Ford Racing Talladega qualifying

JIMMY SPENCER -26-Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus (qualified 22nd)-"I don't understand what happened because we lost about 200 rpm's and the only thing we ever really did was change the plate, didn't do nothing else, put a set of sticker tires on it. I...

JIMMY SPENCER -26-Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus (qualified 22nd)-"I don't understand what happened because we lost about 200 rpm's and the only thing we ever really did was change the plate, didn't do nothing else, put a set of sticker tires on it. I don't know, it was just nowhere near the lap we wanted."

BRETT BODINE -11-Ralphs Supermarkets Taurus (qualified 41st)-"Well, it's better than practice, but we really thought we'd run in the low 51s. Kinda disappointed with that. The guys worked as hard as they could and done a great job, just gotta find some more speed in this thing for tomorrow morning second-round qualifying."

WHAT'S THE HARDEST THING TO FIND THE RIGHT COMBINATION ON? "Right now, I think we missed it on the gearing. It appears that we ran a little faster, but didn't turn any more rpm's, so I think we just missed it on the gearing and probably left a little speed out there because we tried to turn the motor too hard, so we'll go back and try to change the gearing, make the car a little bit better and, hopefully, gain some mile-an-hour."

RICKY RUDD -28-Texaco/Havoline Taurus (qualified 11th)-"The new rules are a little different. I think we're going to see kind of a unusual qualifying session today. But, we're all game for it. I think it's gonna make for a great race, and we're ready to go."

ON NOT PICKING UP TOO MUCH FROM LAP ONE TO LAP TWO. "I think we left some speed on the table. I think we should've picked up two-tenths, and we debated about some things right before qualifying. Maybe we guessed the wrong way a little bit. We should've been able to run two-tenths quicker on the second lap and we didn't do it."

KEVIN LEPAGE -16-FamilyClick.com/TV Guide Taurus (qualified 16th)-"That's the same thing that we did earlier today in practice. Anytime you can go through the inspection and run what you did, at least for the 16 team, we're pretty happy with that. We went home here in the spring, the guys worked real hard on this car, it's a brand-new car. It'll be a top-15 car."

YOU SHOULD BE IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE. "Yeah, we won't be loading this thing up this week."

BILL ELLIOTT -94-McDonald's Taurus (qualified 2nd)-"They said a .30 and I thought they meant a 51.30. But, it was good. They really worked hard on this car, we can down here and tested a couple of days, and we didn't even run close to that, but we came back, got us a little bit better motor, they worked on the car a little bit, painted it up and came on back down here."

DO YOU LIKE THE NEW SET-UP BETTER? "I wasn't ones that went to Daytona and ran this particular set-up, and I'll tell you tomorrow afternoon after we've run a little bit around other cars, because, you know, I hadn't drafted with this particular deal and we'll wait and see what we have and what happens tomorrow."

SCOTT PRUETT -32-Tide Taurus (qualified 33rd)-"Pretty much like we ran in practice, disappointed with the speed. Don't know where it is, it's not in the driver. Basically, around this place, you go out there and run flat and that's that. So, we need to take a quick look, or a good long look at all the stuff we're doing and see where we can improve."

DALE JARRETT -88-Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (qualified 12th)-"That's all that we got, that's the fastest we've been, so we're just getting ready to race now."

PLEASED WITH THE LAP? "Not pleased with the lap. I mean, that's all that we've got here. Am I pleased about the rules? Can't say that I am that, but that's what we got to work with. Now, we just get to make the most of it for the race."

RUSTY WALLACE -2-Miller Lite Taurus (qualified 38th)-"Not too good. I'm just gonna have to deal with it right now. We haven't been running since we got off the truck. The best thing I can say is just get it qualified and we'll get in the race and get drafting and pick it up right there. Because the way it looks right now, anybody can draft, from what I hear, and that's what I'm gonna have to rely on, because, boy, I tell ya', going by itself, it's not running."

MARK MARTIN -6-Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (qualified 26th)-"A joke."

HOW HAS YOUR DAY GONE IN TRYING TO GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? "We ran a little bit better than that in practice and usually we always pick up, but we were three-quarters of a second off in practice and looks like we're going to be a second off in qualifying. So, we lost ground instead of gaining ground."

CHAD LITTLE -97-John Deere Taurus (qualified 36th)-"It's a little bit quicker than we practiced, but I don't think it's a 'good' lap as you measure it against the whole field, but it is a little bit better than we practiced. So, for the John Deere Ford, not too bad. We'll have to see where it shakes out. I think with the new rules here with the restrictor plate, it's probably the least important that it's been all year long to start up front. You're not going to have the losing the field, you got more throttle response is what I'm saying. So when we tested down here that's about the way it felt. We still hope we're in the top 25."

DARRELL WALTRIP -66-Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (qualified 43rd)-ON HIS LAST TRIP TO TALLADEGA. "It may not even be that because that's so slow that, you know, if we don't pick up a good bit between now and tomorrow, my last race may have been here in May. So, we'll have to wait and see." YOU'RE DRIVING HURT TODAY. "I broke a rib in a practice there at Charlotte under my shoulder blade, and I didn't really know it until got back in the car on Sunday. It's not bothering too much here. There's not a lot of physical exertion here, so we'll see how it goes. I don't think it's gonna cause me any problem, but I need more horsepower than I need wing power right now."

ELLIOTT SADLER -21-CITGO Taurus (qualified 25th)-"We're pretty happy with that. We carrying the Neil Bonnet colors this weekend for CITGO and everybody involved with the Wood Brothers. A lot better than we were in the spring. We missed this show in the spring, so we wanted to come a lot better prepared than we were. These new rules has thrown the Fords for a curve, but we're gonna have a great car in the draft and we're looking forward to Sunday."

STACY COMPTON -9-Kodiak Taurus (qualified 13th)-"It was a good lap. The guys worked awful hard. We made one run this morning, we couldn't get through the room of doom. It was a good lap for us. The guys worked awful hard to get this thing ready. We weren't able to come here and test. Relied on a lot of notes and relied on a lot of knowledge that the guys had, and Skip Pope came in as sort of interim crew chief and has done a really good job of putting this whole deal together in such a short time and rallying these guys around him, and I'm pretty excited about it. That's an awful good lap for us. We ran, I think, a .79 or .80 was the quickest we ran this morning. We had a few things we felt like could be a little bit better. And, you know, Ernie's done a great job on the motors, he's really come a long ways and has got a great restrictor-plate program, he's got a great open program as well. It was a good lap for us. We're pretty excited. Anytime you get in first round is good. It was a good lap for us."

JEFF BURTON -99-CITGO SUPERGARD Taurus (qualified 37th)-"I was hoping for more than that, but I wasn't really thinking we had any more than that. That's the same speed we ran in practice. Pretty amazing this car won the Fourth of July race and it ran second at the Daytona 500, and with the new rules it just isn't fast. But, it'll drive well and maybe in the draft it'll work well. It just doesn't work real well by itself." YOU WIN RACES, BUT YOU JUST DON'T QUALIFY WELL. "We try real hard at it, we're just not real good at it, so we're working and doing the best we know how to do. We knew coming here that we might have a little bit of trouble qualifying, but we made a decision to spend more times working on other things and thought that the draft would be the great equalizer-especially with the new rules. We don't ever like being this slow but we'll see what it gets us on Sunday and hopefully we can still run in the front even though we're pretty slow."

BILL ELLIOTT PRESS CONFERENCE

"It went well. I really didn't realize that it went that well. I figured 50.90, something like that, is where we'd end up based on how we tested here a couple of weeks ago. But, to come out of here as well as we did run, kind of really surprised me. I guess Tony Cole did a good job on the motor, that's all I can say."

ON THE AERODYNAMICS OF THE CAR DURING THE RACE. "I didn't do the Daytona test, so I don't really know, the drafting test. I can't really answer that until tomorrow after we run some in practice."

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR FORD TO RUN THAT FAST WHEN THE NEXT FASTEST ONE WAS 11TH? "It wasn't easy. Like I said Tony built me an awful good motor-because he had to, to pull that thing through there."

ON THE SLINGSHOT, LIKE IN THE 1980S? "As I said, I really don't know how to answer that. The guys that did the test at Daytona could better answer that question, more so than I could. I would hope that would happen, where you can get some momentum going, where you can make the pass on somebody, that's kinda what we're looking for. Hopefully, this will be the direction we need to go into."

HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANY GRIEF IN THE GARAGE FROM OTHER FORD TEAMS FOR MESSING UP THE POLITICAL POINT? No, they've been mad at me since the spring so it doesn't matter now."

THE LAST THREE WINNERS AT TALLADEGA HAVE STARTED FROM BACK IN THE FIELD? DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START? "There again, until we go through practice tomorrow and see how everybody evolves the way I see it will kinda determine kinda on how this deal is gonna work out. All in all, to get away from this comment and go back to the last one, my guys have worked really hard on our Ford. We tested here, we came here and really worked hard to come here and have a good effort, and that's what it's all about. We don't lay down. These guys of mine worked hard and it shows week in and week out. And that's what this business is all about. And, we're not going to lay down for anybody."

"I think with the extra power, you can get shuffled out, but I don't know if you can get shuffled out as bad as you could before with no power. You know, you have good aerodynamics, but you didn't have the power-you know, you couldn't even hardly pull out on anybody, the way it was before, and I think that's what we pretty much seen, unless you had a lot of help from behind you. Hopefully, this will change, and like I say, we'll know more as we start practicing in the morning with a lot of cars around us."

HOW'S THE KNEECAP? "It's probably 75 percent. It's pretty good. We're still working on it. That's where I've been the last hour and a half, trying to get worked out."

"It's been interesting from my perspective. Whenever they started restricting the cars and we can still play with the rear spoilers and lay 'em down and all that stuff, I was more uncomfortable here running at 190 than I was at 212. And back then you had to kinda tune the car to wherever you run the fastest and still get it around the race track. NASCAR's kinda gone through quite an evolution here of a lot of different things, trying to get the formula right. Here we've gone through another era that's really farther than I'd ever seen 'em take it as far as what they've done with cars, and this might be the ingredients that we really need, and like I said, we'll no more when this race is over here this weekend. One thing that does surprise me is they did it in the same season. The last race here was a good race, where the two races at Daytona were kinda ho-hum, but that's looking at the differences in the race track, not necessarily the differences in the cars. So, we'll just see what Sunday brings. Like I said, the evolution here, it's been a strange one throughout the years, and I see it from both sides of the fence, from the competitor's side and the same from NASCAR's side, as what they're trying to accomplish. Hopefully, we can get it right here this weekend." DOES THE CAR FEEL DIFFERENT? "I haven't seen any difference, not feel or drive or anything. We try to pin 'em down to where we get it to run as fast as we can run, sometimes they get uncomfortable, but, still, you hold 'em wide open."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup