Phoenix II: Ford teams qualifying quotes

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 34th) DID GOING OUT EARLY MATTER? "I think it will matter. I think one and two will be the same because it's shaded already. Certainly, three and four will gain a little bit of grip. But, we're...

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 34th)

DID GOING OUT EARLY MATTER? "I think it will matter. I think one and two will be the same because it's shaded already. Certainly, three and four will gain a little bit of grip. But, we're still fourth out of five cars, so I don't think we would've been very good either way, no matter when we went."

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DAVID RAGAN - No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (qualified 30th)

EARLIER TODAY, A NUMBER OF THE CHASE DRIVERS WERE ASKED TO NAME WHO THEY WOULD VOTE AS DRIVER OF THE YEAR. TONY STEWART SAID HE WOULD VOTE FOR YOU. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO HEAR HIM SAY THAT? "That certainly feels good. I feel like I've come a long way since I was a dart with no feathers just a couple of years ago. We've been good this year, and I owe a lot of that credit to Jimmy Fennig and our AAA team for providing me good race cars and stuff. But, it's fun to get out there and race with those guys and it's fun to beat 'em, and certainly it's encouraging for them to give you pretty good props when they're asked about you. That makes us feel nice, and certainly it's cool for Tony to say it. But, we still feel like we need to get a little bit better as a team and there's still some thing that I can learn to be a little better to get us to a championship contender."

YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? "Phoenix has been a tough track for us in the past. I've had a couple of good Nationwide runs, but for the most part in the Cup series, it's been a challenging track for us. We've had some good cars and we've just never been able to seem to crack that top-10 or certainly a top-five and I feel like it's a tough track to get a hold of, and we've got as good a shot this weekend to be good and run well. We've just got to be sure that we take care of the car for 200 laps and have something to race with the last 200."

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CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (qualified 15th)

"I really like this race track. We've been very fast here in the past. It's really a really fun race, and I feel good about it."

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JAMIE McMURRAY - No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd)

ON WORKING WITH CREW CHIEF LARRY CARTER. "Larry and I haven't done anything different. We've unloaded really good at the track, and if we haven't, Larry has just done a real good job at making the cars feel better me and it seems like there's a lot more speed in them for the last few months. So, we came really close last week at Texas, and in race trim today I thought we had one of the best race cars, so I look forward to Sunday."

-credit: ford racing

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup