Fontana II: Elliott qualifying press conference

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 98 McDonald's Dodge) -- Qualified Third "It was good. I was really impressed. These guys do a heck of a job. To go from so far back to so far forward.... I don't that ain't going to be enough for the pole. I know it's going ...

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 98 McDonald's Dodge) -- Qualified Third

"It was good. I was really impressed. These guys do a heck of a job. To go from so far back to so far forward.... I don't that ain't going to be enough for the pole. I know it's going to cool off and get a little better, but still, for us it's as good as. For me not having any points and everything you've got to struggle through each and every week, especially when you come back on a limited deal. We unloaded and we were really bad and you ask yourself what's wrong. Then you go out and qualify and run decent and it puts it all in perspective.

"I'm just proud for all the guys and for McDonald's to be back for this race and Atlanta in about six weeks. I'm looking forward to doing them some good. Hopefully we can turn things around and put things better in sight for next year. Ten to 12 races is still what my goal is. I don't know that I want to do any more than that. For this year, I've not really done enough. We've tested a good bit the last few weeks and I've got comfortable with the car.

"We got with the guys and sat down and analyzed where we were at. I really didn't know what we had. This is my first race back with McDonald's in a number of years and having them on the car, I'm really proud of that association. I wanted to do them some good. I didn't want to get in the position where we didn't make the race or had to do something else. I just went out there and said I've got to go. That's what we ended up with, and I don't know what we could have done to be any better.

"I think you've got to look at it as a twofold deal. We stay fresher by running a limited deal, but you lose a little sharpness from running every week. On the other side, you've got Jeremy and Kasay running every week and you can keep up with what's going on. This stuff don't change that much from the standpoint of week in and week out. I just get maybe a little bit rusty, but I've been trying to run a lot. We've been testing a lot and that's kinda gotten me back where I need to be. It may take me a little time to figure out the particulars, like coming here and not running here in the spring trying to see where I am as far as the setup goes for tomorrow morning.

"We changed everything but the driver after practice. We could change the driver. We're out of provisions. I kinda of surprised myself. I asked Sammy (team director Johns) what we ran and he told me and I thought he was kidding. The car felt good. You get those days where everything comes together, and we'll see what happens. I know somebody is going to come up and run quicker. If we can stay in that top 10, I'm very happy with what we gained over practiced. To me that's a positive sign. I think the 9 and 19 and some of those guys are going to be good. I feel like the track will be better, and they'll be tough to beat."

-dodge-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup