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<< Sports >>

NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Sunday, August 20, 2006 on TNT

Pre-Race Quotes and Interviews

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo reports from the entrance of Michigan International Speedway.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

BROOKLYN, MI. AmericaJR.com was LIVE at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 19th. Here's what some of the NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers had to say about tomorrow's GFS Marketplace 400 race. Find out what they think about MIS.

Jeff Burton (#31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet): Pole Winner "We spent a lot of the day working on race setup, and then did our qualifying setup right before practice ended, and we really almost didn't make the lap. We had all kinds of issues. Scott went to work and came up with all kinds of ideas, and the car drove great. (Kevin) Harvick made his run before I did, and he sent word down saying there was a lot of frip in the track and to go get some, so that definitely helped because I definitely drove harder than I would have."

Reed Sorenson (#41 Target Dodge): "The entire Target team has been anxious to return to Michigan. We were a legitimate front runner during the race in June and we believe we can return and be just as competitive. The one and a half and two-mile tracks have been our strong suit this season, so we can always look forward to racing on bigger tracks."

"We're bringing a different car than the one we finished fifth with last time, but we finished seventh with this one at Chicagoland. Jimmy (Elledge) and I both feel like it's better suited for the track's layout."

"There are quite a few tracks left on the schedule where I truly believe we have a chance to get a win. We're starting to return to some of my favorite tracks, and ones where we have run the strongest and scored some of our best finishes so far this season. I definitely think there are many more top-five and top-10 finishes left for this team before we take the checkered flag at Homestead."

Ryan Newman (#12 Alltel Dodge): "That was a good lap for our Alltel Dodge. I'd like to be in Gatorade Victory Lane when it's over Sunday. I enjoy the race track. It's a lot of fun. It's just a matter of getting everything right and keeping everything right. That's been a struggle this year for us."

"It seems like it's been good for everybody today. It's been pretty constant. It seems to feel a little hotter than it is. When the clouds are like this track stays pretty consistent. I love this racetrack. Roger Penske helped built it. It's a fun racetrack. It's the best track we come to all year for racing multiple grooves and drafting down the straightaways. It's big and round so it's got some fuel characteristics to it. If you miss pit road one time you're going to be up the creek without the paddle next time."

Kurt Busch (#2 Miller Lite Dodge): "I hit one and two really good with the Miller Lite Dodge. It was a little tight in four. I had to peddle it like a top fuel car when you spin your tires. We laid down a pretty good lap. I'm just jumping out of the Grand National car. A couple of guys might be able to bump us, but I'm happy with picking up the time we picked up from practice. I left the door open a little bit. It seems like turn four keeps getting tighter and tighter every time we come back with these style setups."

Bobby Labonte (#43 Fruity Cheerios Dodge): "I think the car will be pretty good Sunday. It wasn't the best lap for us today. We had a little bit of vibration in it for some reason or other, and hopefully we won't have that in it Sunday."

Elliott Sadler (#19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge): Starts Second "I think it was a great run for our team, the first run under these conditions. That's as nervous as I've been since my rookie year at the Daytona 500 because of having to get the car in on time and wanting to go fast but knowing where that line is as far as making a good, solid lap to get in. That was the most important deal. The car has been fast since we unloaded. It was a fun lap and to get a good front row start I think is pretty impessive for our team. For us working together the first week, that's pretty strong coming out of the box like that."

Ken Schrader (#21 Little Debbie Ford): "We've been having some solid runs over the past few weeks, and we're looking to really cash in at Michigan. We'll be in the car we ran at Pocono and at Indy. It has been good, so we're gonna take that car."

David Stremme (#40 Coors Light Dodge): "The first race at Michigan was one of our turn-around races this season. I was hoping we would have been able to go racing again after it rained because we had a fast car and we had really gotten it dialed into the race track. We played it safe with our pit strategy when we saw the rain coming but I definitely thought we could have finished better than 19th."

"This track is one of my favorite on the circuit. I consider it my home track and since it is so close to home several of my family members come to the race and support me. It is always nice to have family around. The Coors Light team has been working hard and we hope to continue our momentum this weekend and get a top-10 finish for the No. 40 Dodge."

Michael Waltrip (#55 Domino's Pizza Dodge): "We're trilled to have Domino's Pizza as a primary sponsor of our Cup car for the very first time at Michigan. They'll be sponsoring the No. 55 Domino's Pizza car this weekend. It's a celebration of the launch of a new Domino's product -- they're going to serve up Brownie Squares. So our race car sort of kicks off that product and we're going to host the Racing World's Largest Brownie Break at MIS. So, if you like brownies, and you're at MIS, you're going to love us. We're going to deliver approximately 60,000 warm Brownie Squares."

"During the commercials with my girls was fun. We're certainly looking forward to seeing what's next. We've got a big year up ahead, coming to the track in 2007 with our Toyota announcement and Domino's being a part of that. Domino's is just a great company that has taken the lead and said, 'We want to be a part of NASCAR. We want to make sure fans know we appreciate NASCAR.' That's why I like the company so much, and I'm really proud to associate with them."

Matt Kenseth (#17 DEWALT Ford): Starts Third "It's very wide here. There's a lot of room to race all the way around the track. You can go two- or three-wide the whole way. It's always fun to come to Michigan. It's a good track, and I'm really looking forward to race here this weekend."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#8 Budweiser Chevrolet): "Well, you've got to be able to run all over the track. A lot of guys run the bottom, and a lot of guys run the top. You go pretty much wherever you can. If I've got a fast car, I'll run at the top. I like that. We're comfortable. We're fast. In race trim, we're really quick."

Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet): "It was about a tenth quicker than what we ran in practice, so I'm just glad we gained a little bit. I just wish we could have gained about three more tenths."

Greg Biffle (#16 Subway/National Guard Ford): "We were pretty loose and turning really good, which is what you need at Michigan. I was starving a little bit for rear grip, but when we switched over to qualifying trim our car really came around. I only got a chance to make one qualifying run and then we made some adjustments, and I'm extremely happy with the National Guard Ford now."

Kyle Busch (#5 Kellogg's Chevrolet): "The biggest thing is just trying to get grip here. Some guys are able to get it, other guys can't. Yeah, the wide race track is good. That's what makes Michigan so exciting and fun. That's the biggest deal about it. For me, coming to Michigan, I tend to run well here for whatever reason and the biggest deal is trying to finish and finishing up front."

Brent Sherman (#04) won the ARCA Hantz Group 200 race on Friday evening. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#8) won the NASCAR Busch Series Carfax 250 race on Saturday evening.

Good luck to all the NASCAR drivers at MIS this Sunday!

 

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