Ford Racing Michigan qualifying

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 31st) "That's a great lap for the DEWALT Taurus. We haven't run good at all since we unloaded, but that was three-and-a-half-tenths faster than we ran in practice so we've got to be happy...

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 31st)

"That's a great lap for the DEWALT Taurus. We haven't run good at all since we unloaded, but that was three-and-a-half-tenths faster than we ran in practice so we've got to be happy with that. We're still not where we want to be, but I think that will, hopefully, get us in the top 25."

HOW COME SOME GUYS ARE ONLY MAKING ONE LAP?

"There are a couple of things here at Michigan. First of all, the tires get slick after one lap. Stickers hold the best. When you run the grill totally taped up you'll run the fastest for one lap, but you don't have enough water in it to run two laps because it will get too hot. If you want to leave some tape off the grill, you can run two laps or you can tape it up and run as fast as you can for one. So you just try to get that perfect lap your first time by."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus (Qualified 28th)

"That's the best we've run all day, but guessing these tires is really, really difficult. That set just pushed terribly, but everybody's got the same problem."

SHAWNA ROBINSON --84-- Aaron's Taurus (Qualified 32nd)

"We needed a good lap. We started out practice and felt real good about where we were and we kept picking up a little bit, but then you look on the board and we were farther and farther down. The Yates motors definitely helped me with that qualifying run because with that kind of power it helps if you're not quite there with everything else. My guys -- the engineers and everybody with MK Racing and Aaron's have been so supportive of me. I feel good about it. I knew we had to pick up a certain amount to be in the running to make this race and we're there. Now we just have to wait."

WHAT DID YOU THINK AS FAR AS TIME TO QUALIFY?

"Obviously, I wanted to get in the 38s. I thought maybe we could get a 38.90, which we ran at the end of practice, but a 39-flat is pretty good so I'll take it."

MORE POST-QUALIFYING COMMENTS --

"This is tough because I'm not doing this full-time. This is the second time I've ever sat in a Winston Cup car and I want to be able to do it full-time next year. Without making this race and then carrying on to Chicago and making that race, I'm not gonna reach that goal of having a full-time sponsor next year. Aaron's is supporting me to be in some limited races this year and we have a sponsor at Chicago that we're going to announce. We're taking it one step at a time. You've got to give what you can take and I'm taking every opportunity that I have and making the most of it. What I needed to do here was qualify for this race and run all day."

MORE SHAWNA ROBINSON -- AFTER LEARNING SHE HAD QUALIFIED

"This means everything to us. Our goal here is to race next year. Aaron's is supporting me right now and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here. If it wasn't for Michael Kranefuss, who isn't here because he's not feeling well, we wouldn't be here. We would not be here if it wasn't for all these people and this team and Aaron's and Yates motors. All of these people that are cheering for me and want to see me make it, it means a lot. All those fans up there, I want to be out here next year full-time for them. That's what this is all about."

RYAN NEWMAN --02-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 12th)

"The car was pretty loose, looser than it's been all day. It was kind of unexpected, but it was still a pretty good qualifying effort for the ALLTEL Ford. I'm happy with that. I think that will get us in the show for sure and we'll just go on."

BEING LOOSE THOUGH IS PRETTY WILD TO QUALIFY.

"It's a lot harder when it's loose to drive it hard and I definitely had my hands full with those two laps right then."

YOU WERE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE FRONT ROW FOR THE ARCA RACE LAST YEAR. DID THAT HELP TODAY FOR QUALIFYING?

"Oh yeah. Every lap you get on the race track helps you and being able to duplicate laps here is double-beneficial. The ARCA car is real similar to the Cup car, so we get a lot of experience that way."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 21st)

"That's the best we've run. We just started off the day way too far behind. We got better, but we're obviously gonna be starting in the back. I think we found a direction with this car and we did what we needed to do but not quite enough. I had a pretty good one and two, but the car just pushed in three and four and that cost me quite a bit of time."

ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU CAN GET TO THE FRONT? "It's 400 miles so we've got plenty of time. Unless you're gonna win the pole, it doesn't much matter where you start. We can win from about anywhere, we just have to get it right."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 37th)

AFTER THE PROBLEMS IN PRACTICE, HOW WAS THAT LAP?

"These guys worked real hard and we picked up about six-tenths from practice. We were still off a little bit there, but I feel pretty good. We know what direction we need to go now and these cars always run good here at Michigan, so we're looking forward to race day."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 9th)

"I'm real happy with that. The Mobil 1 Ford has been really good off the truck and has been running good all day. I didn't realize we were gonna run that fast. I figured we'd pick up a little bit, but I didn't think we'd run in the 40s. I'm real happy with that. These guys have done a great job and the motor is running great. It's really one of the best days we've had all year. Hopefully, we can continue on with that on Sunday and keep this Mobil 1 Ford up front."

ANY TURN DIFFERENT HERE?

"Not really. Entering both corners here is different and I've learned in the past here that if you get through one corner real good, you've got to watch out for the next one and I kind of did that. I made a good lap and had a good car. When you've got good cars and good motors, that's what happens."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 18th)

"That was a pretty good lap. I was pretty happy with it. When I went out there, the car honestly handled better than I anticipated. We made some changes with the air pressure and the right-front spring and I went into turn one kind of knowing what to feel but I didn't trust it that much. Man, that thing stuck like glue. I told Robin that I think I underdrove it a little bit. I probably had another tenth-and-a-half in the car, but no more than that."

IS THIS THE SAME OLD MICHIGAN?

"Oh yeah, it's the same Michigan, but these new tires just change the setups like crazy. There's not one thing we've got in this car that's even close to what we had last year as far as the setup. It's just that much different with this tire."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Qualified 14th)

"That's the best lap we ran today with the Kmart car. It's gonna be a good starting spot for us. This is the same car we had at California and ran really well with and at Charlotte, so we're looking forward to Sunday. We've got great engines and a great car. Donnie and the guys, I can't say enough for these guys. The 66 and 26 have both been working diligently and all of those guys need credit. I probably don't give 'em enough credit, but they do a great job. I'm happy with the run. We've been qualifying a lot better with the Kmart team and running a lot better, so we're looking forward to Sunday's race."

WHAT ABOUT THE RACE?

"I think you're gonna see a great race. I just think this tire -- the drivers and crew chiefs are getting more and more comfortable with it. People don't understand sometimes how much a tire will make a difference in a race car. I think the race on Sunday is gonna be a great race. You're running a lot stiffer springs than you ever ran before. You don't have any bump rubbers, so you won't be able to get the car down as low in the straightaway. The speed won't be there, but you have to handle here. You have to handle at this race track because the corners are very, very crucial."

HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Qualified 23rd)

"I knew you need to be somewhere around a .90 to make the race and we ran like a seventy-something, so at least we had a little bit of room. It sure feels good. We've got a lot of pressure on us right now being where we are in points and everything like that. It's a pretty tough deal to qualify each and every week."

THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS YOU'VE BEEN STRONG.

"I've got to give a lot of credit to all of these guys. The addition of Philippe Lopez with Bobby King, our crew chief, those two guys are unbelievable to me. Each and every week they get better and better and our cars get better and better. Robert Yates engines, I can't say enough for those guys. They keep giving us good stuff every week and it's just a great feeling to go to the race track now. I feel like the days when I used to drive the 12 car for Bobby Allison. At least we're starting to become competitive and, who knows, before the year is out maybe we'll have a shot to win one of these things."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Qualified 13th)

"It was a good run for us. It was a little bit loose, but I'm not about to complain about that. We had a good car in practice today and we tried to keep making it better. The last run we weren't that good and Frank made a great call on what to do with the car and it drove great, so we're proud of that. That will give us a good starting spot."

RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 5th)

"I really feel like this team has come together and we're in a position now where we can back up what we did in Dover and run off a string of good runs here."

YOU WERE GOOD IN PRACTICE ALL DAY?

"Yeah, we were fast. It's a fast race car. It's a little bit of a challenge to drive because it's free. When we take the tape off of it for the race I think we're gonna be a force to be reckoned with. I'm pretty happy with it."

KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 11th)

"I'm very happy. This is a unique car that we have here. This is chassis number 39 and we're running chassis number 42 right now, so this is something that's been in the works for a while. I complained when I first got to the Cup shop what I wanted, so last October is just now showing up."

TRACKS LIKE MICHIGAN -- ATLANTA, TEXAS, VEGAS AND CALIFORNIA SEEM TO SUIT YOU.

"I think it's just because there's a lot more room for error and it lends itself to a rookie. I think this Ford is a little different than the rest of our Fords and it's unique. We're gonna try some things in practice and see for sure if it's unique."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 42nd)

"It's just another frustrating day of qualifying. It seems like this is about where we're gonna qualify each and every week. I thought the car drove good. Maybe I didn't get through the corners like I should or something else, but I was proud of the guys with how well we worked together this morning. We made some gains since this morning. We started way out in left field and picked up a second since then, we just need to figure out how to pick up a little bit more. Hopefully, this car will race decent. The last time we ran it, it didn't race that good. We made some changes to it and, hopefully, it'll be okay on Sunday."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 2nd)

"Well, it was close but not quite. It was a really good effort. All of the guys on this Texaco Havoline team really worked hard. I think we got beat by a couple thousandths of a second for the pole and I'm pleased. It's a good starting spot and we're gonna have a good run on Sunday."

YOU'VE RUN WELL HERE AT MICHIGAN.

"These are the kind of tracks that when you get that Robert Yates and Doug Yates horsepower, they really like these long straightaways and really sort of shine. Plus, the car handled awfully well too. This Taurus really handled well, so the combination of the handling and this Robert Yates horsepower -- this is the kind of place we like to run."

WILL YOU SHARE ANYTHING WITH DALE SINCE THEY DIDN'T QUALIFY AS WELL AS YOU?

"I know that we have open notebooks and I know the crew chiefs talk regularly. This is probably one of those weekends where we're a little bit better than our teammate, so he'll learn from us this week. There have been cases where we learn from them, so that's the great thing about having good teammates."

HOW DOES HE REACT WHEN YOU BEAT HIM?

"I don't know. He's kind of stayed hidden the last couple of weeks. He's pretty banged up and really sore because his ribs are hurting him. I know he brought a doctor with him from North Carolina, so any chance he gets he's somewhere getting some kind of massage or therapy on his rib cage, so he's been kind of hard to find this week. But he's got a great crew chief, Todd Parrott, and our crew chief, Michael McSwain, so they'll definitely put their heads together. I can pretty much bet you that the two cars will be about equal on Sunday."

DID YOU CHANGE ANYTHING FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING?

"No. We were third-quickest in practice and I felt like we didn't show everything we had in practice. I know the guys tuned on the motor a little bit harder and it went through the corner a little bit better when I qualified. I had more grip in the corner than maybe I expected to have. I thought the heat of the day and the late draw didn't really help us. It didn't look like there was a big difference between the guys that went early and the guys that went late, so I can't blame finishing second on the weather. It didn't seem to be a factor today. The car really stuck. Of course, you drive just a little bit farther in the corner when you're qualifying, just like everybody does, and hope it sticks. Today it stuck."

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU HERE? "It's been a good track to me over the years. Our last run here last year we were second and it looked like we were gonna have the victory and pit strategy sort of played its hand and we ended up running second, instead of winning the race. It's a good track for us. I enjoy racing here and the Michigan fans are second to none. They really treat us well up here, so it's a fun place to come race."

ARE YOU ITCHING FOR A WIN?

"We'll take a win anywhere we can get it, it really doesn't matter. A big track, short track, road course, we're kind of hungry right now. This team is hungry. We've got a great race team right now. We're fifth or sixth in the point standings and right there in the championship hunt. I think that sometimes by working to get that victory that, I wouldn't say they work harder than the next group, but they're not gonna let up. Hopefully, when we win us a race they won't let up either."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Allison , Robert Yates