JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 15th) YOU MANAGED TO PICK UP YOUR SPEED FROM PRACTICE. "We were a little bit faster there in qualifying, but I'm afraid the weather is going to catch up with the track getting a little bit...
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 15th)
YOU MANAGED TO PICK UP YOUR SPEED FROM PRACTICE. "We were a little bit faster there in qualifying, but I'm afraid the weather is going to catch up with the track getting a little bit cooler. The cars that have a later draw may have the advantage today. The car has been really free all day, which is great in race trim, but in qualifying, we just could never get it tightened up like we needed it. Hopefully when they drop the rag tomorrow we'll be in good shape. We can't control the weather, so we'll just have to see where we end up."
HOW HAS THE TRACK AGED SINCE LAST YEAR? "It's a little bumpier than I remember, but the track still has a lot of grip to it and I think it will only get more grip to it as the weekend goes on. If the race is anything like last year, the groove will really widen out as the race progresses. You'll start the race running on the bottom, but by the end of the night you should be able to get up closer to the wall. I just hope that we get our practice session in tonight. That will be biggest factor in seeing who's going to be quick tomorrow, when we're in conditions similar to what they'll be when we race."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND HAROLD HOLLY HAS PAID IMMEDIATE DIVIDENDS. "I think I killed it myself there today. He was wanting to free it up more and I was hollering, 'No, no, that's enough.' This is how we're starting. We're starting on Fridays getting the car to drive good, and everywhere I've been, I've had the perfect car that I could win the race and win the pole with, but the opportunity just wasn't there. I've just got to thank all of the guys. They busted their butts on this car getting it done. When we get this thing rolling it's going to be big. This is because of Harold Holly. They built this Ford Taurus within two weeks. It has so much downforce it scares you. It wants to jump out, but that's just it letting you know it's ready for you to hit the gas pedal. It's kinda weird, but it works. I've been doing the same thing that I've been doing all year. I get something good like this, I push the gas pedal down and it goes. I think the biggest thing is that Harold is as competitive as I am. He gets all of the guys wanting poles. We just now got in the mode where race day is pole day. We've got a race to win on Friday, and that's to win the pole. That's what we gear ourselves up to. He gets it driving to where it's 90 percent and then go from there for Happy Hour. Qualifying is pole day and we've been trying to go after the pole here lately. I think I could have got the pole at Nashville, but the rain killed us. I don't know where the 59 got that number at, but we'll get the Marines Taurus dialed in."
KASEY KAHNE-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 7th)
"It was a real good lap for what we had to do. We had to pull down the back-up car after wrecking the primary in practice. The team changed the engine after practice and we only ran about 10 laps. This was good. I backed off a little early in turn 3. I screwed up there earlier and I didn't need to make another mistake. We needed to get in. We have a good race car and the team did a good job to get us where we're at now."
WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE? "I don't know. I got in there and I held it out a little too long was the biggest thing. I was on four-lap tires. It takes a little while for them to come in here and I think I just held it out a little too long and just lost it. I had no indication. As soon as it started to go, it was backwards. This one goes out to the team; they did an awesome job. We went out a little late because it took us a while to get the motor changed and everything ready. They did a good job and I have to thank those guys for doing that."
WALLY DALLENBACH-17-Aleve Ford Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"It's been too long in between races. We definitely had a wrong setup for me here, but we wanted to start off with what Matt (Kenseth) is comfortable with. Matt's setups and my setups are worlds apart, so we basically spent the whole day getting it to where I was comfortable. We didn't even make a qualifying run, that was our qualifying run. The whole reason for this is that I'm going to do some more races for these guys and we needed to work together so they understand what I need and how we can communicate. This is well worth it. These guys have enough experience that they know what they need to do for the nighttime track conditions. The least of my worries is changes that we need to do for the nighttime. I can't say for that for a whole bunch of teams I've driven for in the past, but I'm not worried about these guys."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"It was a great lap by Stacy (Compton) and those guys, but my hat's off to my guys on the Nesquik Ford. We weren't quite where we needed to be off of the truck, so we made some really significant changes to make the car better. That was the quickest that we've been since we've been here. I don't think anybody is going to get Stacy; that was pretty good. Hopefully that will be a good, solid top-five starting spot for us, and hopefully we can have a top-five finish with that. We'll just work on the car for Happy Hour and see what we can do. This is a softer tire this year, but we didn't run any faster times in practice."
IS QUALIFYING A DIFFERENT RACE HERE WITH THE RACE OCCURRING AT NIGHT? "It means a lot as far as track position. It's going to be a tough place to pass on just like last week at Nashville. Track position is going to be critical, a good pit stall, of course. I think there are four or five really good pit stalls here, so hopefully we're right there where we can pick a good stall. We need to qualify good, every week really. It's just a different car for what you have during the day and what you have at night is going to be a lot different."
NOW THAT YOU FIND YOURSELF LEADING THE POINTS, HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MENTALITY? "No, we're coming in with the same plan that we've had for the past couple of weeks and that's just try to be consistent and be competitive and be in the top five."