BILL ELLIOTT -- NO. 21 U.S. AIR FORCE FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 19TH OF 39) WHAT DID YOU WORK ON IN PRACTICE? "We did draft practice. We were going to take a chance on doing everything we could for the race, and kind of threw away qualifying, and...
BILL ELLIOTT -- NO. 21 U.S. AIR FORCE FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 19TH OF 39)
WHAT DID YOU WORK ON IN PRACTICE? "We did draft practice. We were going to take a chance on doing everything we could for the race, and kind of threw away qualifying, and we threw it away all right."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (qualified 26th of 39) -- "We've got a car that we set up to race, not to qualify. So, Bob [Osborne, crew chief] said that's right where he expected to be, not very fast by itself but it'll be okay in the race."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Travel Ford Fusion (qualified 29th of 39)
"We absolutely didn't try one qualifying run the whole practice. Here in Daytona in July, hard tires, real slippery race track, you better have your car handling well in the race. You can't win the race two laps at a time. I wish we would've run a little better. Certainly, we'd like to be the fastest in practice, qualifying and the race, but you've got to find that happy medium. Yeah, I feel like our car is pretty good on race runs. Certainly, it could be a little bit better, but we'll just have to see how the race goes. We absolutely didn't put any effort into going real fast in qualifying; we wanted to take care of the race. It's a long race, a lot of stuff can happen. I wish we could be a little bit better but it's tough to have two different scenarios with one car."
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DAYTONA NOW THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHEN YOU WERE HERE IN FEBRUARY? "Gosh, this place you can't always hold it wide open down here. There's times that you just slide out or you have to lift, and you don't think that's normal until you get here and ask everybody else, and they say, 'Oh, yeah, we were lifting after four or five laps.' And, I'm like, 'Man, that makes me feel a little bit better.' There's things like that that you don't experience in February because the cooler temperatures are probably a majority of it, and here you just don't have any grip, and every time we come here this race track surface is going to get older and older and less grippier, so five years from now we'll be even worse than what we are today. Time will tell, but we're going to have a good race and have a lot of fun passing a lot of cars."
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Camping World Ford Fusion (qualified 39th of 39)
"Things are good. I'm happy. The fastest car in practice yesterday, worked out our race stuff really, really hard, didn't make a qualifying lap, so we kind of all joke about it that we'll be lucky to qualify 35th. But, when they drop the green flag, give us five to 10 laps and we're going to come to life with that No. 7 Ford Fusion."
AT RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS, DRIVERS ALWAYS SAY THAT WHAT THEY HAVE OFF THE TRUCK IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT THEY'LL HAVE, SO YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE A GOOD CAR THIS WEEKEND. "We've got a great race car. I feel confident for the race come tomorrow evening."
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (qualified 11th of 39)
THIS 38 TEAM SEEMS TO ROLL OFF THE TRUCK AT RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS PRETTY GOOD. YOU WERE SIXTH IN HAPPY HOUR YESTERDAY. "Yeah. We're excited. Our 38 M&M's Ford Fusion was pretty good when we unloaded it, and Todd Parrott and all the guys made it a little bit better, and we're really happy with the way it performed in the draft. Handling here -- it's my first time here in July running at Daytona, and I really had an eye-opening experience on just how much of a premium handling is at this track at this time of the year. So, I'm just real happy. We've got our car very well balanced, I feel, and it performed real well in the draft. We were able to go from the back to the front, fall back, and then go back to the front. The thing, you know, is to stay out of trouble and be there at the end, and I think we'll have a good shot at it."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING IN FEBRUARY ABOUT THIS TRACK THAT YOU CAN APPLY TO TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE? "Oh, yeah. I learned a lot. February was my first time here, so, you know, the way the draft works, where you want to be as far as on the bottom of the track or the middle or on top, and, as far as the beginning, middle and end of the race -- it kind of changes where you want to be. In February we got passed on the outside on the last lap by Harvick and he went ahead on for the victory, so I learned a lot and look forward to applying it tomorrow night in the Pepsi 400."
BORIS SAID -- No. 60 SoBe/No Fear Ford Fusion (qualified 1st of 39)
ON HIS LAP FOLLOWING THE RAIN DELAY. "I wasn't nervous at all. Frankie Stoddard is not only a really good friend and a partner, he's one of the best crew chiefs in the business. The job he does with our No Fear Energy Drink with our three employees -- Herman, Dustin and Tony -- is just unbelievable, our little team. This weekend, being the Pepsi 400, which is the parent company, Pepsi, of our SoBe No Fear Energy Drink, it's awesome how we can get a performance like this. We also have Winn Dixie on board, a great chain of supermarkets down here. All of the fans can go buy our product at their supermarkets, and I always keep saying if the fans buying cases, we're going to run more races, and the fans have been real supportive. Knowing that when you go out there with a Doug Yates, and the worked they've done on these engines, these Ford Fusion engines, it's just unbelievable. The guys in their engine shop gave me the best engine of the bunch, and I had a lot of confidence and it should up there, how fast it was on the straightaway."
YOU ARE A NOTED ROAD RACER, BUT HOW ARE YOU STARTING TO FEEL ABOUT THIS RACE TRACK? "I don't know. I like going 180 miles an hour, sliding around three-wide. I think it's blast. It's just one of those tracks, as a road racer growing up and watching Earnhardt do this stuff, you immortalize the race track. To come in here, I think this is my fourth race here now at Daytona, maybe my fifth race, it's a blast."
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING DURING THAT RAIN DELAY, WATCHING THAT CLOUD OVER TURNS ONE AND TWO, AND KNOWING YOUR CAR WOULD BE THE NEXT TO ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY? "I wasn't worried about the clouds or the rain, I'm still worried that we don't get qualifying in and they cancel it and we go home. I just hope that everyone else gets a chance to go qualify."
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 M&M's Ford Fusion (qualified 13th of 39)
"The only thing I can say is we went 100 percent race setup, and it looked like most of the guys, almost everybody in the top 35 in points, they took that route. The only sad thing about it is I wish this wasn't an impound race because we sat on the outside of row 1 and David [Gilliland] was on the pole here in February, but now you've got to commit: Do you want to go fast for the pole, or do you want to race? You can't really do both. We elected to go for the race setup."
BUT YOU STILL PRACTICED PRETTY GOOD. "Yeah. Where we're sitting, we'd be tickled to death, but just sitting there with a car that's a potential pole-sitter, and you've got to back it way up so you can race, and that's a little discouraging, but everybody could sit here and say that it hurt their qualifying effort to put it in race trim, and that's a true statement, but I feel like we had the stuff that we had in February, and we could've seen the same thing, but we didn't get a chance to do that. No big deal, just I'm glad we elected to go for race setup."
Rain cancelled Friday's qualifying session after 39 drivers had made attempts. Boris Said, driver of the No. 60 SoBe/No Fear Ford Fusion, was the fastest qualifier of the 39, but, because of the rain, will be going home instead of possibly sitting on the pole for the second year in a row at Daytona.
BORIS SAID -- No. 60 SoBe/No Fear Ford Fusion
"I'm disappointed. The biggest loss is that we had a chance to be in the Bud Shootout again. That would've been a pretty big thrill. We put so much work in this car, and now we have the most expensive show car ever built. But, I feel really proud of what our SoBe No Fear Energy Drink team has done, with four full-time people, and making eight-for-eight races -- I'm going to count this race as a race made. It's disappointing, but there's worse things going on in the world. It's July 4th, we've got our men and women overseas fighting and losing their lives, protecting our freedom, and we get to do this stuff, so it's not that big a deal. Disappointed, but it was beyond our control and there's nothing you can do about it."
REALISTICALLY, WHAT GOOD CAN YOU AND THIS TEAM TAKE OUT OF THIS WEEKEND? "Just the confidence on everything we've done. In this day and age, to make eight of eight races tried for, under the current rules, it's a big accomplishment. There's a lot of teams with a lot of money and a lot of resources behind it that are missing a lot of races, and we've made every one we've tried for and we've been competitive in every race we've tried for. So, hopefully, this will light a fire in some sponsors' eyes and get us some money and let us go to more races."
WHAT'S NEXT ON YOUR NASCAR SCHEDULE? "Watkins Glen right now, and then we're going to talk about if we're going to make this race up and try for something else."
-credit: ford racing