Kansas: Bill Elliott qualifying report

Elliott's Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion Is One of the Fast Fords at Kansas Speedway Bill Elliott said he knew as soon as he ran his first lap of practice that he and the crew of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane No. 21 Ford Fusion had some good times ...

Elliott's Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion Is One of the Fast Fords at Kansas Speedway

Bill Elliott said he knew as soon as he ran his first lap of practice that he and the crew of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane No. 21 Ford Fusion had some good times ahead of them. On his third lap of practice, he ran a lap at 172. 977 miles per hour, a speed that made the team confident they would qualify for Sunday's Price Chopper 400. From there, the team made several changes to the chassis but wound up going back to some of their old, proven ideas on shocks and springs.

It all worked out, as Elliott picked up speed from practice, qualifying a season-best 11th with a speed of 173.751 mph, which represented a significant bettering of his best practice speed and made him the fastest of the go-or-go-home drivers who aren't high enough in car owner points to be guaranteed a starting position.

"The key to it all was being fast from the time we unloaded the car," Elliott said. "When things start off good, it just continues to build."

Elliott also was impressed with the FR9 engine under the hood of the famed No. 21.

"It looks like they found something with this engine combination," he said. "It was really crisp on the bottom. We're definitely better in that department."

Team co-owner Eddie Wood, like his driver, was upbeat as he left Kansas Speedway Friday night.

"It's really cool to be a part of a big day for Ford Motor Company," Wood said, referring to Ford's sweep of the front row as well as placing seven cars in the top 15 in the starting grid. Now, Elliott and his David Hyder-led crew move on to Saturday's practice session, where he hopes they can continue to make positive changes to the car. Then it's on to Sunday, and Elliott is as optimistic as he's been in a while about his prospects on race day.

"I really like this race track, and I've had some pretty decent results here in the past," he said. "Hopefully Sunday will be no exception."

Both Elliott and the Wood Brothers have posted runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway, and they've got a good start on another impressive run.

"Since we've got a decent starting position, the important thing is to get that first run under our belt and maintain our position," Elliott said. But with the competitive nature of Sprint Cup racing today, that'll just be the start.

"You have to run just as hard as you can all day long," Elliott said.

-source: wbr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott