All-Star: Ford teams "Challenge" qualifying quotes

JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th) "I don't know what happened to the 8. Our car is not very good. We've struggled from the time we unloaded here, so we've got a lot of work to do." IS THE TRACK NEW AND IMPROVED OR...

JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th)

"I don't know what happened to the 8. Our car is not very good. We've struggled from the time we unloaded here, so we've got a lot of work to do."

IS THE TRACK NEW AND IMPROVED OR WHAT? "Everybody wants something to complain about, whether it's the track or the tires. It's the same for everybody so you just live with it."

DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THE ALL-STAR RACE? "Honestly, my opinion is that I'm not really deserving to be in it. I haven't won a race since 2002, but my sponsors are and the race team is because they won last year with Kurt. So we're gonna go out and do everything we can, but we certainly need to work on it so I can be in it next year with my car."


CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th)

"This is fun. This is a cool way to qualify. I wish we did this every week and let the crew guys be a huge part of it, if not the biggest part of it. My crew is awesome. It's just fun to be able to scream into pit road and slide the car and then go as hard as you can off pit road -- spin the tires and do all that fun stuff."

HOW HARD WAS IT WITH THE COLD TIRES GETTING IN AND OUT OF THE PITS? "I was just trying really hard to be conservative. Other than roasting the tires down pit road, I was having a little fun there, but I was conservative on the race track because the tires were brand new and we haven't done any qualifying runs. That was kind of just feeling it in the dark."

IS THE CHALLENGE MORE FUN AND THE 600 MORE LIKE PULLING TEETH? "I like the Coke 600 because I like the long races. I really like the grueling aspect of it and you really get to settle in and work on your car the whole time. All races are fun for different races, but they're definitely two different races. This All-Star Challenge is gonna be amazing and the Coke 600 will be cool, too, but totally different."


GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)

DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS OUT THERE? "I did a little bit. I couldn't get any grip leaving pit road and it was just my fault. Maybe I spun the tires too much getting out of the pit box. I maybe should have let up on the gas earlier and let them get a little grip because I did finally and then I put the gas back down and it really, really took off then. I had lots of grip. That's the only place we faltered. We were really close on the pit stop and we were only about a tenth-and-a-half off the fastest lap on the race track, so we had that whole scenario. I'm usually pretty good about getting on pit road, and I was, I was really good about getting on but leaving there, we hurt ourselves leaving the pit box."


MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th)

HOW WERE YOUR LAPS? "They were really good. I was real happy with it. I spun the tires a little too much. We didn't have the gearing really ready for that. We kind of had it ready for the race, but other than that I thought it was good."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TIRE HERE? "I guess the biggest challenge with that hard tire is just to get it going. It's hard to get it going. Once you get some heat into it and all that it's OK, but it gets away from you in a hurry. You can't really feel it very good and it kind of jumps away from you, but I think the biggest challenge is gonna be the small fuel cells. I think that's gonna be more of an issue than the tires. I think the tire is so hard that it's gonna be a non-issue as far as blowing tires and having problems. I think you're just gonna see people on pit road getting gas all night. It's gonna be busy on pit road and there's gonna be a lot going on."

WILL THIS BE A DIFFERENT ALL-STAR RACE THAN WE'VE SEEN BEFORE? "Yeah, I think it's gonna be a different all-star race than you've seen. The track is in really great shape. I think with this tire it's gonna be a little bit difficult to pass and you don't need tires, so as soon as you can get enough gas in your car to make it to the end, that's what everybody is going to do to try and get track position."

DO YOU LIKE THE ALL-STAR RACE? "Yeah, I don't really race it a lot different than we'd race any other race. It's a different format. You're running hard and you don't worry about points because it's all about winning. It's fun. It's a short race and you get a lot of family and friends out here, so it's fun."


DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 12th)

YOU HAD SOME EXCITEMENT IN PRACTICE WITH A SPIN, BUT QUALIFYING WAS RATHER UNEVENTFUL. "A lack of excitement is a good thing. We just tried to get the car to where I could drive it around for that time. We had to use it a little bit as a test to see about next week and then just didn't want to get caught speeding. I was probably a little bit easy entering and I spun the tires a little bit more on the exit than I needed to, but, all in all, not bad."

WE SAW A FEW GUYS SPIN IN QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE TODAY. IS IT A COMBINATION OF THE NEW SURFACE AND THE HARD TIRE? "It's a tough match -- the surface and the tire. If you don't have everything exactly right it gets away from you in a hurry. The exit of the corners is where it seems to be the worst for me, so we're working hard on that. It doesn't seem to be quite as critical at night. It's the same old Charlotte, when it gets a lot of sunshine it's a pretty tough track to negotiate."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup