Phoenix II: Ford teams qualifying quotes

KURT BUSCH -- No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus (Qualified 17th) "It was a bit hectic in the car. It was like somebody opened a can of bees. I was swatting them all around left and right. The car was a bit tight in the center, but it's a good race...

KURT BUSCH -- No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus (Qualified 17th)

"It was a bit hectic in the car. It was like somebody opened a can of bees. I was swatting them all around left and right. The car was a bit tight in the center, but it's a good race car. The last time we were here the car ran well in both qualifying and the race. This time around I think it's a better race car, so I hope that we can work our way back up through the pack and give this Phoenix track a challenge for the double."

YOU HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE HERE DON'T YOU. "I've run here at Phoenix many times in the Southwest Tour cars and once with the Trucks. It's just a fun one-mile flat track that you can change your line on and pick up speed. Just being from the desert southwest, I have an appreciation for Phoenix."

HAVING SUCCESS THE LAST TIME BREEDS MORE CONFIDENCE, RIGHT? "It helps you. It can almost hurt you in a way too because you just want to use that same setup instead of adapting to what the track temperatures and the changes are, but at Phoenix you always start with an open notebook because the speeds can get faster and faster here every year."a

GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Qualified 4th)

"I've got to be happy with that. That gets us up front. Hopefully that will be a top-10 starting spot but there are still a lot of guys left to go. I just missed it by an ounce. I wish I would have put the throttle down a second sooner or done something a little different to get the 48 car. It's probably gonna heat up. I think that second may hold up, but we'll see. I was really wanting to get in the Bud Shootout. I haven't been able to get in the Bud Shootout yet and it was so close. Coming to the start-finish line I thought I had it for sure and thought it was gonna be a good 26-second lap, but not quite."

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"That was close. You make decisions in the race car and that first lap was fast enough. The car felt good enough and I thought, 'You know what, I could drive this thing like I did that Busch car, but I might not get away with it twice in one day,' so I went into three and I probably left a half-tenth on the table. I don't know. We're thinking championship, but I never thought I'd be that guy that would take it easy in qualifying. I'm learning. We've got two races to go. We already have a pole. I owe it to the guys to do everything I can, but I was worried I'd go in there free enough. I thought, 'If I go charge this thing in there and then back it into the fence, I'm gonna be the biggest idiot out here.' So we'll take it."

HOW IS THE CAR? "We've got an awesome race car. The Office Depot Ford is real good. This track is different than the ones we've been running well at and I really love this place. It's so awesome to come here with a car that's this fast and to be able to run well so far this weekend. Hopefully, it holds up for the race."

DO YOU LIKE BEING THE CHASER? "Oh yeah, we've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. There's no better position to be in in competition than the guy that doesn't have any pressure and has everything to gain."

DO YOU CHANGE ANYTHING? "No, I'm using everything I've ever learned as a racer for these last few weeks and I'm trying to put it all to good use. Qualifying was a good example. We had a good first lap and I could have laid it all on the line and gone for that pole, but I got a little conservative the second lap. We're thinking, 'Every time we're on the race track, what can we do to be the best we can be at the end of the race,' and that's helped."

RICKY RUDD -- No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 20th)

"We're real happy with it. Yesterday, we were just pretty much lost and not even close. If we would have started practice yesterday with that, I think there's a lot left in it and a lot more tune-ability, so that was a big plus."

WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW? "It was looking kind of gloomy until a little while ago when we made our qualifying lap because it wasn't like we were just off in qualifying, we were off in general. This change here will complement racing more than we had yesterday. Yesterday we didn't have anything for qualifying or racing, but now I'm optimistic just based on how much of a change they got the car to turn around for qualifying. It's not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot closer than we were yesterday."

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 16th)

"I don't know what my first lap was, but overall it was OK. I was just too loose, but we're really good in race trim. I expected us to be too loose because we never really worked on qualifying, so I think it's gonna be all right for tomorrow."

-ford racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup