DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 23rd) FIRST ONE OUT. ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE? "I don't think it's an advantage by any means. I think later on today, as the track cools down, a little cloud cover will probably help, but I'm real...
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 23rd)
FIRST ONE OUT. ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE? "I don't think it's an advantage by any means. I think later on today, as the track cools down, a little cloud cover will probably help, but I'm real happy with our UPS Ford. It's driving good. That was better than we were in practice, so you can't be too disappointed with that. We're really looking forward to Sunday and I think we've got a fast car. It's as good as we've been on Friday in a long time."
CHRIS ANDREWS WILL BE HELPING OUT. WHAT ROLE WILL HE PLAY THE NEXT FEW WEEKS? "Chris is obviously our head engineer and he's just kind of bridging the gap between myself and Jimmy, and everyone else in the Roush Fenway organization. A little bit of help is always needed when you're struggling and in a small slump. Certainly, Jimmy is still the guy on our UPS team, but I think Chris can just bring a little extra to the table and give me some things to think about, work with our engineer, and he'll be helping us for a couple of weeks -- just trying to get things figured out. We haven't been as fast as we'd like, but, at the end of the day, we're all working together for a common goal and that's to get the UPS Ford back up front."
DOES IT ALWAYS HELP TO HAVE ANOTHER OPINION OR CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH INFORMATION? "It can get to a point where you have too many chiefs and not enough Indians, but Jack Roush really prides himself on keeping all the teams working well together and keeping everybody communicating. I think that's just another way we can communicate through the 16 and the 17 and the 99 and the 26. Their teams are structured like that with engineering help on the side, so it's always good to have a different opinion and, like I said, it might give us something to think about when we're pulling in the garage and getting ready to work on it."
BOBBY LABONTE -- No. 96 Ask.com Ford Fusion (Qualified 17th)
"It was just a little too tight. We were a little tight in practice and we've screwed up a couple times this year by getting too free in qualifying, so we backed up a little bit and tried not to over-adjust on it. We didn't find the right thing to make it turn, but, still, overall, I think it's a little bit of improvement for us for Sunday because in practice we weren't as good as we need to be and we made a few progressions there at the end and made it better. I'm looking forward to the race, I just wish we could have gotten a little faster. A tenth faster would have been huge, but the front tires just didn't want to work for me."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 20th)
FRONT TIRES WOULDN'T GRIP? "Yeah, that's the problem we've had all year -- the same thing. We don't know what it is. I think we're just off a little bit on our cars turning. Other guys have been able to get their cars to turn a little better than us and we're lacking a little bit in that department. We'll keep working on it. I think we missed this as a whole team. It's five degrees hotter now with the track temp than when we did our mock-up run earlier. I set the car up anticipating it being a little cooler and a little faster and that's not the case, so we've got to get better communication within our team getting ready for qualifying. Nobody knew it was gonna be hotter now, but we certainly should have been paying attention to that and maybe we'd be top 10 right now, instead of 16th or 17th."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 Carhartt/DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th)
"It was alright. We picked up a lot. We really kind of concentrated on race trim. We started practice and I was pretty happy with the car in race trim and we just missed it qualifying. We were just really slow. Even when we got our balance right we were just real slow, so we made a huge pickup from practice. We were just off. It was just kind of slow. The balance was pretty good, it just wouldn't go any better."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th)
"It slid the nose down a little bit in three and four and I wasn't expecting that. Everything I had done in practice, the car has been just a little bit freer. When I got down in there I couldn't believe it and I couldn't get the throttle like I wanted to, but my hat's off to these guys. They have done an awesome job. We went to the All-Star Race in Charlotte and were just so-so, and came back for the 600 and we really gained some stuff. We came out of there and did an Indy tire test and we feel like we gained some stuff there and it just keeps paying off week-in and week-out. We just need to keep expanding on what we're doing, but this Ford Motorcraft bunch has done a great job."
YOU'RE THE TOP QUALIFYING FORD AGAIN. "I'm very pleased with the progress. I think we have come a long way with what we're doing, but, for us to unload and go from being one of the worst cars on the board to being a very respectable car on the board says a lot."
HOW WAS THE CAR? The car was pretty decent. The Ford Fusion and these guys did a great job. Motorcraft and everybody has helped us out on this deal for this year and believing in us to run a limited amount of races and it's really paid off. I think David Hyder and all the guys working back at the shop have really improved this car 100 percent. From where we started the first of the year to the last two or three races, I think we've learned a lot."
-credit: ford racing