Atlanta: Ford - Sadler qualifying press conference

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 Pedigree Taurus: "It was a great run for us. We came in here and tested a couple of weeks ago and learned a lot about the car in race trim, but never really did any qualifying stuff. We went off a lot of the 88's notes...

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 Pedigree Taurus:

"It was a great run for us. We came in here and tested a couple of weeks ago and learned a lot about the car in race trim, but never really did any qualifying stuff. We went off a lot of the 88's notes from last fall. The guys built me a brand new race car, it's got a good body on it and we've got a new paint scheme with Pedigree this week so we want to do well for those guys. Things seemed to work out good. To start third here for us is great. We're still young working with each other, still learning a lot about each other and I'm really happy with these guys to bounce back from such a disappointing finish last week at Vegas with some engine problems. To come back and to qualify third today is good. This kind of gets some momentum back in our step and we'll see if we can have a good day on Sunday."

HOW GOOD WAS THE TEST? "It was a really good test. We brought two great race cars with us and learned a lot about the cars in race trim, so I'm actually looking forward to Sunday. I never expected we would really qualify this good here because all we did was race runs, so I think we're gonna have something for everybody. We just need an uneventful day on Sunday. We've had bad luck at every race. We've been running good, it's just that things haven't been going our way. So if we have an uneventful race, we'll do good on Sunday."

WHAT IS THE SENSATION OF SPEED LIKE HERE? "It's a lot here. We pull a lot of g's here and when you go down into turn one, you seem like you're going from a five-story building all the way down to the ground floor. It seems like the elevation changes that much at 200 miles an hour, so you're really holding on and you just kind of hold your breath for one lap. When I came across the start-finish line on the white-flag lap, I saw my number pop up second and I was thinking, 'That's not the pole, but that's good enough for me right this second.' So I went ahead and shut it down. One lap here is enough for me."

WILL THIS BE THE FIRST PLACE TO SEE WHO HAS WHAT WITH UNRESTRICTED ENGINES? "I think Rockingham showed us. It's amazing what you can do with that type of horsepower. Even if your car is not right, if you get it close you're gonna have a pretty good day. I learned a lot about that at Rockingham and again at Vegas and, hopefully, again this weekend. It's a lot different than what I was used to having and I'm still learning how to drive it. Hopefully, I'll get better with that each and every week."

WHY ARE THE RACES SO GOOD HERE EVEN THOUGH YOU GO REALLY FAST? "I think because Atlanta offers so many grooves. If your car is not working exactly right on the bottom, this is one of the tracks you can move up against the wall or get in the middle groove and just move around. Each driver has more control of their finish here because if your car is not quite right, you can move around and find a spot. At most tracks, you might have to just run on the bottom or run up high, whatever the track is built for, but, for some reason, Atlanta has been great to us - kind of like Charlotte. You start moving around a lot and find where your car works the best. Man, we've had some great finishes here. Some of the closest races in NASCAR Winston Cup history have come on this fast mile and a half."

IS THAT BECAUSE THE ASPHALT IS STILL KIND OF NEW? "I don't think so. I think the more it wears out, the better it's gonna get. Most places, like Texas this year, is gonna be a lot better race than last year as far as moving up because the asphalt wears out and you have to move up. That's why at Rockingham everybody moves up. The asphalt wears out, you lose grip, the cars slide more, so you just need more race track for the cars to slide around on. So I think the older this track gets, the better it's gonna get for racing. I know it's probably hard to imagine, but I think that's what I see coming."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE 38 AND 88 WORKING SO WELL TOGETHER? "I've said this a few times this year, this is not the same team at all I signed with six months ago. Since they moved us in the same shop and since DJ and I are the exact same size, we're one team with two drivers. We have the exact same seat, steering wheels, mirrors, shifters - everything is in both cars. I mean, if you looked inside the cars, you couldn't tell whose was whose and I think that's helped us a lot. We've also learned that we like each other's car about the same, so we can go to Rockingham and test and share notes and we're gonna be pretty close. Hopefully, that same thing is gonna happen with us this weekend again. I tested all the race stuff for both teams down here so, hopefully, both of us will be good in race trim. No, I didn't see us working together that good this early, but for some reason we've hit it off really well. The crew chiefs are hitting it off good together and DJ and I have hit it off perfect so far. It's working out good for us. They helped us a ton at Vegas after happy hour to get our car better and we helped them at Rockingham, so we've been going back and forth. Hopefully, that will continue as the year goes on. It's neat to see two teams working that close together. I'm very proud of them for that."

CAN YOU HOLD IT WIDE OPEN? "I was close in three and four, but if somebody can do it - Ryan probably did it in one and two as fast as he ran - but everytime I do it in one and two I push, I slide. I haven't figured it out yet either, if you can do it."

HOW DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK COMPARED TO THE OLD ONE HERE? "I got to run on it one time and I really liked the old track better. There was a lot of passing going on. You couldn't get as wound up with the way they put the straightaway in. More handling was involved, more driver, and that's the way we like it."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup