GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Charter Taurus (Qualified 16th) - "It was a pretty good lap. You know you feel like you try and get the most out of qualifying. There's a lot on the line and you don't want to make a mistake and I probably left a little bit out there through one and two. We never made a qualifying run here. We had a bad set of tires that shook real bad, so we didn't get to make a qualifying run. I had to put my other set on and do more race practice, but I'm gonna be pretty happy with that. I think it's gonna be in the top 20 probably. I think a lot of guys are gonna beat us because we went out early, but it was the best lap I had in me today."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 29th) - "We weren't good when we came off the truck. We didn't have a chance to test here, so I didn't expect this. We ran this car here earlier in the year and it didn't qualify good then, but we were moving up to pass Carl for third three-quarters of the way through the race and had a hub go out on the left-front, so we figured we would be in real good shape bringing this car back. It's our Charlotte car, but we were lost when we first got here. We kept making adjustments and nothing really worked and finally in the last 10 minutes of practice they found out what controlled the car. They did another dose of it during the down time and we were so bad off we never made a qualifying run, so that was the first time we blocked it up and tried it."
FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE RACE. "Oh yeah. At the very end of the day we stayed on one set of tires and I was real happy with the speeds we were running and the way the car drove at the end of that practice session, but we ran out of time and did not get a chance to do a qualifying run. We basically took that, put a little tape on it, and went and ran it. It's a better race car than it's qualified right now and that will probably end up somewhere in the top 15. I'm pretty happy with it now, but I wasn't when we got here."
KEVIN LEPAGE - No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus (Qualified 13th) - "It's just this great team. First of all, I want to thank Vassarette for coming aboard this weekend and Jani-King to help us out and the guys - Greg and all the guys back at the shop, they just keep working and keep preparing cars for me week in and week out. The Yates-Roush horsepower is not hurting us either, but it's just a treat to drive for this race team and I'm looking forward to being with these guys next year." YOU'VE QUALIFIED WELL THE LAST TWO OR THREE TIMES. "We got here and Greg said, 'Let's go out and warm up the car and get used to the race track.' And I said, 'No, let's go. I'm ready to go.' He prepares cars underneath me and we were off just a little bit in early practice and he took what I said that we needed for adjustments and he worked on it and worked on it and finally we got something together. That was almost as good as the lap we had when we sat on the pole here back in '99. It was almost wide-open. We were just a little bit too tight. We were a little bit too loose in practice, but we've got to be in the show so we're looking forward to Sunday now." YOUR TEAM IS ALL SMILES. "This is what this team is all about. They've had some ups and downs all year long and some struggles, but since I came aboard a few weeks ago it's been a lot of fun."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 4th) - "I told my guys that if my car would go as fast as the 12 car in qualifying they'd be in trouble on Sunday. It wasn't real close, but it was closer than a lot of them. I think we're gonna have a lot of fun Sunday."
YOU SAID IT WASN'T PRETTY. "I was wobbling a lot in one and two, but I just killed the corner in three and four. I lost a lot of time down there (in one and two), but I'm not here to sit on the pole. We're here to win. I wasn't gonna take any chances on skinning up my race car for that."
DID YOU TAKE A BREATH? "I couldn't hardly breathe, but I was pretty loose in one and two and wobbling down there going left and right with the wheel. About 90 percent throttle and stood on the floor down there, but I ate turn three and four alive. Our car has been spectacular all day and there's no question we're gonna have a ball Sunday."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 2nd) - "As loose as it was the first lap when they told me I was second I was like, 'This will be no problem. The second lap will be alright,' but the tires make so much grip the first lap that you've got to get it right. To be honest with you, I thought we were gonna do about a .30 after that first lap. I really did not expect to stay second, so I'm happy with it. Ryan Newman is the man here. I think he's won five straight poles here or something like that, so I was hoping to kind of dethrone him, but I need to go shake that guy's hand. He's the man. This is a really fast place to qualify."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHANCES TO SWEEP ATLANTA? "I think our chances to sweep here are great. We've got the best race car I've had here yet, and it was just awesome in practice. If I don't run into anything and don't make any big mistakes and we have a little bit of luck, we should be fighting for a win and that's all you can ask for."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 9th) - "I had no idea what may happen. We worked strictly on race runs and just decided to give up qualifying knowing there would be a lot of grip here. There's only so much you can do on an impound race anyway, so we just decided to work on some stuff. I think some things we found later that is gonna help us in the race probably helped to run a little faster there."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd) - "That was a great lap for us. The car was better than the driver. The driver messed up a little bit, but that will be in the top five. I think we have a pretty decent car for Sunday. I just really wanted to get the pole tonight, but just left a little bit too much on the table, but, in all, the guys did a great job. The car is driving good. This is my Charlotte car and they put it back together, so a lot of hours have gone back into this car. To be able to have it here tonight is a privilege, so we'll go race them hard on Sunday."
QUALIFYING HAS BEEN STRONG SINCE KEVIN CAME ON BOARD. "Yeah, Kevin is doing an awesome job. Him and everybody is doing a great job with each other giving me what I need to qualify fast. It's pretty cool when you can be a little bit disappointed with third. We've been qualifying so good lately and I'm just proud of the way my guys are working. If we can stay in the top five, I'll be happy."
ELLIOTT SADLER/CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCES
CARL EDWARDS - "Our Office Depot Ford is awesome. I was having a blast today in race trim. It was really good. I didn't think our qualifying lap was gonna be that great. I was real loose. Elliott and I were just talking, it's really hard to decide how hard to drive around this place. I drove into turn one too hard, so I drove through three and four pretty easy and they said second quick and I couldn't believe it. I mean, it was a decent lap for us. We want to lead some laps and get some points. That's what we're here for."
ELLIOTT SADLER - "My lap was great. My guys did a good job. That's the same car we had at Charlotte that we ran so fast with and the guys did a good job putting it back together. We were pretty decent in race trim. In qualifying it was perfect tonight, so to start third we beat a lot of great cars tonight and we're starting up front. That will get us a good pit selection and we'll try to make the most of it on Sunday."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT QUALIFYING AT NIGHT AND RACING DURING THE DAY WHEN THE CONDITIONS ARE SO DIFFERENT? "I like impound races because I'm gonna sleep very good tonight and tomorrow night because I know we can't touch the car. I don't have to worry about changing a spring or a shock or a swaybar or what have you. We're all good enough teams to make adjustments for qualifying whether it's day or night and we know how to get those adjustments back out and have a good car in race trim. But as far as qualifying day or night, I don't think it's a really big deal."
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED - "Yeah, we got to do most of our race practice in the day time, so I felt pretty good about it. It's kind of fun to let the track cool off and have a ton of grip and go out there. It's like if you run well, you run well. If you don't run well, you've got an excuse. So it's kind of easier when you go out there and just do whatever you can and don't worry about the race. But we did get to practice during the day time and that's the most important thing."
ELLIOTT SADLER CONTINUED - WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WAY NEWMAN QUALIFIES HERE? "He's the man to beat. Ryan seems to always get the most out of his race car for one or two laps in qualifying and he really sets the bar very high. It's not only here, but a lot of places. I think that's seven poles for him this year. I mean, that's a lot. Us as drivers have to challenge him and challenge the race track. It seems every time we go out to try to get a pole or try to beat him and we're not just trying to beat him, you're trying to beat 41 other drivers, too. He always sets the bar high and it's always fun to kind of go out there and see if you can beat him or not when he lays down a lap like he did tonight."
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED - "Yeah, I was just impressed that his second lap was quicker. His first lap was four-tenths faster than everybody else and his second lap was even quicker. That says a lot. He can hold his breath longer than me that's for sure."
WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING TOMORROW? "I'm doing an appearance for Office Depot in the morning and then Charter in the afternoon. Then I'll either stick around and watch the Truck race or Jack Roush has a friend, Ed Bolen. I don't know him well enough, but I guess I'm gonna go fly an airplane with him. Somewhere around here he's got an old World War II plane he's gonna let me fly, so I might do that and watch the Truck race. I don't know."
ELLIOTT SADLER CONTINUED - "I'm gonna watch college football all day"
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED - IS THIS THE LAST CHANCE FOR YOU AND THE GUYS BEHIND YOU TO MAKE A SERIOUS RUN AT THE FRONT FOUR? "Yeah, I think so. I think every week mathematically it gets less and less probable that we're gonna be able to win the championship, so this is one of those weeks we have to take advantage. We had a tough race at Martinsville and to come here is awesome off of that. I love racing here. Our cars are great here. It seems like one of those tracks we really run well, so we do need to capitalize on this for sure. Four races is a lot of time for things to happen, but three and two and one, they're gonna come quick so we need to make up ground now if we're gonna do it."
BIFFLE SAID ATLANTA AND TEXAS ARE PERFECT BACK-TO-BACK. "It's perfect for me. We've got great cars at these race tracks. Our engines are awesome. I like these race tracks a lot as a driver. It couldn't be better for me. I know Greg is probably a little more versatile driver right now than I am at this point in my career, so it's probably just as good for him, but it could be even more important for me just because we do run so well at these mile-and-a-half tracks. I think these being back-to-back like this could really give us a shot in the arm and go up there."
ELLIOTT SADLER CONTINUED - CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RACE ITSELF? "Atlanta always brings an exciting race. An example was the spring race with Carl and Jimmie. I think it was one of the best finishes of the year because you can run up high, you can run in the middle and you can run on the bottom, which, as a race car driver, creates a lot of fun and creates a lot of imagination and things you can do with your race car. If it's tight or loose you can move it around. Atlanta always puts on a good show. We've had a lot of great races here and I don't expect anything different Sunday. You've got a lot of guys outside of the chase racing for 11th or trying to get a win, and you've got 10 guys trying to make up as much ground as they can on everybody else in the chase. There's not much giving and taking gonna be going on, but it's a nice, wide, slick race track and I think you're gonna see a lot of good racing. I don't see one person just dominating all day. I see a lot of different pit strategies and a lot of things done on pit road differently to try to get track position, but I think, all in all, you're gonna see an exciting race all day for 500 miles."
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED - "Yeah, I feel exactly the same. This place is just a blast. If you could watch a race at one place this would be one of them. This is pretty cool. To drive here is so awesome. I know when we unloaded it was just so cool to be able to go out there and move around and slide around a little bit and the car was still fast. You could move five or six feet in either direction. It's just a fun place, so it should be a good race."