Talladega: Ken Schrader qualifying interview

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 70 HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd: HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT CAR GO THAT FAST AS THE LAST QUALIFIER OUT? "It was desperation. When you aren't locked in to the top-35, you do what you have to do. We definitely ...

KEN SCHRADER, NO. 70 HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA IMPALA SS -- Qualified 3rd:

HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT CAR GO THAT FAST AS THE LAST QUALIFIER OUT?

"It was desperation. When you aren't locked in to the top-35, you do what you have to do. We definitely concentrated more on qualifying for today. We will probably have to undo a little bit of that tomorrow.

"The Haas/CNC grout built us a heck of a little car. It is brand new with a brand new sponsor, Hunt Brothers Pizza. The Hendrick Motors, they did their job for sure.

"You work on qualifying differently when you are one of those cars that is not locked in the top-35 because if you don't go fast enough, you go home. It brings a out desperation. There are a lot of things you have to do. We are going to have a good little race car."

ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP AND MAKING THE RACE SUNDAY

"We knew we had a decent race car yesterday. We thought it ought to be a solid top 10, but you don't know what everybody else is running because they had the advantage of being able to do a little drafting practice. We did some stuff for qualifying that we'll probably have to undo tomorrow, but first thing first and that was to be in the thing for sure, especially when we have a new sponsor like we do today with Hunt Brothers Pizza. So we had to get today's job done first."

IS THIS A ONE-SHOT DEAL?

"No, we're going to run it some more. We're definitely going to run it some more. We're working on the schedule, but we are going to run the car some more this year. I know that Jay Sauter is going to run it next week and we're working on that stuff now.

"That's the only real good advantage I've found to being old so far. I told them to just let me know if I need to be there."

WE HERE ALL THE TIME THAT ANYBODY COULD DRIVE THESE CARS AROUND THIS TRACK FAST. AS A DRIVER, IN YOUR SITUATION, WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'VE GOT A CAR THAT'S FAST ENOUGH TO MAKE IT, ARE YOU JUST LOOKING FOR A LINE? ARE YOU THINKING JUST DON'T MESS UP?

"Yeah, you've got to really mess up to screw up here qualifying. As long as you make your second gearshift and third gearshift and shift into high okay and don't run into the damn wall on your get go lap where you run close to it, you're okay. Now we didn't run high on our first lap, which cost us some time the second lap but thought we could run quick enough the first lap to lock in and anything happens the second lap, you know, you could be screwed. We elected to not throw away the first lap and go ahead and take it. But it's pretty simple to qualify these cars."

IT SEEMED LIKE THE VETERAN DRIVERS SHOWED UP STRONG AT THE END

"Yesterday when everybody was drafting, the cars ere so much faster when you're drafting, and we weren't drafting because we were worrying about today's one lap. So we never elected to not go out and be in the group yesterday. So you're not really comparing apples to apples when you look at the first practice and speeds or yesterday's practices and speeds. We knew we'd be pretty solid, and we thought for sure we'd be a top 10. And as times went on today, we thought we might be better than a top 10. But we're happy with it. It went the speed that we thought it would."

YOU WERE SCHEDULED TO BE IN THE BAM CAR FOR TALLADEGA. DO YOU STILL HAVE ANY TIES WITH THEM? COULD YOU UPDATE THAT STATUS?

"I can't speak for them. I've driven for those people two full years and then drove one race last year. We started of the year this year and they love the sport a lot and they've invested a lot of their own money on that team. I know they're working hard to get funding to run it. I'll always be indebted to them because I've been working for them for a while and they're just good people that love this sport. But I don't have any ties to them."

WITH THIS BEING AN IMPOUND RACE, CAN YOU GUYS MAKE THE CHANGES THROUGHOUT THE RACE TOMORROW TO MAKE YOU COMPETITIVE ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE FOR THE WIN?

"I believe so. We should be able to make those changes. And it helps a lot that we're talking Talladega, as sooth as it is, versus Daytona with a little more challenging surface. It's not quite as critical we get everything done."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Jay Sauter