Atlanta II: Ford teams qualifying quotes

DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th) "We picked up from practice. Our UPS Ford was OK when we unloaded. We really tried a lot of different setups in a one-day show like this on Saturday you've got to focus a lot on race trim...

DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th)

"We picked up from practice. Our UPS Ford was OK when we unloaded. We really tried a lot of different setups in a one-day show like this on Saturday you've got to focus a lot on race trim and then also try to get a little qualifying practice in, so Jimmy and our team did a nice job of managing our time and we've got a nice race car. It's not perfect just yet, but it's pretty close. It's one of the better cars we've had at Atlanta in the last year or two, so I'm excited about Sunday."


ERIK DARNELL -- No. 96 Academy Sports + Outdoors Ford Fusion (Qualified 45th)

IS IT PROVING TO BE AS TOUGH AS YOU THOUGHT? "Absolutely, probably a little tougher. Not having any laps in these things really prior to coming here was gonna be a challenge, but on top of that this place is tough -- with the tires we're on and the way these cars drive. Honestly, if I could have picked where my first race was gonna be, it wouldn't have been here, so the learning curve has been pretty steep. Ben Leslie and all the guys on this Academy Sports + Outdoors Ford Fusion have done a good job making changes. The car has been reacting, it's been more or less getting me up to speed. We knew we were in the race, so we've got three hundred and some-odd laps to get it figured out. It's been tough to this point."

FINISHING IS THE MAIN GOAL TOMORROW. "Just to get some laps in these things. I've pretty much had nothing coming into this deal, so this is all new to me. These guys make it look easy."

HOW WAS QUALIFYING, STRESSFUL? YOU WERE ALREADY IN THE RACE. "There's stress because you want to put down a decent lap, which we didn't do. But, on the other side of that, we do know that we're in the race and there's no point in taking a chance that we don't need to take in qualifying."

ARE YOU STILL TRYING TO FIND THAT EDGE IN THESE CARS? "Absolutely. I thought I was just getting Nationwide qualifying figured out and now you've got to go and do it in these things in Atlanta, one of the fastest tracks we go to. It's been pretty daunting, but, again, it's all about the race tomorrow night. This being the first one in this type of car is not easy. All of the guys on the team have been great so far. I think they know that coming into this deal with a true rookie that they were going to have to work with me a little bit and they have, and I appreciate that, but it's all about making laps tomorrow night and getting a feel for these things and moving from there."


CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 14th)

"My foot is good. I'll know more after the race tonight in that Save-a-Lot Fusion, but the good thing is that Aflac Ford Fusion is fast. It wasn't super-fast in qualifying. I was a little reserved there. I wanted to do better than my 32nd earlier this year, but it looks like we'll have a decent starting spot. It's really fast in race trim and I'm just excited to run the race for the Aflac Cancer Center and the kids that designed the car. That's pretty cool."


DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 17th)

"It's been a little nerve racking. They've run very well all year and they obviously have great equipment. We've kind of struggled a little bit in the first practice, but Hyder and all the guys worked really, really hard and I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish. We're 17th now and we definitely picked up from practice, so we're right there time-wise with everybody. I feel like we're real competitive and felt like the car was good in race trim. What we did the whole first practice session was we went over 40 laps on a set of tires, so we feel good about that and I'm really excited about the opportunity."

WAS THERE ANY EXTRA STRESS TODAY? "No extra stress, but the stress is still there, believe me. You've got everything riding on four corners. I'm real proud that we were able to qualify. I feel like that's gonna be good enough to get us in the race and hopefully we're gonna have a great night tomorrow. I cannot wait to race here at night. I think it's gonna be awesome. I think this race track, the grip level is gonna go up and it's gonna be a fast and exciting race."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup