PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 CertainTeed/Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 23rd) "All of the RPM cars got early draws. I think we're all in the top 10 or top 11, which is pretty big here because the sun is going down and it's gonna be dark here in...
PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 CertainTeed/Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 23rd)
"All of the RPM cars got early draws. I think we're all in the top 10 or top 11, which is pretty big here because the sun is going down and it's gonna be dark here in another 20 minutes. The car has been good since we unloaded it. We did a few race runs and had a lot of speed on old tires, so that's big here. We picked up four-tenths in qualifying, so, hopefully, we get a top 20 start. That's kind of what I was shooting for today, but the draw is hurting us."
DID YOU WORK ON QUALIFYING RUNS MORE THIS WEEKEND? "Yeah, the last two weeks Saturday was supposed to be a washout at California and Las Vegas, so we had to practice race runs on Friday. Today, we didn't really have to but we did a little bit to get an idea for tomorrow. Obviously, the track is gonna rubber up a lot and in happy hour we'll get a good read on it, but the car is good."
KASEY KAHNE -- No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)
"I was really happy with it. Our Budweiser Ford was fast and did everything I wanted it to do, but the sun is just straight in your eyes so you're completely blinded on entry into one. You just hope you pick the right spot. I came pretty close, but I missed it. The wind was fine. I didn't even feel it. You just kind of drive through it. When these cars are in qualifying trim and locked down on the ground like that, you don't really feel the wind. They're pretty sealed off and it's a lot of fun to drive a car like that. You can drive about as hard as you want to."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th)
"I just couldn't see anything. I was trying to reference where the wall was so I didn't hit it and I couldn't see anything at all. As far as Sunday goes, though, I feel pretty good. It's not any fun starting from the back, but I think we've got a pretty good car. We're just looking forward to tomorrow's practice to try and fine tune it. We only got two runs today in race trim, so we'll see about tomorrow and see if we can't get it better."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Scotts Ford Fusion (Qualified 10th)
"The lap was OK. It's very exciting going into turn one. The Scotts Ford Fusion, I drove down in there and you can't see anything. It didn't really slow me down much, though, because I think I lost more time down there in three and four. I actually got in turns one and two pretty good with some luck and I'm just hoping it holds up for a top 15 or so. We got kind of a bad draw. The cars that go out later are gonna get faster and faster, but hopefully we get a good spot. I'm pretty excited about the race. This is one of my favorite race tracks to race on. It's my favorite oval and I'm just excited about it."
ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 19 Hunt Brother's Pizza Ford Fusion (Qualified 8th)
"I'm so tickled. We haven't qualified that good the last couple races, so we decided to put a lot of emphasis and a lot of effort into it this weekend to come to Atlanta, and I'm very proud of my guys. We've got Hunt Brother's Pizza on the car today and the car looks good. It's a lot warmer than standing outside, to be honest with you, right now, but I'm very proud of my guys. It's a good way to start the weekend off."
WAS THE SUN DOWN ENOUGH FOR YOU? "It was kind of tough getting into turn one from the sun standpoint. The draw did not help our team, but I'm very satisfied with the effort we put forth today. It was a great effort by everybody."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 17th)
"I think we've got something to work with. It obviously doesn't look like it's gonna be that good of a lap, but it was a decent pickup. We picked up four-tenths from practice, but it just wasn't quite enough. I think we've got a good race car for Sunday and, hopefully, the track doesn't cool off much more in qualifying for the guys behind us."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th)
"We were way off in practice. It's just so tough when you don't run a few races and then come back. When you run California and Vegas, which are both similar to this place as far as being high speed, I feel like when I come in that I'm so far off. It's just hard to make it up. I feel like I've got a good car, but just trying to put the little pieces together to make the difference. A tenth here and a tenth here, but if you're off a few tenths driving-wise, it just makes it frustrating."
-source: ford racing