MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 21st) WHILE THE TEAM WAS WORKING ON THE CAR DURING THE FIVE-MINUTE CLOCK. "We broke a rear-end gear. I've got a feeling it didn't get fluid. So, something broke in the rear-end gear." (AFTER...
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 21st)
WHILE THE TEAM WAS WORKING ON THE CAR DURING THE FIVE-MINUTE CLOCK. "We broke a rear-end gear. I've got a feeling it didn't get fluid. So, something broke in the rear-end gear."
(AFTER THE TEAM GOT THE CAR BACK ON THE TRACK FOR QUALIFYING) TIME ASIDE, WHAT DOES WHAT THIS TEAM JUST DID IN FIVE MINUTES SHOW? "They did a great job in getting the gear fixed, but they didn't have oil in the first gear and it blew it up, so that was a great job to recover from it and get back out there, and get a lap in there."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion (qualified 25th)
"I'm happy with that. That's certainly a pick-up from what we had in practice. We always unload in race trim and we just spend 90 percent of the first practice in race mode. We usually get one qualifying run at the end of practice, where some of these other guys unload in qualifying trim. We don't have to qualify on the pole; certainly it's cool to be fast but we just wanted to get a nice solid top-20 starting spot, top 25, and we always seem to race a little better than we qualify, so that's what's important."
ROUSH FENWAY RACING HAS ALWAYS DONE WELL HERE. HOW DOES THAT HISTORY AFFECT YOU OR HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND? "It gives us a little bit extra confidence. We know that certainly that the Gibbs, DEI and Hendrick cars have stepped up their programs up here a lot recently. I remember four or five years ago all of Jack's cars one-through-five, just driving away, and it's not like that anymore. We certainly have our work cut out for us, but we've got great engines, we've always had good horsepower, good aero package and that's what it takes to run well here at Michigan."
HOW MUCH OF A RELIEF IS IT JUST TO BE BACK ON AN OVAL? "For me, it's a lot. Like someone asked me, 'How do you feel? Montoya's kind of taken some leaps and bounds over the past month.' And I told him, 'Well, if we go to some south Georgia short-tracks and race some Legends cars, I think could make a little stretch here.' It's been fun the last few weeks. The one bad thing is once I somewhat feel comfortable at a road course we don't see another one for another year. So, that's the only bad thing. Now we've just got to sit back and wait for another year to come, when now, if we had two more road courses, I feel like we'd be a little more competitive. My number-one goal all season is to get a little better on the road courses. I feel we've struggled a little bit. But, this year was the first time I've ever run a big car on a road course, period. So, we've done a little better than what some people thought, but we've still got a long ways to go to where we want to be."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (qualified 13th)
"I think the car's going to be pretty good. We were just a little loose there, but still pretty fast. It'll be fine. I like racing here."
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (qualified 22nd)
"We were, like, 30th in practice, and we knew we weren't where we needed to be, and the guys changed the car around quite a bit. We didn't have a whole lot to lose. I guess it was somewhat of a gamble, but like I say, we were no better than 30th. Man, whatever they tickled there, I've got to find what they did because it really made a big difference to the race car. I think we learned something."
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (qualified 24th)
A YEAR AGO THIS RACE, YOU MADE YOUR DEBUT WITH THIS TEAM. "This week, I've taken a lot of time to reflect on the last year. It's been a lot of fun. I was telling a friend of mine that one year ago today was probably the most nerve-wracking day of my life. To come back here and be a little more settled in, a little more comfortable driving the M&M's Ford Fusion, I have a lot more confidence now coming in. We've been building. I feel great about where the direction of our program is headed."
WHAT ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? "I think we've got a good car. This is a brand-new car that we built specifically to bring here. It's been really good. On our qualifying lap, we were just a little free, but I think that's a good thing here. Tight and Michigan, you don't go fast. We'll just keep plugging away on our race trim set-up and hope we get our M&M's Ford Fusion as best we can."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion (qualified 23rd)
"Keep digging, keep digging. Might get a little better. Keep trying to get there. It just seems like we're a run or two behind every time we run, but I'm proud of the guys. We had really good pick-up from our practice time, and that's what counts in this business. You keep trying to nibble away at it. I feel like we were a little bit too free up off the corner there a little bit, but all in all I think like we made a pretty decent run at it."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd)
"It was a really good run. I probably could've gotten three and four a little bit better, and that was probably the difference. Between the .15 and the .09 that Jeff Gordon did, but the things is, we've got a great car for this weekend,a nd that's what we're excited about."
-credit: ford racing