Saturday, April 28, 2007

Talladega: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger) -- 32nd
"It was an OK lap. I guess it doesn't much matter. We'll see where it ends up. We're relatively close to Kurt so we can get together and work together. We've had a good reputation from the first race together. We want to keep that up. I wish we had six of us, but two will have to do. This isn't racing anyway in my opinion. This is a track position game and whose team built them a good racecar. Obviously a driver has a small part to do with it, but not like at other tracks. I always thought it was 50-50 with the driver and car. Here it's about 80-20 car to driver. You've got to survive every race, and this track is no different. You've just got to do what you've got to do."

SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger) -- Fastest Dodge, qualified 9th

"We have to come here with our objectives to make sure we make it in the race first. This year has gone miserable for us, but everyone has put their heads together and staying focused and putting our priorities in order. We're coming together has a whole and we're really putting our best foot forward trying to put this program together at Evernham Motorsports. My hat's off to every one of our sponsors who have stayed behind us and haven't put any more pressure on us. They have the confidence in us. I'm proud of everyone at Evernham Motorsports. The motor shop has stepped up on the restrictor-plate program and they've proved it this weekend. My guys have worked extra hard making sure this car was fast enough to get in the show.

"Handling is not going to be an issue. Track position is going to be the key. We didn't have to do anything detrimental to our race package to get qualified, so our car is pretty much set to go in race trim. I think we'll be in good shape."


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios Racing/Spiderman-3 Dodge Charger) -- 41st

"We were better than we were last year. We picked up about four tenths. The way our car is set up it's not really set up for qualifying. That might have hurt us a little bit for qualifying, but it wasn't bad. We didn't expect a whole lot more. I know we've got a lot of work left to do, but we got out of here with a respectable run. A starting spot is a starting spot here."


REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- 33rd

"It was kinda like driving around 285 in Atlanta. I think everybody is concentrating on drafting and wherever you qualify is wherever it is. It's not where you start. It's where you finish."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 39th

"I wasn't really worried about qualifying. The almighty draft tomorrow will be the equalizer. We'll race hard, try to get some momentum back and gain some points."


KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Nations Tire & Battery Dodge Charger) -- 25th

"That was a really good run. We didn't run anywhere close to that yesterday in practice. Billy Wilburn and the guys did a great job, and the guys at Evernham engines worked really hard to come up with a combination that really helped us. Bobby is running good, and they spent a lot of time focusing on race stuff yesterday. We made one qualifying run, but I think we're going to both be fine."


JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 26th

"We've taken big steps here since last year, so I'm happy. Qualifying really doesn't mean anything here. We'll wait and see what happens. I think we've got a decent car. We'll see."


DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Charger) -- 22nd

"It wasn't what we thought it would be. We thought we'd be a lot better, but it's just an impound race. We'll race good. It doesn't matter where you start. It's where you finish. I think going out later hurt. It's a little windier, but I'm not a weatherman, so I don't really know, but we're not bad."


KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 28th

"It's a little cooler right now, so an early draw can help you some days and hurt you some days. Today was a good day to go early. We feel like our Miller Lite Dodge has been pretty good. We backed up the time we ran yesterday, so we'll see where we end up. The car likes to draft, and that's where the big money is Sunday. This is our Talladega car, but it's the same general principle of restrictor-plate racing. At Talladega it's not about handling with the new asphalt, so we have to go as fast as we can all the time. Here's my mentality about Talladega. I treat this place just like I treat Bristol. I confuse everybody when I say that, but I just come here to survive. I protect the race car and try to do the best I can to be there at the end. The top is usually the most vulnerable spot on the racetrack, so I try not to run on the top side, but you try to work your way up to the top 10 and run toward the front. If you can't quite do that, you've got to look around and see who you're racing with and if you feel comfortable you're OK. Newman looks solid. I can't wait for us to hook up and do the things we've done in the past at restrictor-plate tracks. We've had our problems with caution flags the last two weeks. I should be right there with him (Tony Stewart) waving the flag, but he's battling his own battle. If we continue to run strong and keep putting ourselves in the right position we hope eventually everything will even itself out, and it usually does."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 30th

"That was better than we ran yesterday. We made one qualifying run yesterday and felt like that was good for it. I'm proud of my guys. The Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger was pretty quick. Last year we ran second when the track was redone. It should be fun. The track is a lot of fun to drive now with it smooth and a lot of grip. We'll see how it goes. The Busch race today should be fun, and then we've got it again tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. We're looking to getting off to a better start and getting rolling. We need to step up our program."

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