trucks are quicker than us on slicker tires, but I know after 10 laps we'll be better than all of them."
BRIAN ROSE (No. 4 Perry Connection Dodge Ram)
"We've got a brand new truck here. We're really learning about our aero combination to give us some chassis balance. It's a completely different theory aero-wise that determines the amount of pressure that we put in different areas of the truck. It's caused us to have to change our chassis setup to make it balanced again. I think that's what we've looked at most of the day. We're trying to get it back to level ground all the way around the truck and make it balanced going into the corners. We'll be happier after happy hour when we're finally able to get what we want out of it. This Dodge is a top-running truck, and we can win a race with it and run with the leaders, but we just need a little time now to work the bugs out of it."
"We've got some things working on our sponsorship for this truck after New Hampshire. We've got some things lined up. We're not going to the house. We're going to be racing, that's for sure."
LANCE HOOPER (No. 5 Diamond Cut Jeans/Blair5.com Dodge Ram)
"We kept most of our speed from practice, but we lost a little bit. We got out on the racetrack and someone spun out and kind of took the goodie off our tires and got the motor hot. We're happy with that time. We can build on it, and hopefully will pick up just a little bit more for the race. We were slow going through tech. We had motor problems. We had to make an adjustment to the spark plugs, but I gave it a plug check during qualifying and we'll adjust it again for happy hour. But, all in all we've got a good, solid truck."