Talladega: Ford Racing qualifying quotes

RUSTY WALLACE—2—Miller Lite Taurus—“I was hoping for a little bit more than that. I really thought the car would get down in the high .60s or low .70s, something like that, but running .82, I guess that’s not bad. The track’s been ...

RUSTY WALLACE—2—Miller Lite Taurus—“I was hoping for a little bit more than that. I really thought the car would get down in the high .60s or low .70s, something like that, but running .82, I guess that’s not bad. The track’s been sitting, there’s no air stirring around out there, usually the car’s slow up just a little bit now and then.”

AS QUALIFYING PROGRESSES, WILL THAT GET AIR SWIRLING AROUND? “I think it gets a lot of air swirling around out there, I really do. Every time we come here, we say the same thing.”

RICK MAST—90—Duke’s Mayonnaise/Sauer’s Taurus—ANY HOPE OF GETTING THE CAR BETTER? “There’s always hope. We’ll just work on it, try to get it a little better. We didn’t get to test with it. Same car we had a Daytona, did some body work to it, but obviously we haven’t done enough yet.”

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE HAVE YOU BEEN GAINING ON IT? “No, when we unloaded, the quickest we were when we first unloaded. Haven’t gotten any better since.”

DALE JARRETT—88—UPS Taurus—“We’re just slow. I didn’t know what to expect, and, unfortunately, we’re just slow. There’s not much more you can say about it.”

DAVE BLANEY—77—Jasper Engines & Transmissions—“No, just didn’t get everything heated up, I don’t think, enough, and just a little bit ends up costing you here, so I suppose that’s what it was.”

ELLIOTT SADLER—21—Motorcraft Taurus—“Just struggling again here at Talladega. I mean, we just seem to never really hit it here like we want it to. Same car and all that we finished second with at Daytona. I don’t know, maybe we just don’t have all the right tricks or stuff that we need for qualifying. So, it’s very frustrating. There’s not much a driver can do here on Friday for qualifying, but I just got to do my job on Sunday.”

YOU’VE SHOWN YOU CAN MOVE TOWARD THE FRONT ON A RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACK. “Well, we hope so. It’s tough when your car’s a second off or so like it is, it’s just tough sometimes. The guys, they worked their butts off and continue to work hard, and I don’t think any other team works as hard as we do, we just need to find out what everybody’s doing trick-wise to pick up so much for qualifying, so once we get that figured out we’ll be okay.”

BRETT BODINE—11—Hooters Restaurants Taurus—“It’s not what we thought we’d run. We thought we’d run something down in the .80s or .70s, but it’ll get us in the show, we’ll be happy with it.”

ON THE TRACK, IS THERE LESS ON PRESSURE ON YOU NOW THAT YOU HAVE A SPONSOR? “No, there’s never less pressure. You got to go out there and perform or you’re going to lose your deal, so we got to go out there and run good.”

RICKY RUDD—28—Havoline Taurus—“These guys are disappointed, to say the least. We had the fastest Ford in qualifying at Daytona, we’ve come here, we’ve probably got the slowest Ford, but it’s not from lack of work. These guys built this new race car – this is about the fourth lap on the race track. I think the speed is there, we just couldn’t get it dialed in at about three or four laps, and that’s all we’ve got on it. Again, everybody on this Havoline team worked hard, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t get the results.”

DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT YOU CAN PUT SOMETHING TOGETHER FOR SUNDAY? “You always say when you qualify bad, ‘We’re gonna race good,’ so that’s my motto and we’re sticking to it.”

RICKY CRAVEN—32—Tide Taurus—“It’s not that exciting. It’ll get pretty exciting on Sunday. But, it’s two laps, you know you’re in the range of whatever you practiced. And, a great effort by the team. Actually had the car in the wind tunnel last night, so these guys just never quit working. They put in extra effort and it’s paying off this year.”

RYAN NEWMAN—12—ALLTEL Taurus—MAKE ANY CHANGES FROM PRACTICE? “No, we tried to tune it up a little bit, and I don’t know if the weather tuned us out or if we just maintained, but it was a good run for the ALLTEL Ford, and I think, hopefully, we’ll be in the top 10. A big improvement from Daytona and that’s important for us to make improvements.”

YOU AND YOUR PENSKE TEAMMATE, RUSTY WALLACE, WERE THE TWO TOP FORDS. DID HE SHARE ANYTHING WITH YOU? “We share everything. Back at the shop, the engineers, the crew chiefs, we share everything. I think we did a couple things to our car to make it a little bit better, I don’t know if we’ll be able to do those things in race trim, but I’m just happy to be able to have the run we did.”

YOU WERE FAST WHEN YOU UNLOADED. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU ENDED UP WITH? “From where we came from in Daytona, qualifying, I think, 36th there, yeah, I’m definitely happy. It’s hard to make big improvements on these types of race cars because they’re not as much race cars as they are watches, and it’s hard to make that watch keep time for 400 years, I guess. That’s what it feels like.”

WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE FROM DAYTONA TO HERE? “Just made the body a little better, made the engine a little bit better. The guys in the engine department did a great job, we had to re-skin the body a little bit, and just made improvements wherever we could. Fortunately, we made improvements, and like I said, that’s definitely hard to do at a place like this.”

FRANK KIMMELL—26—Advance Auto Parts Taurus—“There were some things the guys did on the car that just really woke it up a little bit, just basic suspension stuff, you know? Things that we were trying, I guess, that weren’t working, and thank goodness it turned it around, because we were really concerned we weren’t going to get in today. We have a provisional, but you just never want to bank on those things, so we were happy that we got in.”

DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THIS CAR? “Yeah, I really do. We’re going to do some work on the seat. My head’s up against the roll bar and stuff, but these guys are working their butts off, so I’m not complaining. I told them we’ll work on that tomorrow.”

KURT BUSCH—97—Rubbermaid Taurus—“It’s been consistent with what we unloaded with. We brought the best car that we possibly can bring. This Ford’s polished up as best as we can get it, and we’ll be consistent with what we did here last spring, and that’s a top-five finish – hopefully, we’ll get that on Sunday.”

ANY CHANGES MADE FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING? “Not much. Just the normal heat and the oil-type thing, and just trying to get the best air package that you can get on it. Just trying to squeek as many hundredths as you can out of it, but all the Fords seem to be tied togethor.”

JEFF BURTON—99—Citgo Taurus—“We were looking for a lot better, but that’s all we had. We put a lot of effort into it, all of the guys worked really hard. All of us in the Roush camp are right there, crammed in there all together within a tenth of each other, so that’s just what we had today. We’ll see what we got in the draft and hope we can run a little bit better in race trim.”

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Series NASCAR Cup