Richmond, VA (September 21, 2000) - In a qualifying session that found 5 Ford's in the top-ten, the Roush "Killer B's" were 1-2 in a true domination of the field, posting speeds that were a full mile-per-hour faster than third place Andy Houston...
Richmond, VA (September 21, 2000) - In a qualifying session that found 5 Ford's in the top-ten, the Roush "Killer B's" were 1-2 in a true domination of the field, posting speeds that were a full mile-per-hour faster than third place Andy Houston in the #60 Chevrolet. Kurt Busch captured his third Bud Pole Award in the trucks and will try and do the same in his Winston Cup qualifying debut tomorrow afternoon.
GREG BIFFLE #50 Grainger Ford F-150- (Qualified 2nd) - "Really good. It was probably a bit too loose to make two laps. We were looking to run a 24 flat or better and 23.82 is definitely faster than we thought we'd go so we just pulled it in and parked it and we'll work on it again for happy hour."
MIKE WALLACE #02 Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Ford F-150-(Qualified 7th)-"It went pretty good. I think that's the quickest we've run since we've been here by a few hundredths; nothing great, but it's faster. We made some qualifying runs this morning and we were running fast, we just couldn't do anything to make it run any faster so for it to go a little quicker in qualifying makes us pretty happy."
ROB MORGAN #46 Acxiom/AbiliTec Ford F-150-(Qualified 12th)-"We're pretty happy with the lap. I figured that we would be somewhere between 10-15th, so 12th is about right. We actually ran about the same laps as our quick laps in practice so the truck is pretty consistent. We ran about 28 laps straight yesterday and it was really starting to feel pretty good on long runs so I think we'll be good for the race."
KURT BUSCH #99 Exide Batteries Ford F-150-(Qualified 1st)-"It's really worked out well for us this weekend. The test that I had here last week in the #97 Winston Cup car didn't hurt too much either. The #99 Exide truck rolled off of the hauler and has been fast and smooth all weekend. We brushed the wall a little bit in practice and the guys did and awesome job getting it fixed up and ready for qualifying. I really couldn't have been more comfortable in the truck. I really don't think this ever gets any easier. When you've got to start producing consistently it really gets tough. We're doing good and having a lot of fun doing it. We've got three races left in the trucks and we're going to try really hard to catch the #2 truck in points for a Roush 1-2 finish."
RICK CRAWFORD #14 Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford F-150-(Qualified 10th)- "Pretty good. Ray Stonkus is leading this Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford F-150 this weekend and it's been a pleasure since he's been here since test day on Thursday. I really thank him for the job he's done and I think the whole crew does too. Yesterday we ran off a pretty fast lap and when I came in everybody was high-fivin' and huggin' each others neck and I think that's what this team needed. We look to have a good race tomorrow. It runs really good on long runs so we'll get it tuned up in happy hour and be ready to go tomorrow."
RICK CARELLI #66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford F-150 - (Qualified 17th) - "It was a little too loose, but that's just the way it is. We'll see how we stack up in qualifying and get ready to race tomorrow in happy hour."
POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE
HOW DID THE TRACK COMPARE IN QUALIFYING TO EARLIER IN THE DAY? "It was decent, but I think that the track may have been a little better later in the qualifying session. Anytime they disturb the track it takes some time to re-create that grrove, but we all have to deal with the same thing. I don't know that we got it all the way cleaned off after all of those trucks and cars drove across it but it was pretty decent anyway. It's a really fun track to drive on, though. I think the thing that will make tomorrow interesting is the time differential between the faster and slower trucks. I was good enough for second, but it still slipped around the whole lap. We tightened the truck up even more and I didn't think it was going to be that free. That was the best lap I could turn in. Not too bad for a back-up truck."
HOW HAS YOUR SEASON PROGRESSED LATELY? "We've had a spectacular run. We set a new series record with thirteen top-five's in a row. Then we had a bad finish at Nashville and have had two top-five's in a row since then. We've really had a great year and I'm pretty excited with where we're going. I'm looking forward to going Busch racing next year looking for a change and a different venue. It's really going to be a challenge up there in the Busch series for us. I'm hoping that we can wrap up the championship here in the trucks in the next couple of races. That would really be something for us to celebrate."
AFTER THAT LAST LAP IN MEMPHIS, YOU REALLY SEEMED TO BE FOCUSED. YOU KNEW THAT THIS YEAR WOULD BE YOUR LAST CHANCE TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE TRUCKS MOVING TOWARD YOUR GOAL OF A CHAMPIONSHIP IN ALL THREE NASCAR SERIES. WAS THAT A TURNING POINT? "It really was. Any driver's ultimate goal would be to win a championship in all three series. We'll just take it one series at a time though. I know that the Busch series is extremely tough and nobody needs to tell anyone how tough Winston Cup will be. We'll just finish up this season and I'll probably be back to run some races next year."
HOW DOES STARTING IN SECOND NEXT TO KURT HELP TOMORROW FOR THE RACE? "I don't know about leading a lap, but I think what we'll do is just fall in line behind him and just ride it out. We just really have to get to the finish for the rest of the season. I wouldn't give up the chance to race him for the last ten laps, but we're going to try and take care of our equipment and finish the race. If I finish up front or win the race and Mike doesn't have a good race we could clinch the title here. But I don't wish bad luck on anyone and the #2 truck has been running well lately, so we'll see."
GIVES US AN IDEA ABOUT YOUR RUN AROUND DIVER DOWNS AND YOUR FEELINGS AS YOU WERE GOING AROUND. "We just really unloaded quick yesterday for the test day yesterday and that really helped to simplify our weekend. The things we learned in that Winston Cup test didn't really play out to be as important as I thought they would. But it did give me the experience and some laps around Dover Downs. This is a tough racetrack, but it fit my style perfectly with the concrete corners, I enjoy them, but it's going to tear up tires during the race. I like to try and save my tires for the end, so we should be ok."
YOUR'E GOING TO BE DOING DOUBLE DUTY THIS WEEKEND BUT THAT DIDN'T SEEM TO ALTER YOUR CONCENTRATION IN THE TRUCK? "The truck program has really come together this season. I'd like to bring all of my guys to Winston Cup with me. I've really got to concentrate for the rest of the season on the truck program and get to second in the points. The Winston Cup deal is really just as important and we are going to run seven races this season and get as ready as we can for Daytona in the spring."
NOTE: With only about two minutes left in the happy hour session, Kurt Busch cut down a right front tire at the end of the front straightaway causing the truck not to turn and drive up the banking and into the wall in turn one. Kurt had to go to his back-up truck and will be starting at the back of the pack for the race tomorrow afternoon. Kurt was checked out in the infield car center and was released. His busy schedule on Friday, including Winston Cup practice and qualifying and a Craftsman Truck race, will remain unchanged.