DAVID GILLILAND-25-FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion (Qualified 36th) YOU WON THE POLE ON THE CUP SIDE, BUT YOU'VE GOT SOME GROUND TO MAKE UP AT THE START IN TOMORROW'S BUSCH RACE. CAN YOU CARRY OVER HERE ANYTHING YOU LEARNED IN THE BUD SHOOTOUT...
DAVID GILLILAND-25-FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion (Qualified 36th)
YOU WON THE POLE ON THE CUP SIDE, BUT YOU'VE GOT SOME GROUND TO MAKE UP AT THE START IN TOMORROW'S BUSCH RACE. CAN YOU CARRY OVER HERE ANYTHING YOU LEARNED IN THE BUD SHOOTOUT OUT OR GATORADE DUEL? "No, they're pretty different, the two cars. We worked on getting our car where it drove really good, and it obviously just lost some speed qualifying by itself. But, when we had it fast by itself, it was handful all around other cars. I think once the race starts, it doesn't really matter how fast your car is by itself. It's more important to be comfortable and have it driving good in a crowd. That's kind of what we devoted our focus to, and from running the Gatorade Duel and the Bud Shootout, it's definitely important to have a car that's driving well."
WILL THE RESPECT THAT YOU'VE EARNED ON THE CUP SIDE THIS WEEK CARRY OVER TO THE BUSCH GARAGE? "I think so. I think more people will work with us. Every time we go out we gain more experience and prove ourselves a little more. We're obviously not going to have a real good starting spot, but hopefully we can bring our freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion to the front."
MARCOS AMBROSE-59-Kingsford/Bush's Baked Beans Ford Fusion (Qualified 40th)
COMMENT ON YOUR FIRST TIME QUALIFYING ON A SUPERSPEEDWAY. "Well, it's not something that I want to write home to my grandmother about, the lap speed. People have said it all weekend, it doesn't matter where you start, and we're really happy with our race car. I'm here for the laps and to get the experience and stay out of trouble early on, so it's probably where we should be starting anyways. If we can hang out at the back of the lead pack, that will be plenty for me."
DID YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE ON YOUR QUALIFYING SETUP MORE THAN MOST DRIVERS GIVEN YOUR INEXPERIENCE ON THE SUPERSPEEDWAYS? "Perhaps we have done that. I don't think that we've intentionally done that, but it's just the way it worked out."
DAVID RAGAN-6-Discount Tire Ford Fusion (Qualified 17th)
"That's all right. We came here to win the race, not to win that pole, but that would be pretty special. The 17 and the 26, they both have some pretty good race cars. If we can wind up anywhere in the top 10, that'd be a good, solid start for the Discount Tire team in '07."
DID YOU SURPRISE YOURSELF WITH THAT QUALIFYING LAP? "We were all making bets before my qualifying ride to see who could go out and pick the lap that we're going to run. I thought we'd run between a .30 and a .40, and some of the other guys said .20. I said, 'That'd be good if we could run a .20. That's some pretty good wishful thinking.' But, a great lap for our Ford Fusion and we're excited for tomorrow."
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FORDS STARTING UP FRONT. "We don't pay attention much to that. I think the guys back in Michigan pay attention to whether the Fords, the Camrys or the Chevrolets are up front. We just want to beat everyone, and whether they're a GM or Toyota, it doesn't make any difference to us."
QUALIFYING HERE IN THE BUSCH SERIES IS DIFFERENT FROM THE CUP SIDE BECAUSE THIS IS AN IMPOUND RACE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TYPE OF QUALIFYING SYSTEM? "I like the Busch system where you have to race what you qualify. That takes out some of the tricks and some of the different things that some of the guys might try to do on the Cup side. Certainly, we're here to race and not qualify. I think both sides are pretty cool, and I'm just glad to be part of both sides."
MARK MARTIN-06-Dish Network Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th)
YOU HAVE NEVER WON A BUSCH RACE AT DAYTONA, BUT DO YOU HAVE THE CAR TO DO IT THIS WEEKEND? "I don't know. That's a big pickup for qualifying. We were really concerned with making it on time, and obviously we're in good shape. We had a little bit better handling package that we were afraid would qualify slower. I don't know if the car is going to handle as good as I want. Like I say, we had a little bit better rare package, but we wouldn't have qualified as well. I guess we'll have to wait and see. It certainly ran fast today, so it means that we have a fast car. I'm always asking for a fast car here and I finally have one."
WAS IT AT ALL AWKWARD RETURNING TO A ROUSH CAR? "Heck, we're just picking up where I left off last year. It's like I never left this side of the garage. The first (Busch) race out of the box and we're back in a Roush car, so it's kind of crazy."
WARD BURTON-27-Winn-Dixie/Kleenex Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd)
DOES QUALIFYING WELL TODAY MAKE UP ANY FOR YESTERDAY'S DISAPPOINTMENT? "I'm really excited about today. Yesterday was one of those things where we had a shot at it, and a thing happened on the race track and I didn't have anything to control. I feel bad for all of the team, but it's a new day and there's nothing I can do about yesterday. We slowed the car down quite a bit today. Ana little more than probably what we expected, but we had the car drafting and driving really good for tomorrow, so we're excited about tomorrow."
YOU HAVEN'T COMPETED IN THIS SERIES INA NUMBER OF YEARS, BUT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FIND SOME DRAFTING PARTNERS IN THE RACE? "I think so. It's all about whether your car works good around other guys. It doesn't really matter who is sitting in the cockpit. If my car can help somebody and they can help me, I'll run with them, and if they can't then I won't."
GREG BIFFLE-26-Oreo Double Stuf Ford Fusion (Qualified 9th)
"I'm pretty excited about it. The thing ran really good. Lumpy (Jeff Campey, crew chief) and the guys just worked on this thing and did a good job with it. We had a good car to work with. It's the one that we ran here last year, but we wrecked it. They did a lot of hard work in the off-season and got it running good."
DO YOU LIKE THE AERODYNAMIC PACKAGE ON THE BUSCH CARS HERE? "It drives really good. The cars suck up well and I like this rules package, really. I like it over here, and I like the Cup package over there, though."
MATT KENSETH-17-Arby's Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th)
"We got a lot of a race setup in there, which is a good thing because you can always run a little quicker in a qualifying-type setup. I feel really good about how fast we were with having all of the stuff in it that we want to race with."
DO YOU LIKE THE AERODYNAMIC PACKAGE ON THE BUSCH CARS HERE? "They're a little different driving than a Cup car, so maybe they're a little unstable when the tires wear off, but they're OK. Everybody is in the same boat, so you just have to try to make yours handle better than the rest."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-35-McDonald's Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th)
"I thought we would qualify a little bit better than that, but we didn't. It doesn't matter with as good as the car sucked up yesterday. We're a little bit disappointed with that run, but at the same time, you're in the race. We could have gotten more aggressive with it, but this is our race stuff. What concerns me a little is that a couple of other cars that have their race stuff in there and they're really, really fast. But, it's all going to be a different deal tomorrow. Once all the dirty air gets out there and the drafting begins, it's all about the best handling car. If you have a fast race car, they'll work with you. That's the main thing. Dale Sr. was probably one of the best, but at the same time, if you saw the 3 car pass you, you were going to follow him because you knew he was going to the front because you knew how fast he was. That's the same case. If we can make our car fast, guys are going to jump in line to follow us. If you're just an average car, it's going to be hard to find drafting partners."
CARL EDWARDS-60-Scotts Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)
"I can't say enough about these guys. That Scotts Fusion is great. All of the Fusions are running really well. I'm pumped about the race tonight, the Busch race should be great tomorrow, and the Daytona 500 on Sunday; it's just going to be a fun weekend."
YOU ARE A FAVORITE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP HEADING INTO THE SEASON WITH A THIRD-PLACE POINTS FINISH TWO YEARS AGO AND A SECOND-PLACE FINISH LAST YEAR. "Hopefully it goes in descending order like that and we can win the championship. There's nothing guaranteed. We have a great group of guys racing full time in the Busch Series and the competition has gotten tougher and tougher every year, and I think this year is going to be the same thing. I'm just looking forward to some great racing and hopefully winning some races."
STEPHEN LEICHT-90-CitiFinancial Ford Fusion (Qualified 8th)
ARE YOU REAPING THE BENEFITS OF A REINVIGORATED YATES PROGRAM ON THE CUP SIDE? "Definitely. Anytime you can share information between your Cup cars and your Busch cars you're going to learn something, and I think it's showing. Yates has really worked hard in the off-season. I'm proud of all of my guys back at the shop, and CitiFinancial has helped us out tremendously coming back on board full time this year. I just can't thank everybody enough for their hard work. We knew we had a pretty good lap in. We thought we'd be a little better than that. We thought we had a shot at the pole, but we lost a tenth and a half somewhere. That's all right because we have a real good car for the race tomorrow."
DID YOU USE MORE A RACE SETUP IN QUALIFYING WITH THIS BEING AN IMPOUND RACE? "Yeah, you really do have to focus on the race here. Qualifying is important sometimes, but anytime at a restrictor-plate race where there's a lot of drafting involved, especially with Daytona being more a handling track than anywhere else as far as restrictor plates go. We've got a real good race car and we're real happy."
TODD KLUEVER-16-3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th)
"Actually, I thought we'd be a little bit better than that. It was right within a tenth of what our teammates ran, so it was OK. I think our car is really good for the race, so that's what I'm excited about."
IS HAVING SO MANY TEAMMATES IN THE RACE AN ADVANTAGE? "Yeah, and the cool part is that we'll all be starting fairly close to each other. I hope it should be an advantage for all of us. I'd like to say that we could all get together and go, but it's a lot harder to find your teammates in a race than people think, so we'll have to take it by ear."
ROBBY GORDON-55-Motorola/Verizon Ford Fusion (Qualified 14th)
"I'm real proud of the guys. They worked an all-nighter. That was that wrecked race car. The nose was shifted, the right side was gone, and the back was smashed. I flew the guys down from Charlotte, the body department, and I'm really proud of those guys. They put a body back on that car, and a body that was faster than we ever were yesterday. The best we ever ran was a .45 in single-car runs; we were obviously third quick in drafting. The biggest thing with that car is that it makes enough downforce and drives really good that if we could get in the show, we'd be good to go."
WITH NO BACKUP CAR FOR QUALIFYING, WERE THERE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT PACKING UP AND GOING HOME? "'No' is not an option around here. I don't care if it's the marketing department, the body department or the suspension department, there's always a way to get it done. No just doesn't exist at Robby Gordon Motorsports."
-credit: ford racing