MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 14th) "I was real happy with that. That was a lot better than we were yesterday even compared to some of our competition, so I think that will probably get us around a top 15, which would be...
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 14th)
"I was real happy with that. That was a lot better than we were yesterday even compared to some of our competition, so I think that will probably get us around a top 15, which would be great."
YOU WATCHED THE RACE LAST NIGHT. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? "Just that most of our cars look pretty slow. Compared to the competition, we've got some work to do to run with those other guys. I just saw a lot of different things on the track with handling and how the cars looked and all, so we'll work on some ideas here before we get down to drafting."
DID THE WIND CHANGE YOUR GAMEPLAN? "It doesn't really change your gameplan because there's nothing you can really do about the wind. You've got to run the same groove on the track -- the shortest way around on the bottom and there's really nothing you can do about it."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th)
WHAT ABOUT THE WIND TODAY? "That's just something for crew chiefs and engineers to give them a little more headache about, but it's a pretty good day out here. I think as long as everything stays consistent through the qualifying event, we'll be alright. Our AAA Ford Fusion had some pretty good speed. We knew that we were gonna come down with a little better handling car in the 150 and certainly on Sunday than in qualifying, so if we can end up in the top 15 or top 20, we'd be happy."
DO YOU THINK IT WILL HOLD UP? "It's gonna be pretty close. I knew my teammate Matt Kenseth was gonna have good lap and to beat a couple of other manufacturers and cars that are notably strong down in Daytona feels good. So, like I said, as long as the wind stays about how it is and the temperature doesn't fluctuate a lot throughout the afternoon, I think we'll be about 15th to 18th."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion (Qualified 45th)
"We only ran two times yesterday once in the first practice and once in the second practice and we ran a 48. I can't understand what happened. We lost three-tenths of a second from what we ran in practice, so I don't know. I'm totally confused, but it's just par for the kind of week we've had."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 24th)
"We had a little bit of wind down the front and I think I went down into turn one with a little bit more speed than we had and the car kind of missed the bottom a little bit. I turned in and the car just started bouncing across the bumps getting in. I got a lot of rebound on the shocks and it kind of bounced up the race track a little bit. I was about half-a-car width off the bottom all the way across one and two, and I just don't think I got what I could have got down there in one and two. Three and four was really good, but I think our car is a little bit faster than where we just qualified, so I think we're in good shape for the 150."
HOW DO THESE CARS RACE COMPARED TO THE OTHER ONE? "The racing is a lot different. You would think a bigger car would suck up faster or better, and it does to a point, but then it stalls out real fast. The other car would have momentum and I think with this car the engine is turning so many RPM that when you do get kind of a draft, the car won't carry that speed and then slow back down. It slows down instantly."
SO YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOUR MOVE TO PASS SOONER THAN WHAT YOU USED TO? "Yeah, and then it seems like it's harder to get the pass done. You get that little bit of a run, but the run dies off before you get a chance to do anything. You get three-quarters of the way done with your pass
like a guy will get a huge run behind you when you look in the mirror, and he'll go to the bottom and get two cars ahead of you, and then all of a sudden you come up and you go back by him. Your speed just bleeds off so fast. That's one thing I noticed. With my car we tried a little different experiment and it bounced a lot and it didn't drive very good. We're gonna go back to something that drives a little better and is a little easier on the tire."
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th)
"We moved into a different building in Concord from Mooresville and built all brand new race cars over the winter time. The guys at Yates Racing have done a great job during the off-season rebuilding the team and building a foundation to where we've got fast race cars. Yates Racing at Daytona is a good combination when you throw in Doug Yates horsepower. We just came up a little short, but that's what we ran yesterday so we're pretty happy with it. We felt we'd have a little more, but we can't complain. We're really happy we've got K&N on board to help us out for the 500 and they helped up out last year with my truck deal, so we're happy to have them back."
WHAT ABOUT THE DUEL ON THURSDAY? "Yeah, I'm excited to get back here on Wednesday and see how these cars drive. I've talked to a lot of drivers and they didn't have a lot of good things to say about how they drove, so hopefully we can get out there and work on our handling package and get it to drive comfortably and stable and worry about Thursday. Then we'll worry about what we think we can apply for Sunday."
YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY. "Yeah, that's good. You never know. You always think you can get a little more. We did all the little last minute tricks to it to speed it up, but the wind is probably the big variable. We think we had a little bit in the bank, but you just never know. We're happy with that. Anytime you can repeat or pick up just a little bit you've got to be pleased. We definitely made all the right moves and did all the right things over the past few days, so we're happy with where we're at. That should get us toward the front of the 150 and we're excited to see what we'll learn in the 150 that we can apply to Sunday."
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion (Qualified 20th)
"We're happy with our Ford Fusion. It's been running pretty good in practice and in testing this was our best driving car, so that's what we brought back for the 500. We didn't quite have the speed that we were looking for in testing either, but we made some improvements and definitely picked up from the test, so I'm real happy with all the guys and what we've been able to accomplish this weekend."
ARE YOU SET UP MORE FOR HANDLING THAN SPEED? "Absolutely. I think handling more than ever is going to be a big part of this race. The Daytona 500 is gonna be extra long if your car is ill-handling. That's the biggest thing we're working on is getting to where it will be comfortable for 500 miles. That's the biggest thing we're looking at right now."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 36th)
"I was looking to put it on the pole, but I guess we're gonna need a bigger pole for us here in qualifying. But that Office Depot Fusion will race well. It's really gonna be about the race setup next Sunday, so we'd like to be faster today, but I'm ready to go racing. It's gonna be a fun race."
BORIS SAID -- No. 60 7-Eleven Ford Fusion (Qualified 9th)
"That was my best lap and that's the best we've run all weekend in our 7-Eleven Slurpee No Fear Energy Drink car. I'm really proud of what the guys did because we were out to lunch the last couple of days. We're still gonna have to race our way in during the 150 and hopefully we can do that. I think we've got a really fast Ford Fusion. Doug Yates has done a great job with the motors and that's all we can expect right now with how fast the Toyotas are. There's no competing with them right now, so to be fourth (among cars outside the top 35) I feel pretty happy. If we were third, we'd be locked in and I'd sleep better this week."
DOES THIS GIVE YOU MORE CONFIDENCE? "Not really because we've got to race our way in on Thursday and it doesn't really matter where you start. You've got to get your car handling right and I've got all the confidence in the world in Frankie Stoddard and the guys and how hard they've worked. We can go off a lot of what the other Roush Fenway cars have done and hopefully get a good race setup for Thursday."
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Qualified 25th)
"That's a little faster than what we thought we would go. They do all those little tricks with the brake pads and oils and all that, but I was pretty surprised to see how fast David and Matt ran. That was good. Carl and us have been a little bit off from the remainder of the cars in qualifying trim, but last night in the shootout our cars were pretty fast in the draft. So I'm still optimistic."
-credit: ford racing