ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Fruit-of-the-Loom Chevrolet): "I've watched it rain
here a bunch over the years, especially during the month of May and all
that. I'm definitely disappointed for the race fans that came out today
that haven't seen the cars run yet, they're not going to get to see them
until tomorrow, but I think that's why NASCAR is as big as it is. You've
got people that will stand in the rain all day long to see the cars hit
the racetrack and see different drivers hit the racetrack, and I'm just
proud to be part of it.
(About setups): "We're fine. We came here and tested. I think we know
where our baselines are. We know the things we're going to need to do to
go fast. If the car does this, we'll go two steps this way, if the car
does that, we'll go two steps that way. We have our recipe already made,
and I hope that when we get the opportunity to hit the racetrack we go
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline-Texaco Dodge): "The majority of the teams
have tested here, so it's not that big of a deal. I'm almost relieved that
it got rained out today because I dread qualifying. It's not something I
look forward to, and when we do the impound races and make one qualifying
round at the end of the day, I'd be just as content to draw pills."
(About qualifying): "Is that what time we're qualifying is 3? I don't know
that it'll be as critical because at 10 a.m. it's very cool. I think the
hottest part of the day is 4 or 5, so I don't think it'll make as big a
difference. Usually when you qualify at 3, it's better everywhere."
(About the track): "I've never really viewed this track as boring. It's
different than anywhere else we go, and it's fun. We came and tested here
. I came in for the first time and I loved this place because it's so much
different. It might be boring sometimes for you to watch, but as a driver
it's a cool racetrack."
(About the Chase): "It's a little bit different than last year because the
guy who's in sixth right now is not 'safe.' Last year, it was like ninth
and 10th through 15th, so there's a little bit more seats available to
make it in. I had never really been in a points battle until last year,
even in the Busch Series. I was sixth in points last year, but it wasn't
one of those make-or-break deals. It was really close last year, and I was
devastated we didn't make it in. Our team more than any, I suppose,
because we missed it by 16 points or whatever. Last year, I got all
stressed out, and I didn't deal with it the right way. This year, even
last race when my alternator went out, you almost laugh. I just try to
make the most out of it. As a racer, or if you're trying to make the
chase, you're always giving 100 percent. I heard someone ask if there'd be
some braver moves made. I think if you do that every week, whether it's
for the Chase or not, you race your heart out."
JASON LEFFLER (No. 11 FedEx Express Chevrolet): (About testing extensively
here and a possible advantage with the rain Friday): "I don't know because
we went back and worked on our car, and we need to make some laps to make
sure nothing's rubbing and stuff. Some of the teams that didn't test
probably had teammates who did, so they have just as much information. I
think we'll probably get some practice in tomorrow, then qualifying, then
some practice after qualifying, so I don't think it's a tremendous
advantage now, no."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet): (About the effect
of losing practice today): "I don't know what the schedule's going to be.
They give us a piece of paper that says we're going to practice here or
there or have qualifying or don't have qualifying so whatever the case is
going to be with no practice today, everybody's in the same boat. We just
have to make sure we do the best we can. There's sure not going to be
anything special we come up with if they say we're not going to practice
CARL EDWARDS (No. 99 AAA Ford): (Does this alter your preparations for
qualifying?) "It's going to tighten up the schedule for tomorrow. For me,
we had a decent test session here. I feel like our car is really good, and
I have the benefit of being able to lean on my teammates. If our AAA Ford
isn't up to speed, I can just go down and talk to one of my teammates who
is, and that's really a huge advantage here for me, so I think we'll be
(About racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "Boy, the track is
really awesome, and it's just amazing to get to race here. To get to run
on this racetrack and compete with these guys is a real honor. It's a lot
of fun and, heck, I'm just really excited. Every year, we'd tune into to
watch the 500, and then they started to run the Brickyard here and I'd
always watch that. It's just one of those races, to me, that seemed like
it's something I'd never get to do. To get to be here is a real honor."
BORIS SAID (No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet): "It would have been nice
to practice today, that's what we were really looking forward to. It's
just one more day. We're going to get two hours practice tomorrow, and
then we qualify. It doesn't really change too much." (Are you looking
forward to running here?): "Yes. It's going to be really hard to sleep
tonight. It was hard to sleep last night, and I was waiting all day to
drive. Just one more day. I'll make it."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge): "We're going to practice in
the morning, and the track will be totally different from when we qualify.
This is one of the tracks that really changes a whole lot when the sun is
in, when the clouds come over. It's going to be an impound race now, so I
think we'll just go back to the setup we had that worked good when we were
testing and it was real sunny and hot."
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Marsh Stores Dodge): "Obviously, this
changes the schedule. I guess now it's an impound race where we come in
and practice two times and then qualify in impound, where before we were
qualifying and then having two practices. It's a little bit different, but
most of these teams that come up here, when you walk through the garage
all of these teams tested here. So it's not as big an issue here at Indy
as it would be at maybe some of the other tracks."
(Will the track change from morning practice to qualifying?): "It will be
totally different. It will definitely be totally different, especially if
the sun's out. At 8 o'clock this is a totally different racetrack than it
is at 10 or 2 or 4. So you just have to adjust. Basically, you got what
you got, and you got to get your stuff ready to drive good, stay pretty
true to what your test was and take what you get qualifying and go from
MIKE BLISS (No. 0 Net Zero Best Buy Chevrolet): "It depends what they do.
If they line up by points - we didn't test here, so guess that might be
good - maybe it might be bad for us, I don't know. As of right now, what
they decide is what we have to do. You can't do anything about it."
(About not testing): "We didn't test, so if we go into tomorrow and they
scratch qualify, which is pretty tough to scratch qualifying because we're
at Indy and they want to give everybody a chance. If they scratch
qualifying, then it is kind of the same. We're back on practice for
tomorrow if the weather holds up, so all we are going to work on is
qualifying right now, and if they scratch, that it is just a day of
qualifying runs that we don't have to do."
KENNY WALLACE (No. 00 Aaron's Chevrolet): "Well, the whole game has
changed now because within six hours we went from a race where you qualify
and then you practice now after the qualifying you line up and race. It's
pretty big. You see a lot of teams walking around here now with springs
and shocks in their hands. The whole game has changed."
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge): "I think that the second practice
session tomorrow, no matter what happens, the one from 9:30 to 10:30
(a.m.), is going to be the key, because the first session we run is going
to be where we spend all our time laying rubber on the racetrack because
the track is so green. In the second practice, the rubber will be all
down, and it should be a different animal from 9:30 to 10:30."
(About this being his last race here): "That doesn't really bother me at
all. All I am focused on right now is getting this baby in the top 10 in
the NEXTEL Cup points. And I am considering this the most important race,
the last race and approaching it conservatively-aggressive and doing all
those types of things. I think all these other drivers that are going for
the top 10, that's what they are thinking. It would be great to win the
(Allstate 400 at the Brickyard), no doubt about it, and I want to do that,
but I want to bring this baby home with all the fenders on it and a good
(About what he means by 'conservatively-aggressive'):
"Conservatively-aggressive means you are conservative when you need to be
and aggressive when you need to be."
(About how that works for him): "It works for a lot of people if they use
that terminology. A lot of them are just aggressive all the time and they
bring it home in a big box."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet): "It changes little
bit, but it really doesn't affect us that much. We are used to doing this
impound stuff. My team has been really good at the impound races. We sat
on the pole at Pocono and ran real well up there with the impound. We feel
really good about our chances. We think this only compliments our chances
to get the pole and win the race."
(About how testing comes into play): "I think everybody tested. It doesn't
really matter. If you didn't test, your teammate did, so you've got all
the information. It's not a factor."
TERRY LABONTE (No. 44 ditech.com Chevrolet): "It's obviously going to
limit a bit of your practice time. The one thing I've learned about racing
is you can't predict what they're going to do."
MARK MARTIN (No. 6 Viagra Ford): (About testing before the Chase starts):
"If we make the Chase, we will have done the right thing. If we don't make
the Chase, then we really played it wrong. Last year we had to use all our
tests to fight our way from behind to get in. This year, I've learned that
we're going to look really silly sitting on four or five tests, you know,
going into the last 10 if we miss it. If we have another great run here
like we did last week, then after that if we don't wreck or blow up, then
we'll make it. As a matter of fact, if we don't wreck or break, we will
make the Chase. We have the performance right now. It's just really close,
and we can't afford to have any trouble."
(Lack of testing hurt you last year?): "We were dead in the water.
Immediately when the checkered flag fell in Richmond, we were not ready.
We had to do everything we could do to make it in. We did a great job of
recovery, but we weren't ready for New Hampshire, that's for sure. All our
focus was on getting in."
(What kind of car do you need here to run up front? Is it balance? Air?):
"It's the same thing as everywhere else. You have to have it all. It's
real competitive. If you don't have it all, you're in trouble."
(Is this the year to win in Indy?): "I don't think you ever know that."
(Obviously any win is important, would a win in Indy be any sweeter for
you?): "You know, if you only get to win one race in your career, and you
probably need to win the Daytona 500. If you can't get that one, then you
out to take the Brickyard. Let's face it. We don't get to pick which one's
we win. We just hopefully get to win a few."
(What's the rain today do for preparation for qualifying?): "It's not
really a big deal. I think everybody should be ready. Whenever the
schedule does what it does, we'll react to it."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge): "It's good that we still get the
opportunity to qualify tomorrow with the impound procedure. It keeps it a
level playing field for everyone to have a shot. Hopefully the weather
will be good tomorrow so we can get some laps in and figure out some
things for the racetrack." (About returning to your native Indiana): "It's
cool. It's nice. There are a lot of friends, family and fun around here
and definitely enjoy all parts of it."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet): (What effect does the rain
have on your mindset?): "Nothing really. We're going to get plenty of
practice tomorrow so, it just gives everybody another day of rest."
(What have you and your team done to prepare for the Allstate 400 at the
Brickyard?): "We came here and tested, and I was pretty happy with my car,
but we fell off a lot in race runs. We'd start off really fast. I made a
qualifying run, we were real fast. Like I said, we lost too much as we
ran; the more we ran we got real tight, slowed down way too much. But we
went to Pocono, and as the weekend went on, we kept changing stuff on the
car and adding some things and improving the car. Finally that right-front
spring we put in on the second pit stop, the spring we had in there was
coil-binding real bad and making it real hard to drive. We wanted to put
this spring in before the race but with the impound rule you couldn't, and
so we changed it, and I think that's going to be the difference that'll
help my car for the problems we were having in testing here, because it
was real fast after that. There's real similar setups you run at Pocono
(Every time we come here everybody wants to talk about what this race
means in terms of winning here. Your dad won the second year here; can you
talk about what he told you about that, maybe what it meant to him? Did he
talk about how cool it was to race here the first time, and did you sort
of feel the same way?): "I remember when they came here and tested (in
1993), there were maybe 10 drivers or so? And that was really cool; that
was a unique deal because it was like getting a free pass to go somewhere
cool and try something out. I remember how that was for the sport and when
I came here, personally. I remember as a driver, they'd already ran some
races here and so it wasn't quite as significant I guess, but it's a
special place, it's pretty impressive when you walk around here and look
around, when you're out on the racetrack, going on the back straightaway
and you think about all the Indy races you might have watched on TV.
You're constantly reminded of what this track means to the world of
motorsports and what it means to us. In a sense, most of the time NASCAR
is always at the front of all these new, cool things and we obviously are
more successful in the media market and television market than Indy and
the IRL at this point, but they had raced here for so long it was kind of
like we were coming in and felt sort of like the Busch Series, in a way.
But it's cool to be here and to race here. To win here, I don't know what
that would feel like. It would feel different than winning the Daytona 500
or the (Coca-Cola) 600 or a race we've had forever, that has a lot of
(stock car) history you can fall back on. Winning here would mean more to
you as an all-around driver, just having an accomplishment at
(Are there any Indy car drivers from way back that you admire?): "Well,
A.J. Foyt, obviously. I have this really neat article that a guy that
works for Playboy magazine, a friend of mine, gave me, the issue that came
out the month that I was born, from October in '74, and A.J.'s got an
article in there. It's pretty cool to read it because A.J. was kicking
butt in those days. Him, and I've met Arie Luyendyk a couple times, and
he's a real nice guy, the Unsers - Al Jr., I was a big fan of his. Him and
dad had a good respect for each other, and I got to admire him a lot. Just
to name a few."
(How frustrating is it to deal with a day like today, and how do you bide
your time?): "EA Sports came out with NCAA 2006. (Laughs from audience)
I've been playing. Martin's (Truex Jr.) PR man, Josh Snider, we grew up
around each other and we play those games a lot. He'll be in his bus
working on his Heisman chase and I'll be working on mine. It's pretty fun.
Madden comes out in five days, you know that, don't you?"
(In terms of the Chase, wouldn't you consider Indianapolis and Watkins
Glen to be two important races, given your success or lack thereof at
these two tracks?): "We've ran in the top five at the Glen, I think every
time I've been there in last couple of races. Martin (Truex) went up there
and tested a Busch car and found a couple things. I've just always liked
racing at the Glen. Yeah, I'm concerned at this race as far as how we're
going to finish, how we're going to do well. This will be a really
competitive race, with how people are setting their cars up it fits this
track, so I think a lot of guys are going to be really competitive on
Sunday, and it will be hard to pass, and track position will be really
important. If your car's not working, you'll have to come in and make
these extra stops and things like that, and you're putting yourself behind
the eight-ball there when you get behind a lot of cars with aero push and
stuff like that. Hopefully we've got a great car and we don't - if we come
off the trailer tomorrow in good shape, that's when we have a good
weekend. It's when we start the race and have to work on car, it's hard to
make that up when you're giving up a lot of track position. I'm concerned
about this race, how we're going to finish, how we're going to do well.
It'll be a real competitive race. I think a lot of guys are going to be
really good on Sunday. It'll be hard to pass, so track position will be
real important. If your car's not working, you'll have to come in and make
these extra stops. You're putting yourself behind the 8-ball when you're
behind a lot of cars., with aero push and stuff like that. If we come off
the trailer tomorrow in good shape, we usually have a good weekend. It's
when we start the race and have to work on the car, it's hard to make it
up once you've given up track position."
(About his dad saying the idea of driving an Indy car here intrigued him
and his thoughts on it): "I've thought about it. You wonder what every car
in the world drives like in racing. But I don't know if I ever will. It'd
be hard to say. I don't have enough connections. I'm sure there's some who
would let me, but I don't know who they are. I don't know that many people
in that league. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it unless I knew the
guy's car or the person or the driver who may drive the car. I wouldn't
want to do it unless it was a friend of mine or somebody I've known for a
(About he and crew chief Tony Eury Jr.): "Me and Tony Jr. are obviously
very close. I have to go back to zero to explain it to you. He builds
great race cars and they drive great. We won races last year. Michael
(Waltrip) loves him to death. We didn't change the teams because of a
performance issue. We changed it because of an attitude issue between me
and Tony Jr. We changed it maybe not for the right reasons, but the change
did what it was supposed to do. It fixed his attitude, and it fixed my
attitude. It's not always greener on the other side for either one of us.
We both look at each other today and talk to each other totally different.
We have a lot more respect for each other, obviously. That's a good thing.
I think that gives us an opportunity to work together in the future that
we wouldn't have had if we'd allowed ourselves to go totally apart. We
were driving ourselves apart with our attitude toward each other.
Sometimes we act like children and need a lesson and sometimes we need to
give it to ourselves, I guess.. On a performance issue, maybe we shouldn't
have changed, but in the long run, as a person, I'm better for it and I
think Tony Jr. is, too. For next year, we're still trying to get a third
team going and we don't quite know what we're going to do with the #15.
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