RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (Qualified 8th) "We'll take it. It was really uneventful. I was a little bit tight everywhere, but it wasn't too bad. We were 17th in practice and we talked about it. I told Butch not to change the...
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (Qualified 8th)
"We'll take it. It was really uneventful. I was a little bit tight everywhere, but it wasn't too bad. We were 17th in practice and we talked about it. I told Butch not to change the car too much because I would change myself. I thought I could probably gain more speed by me changing me than him changing springs. I tried a couple of things and it seemed to work."
HOW WAS THE LAP? "It didn't feel like that good of a lap. I was gonna run a second lap because I didn't think the first was all that great, but Butch said, 'I've seen enough right now. Bring it in while you've still got something.' The Snickers guys worked really hard on this Ford and we're really happy. We picked up from where we practiced while most guys went the other way."
IS RETIREMENT AN OFFICIAL WORD WE CAN USE NOW WITH YOU? "Yeah, I think you can call it retirement. I'm not looking, but if something fell in my lap with a very limited schedule where you rotate a few drivers through the system I'd maybe take a look, but I'm probably more actively pursuing that rocking chair on the porch or on the beach than I am a ride right now."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 12th)
"I'm really happy with the speed we got out of that lap. From a feel standpoint I felt like we were off a little bit on our balance, but we still got a good lap out of it. We've been fairly quick since we unloaded, so I'm really happy with that lap time."
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Camping World Ford Fusion (Qualified 24th)
"That's not bad. It was a decent lap for us. We were loose in practice and we tightened it up. A lot of guys got loose, so it came to us a little bit. We predicted it would get loose, so it worked out well for us."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW SURFACE? "It's a lot different obviously compared to what raced on before because there are no bumps anymore. It's gonna be important to qualify good."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th)
"It's good. To start up front here is a big deal. I'm really proud of my guys. It was easy to drive, so I just drove it around and that's the best we've ever qualified here. I'm not gonna be upset about the pole. I've been way in the back here, like 30th and 40th, so I'm not gonna complain about second right now."
HOW WAS THE CAR? "It's been pretty good since we unloaded and I've got to thank my guys for making it so easy to drive. I thought, 'Man, if we could just be up near the front this would be great,' and right now we're sitting second. I'm trying real hard not to be frustrated about not getting the pole and trying to look at the positive of being second right now. The reality is it's a race we'll be starting up front. Pit selection is a huge deal so I couldn't be happier."
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd)
"This is a good car. The Irwin Industrial Tools Ford Fusion was really good in race trim. We really killed ourselves when we switched to qualifying earlier. We messed up, but we went back to the trailer and re-grouped. It's so hot here this weekend that it's real easy to get frustrated because you're just sweating your guts out, but we've got a good Ford this weekend."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW TRACK SURFACE? "I still have kind of struggled, it's the same thing. We'll have to wait and see. It should be interesting on race day with how wide the race track is because you can run the same time on the top or the bottom. There might be more wrecks because I don't think you'll be able to root guys up out of the way and get underneath them and make the pass. You'll probably need to be on the outside."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 4th)
"That was certainly a little faster than I thought we did run after I got through with the lap. The car was a little free in and a little tight off, but the second groove had some good grip and on new tires you can kind of abuse them a little bit. It wasn't too bad of a lap. That gives us a good starting spot and it's pretty cool to start in the top 10 at Bristol."
HOW MUCH HAS THIS PLACE CHANGED FROM YOUR FIRST VISIT? "The track is just a lot more forgiving. There's more room. The last time we came here in the spring if you didn't hit your marks exactly and be on the bottom and get on the throttle early, you just weren't gonna get a good lap in. Now it's a little bit wider and the banking from top to bottom is a plus for racing. If your car is not exactly right, you can move around a little bit. It just worked out good. We've got a good AAA Ford for tomorrow night's race and I think we'll have some fun."
-credit: ford racing