Darlington: Pole winner interview

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st) RYAN WAS JOKING ABOUT HOW SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T QUALIFY WELL PUTS DOWN A RECORD LAP HERE. YOUR THOUGHTS. "Yeah, with how many poles he has -- I think he has the most poles for an active...

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st)

RYAN WAS JOKING ABOUT HOW SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T QUALIFY WELL PUTS DOWN A RECORD LAP HERE. YOUR THOUGHTS.

"Yeah, with how many poles he has -- I think he has the most poles for an active driver, maybe not -- but, anyway, that record is definitely in jeopardy with us winning this pole. We're catching him. I think another 40 or so and we'll be caught up to him (laughing). But, seriously, it was a great lap for us. We've had a lot of speed in our car all day today for some reason, which has been real encouraging. We made a lot of changes on our car today. We've been able to make it worse and we've been able to make it better and kind of feel what was going on, so I felt really good about that. Our mock-up run was actually really fast. I didn't think we'd have a serious shot at the pole, but our car was driving really good and, actually, for once when it quit raining I was glad that we got to qualify today."

DID THE TRACK CHANGE AT ALL AFTER THE RAIN?

"I think the track has been in really good shape. When we first went out with Nationwide practice it was really slick this morning, really dusty, just like it always is here. I don't know, there must be sand in the air because it's everywhere when you get here and you used to get to Rockingham, but the track today, in general, rubbered in a lot more than I thought it would. It turned really dark and the more it would rubber in, the more grip it got and the better it felt, and this left side tire seems to be a lot better than what we had. I thought after the rain it would all be washed away and, surprisingly, there was still a lot of rubber in the track. It stayed in there really good. The track did feel a little different than I thought it would. That rubber was just a little bit slick, but it obviously had pretty good grip -- especially in three and four. Turn two was a little slicker than I thought it would be, but the rubber stayed in the track good and it was in good shape."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT?

"I hope we'll race good. We really worked on race setup all day and really didn't work on qualifying setup very well. After we got done with race practice, you never know -- today doesn't really mean a ton for tomorrow -- but it's the most confident I've been in my car since I don't know when. It's the best car we've had all year by far in practice. Now practice doesn't really necessarily mean what it's gonna do for 500 miles that night when you're practicing in the middle of the day, but the car really responded well to changes today and it drove probably better than any COT I've ever driven up to this point, so I feel pretty good about it. I'm a lot more confident than I have been the last couple months."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup