DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 28th) "The AAA Ford Fusion was excellent. We were just kind of taking our time and running our own race. We had a good top-10 or top-15 run going and we cut a right-front during green. We got...
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 28th)
"The AAA Ford Fusion was excellent. We were just kind of taking our time and running our own race. We had a good top-10 or top-15 run going and we cut a right-front during green. We got down pit road and then got the lucky dog, and I don't know if something on the car or debris on the track cut another right-rear our next lap back on. I don't know how in the world you cut two tires in less than three laps, but it bit us the last time."
YOU TOOK A GOOD LICK. "Yeah, it was a good lick. I'm 100 percent. No problem at all. I just hate we ended the day like that. We had such a good Ford Fusion and certainly we've put a lot into this race. We've got a great AAA Ford for our backup, so that's where we've got to go and work on now and get ready for the 500."
HOW WERE YOU IN THE DRAFT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY HELP? "I had a little bit of help. I think because the AAA Ford was pretty decent, I think that people are gonna hang with you just a little bit more. They wouldn't go thick or thin, just when the times were good. The outside lane was working better than the inside lane. The car was real neutral and driving really good compared to yesterday. It's a very tough day and unfortunate to cut two tires in less than five laps. I don't know what kind of luck that is, but hopefully we've got all of our bad luck out of the way for the weekend."
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Finished 4th)
"Dale Jr. just told us we did a great job and that's awesome. We've got a fast M&M's Ford Fusion and we know that and our main goal is the Daytona 500, so I'm just trying to be patient and have a good race car for Sunday. I'm real excited. We've got a great spot. We tested the car and it ran great. It's perfect. I scraped the wall and all the guys dug down and didn't say a word to me about hitting the wall and dug down and fixed it. It's awesome. I can't say enough about the guys. It's real exciting."
THE FIRST PIT STOP MAY HAVE BEEN THE ONLY HICCUP? "Yeah, exactly. Like I said, I'm a rookie. The can tell you and tell you, but we adjusted the brake bias and it was much better the second time. We're glad we had that race and we went ahead and raced it like it was a race -- to learn -- and we don't want to make that mistake on Sunday."
EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD A SPOT LOCKED UP WERE THERE STILL SOME NERVES ABOUT GETTING CAUGHT UP IN AN ACCIDENT? "Oh yeah, absolutely. It's the perfect race car and I just don't want anything to happen to it. The car ran well and we're excited and ready to go."
KEN SCHRADER -- No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion (Finished 10th)
"I sure would have liked to been better. We just need more speed. We're handling and stuff, but all of those yellows grouping up killed us, but we've got an 11th and a 10th and we've got our stuff ready for the 500, so we're OK."
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS RACE FROM YOUR STANDPOINT? "It's the best test session you're gonna have."
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Jim Beam Ford Fusion (Finished 31st)
"Got ourselves in a position. We were running, like, seventh before the pit stop and you get back in the back like that and you find yourself in a situation like that. You know, I got to take a little bit of blame on this. The 72 got tight coming off turn two, to go into turn three and four, I didn't want follow him, so I started to transfer down lanes. I was clear for a second, but the 84 closed up the gap, and got the back of us. I don't know if I got down on him or if he got in the back of me. But, it's kind of a bummer. The Jim Beam Ford was pretty fast. We drove right up into the sixth or seventh position, had a horrible pit stop and got ourselves in the back."
BORIS SAID -- No. 60 SoBe No Fear Energy Drink Ford Fusion (Finished 12th)
"That seemed like a short-track race out there. There was a lot of hitting going on. That was a lot of fun, though. It was a great race. I'm just glad I could transfer instead of having to go back on my qualifying time. I really just wanted to race hard. We had a great car, the guys did a great job, and I'm in and the car's in one piece. That was great."
HOW DID THE CAR RUN IN THE DRAFT? "It worked great in the draft. I just made a lot of mistakes at the beginning -- every once in a while I'd pull out, and you'd show 'em one little piece of real estate and they shove you to the back. I just made a bunch of little mistakes in the beginning."
HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU FOR SUNDAY? "Realistically, I don't have a chance to win, but I have a chance to be top-15 and if I can do that that would be like a win."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion (Finished 16th)
"It didn't end up like we wanted, but I'm racing the car that I wanted to race in the 500. That car is capable of finishing in the top five, it's not capable of winning, I don't think, because there's a few cars faster. It's certainly capable of a finish in the top five."
BORIS SAID PRESS CONFERENCE
"I've never raced a Saturday night short-track race, but that's what I guess it would be like if I ever did it. That was a wild race and it was a lot of fun. I'm just really proud of the effort. Our Sobe No Fear Energy Drink car and Advance Auto Parts on this weekend and we have four full-time employees back at our shop, so to come here and actually qualify on time and then actually race our way in to be second behind Michael of the scrubs in the 150 was a big accomplishment for us. I know during the end of the race there were a lot of people that wanted me to pull over to try and let somebody else in, but I pretty much turned my radio down. I just wanted to race and it was a great race. I raced my butt off today and I had a great time. I just can't believe I'm in the Daytona 500. Sunday in qualifying I wasn't even happy, it was just like a relief or having two cinder blocks falling off my shoulders. Now I feel really happy about how I ran today, so I'm looking forward to Sunday."
DO YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE YOU CAN BE A FACTOR SUNDAY? "That's probably a long shot to be a factor to win the race, but I have a legitimate shot at a top 10 or 15 and, for me anyway, the third time here, I think that would be a pretty big accomplishment. There are some really good guys out there. Back here in July we used a little bit of pit strategy to be up front. The car was good enough that it handled good and we were ahead with two laps to go. That was a special feeling and something I'll never forget, but, for sure, I have a 1-in-43 chance to win on Sunday and that's better than I've ever had."
WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF THAT CAR? "That was actually an old Roush car that we leased last year for the July race. When we came down here for the July race that was our only car. We didn't even have a back-up, and then over the winter we built a new one and bought this car from them. Our new car in the wind tunnel was supposed to be even better and faster and we came down here and tested it and it was three-and-a-half tenths slower than this old car. There's just something about it. It's just a good running car. It handles great and a lot of that credit goes to Frankie Stoddard. He's won this race before and he's won 14 or 15 Cup races, so to have a guy like that, I mean that's pretty much all the success. It's really him, not me."
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF THIS SPORT? "That's a good question. For me I just love driving. I don't care what it is -- a sports car, a go-kart, NASCAR -- it doesn't matter, I just love doing it. But coming into this race, I mean, for our team there's so much pressure put on you by the sponsors to make the race that we talked about trying to do different things and maybe gray areas and push the limits because you want to just make the race. You just feel like a failure if you miss it and once you make the race it's all downhill. I don't think I'd get so down on myself if I crashed the first lap of the race, but I feel really proud we're in. Just this day and age, there's so much money and the sponsors and what they put in behind it, it forces people to take chances and push the gray areas. It's been going on forever in racing. I think what NASCAR has done now is instead of drawing a line in the sand, they've drawn a big old ditch and they're just not gonna tolerate anything from a simple little piece of tape or anything. As a competitor, I see what Michael's team did and I don't see it's any worse than what Jimmie Johnson's team did last year. If you cross the line, you cross the line and I don't think it's really a big deal."
DID SOMEBODY ASK YOU TO SLOW DOWN AND LET SOMEBODY IN? "I guess there were a lot of deals going on I didn't really know about at the end until they told me on the radio, but I was proud that we made the race on time but I really wanted to race in. I didn't want to have to start 40th or 42nd when we had a car good enough to start in the top 25. I was having a blast racing out there. I mean, it was just crazy, so I just didn't pay any attention to it and just decided wherever I raced is wherever I finish and I'm not gonna make any deals for anything."
-credit: ford racing