Talladega II: Ford teams qualifying quotes

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th) "I'm not really that unhappy with our qualifying speed because the go or go-home guys should beat you. They do extra things to get everything out of their lap and take some chances on...

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th)

"I'm not really that unhappy with our qualifying speed because the go or go-home guys should beat you. They do extra things to get everything out of their lap and take some chances on that might not live in the race, but it will qualify fast. We can't really afford to do that in our position, but I'm happy with our lap. We never made a qualifying run yesterday and just kind of worked on the race."

YOU'VE HAD GOOD FINISHES HERE THE LAST FIVE TIMES OUT. WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW? "I don't know what to expect tomorrow. It's pretty crazy out there with these cars and with that different engine package we're turning an awful lot of RPM. I would be surprised if everybody makes it to the end with that new gear they're making us run. We'll just have to see how it goes."


GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 Dish Network/Starz Ford Fusion (Qualified 28th)

YOU ONLY TOOK ONE LAP. WHY? "It's something a little bit different we wanted to try just to see if we could get all of the speed out of the car on the first lap and it seemed like it may have worked out. It might have been a wash, but it's so close the first and second lap when you run the bottom, so we just tried something to try and get our first lap and try to get all the speed out of the car with the first lap."

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO TRY THAT? "About four or five minutes ago. We just decided we'd try it because with qualifying here, everybody knows that track position isn't nearly as important as it would be somewhere else, so we just decided to try one lap. We don't really have a lot to lose. We were just messing around and it worked out for us."


DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Qualified 37th)

"I'm real happy with the car. It drafted and drove really good yesterday and with it being an impound race, that's what we're focused on. To come here and think you're gonna get the pole with a lot of the cars that have to qualify on time and the stuff they can do to their cars when they're just focused on qualifying isn't realistic. I think Todd made a great decision to just really work on our car to get it driving good and drafting well. It sucked up really good and I'm really looking forward to the race on Sunday."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VISIBILITY ISSUE WITH THE CARS IN FRONT OF YOU? "I've just been adjusting my mirrors as we go and I've got them pretty good. I'm pretty comfortable with it."


ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Camping World Ford Fusion (Qualified 33rd)

"A lot of those guys were in full qualifying mode at the top while we worked yesterday in practice in full race mode. I think we're pretty good. I'm comfortable with where we're at and think that we're in good shape. I felt we were strong in practice as well, so I think we're pretty good."


DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 42nd)

IS IT MUCH DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND WITH THE COT THAN LAST TIME AT TALLADEGA? "It's about the same. Our car in the spring had a little bit more speed than this thing. We're certainly here to race and not to qualify and we put a lot of effort in our race runs. Whether we qualify 15th or 20th or 25th, it doesn't really matter much. We'll just get out there on Sunday and race them, but I feel like our car drives as good. It's as fast in race trim as it was in the spring."


MIKE WALLACE -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd)

"It was a really simple lap. The whole Robert Yates team and M&M's car ran really well. It was very simple to run it. It was faster than when we unloaded off the trailer. It appears there are some cars faster, but I'm really excited about the opportunity to drive this car this weekend. You come to Talladega or Daytona in a Yates car with Roush-Yates horsepower, you can't ask for anything better, and there's a chance to win a million dollars here with M&M's this weekend, so some lucky fan can enter. I'm just real excited about being here. It's gonna be fun. We know the Fords can run together, or at least the Roush Yates Fords. We found that out in practice yesterday, so it should be a good race tomorrow."

YOU HAVE A SPECIAL SCHEME ON THE CAR? "Yeah, don't get confused. I'm in the 88 M&M's car and there's the 38 M&M's car also. I'm in the 88 M&M's Million Dollar To Win Ford."

SO DID ROBERT JUST CALL YOU TO DRIVE THIS WEEK? "Yeah, pretty much. We spoke back when Ricky got hurt. They wanted me to come and test the car, but I had a vacation scheduled with my wife. I'd backed out for the last five years on every other vacation we've had, so I told them I couldn't test that week. I really didn't expect to get the call and Monday morning he left me a message. I didn't turn my phone on of all day until late Monday and got back to him and went up to his shop. I got in the seat, in fact it's Kenny's seat in the car, and I fit in that OK. I'm just happy to have the opportunity to be here and run this car. We qualified fourth for the truck race also today, so we're good to go."

DID YOU CALL KENNY TO SEE IF HE KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DRIVE? "Kenny actually called me a little bit later in the day. The one thing about Robert and Doug is they're pretty up-front people and pretty honest. Kenny knew when he first started driving the car in replacement of Ricky that there was a possibility I would run this race down here. They just kind of stuck to the plan, I guess. But he called me. He goes, 'Are you excited?' And I said, 'Well, I'm excited about driving the car, but as far as you not driving it, I'm not at all.' We're brothers and you wouldn't want that to happen to either one, but we're here to race and that's what we're doing."

HOW DID HE DEAL WITH THAT? "I'm sure he was a little disappointed, and I would be too in that same situation, especially since he's run good at Talladega before and I've run good here. We're drivers. We want to race every weekend, but he was really cool about it and now it's our job to turn around and give Robert Yates Racing a really good run and, hopefully, we can get them a good finish."

WE HAVE ROAD COURSE RINGERS, DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A SPEEDWAY RINGER SINCE THAT'S THE REASON YOU GOT THIS CHANCE? "I appreciate the compliment and there are a lot of people who do compliment me for my speedway experience. I feel I'm a really good racer everywhere, maybe not as good on the road courses, but when the cars are right. The things you learn at these race tracks is that a lot of times I've showed up at these race tracks with not-so-good of cars and you have to learn how to manipulate yourself in the traffic and understand the draft and everything else, so I feel very confident in my ability here and just understanding what the draft does and what it doesn't do, and how you can use it to your advantage, so if that's what you want to call it, that's cool."


CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 41st)

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN GET BACK IN THE POINTS RACE THIS WEEKEND? "That's the only option. We've got no other option. We've got to go out here and have a good race and whatever it takes to make that happen, we've got some great teammates that we're gonna work together, hopefully, a lot on Sunday and just have a good show. There's a little bit of an unknown with the car of tomorrow. There are some things about it that are different, but the track is great. The car is handling really well. This Office Depot Fusion wasn't a rocket ship speedwise. I'm pretty sure I held it wide open all the way around there, but that's the fastest it would go. I think it's gonna be a great show. Hopefully, we don't get caught up in that wreck and we can have that good day that we need."

HOW DID YOU FEEL IN THE DRAFT YESTERDAY? "It's a lot of fun. It would be a blast if it weren't a points race. We could have a good time, but it's hard being in the chase and knowing that you've got to come out of here with a race car that's the same general shape as you started with, and you've got to finish on the lead lap. Knowing that, it makes it real tough to go out there and really be aggressive, but I'm sure it'll be exciting one way or the other. Hopefully, we're running at the end."


BORIS SAID -- No. 60 No Fear Ford Fusion (Qualified 10th, DNQ)

YOU QUALIFIED 10TH AND DIDN'T MAKE THE RACE. "Right now, NASCAR's got to do something about the rules. It's terribly unfair that the top Ford in tenth place goes home. An independent has no chance and for the tenth place car to go home is completely insane."

-credit: ford racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing