STEADMAN MARLIN-95-Shoney's Inn Ford Taurus (Qualified 19th) - IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'LL BE THREE-FOR-THREE IN QUALIFYING FOR BUSCH RACES? "It's turning around for us. We didn't get much time on the track Thursday to practice and we pretty much...
STEADMAN MARLIN-95-Shoney's Inn Ford Taurus (Qualified 19th) -
IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'LL BE THREE-FOR-THREE IN QUALIFYING FOR BUSCH RACES?
"It's turning around for us. We didn't get much time on the track Thursday to practice and we pretty much had to rebuild the whole car, but the boys just kept working on it and we got everything together."
YOU OPTED NOT TO PRACTICE IN THIS MORNING'S PRACTICE SESSION.
"We decided against it. We thought it would take too much time. We had our best run yesterday in the heat of the day and we figured we might as well leave it alone. We were fast yesterday, so we figured we'd go out with what we got."
DOES HAVING QUALIFYING, HAPPY HOUR AND THE RACE TODAY MAKE FOR A LONG DAY?
"It's pretty much like going back to Nashville to race Late Models. You do everything in one day, so I'm used to it. We're a little shy on help, but I trust those boys that they know what they're doing. They may be a little tired tomorrow, but we have a couple of days to rest afterwards."
JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd) -
"The car wasn't that bad, I don't know what happened. We lost almost two-tenths and the heat coming out may have made the motor run worse, but I think we missed it a little there. It wasn't bad in the corners; I'm happy about that. I just hate to lose time, but it is heating up and it's going to get worse and worse. Jay (Sauter) went out a little earlier and I'm glad for him. That was a good run for him, and I guess we weren't meant to win the pole."
DID THIS MORNING'S PRACTICE SESSION HELP FIND THE QUALIFYING SETUP?
"It didn't hurt. It just gave us a feel today of what the track was going to do. It's totally different right now. Our car worked as good then as it did in practice. It was just a little bit slower."
WE BASICALLY ARE RUNNING A ONE-DAY SHOW. HOW HARD IS THAT?
"For the crew guys it's tough, but for us it's not too bad. For the guys that have to put this together in one day and change over the car, it's going to make a long day for them."
DOES FATIGUE PLAY A FACTOR FOR THE DRIVERS WHEN YOU DO ALL THIS IN ONE DAY?
"Nah, we're all strong."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 6th) -
PEOPLE THAT WERE ON TOP OF THE BOARD ALL WEEKEND SEEM TO BE SLIPPING A LITTLE TODAY.
"The car just lost a little bit of grip. The car has been great and balanced since we got here, and we just couldn't get a handle on it there. You've got to do it when it's time to do it, and we just didn't do it right there. Hopefully we won't be too far back and I think we'll be OK."
WILL PASSING BE DIFFICULT ON THIS TRACK?
"It won't be bad; I'm not worried about that. We've been really good all week. Maybe this won't put us back too far, but it's not as close to the front as I thought we'd be if we qualified at night. Our car was extremely balanced, but you have to do it when the time comes. We have no excuses and will work on putting a good setup under it tonight."
CAN FATIGUE BE A FACTOR BY THE END OF THE RACE TONIGHT?
"It can, but it hasn't been a strenuous last couple of days. We haven't spent a lot of time on the race track, we've just been here for a long time."
MARK GREEN-55-Davis & Weight Motorsports Ford Taurus (Qualified 23rd) -
DOES IT FEEL GOOD TO BE BACK RACING?
"I've got to thank Jerry Davis and Tony Weight for letting us come here. It's my home state and it's the inaugural Busch race here, and I was sure going to miss not being here. We're having fun and we don't have any pressure on us, so we're going to go out there and finish as good as we can and not worry about points. We're not speedy fast, but they usually don't win the race, so that's what we're after."
WE'VE BEEN HERE FOR FOUR DAYS. DOES THAT MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT ON A TEAM LIKE YOURS, WHICH IS RUNNING LEAN RIGHT NOW?
"It probably helps us some because we haven't run this car here in two months and we haven't been to the race track in two months. It probably helped us more than some of these guys because we've got the rust knocked off and had a couple of extra days to play with it. You don't really like to be at the race track for four days and then have to do everything in one day, but you can't control the weather."
YOU WERE UP AT 8 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING AND THE RACE WON'T END UNTIL LATE TONIGHT. IS THAT A CONCERN?
"It won't hurt the drivers because most of them will take a nap somewhere, but your crew guys, they've worked hard all day and it's hot, and I'd say some of them may feel the effects once the race starts."
ELTON SAWYER-98-Starter Ford Taurus (Qualified 9th) -
THE TRACK IS HEATING UP AND THE TIMES SEEM TO BE SLOWING DOWN.
"Obviously, yesterday we were pretty happy with our draw, which was going to put us later in the night. But, the car was as good as it was this morning, but we just didn't have the grip. We ran a 23 (31.230 seconds) this morning on stickers and we were pretty happy with the car, but we just didn't have the grip we had earlier; that's the difference in the speed. This race track seems like it's going to be very similar to Charlotte as far as being heat sensitive. The cars that go earlier are going to see some better times, but we still have a good hot rod and we'll be good in the race."
HOW TOUGH HAS IT BEEN BEING HERE FOR FOUR DAYS?
"I really commend NASCAR and the track for giving us the extra time. You can't do anything about the weather, but for a new facility, to get here early and to get acclimated to the surroundings is great."
IS THIS A TWO-GROOVE TRACK?
"It may even be three grooves by the end of the night."
HOW HARD IS IT HAVING QUALIFYING, HAPPY HOUR AND THE RACE ALL IN THE SAME DAY?
"As long as you got a good rest last night you'll be fine."
CHRISTIAN ELDER-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 16th) -
"It was good. I was really happy with the car considering how much the track has tightened up. We haven't done a whole lot of day running. We've been pretty much tuning for a nighttime qualifying run. We had 45 minutes this morning to adjust for the heat, and we adjusted for the heat, but it just kept getting tighter. The track is 30 degrees warmer now than it was this morning. It's hard telling what changes to make when that happens."
YOU POSTED A FAST TIME CONSIDERING YOU HAD A LATE DRAW.
"It was getting worse and worse; everybody kept telling us that. At first it was pushy, halfway through the line they said the nose was sliding and at the end, I just turned my wheel and waited and waited to get back on the gas. The Great Clips Ford ran good; we're solidly in the field. That's a guaranteed top 20."
AS A ROOKIE, DO YOU LIKE THE FOUR-DAY SHOWS?
"It doesn't bother me. I'd rather be at home floating on Lake Norman tomorrow and I think I still will be."
EVERYBODY HERE IS ROOKIE THIS WEEKEND. DOES THAT LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD?
"Mentally, it makes me feel a little more even with some of these guys because they don't have a million miles riding around here. But, they also adapt real fast. I think it's pretty much square."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 39th) -
"I don't know what happened. The car was too loose. We went the wrong way and now we have to figure out how to make it better for the race."
JEFF GREEN PRESS CONFERENCE
"With practice in the morning, I think the track changed a little bit, but for the most part, it stayed pretty much the same for me. We lost a little speed, but we were very close to close to Jay Sauter and he had a good lap; it good for him and it wasn't for us."
HOW BIG WOULD IT BE TO WIN IN KENTUCKY?
"I like to win everywhere. We're in Kentucky this weekend and my home is still 3 hours from here, my hometown, but we still want to win and do as good as we can anywhere. But, to come to Kentucky in the inaugural event means a lot to me and to hopefully have a shot at winning this one. We have a pretty good race car and we've showed that all week, so we're looking forward to tonight."
PEOPLE TRY TO COMPARE THIS TRACK TO OTHER 1.5-MILE VENUES.
"You might be able to take an aero-shot of it and it might look the same, but every track has something on its face and you have to deal with it. This track is pretty bumpy but it still has a lot of grip. It has a great layout and it's a great facility. The fans ought to be really happy here and proud of what Kentucky has built here, and we're proud to be able to sit and drive here. Just everything about it is nice. We deal with a lot of different stuff when we go to different race track and it's just a great place to come to race."