Daytona 500: Ford teams practice one quotes

Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, had the fastest speed in the morning practice session at 187.645 miles per hour. Elliott, along with co-owner Len Wood, spoke about the team's good start and how they've learned from ...

Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, had the fastest speed in the morning practice session at 187.645 miles per hour. Elliott, along with co-owner Len Wood, spoke about the team's good start and how they've learned from last year's Daytona frustration.

BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion

YOU MUST FEEL LIKE YOU'RE OFF TO A GOOD START. "Well, we thought we were last year, too. You can't tell about this business. Right now, we just need to beat the go-or-go-homers, that's where we need to concentrate and let the rest of it fall where it may. We've got to not make any mistakes and see what tomorrow brings." WHAT'S

THE PLAN FOR THIS AFTERNOON? "We'll make another run and see what we've got and see how the track has changed, but we'll just take it one step at a time."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM LAST YEAR? "There's nothing much a driver can do, but I think Len and Eddie learned a lot last year. That's where David (Hyder) and all the guys have done a good job on the details with this car, so we'll just have to wait and see."

IS THIS A CASE OF THE OFF-SEASON PLAN OF TARGETING CERTAIN RACES PAYING OFF? "I think we were getting better last fall and I think that was overshadowed. The chase and everything else overshadows what you do. The problem with this whole sport is there is a select few that gets all the media and when you're not in every week, it's tough to find your place at the end of the day. For us, our first goal is to come down here and take it one step at a time and run as well as we can each opportunity we can and see where it unfolds."

LEN WOOD, Co-Owner -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM LAST YEAR'S MISCUE THAT WILL HELP THIS TIME AROUND? "I felt nearly this good a year ago standing here at this time, but we managed to mess it up for qualifying. We burned a gear up and have tried to go over it a number of times. We've talked about not beating ourselves this year because last year we beat ourselves. I'm not saying we would have got in, but we would have been really close. This year we've got a really good shot at it. We've worked hard all winter and it kind of goes back to our plan with Ford and Brian Wolfe of preparing for every race we're going to and prepare properly. We're not going to do things we can't do."

DO YOU HAVE TO GUARD AGAINST OVER-THINKING AFTER WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR? "We have reminded ourselves for the last month not to beat ourselves. We've got two cars that are nearly equal and it was a toss-up on which one we brought. This was actually a car we ran last year, but it's completely changed since then. Everything but the cage from last year has been changed. Doug Yates has got us a really good engine. We did driveline testing, wind tunnel testing, seven-post -- a lot of stuff with Ford's help. Like I said, the main thing is not beating ourselves. Hopefully, we can sit it on the front row. If not, we need to be in the top three fastest of the ones that need to get in."

BILL SAID HIS GOAL WAS TO JUST BEAT THOSE NOT IN THE TOP 35, BUT SITTING ON THAT FRONT ROW WOULD BE REALLY NICE, RIGHT? "That would be nice, but I don't want to talk about that, yet. If we just do what we're supposed to and not beat ourselves, we should be fine."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott