JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd) "It was a real good day for us. We were fifth in practice and we felt like we made some changes late in practice that were going to help us with speed, and it did. Another second-place...
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
"It was a real good day for us. We were fifth in practice and we felt like we made some changes late in practice that were going to help us with speed, and it did. Another second-place start this year, but this one wasn't because of rain. It's just always a joy coming here to Bristol. It's going to be tough. I'll tell you what, there's a big spread in the speed of the cars, so hopefully we can keep our nose clean for the Albertsons Ford and do good tomorrow."
ARE YOU CONFIDENT AT THIS RACE TRACK? "Any time you come back to a place that you've had success or won at, it's definitely nice. But, I was running second here in the spring and got caught up in an accident, so I know that anything can happen as far as accidents and lapped cars. There's nowhere to hide on this race track, so the lapped cars are going to be tough."
"This is the same car that finished fifth at Rockingham. It's a 2002. We still haven't quite got the handle on the '03 stuff yet. We feel like we're getting closer. We tested Nashville and feel like we're getting closer. After what we went through last week at Darlington, we just opted with the 2002 and went with some old notes. We're having to move around a little bit. We can't just use our 2002 notes. We're having to search around and hopefully we can find the balance that we need."
HOW DO YOU AVOID WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU LAST YEAR? "You've got to attach. You've got to stay in the top two or three. We felt like we were doing what we needed to do last year, so to do anything different, I don't know what to do. Trouble finds you here. I don't want to say 'be lucky,' but there is a lot of luck involved here in Bristol. You just have to be in the right place at the right time and hopefully you are fortunate enough to miss the accidents. It kinda reminds me, I see David (Green) with that Budweiser hat on there. David used to beat me all the time for these poles in '94. I think I finished second to him in these poles for about five times in '94; I have to pick up the pace a little bit. But, he's probably one of the best qualifiers there's every been here, so hopefully we can pick up the pace."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH LAPPED TRAFFIC HERE, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? "I don't know, and you have to be politically correct in your answers and this probably one of those times. We were in lapped traffic on lap 12 or 13 last week at Darlington, a mile-and-a-third race track. Here on a half-mile race track, you're probably going to be in it on lap two or three. The only thing that I will say is that I hope, especially at a place like this, that NASCAR will really be aware of the minimal speed rule. There's nowhere to hide. I did the rookie meeting this morning. I was talking to the rookies and if you're having a bad day and go to the top of the race track, the cars are going to come to the top off the race track, so you're going to be in the way. If you go to the bottom and let the fast cars go around the top, it's going to mess you up going into the corners. There's nowhere to hide here. I don't know if there is a solution. There's just a large spread in speed. Hopefully as we catch slow cars, the guys that you're racing with will get sorted out and get past the lapped cars and then race, and not use the slow cars to their advantage or disadvantage. I just hope that whatever the minimal speed is - they always come up with it after happy hour - whatever that minimal speed is stuck to tomorrow. If they can't meet minimal speed, if I can't meet minimal speed get me off the race track because you're in the way here pretty early and pretty quick."