TODD KLUEVER-06-3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 35th) WAS IT A BIGGER RELIEF QUALIFYING HERE OR AT DAYTONA? "Here was bigger. My guys can build a car fast enough to make Daytona. They can build the greatest car in the world, and if I can't do the job...
TODD KLUEVER-06-3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 35th)
WAS IT A BIGGER RELIEF QUALIFYING HERE OR AT DAYTONA? "Here was bigger. My guys can build a car fast enough to make Daytona. They can build the greatest car in the world, and if I can't do the job here, that's my fault. I'm just glad that's over. The next two weeks, I'm not going to say they're easy, but it will be a lot easier than what we're going through right now."
WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY IN QUALIFYING? "My strategy was just go as fast as you can to make the race. That was it, and it looks like we did that. That won't be a very good qualifying spot, but good enough to get me in the show. We're going to survive and come out of here with a top-15, top-10 finish."
DO YOU EXPECT THE CHICANE TO BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? "I don't know if it's an issue. You just have to slow down. It's hard to drive through by yourself. You're never going to be able to go two wide and three wide through there. I understand why it's there, just to not have cars three wide going into turn one and out-braking each other. But, I'd rather wreck down there getting run into by somebody going 30 mph than 150 mph, like we are in the chicane. I'd like to see it go, but that's just my personal opinion."
DANNY O'QUINN-50-World Financial Group Ford Fusion (Qualified 26th)
WAS IT A BIGGER RELIEF QUALIFYING HERE OR AT DAYTONA? "Here probably. At the first of the year we were probably more nervous, looking at the schedule, for here than anywhere else. Maybe looking back at it, this will probably be more decent than we thought for us. Looking at California, maybe that was the one we should have been more worried about, but we learn from our mistakes. I just ran as many laps yesterday as I could just trying to get a feel for the track. We never really changed anything and I picked up maybe seven seconds from start to end. I think that says a lot for seat time for me on road courses. The same is going to be for the race. It's just ride the race out and learn what everybody is doing and apply that."
DO YOU SEE ANY ISSUES FOR THE RACE TOMORROW? "The biggest issue tomorrow is that we don't have a lot of spotters, so it's kind of getting back to the short-track days where you kind of almost have to watch it yourself. There's a lot of high-speed corners, like through the chicane, and you just have to make sure there is a lot of give and take at the beginning of the race. That stuff is going to go away at the end of the race. I'm going to take the first half of the race and try to learn, and try to keep myself on the blacktop and out of harm's way for a while."
ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Fusion (Qualified 30th)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE QUALIFYING PROCEDURE USED TODAY? "I like it. This is the way they used to do it at Watkins Glen. It kind of gives you, especially if you don't get any practice in the morning, it gives you time to get used to the track. You can try to make a lap and get comfortable, but we're just slow."
CAN YOU USE STRATEGY TOMORROW TO MAKE UP TRACK POSITION? "That's what we did last year. I turned those laps yesterday in practice on 20-lap tires, so I don't know why we're so slow. We'll play it smart tomorrow. We're just going to stay on the race track and pick off the guys we can. I know we're a lot better than a lot of the guys out there just because of what we ran yesterday on race runs. We just had to figure out what we needed to do to put the speed back in the car to qualify it."
CARL EDWARDS-60-Ameriquest Mortgage Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th)
"That's a good qualifying time. We changed the front springs, the rear spring, nose weight and all that because we didn't get a chance to work on it too much in practice. That was good. That was the fastest that we've run. That was acceptable."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE QUALIFYING PROCEDURE USED TODAY? "That was fun. I like it."
DID YOU FEEL LESS PRESSURE IN QUALIFYING? "A little bit, but not really. The first lap probably still should be the fastest. If I had it all over to do again I could go a lot faster on the first lap. I was just tentative on the setup. I feel like we have a better car than I qualified."
DO YOU EXPECT THE CHICANE TO BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? "It will be an issue. That's the tough part of the race track. Our whole plan is to be on the race track, and if we play our pit strategy smart we should be in the top 10 at the end of the race and fighting for the win."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-15-Roshfrans/Canals Ford Fusion (Qualified 14th)
"There's still a long time to go and a lot of the fast guys still to come, but I am happy. We knew we were plenty fast enough to make the grid, but still something can go wrong, so you're always a little nervous. I'm happy about that, and we'll see how it goes tomorrow."
DO YOU EXPECT THE CHICANE TO BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? "I don't like that chicane. Last year in the race we were lucky, but we lost a lot of cars in practice. We were amazingly lucky to start, and I hope tomorrow we are, too. It's just so competitive, and to be fast you have to be on the edge so much, and the cars are sliding around a lot; it's hard."
WITH THIS BEING A ONE-RACE DEAL, CAN YOU GAMBLE DURING THE RACE TO TRY TO WIN? "There is not much you can do to gamble because at the end you want to win the race just like everybody else, and the guys that are fighting for the championship want to win the race, too. There's not much you can do to gamble and you just try to do the best you can. Every time you are on the track, you do the right changes and try to adjust on it."
STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Baked Beans Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th)
WHAT HAPPENED? "Somebody said it looked like a tire went out. I don't think so. We got out in the marbles and I'm not sure what happened. It just came around. We've got a left-rear down, but I'm not sure that didn't happen earlier. I hate it for these guys. They built a good race car and we had a good race car yesterday in practice. For some reason, we can't buy any luck this year and it's pretty frustrating. This was our road course car. We put a lot of effort into getting this ready to come down here. The backup car will be OK, but it's not a road course car."
DAVID GREEN-27-Kleenex Ford Fusion (Qualified 27th)
"That's very disappointing, but when I came around to come and get the green to start the session, I was so loose I was sideways. I couldn't get on the throttle, so that really hurt my coming-to-the-green-flag deal. We were so loose. We made some changes to the front of the car to help it during the race, and we just didn't anticipate the track being that hot and slippery. I think it was a little loose for everybody out there, but mine was just too much."
JOHN ANDRETTI-10-Freedom Roads/Camping World Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th)
"I think the whole qualifying system today was unfair. Not only did they throw the caution and I lost one lap, but you also get a lousy restart to the green and your second lap is your best lap. I know of better ways to do it, and I'd love to talk to them about it. I don't think it's fair because it's a crapshoot. If a guy goes off, which you don't have any control over, and they don't either, but I'm pretty disappointed because I think we have a really good car and it would be nice to start a little bit closer. Starting further back, it's the best chance of getting your fenders and everything else knocked in, getting spun out and beat up because starts and restarts on these kinds of races are really hard."
DO YOU EXPECT THE CHICANE TO BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? "Yeah. I think they have enough runoff at the end of the straightaway. If the other series can run down there then I think we can do that, too. Or, the other objective would be to make it a tight chicane. Maybe make it something where you actually pass - make it wide and move the walls back - and make it a proper chicane so that it becomes a passing zone. Instead, you make it harder for the next passing zone."
JORGE GOETERS-66-Scotiabank/gel Xtreme Ford Fusion (Qualified 5th)
"We always try to get the pole. It's two different kinds of races. One was over there and one is tomorrow. My car was OK, and we have a setup that will help us a little in the race."
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE PRETTY PREPARED THIS YEAR WITH ONE BUSCH RACE UNDER YOUR BELT? "Last year I had an incident where I broke my radiator, and I didn't get to finish the race, so this year, I can better focus on finishing the race, and we'll think about a good finish."
MARC GOOSENS-90-CitiFinancial Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)
WHAT IS YOUR RACING BACKGROUND? "I grew up in open-wheelers in Europe and started doing some sports car racing, like long-distance races - the 24 Hours of LeMans, and I've done the 24 Hours of Daytona. I'd like to thank Robert Yates Racing and CitiFinancial because just being part of NASCAR is a dream come true for me."
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. "I was going to try to push it to the limit on that last lap but that didn't work and I spun it out in turn one. We just made a very small adjustment to yesterday, and the car got a bit more loose on entry. We're happy with that sixth post on the grid."
WHAT KIND OF RACING DO YOU EXPECT TOMORROW? "There is passing on this track, that's for sure. When you're in a pack and you go through the chicane you have to be careful and pay attention to it because there are going to be some cars thrown around there. It's a long race, and you don't want to get too excited in the beginning and mid-race, so you have to make it up in last part of it."