Loudon II: Ford drivers qualifying quotes

DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 26th) "We'll just watch and see what happens with everybody else.  My car felt better than that lap time really was, but I was just lacking a little grip getting in the corner and getting...

DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Qualified 26th)

"We'll just watch and see what happens with everybody else.  My car felt better than that lap time really was, but I was just lacking a little grip getting in the corner and getting off the corner.  The track will probably get faster and that will hurt us a little bit, but that's the way it goes.  It wasn't bad.  The car balance felt pretty close, but it was just a little slippery."

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 27th)

"The track has lost some grip.  It's gotten hotter as the afternoon has gone on.  We over-adjusted a little bit.  We've been a little tight through the center and we thought we had fixed that, but we got a little bit loose there." 

IT'S BEEN A TOUGH WEEK.  "The guys are doing their jobs and that's because of the leadership of Shawn Parker, but certainly all of our thoughts for this weekend and for quite a while are gonna be with Shawn Parker.  He lost his wife, Tara, in an accident Wednesday night and it's really just devastating.  We're here because we have to be, but our minds are with Shawn and his family and with Tara's family.  She was just a wonderful person that's gonna be missed tremendously.  Shawn is a good leader here and these guys are doing their jobs, but it's gonna be a difficult weekend because we're certainly just thinking about him."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 31st)

"It was pretty eventful.  The track has changed a bunch since practice and we didn't really compensate enough for it, so I'm just glad it's in one piece.  That's a good thing.  That's probably not where we're gonna want to start come Sunday because we were running a lot better than that in practice, but the M&M's Ford Taurus is in one piece, we're gonna work on it tomorrow and try to get it ready for Sunday so we can have a good run." 

HOW MUCH CAN THE TRACK CHANGE OVER TWO MONTHS?  "The track is a lot different than it was the first time here and a lot different than what it was two hours ago.  I can't believe the car is that much different.  Wow, it's so much tighter now than what it was, but, anyway, we didn't adjust enough so we're gonna pay the consequences come Sunday's starting time.  We want to put on a good show for the guys, so we'll see what happens on Sunday." 

A TOUGH WEEKEND FOR RYR?  "Yeah.  It just doesn't feel right racing up here really, to be honest with you.  It's been a tough last couple of days because it was shocking news to all of us.  It's just tough."

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Qualified 28th)

WHERE DID YOUR CAR SEEM TO WORK THE BEST OUT THERE?  "It didn't (laughing).  It was just a tough lap for us.  The sealant is difficult to get a hold of just for one lap, so we'll see what we can do for the 300 miles we have on Sunday." 

DID YOU SEE SOME TRACK IMPROVEMENT THE FIRST RACE HERE AND WILL THAT CONTINUE?  "Yeah, I really enjoyed it when we came here last fall and they changed the low groove to the middle groove.  It makes for a great race track when you can run side-by-side and if you can get your car to work on the low line that's even better."

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Qualified 29th)

"I was way loose.  We were a little too tight in practice and we just made one minor adjustment and the car was just too loose.  I couldn't even get to the throttle and couldn't drive it in real hard because it was just so free through the middle.  For the race it's a good thing, but it's hard to go fast like that."

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Qualified 31st)

"This car is a little unhappy right now.  I think everybody has just about run faster in practice than they did when they qualified, but we gave up more than we should have.  I think we're about three tenths off where we should have been, instead of a couple.  It's a little disappointing.  I'm not really sure why, but the car seemed like it just wouldn't turn in the middle of the corner for some reason."

JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Qualified 15th)

"We fell off more than we wanted to from what we ran in practice, but this track is like that.  It seems like it's really hard to make the car drive in qualifying the way it did in practice and that's what we had.  The balance was the same, but it just didn't have any grip.  That's pretty common for here.  We gave up more than we wanted to.  I thought that with everything we had, if we could have gotten everything just right, I thought we had a shot at the pole.  That's not bad.  We just need to be a little better."

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 33rd)

"That's about as bad as we were in practice.  We didn't make any gains at all today.  We figured out how to make it even slower than that, but we never really figured out how to make it faster.  That's all we have right now.  I don't know if I'd grade it at all.   We didn't pull a rabbit out of the hat here in qualifying and we've done that some lately.  I guess we've gotten kind of spoiled because we've pulled a rabbit out of the hat the last three or four races.  We'll start in the back and work on it in race trim to see if we can turn it around."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Qualified 4th)

"That's where we need to start is up in the top five.  I'm pretty happy with that lap.  There was probably just a hair left on the table, but, what the heck, that's all we had for today.  We literally backed up our original practice speed run, so we're pretty excited about it." 

THIS TRACK IS HARD TO PASS ON, SO STARTING UP FRONT EARLY IS A BENEFIT.  "Yes it does, it really does.  That's gonna make a difference here, hopefully, on Sunday.  We just need to finish in the top five.  That's what we need to do is finish up there.  We've got cars that have been close to that, but I think we can do it with this car."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Qualified 19th)

"We practiced really good, but it's too bad I didn't get a very good lap qualifying because we had a lot better car than that.  We'll just have to start there and see what happens.  It's always disappointing when you practice in the top five and qualify 20th.  That's never a good thing."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Shawn Parker