Ford Racing Joliet qualifying notes

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 42nd) "That's a terrible lap, I guess. I'm kind of puzzled. I thought the DEWALT car drove really good. It held its line real nice. I thought I got in the corner hard enough and got on the...

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 42nd)

"That's a terrible lap, I guess. I'm kind of puzzled. I thought the DEWALT car drove really good. It held its line real nice. I thought I got in the corner hard enough and got on the gas, but I don't really know what happened. I'm not real happy with that lap, I guess. It looks like it's gonna be in the back somewhere and that's really disappointing. We practiced really well. I thought for sure we had a top 15 car for qualifying, but I guess it wasn't meant to be."

HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Qualified 40th)

IS THAT GOING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH?

"I don't know. I tell you, the race track is a little slow right now. I'm kind of expecting it to pick up as qualifying goes on, but we worked as hard as we could on this Hills Brothers Coffee Ford. I think it's probably gonna be a little short today."

ROBBY GORDON --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Qualified 37th)

"It was definitely slicker, but one-tenth of a second would have done a lot for us. I'm okay with that. We did the best we could. I wish we would have been a little better, but we'll start with that and try to build from there."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 21st)

THAT WAS SLOWER N PRACTICE, WHY?

"I really couldn't tell you why, to tell you the truth. I think that the track has slowed down a little bit for us from what we did in practice. We made an adjustment to the chassis that maybe we shouldn't have done, that's about it though. I noticed about halfway through the day as the track was changing, they got a lot of oil dry on the track, our setup was kind of going away. That got me a little nervous, but I guess that was the problem. We needed to work on the car more."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus (Qualified 10th)

"The car just ran a great lap, it really did. The race track has just lost its grip. I just couldn't quite carry the speed through the middle of the corner like I would have liked. It just lost a little bit of grip, a little side bite. The balance stayed the same, but it just lost a little grip and that slows you down just a tad."

KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 31st)

"That was slower than what we thought we could run. It was just a tough deal with the track changing dramatically and the sun coming out. It affected our Ford. I thought the Sharpie/Rubbermaid car was a little bit better, but I think we'll be alright in the race because everybody's equal."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Qualified 11th)

"That was a good lap. The second lap was gonna be a good bit better. When I got back in the gas between three and four, the car's front end just didn't want to stick quite as good and I actually had to crack the throttle just a little bit. That probably hurt me a tenth or a tenth-and-a-half. It might not have been the pole, but it would have been up front. Still, it was a good lap and it should be a great race Sunday."

WHAT ABOUT A PREDICTION FOR THE RACE? "Well, we've got a little bit of a situation where the bottom is getting really rough. I think we're gonna get another groove that's gonna have to come in because of that. It should be a good race. It looks like a track that's gonna be fun. As we get some more time out there and practice time where we can move that groove up a little bit, it should be a great show."

TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus (Qualified 1st)

"The first lap I messed up. I got down into three really good and the car turned so good I ran across the apron. I knew the second lap was gonna be better if I didn't mess up and it was. I ran a really good lap and I hope that should keep us in the top five. It was a good day for the Blue Light Special."

WHAT ABOUT THE RACE SUNDAY?

"It's gonna be one groove for quite a while. We might get a second groove up off the corner, but it's gonna take a year or so or a couple of races to get two grooves. Once the race track gets broken in and gets some weather on it, it's gonna be a heck of a place to race. We're gonna see some really good racing here. It's gonna be a lot like Las Vegas -- two, three-wide, kind of pick your own groove."

ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Qualified 14th)

"The McDonald's Ford has been pretty quick all week here. We slowed down a little bit from where we had practiced, but we still got a good, solid lap in. We're probably gonna be in the show, but as a race car driver you're always a little disappointed if you don't pick up from where you practiced and we didn't do that. Still, we got a pretty solid lap."

YOU HAVE TO BE CONSERVATIVE, RIGHT?

"That was kind of our strategy to qualify with the first lap. We wanted to get a good, conservative lap in. You can't be too conservative, obviously, but just get everything right and we did that. Then the second lap I went for it. The car bottomed out pretty hard getting into turn one and it slid up the race track and slowed me down. But once we got that first lap in the bag and we knew it was a solid lap, then you can go and kind of let it hang out a little bit."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 20th)

"It was a pretty decent lap. We didn't know where we were going to end up at, we didn't know how the track was. Was just a little tight. At least we're not taking a provisional, this is a step in the right direction. We wanted to run faster than that but I guess we'll see where it ends up. Just a little bit too tight."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Qualified 18th)

"We struggled in that session. If we would have left it alone, we would have been fine, but for some reason what we chased in practice was the opposite of what we chased yesterday. We worked the car into a problem area and then the track was like it was yesterday. If we would not have done all that work to the car to correct the problems I was having this morning, we would have run quicker. It's been sort of one of those days. What worked for us yesterday just didn't work for us today. We went after today's problems and in qualifying it seemed to revert back to yesterday."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"That's about what we hoped for. A lot of guys slowed down since they practiced and that was quicker than we ran in practice. Todd (Parrott) and those guys did an awful great job. The came here and tested. I'm really proud of our Texaco team. We didn't test, but we were able to take good advantage of that practice time we had yesterday and I couldn't be happier. I think we've got a really good race car."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Qualified 2nd)

"We went back to where we were yesterday. We started chasing the track this morning and in the last practice I said, 'I think the best thing you can do is put it right back where it was.' Donnie (Wingo) agreed and we did. I messed up. I think I could have run in the twenties and I messed up on the second lap getting into the third turn."

A GOOD DAY BUSCH AND CUP.

"It really is. I'm pretty happy with both cars. We tested here for two days and really learned a lot. I think the Busch car is running good and I think the Cup car will run good. It's a long two day, but you just have to use common sense and be patient."

SHAWNA ROBINSON --84-- Tropicana Orange Juice Taurus (Qualified 47th, DNQ)

"I'm extremely disappointed. We ran a 30-flat in practice yesterday and today we did a lot of gear changing and tried different things. We went back to where we were and I don't know what happened. We were tight and it just didn't feel like the car was going where it needed to go and I just didn't put it there. It's unfortunate because, obviously, when you're running the sponsor's car for their race -- the Tropicana 400, there's not a better company to be associated with -- but it wasn't my time. The hardest part is that I know my career would have made huge gains after this race and I would probably be where I needed to be for next year, but now it's set me back about 10 more steps. We've just gotta get back up and start over again."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Qualified 32nd)

"We broke a motor. When I left (pit road) I saw the oil pressure gauge didn't hardly build. It hardly ever got any oil pressure and it didn't run, but I still had to go. It laid down coming out of turn four and it broke going into turn one, so we were dealing with a problem."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 13th)

"Ryan just went in there after practice and the guys just worked hard. We changed a couple of things around because we couldn't go but one way. I also think the race track came to us a little bit. We were a little bit loose and the race track tightened up a little. We're happy. It's Friday the 13th, we're in car number 13 (chassis number), and we're starting 13th. That's got to be a good omen."

-Ford Racing

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Series NASCAR Cup