Daytona 500: Ford drivers qualifying quotes

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 20th) "It feels fine. Qualifying around this place is a non-issue, so I was just explaining to the guys a little bit about what it felt like. I just want to compliment this Viagra team and all these...

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 20th)

"It feels fine. Qualifying around this place is a non-issue, so I was just explaining to the guys a little bit about what it felt like. I just want to compliment this Viagra team and all these guys. They picked up today and everybody else has slowed down, so they did their homework well. The car is disappointing a little bit on speed here, but this is a car we really chose based on the way it drafted here in testing. I had a great race car last night in the Bud Shootout and I think that this car for 500 miles is gonna be better than that no matter how it looks here today. We'll find out where we start in the 500 on Thursday with a little warm-up race, but I think for the long haul and as Speedweeks wears on, we'll tend to forget about what happened here in time trials and start to feel really good about what we've got to race here with this Viagra Taurus."

WHAT DO YOU GO TO WORK ON NOW? "We've really got a good race setup already. We ran this car a little bit in testing in the draft and the other car was fabulous last night in the Shootout. This car will race good. We've got it pretty much figured out. We're just gonna be biding our time until Thursday so we can go out here and have a little fun and get us a starting spot for the 500."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 2nd)

"So far so good. The M&M's Ford Taurus is fast, but the wind just killed us. If the wind will stay down the back straightaway, we might have a shot at it. But if it dies down, we'll just take what we can get. I'm proud of the guys in the engine shop and the fab shop because they gave me all they had. We'll see where that puts us."

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO DJ AFTER HIS LAP? "We were just talking about how much wind is out there today. We were hoping that going out early would be an advantage, but the wind decided to throw us for a loop. The only thing we can hope is the wind stays up the whole time. Our guys and our team did their jobs. They gave us a great race car and a great motor. Man, we just hope old glory stays straight out. If it does, then we'll have a good shot."

WHAT ABOUT THIS WEEK? "We learned a lot last night. Both of our cars are very fast and I think we've got a good setup to start practice with this week because our cars are so close to each other. We think we've got a pretty good advantage right now, so we're gonna use that as much as we can. Everything has been going every fourth year for Robert Yates Racing and hopefully we'll be able to keep that streak going and get one of us in Victory Lane for the 500."

IS IT EASY TO GET UP IN THE MORNING WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL? "Yeah, it makes it to where Speedweeks is not so long. We had a long season last year and we're bound and determined to prove everybody wrong coming here to Daytona and I think we're off to a pretty good start."

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 5th)

"Everything was good it's just that conditions today are totally different than what we saw yesterday. All we can hope for is that the wind keeps up for everybody. If it doesn't, then that's gonna be a big advantage to those guys that go late, but that's the luck of the draw. Hopefully my teammate will stay on the pole. We've got a good race car. Last night was a great confidence booster for us and I'm just looking forward to next Sunday."

HOW BAD IS THE WIND? "Driving the car it's not bad, but the worst thing is you come off the corner and you see your RPM up and then as you go down the back straightaway you see the RPM fall because you're going against that head wind. That's a little disappointing, but, again, as long as it stays that way for everybody we'll be OK."

HOW DOES IT FEEL ONE DAY AFTER WINNING? "It's pretty cool to win that again. Just to see the smiles on our guys' face because it's been a lot of hard work and effort. Not that everybody in the garage area hasn't done that, but I know what our guys have been through. That makes it a lot of fun and makes the week a lot more fun. I had a good night's sleep and a lot of phone calls from a lot of people that meant a lot to me."

JEFF BURTON - No. 99 TNT Taurus (Qualified 17th)

IS THE WIND A BIG PROBLEM? "It's the same for everybody. As long as it doesn't quit blowing it'll be OK. That's about what we expected from what our competition is running. We were 19th and 20th fastest yesterday in both practices, so unless something changes I guess that's about where that will end up. It's a big improvement for us on our superspeedway program from where we've been here in the past and that's what we hoped to do - to come down here and make some improvement and be able to race this thing and put on a great show and give us a chance to win the Daytona 500."

HOW IS YOUR SPONSORSHIP SITUATION? "We've got a lot of stuff going on with the NBA All-Star Game here and SKF with some later dates, plus we've got a few more things coming. We're really optimistic about being able to talk about major sponsorship before too much longer, so we're excited about that."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Jackson Hewitt/National Guard Taurus (Qualified 1st)

"With these guys it's all about the team. I'm so proud of these guys working together. Bobby has really made our team come together and Doug has really done a great job. I've got to thank everybody for coming on board - National Guard, Jackson Hewitt and Subway. I figured we had a chance at it yesterday running as fast as this car has. We have a new engine program and that has really helped Yates and Roush out. I'm happy that Ford has done that, but I'm more excited about this 16 car having a front row starting spot."

YOU WON HERE IN JULY AND NOW IT'S ON THE POLE FOR THE MOMENT. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE? "I don't know, just watching and learning. I've learned so much from racing with all of these guys. From Jarrett to Earnhardt, Jr. and Waltrip and Bobby Labonte, I've just learned a lot from those guys and tried to apply it. I've just tried to watch and learn and apply it. In qualifying there isn't a lot a driver can do. It's like my crew chief said, 'Just hold it wide open this time.' He was joking, but the guys on this team is all that matters about this car being on the front row and they've done a good job."

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 4th)

"We're disappointed. We thought we had a pole run and we were close. You're talking about a tenth of a second. Everybody was slowing up about two-tenths. We ran about a .55 yesterday and figured that would be around a .75 today. It was gonna be real close, borderline, but we lost a tenth more than we thought we would with this wind and I'm not really sure why."

DID YOU GET EVERYTHING OUT OF IT? "I'm not really sure. We lost a tenth. Everybody gave up two tenths and we gave up three tenths. That's the difference between sitting on the pole and being fourth right now. It's kind of a strange story, I mean you get discouraged because you didn't sit on a pole but a year ago you get discouraged because you were just trying to make the race. We had been off on speed quite a bit, but we did qualify sixth-fastest last year, but I really expected more and all the guys on the team expected more. There are some long faces right now because we didn't win the pole, but it just wasn't meant to be today."

FOUR OF THE TOP FIVE HAVE THE YATES/ROUSH HORSEPOWER. HOW MUCH OF A FACTOR IS THAT HERE? "I'm sure it's a big part of it. We were good during winter testing and actually had the Roush combination. We were fast then and fast with the new combination, so it seems to be working. I'm real pleased so far. Again, I'm a little discouraged we didn't sit on the pole, but we're within a tenth of a second and that's great."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Tools Taurus (Qualified 28th)

"I'm real disappointed in that time. I thought we would run better than that. We're almost a half-second off all of our teammates, so we've just got some work to do on our cars. We're the same on motors with all of those guys, so we've just got to get to work. It's better than what we've done in a while, but we've still got to find a little more."

HOW WAS THE WIND FOR YOU? "It was windy, but I think it's been the same for everybody."

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/Irwin Taurus (Qualified 23rd)

"It seemed like the wind picked down the back straightaway and it let me down on the front straightaway. It's one of those deals where we thought we'd go a little quicker than that, but it's a heck of a lot better than what we've been in the past. Last year we barely got in the show on time and this year that should get us a good solid starting position for our 125."

LOOKING FORWARD TO THURSDAY?  "Yeah, this car I think is built more
around race conditions than it is qualifying.  That's the way we normally
run our plan.  They usually give out points on Sunday and not on Friday."

-ford racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing