GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd) "I liked that lap. That was a good lap for us. I thought that was quite a bit of speed pickup, but maybe a little discouraging that the only car that's gone in front of us ran a .29, which is...
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd)
"I liked that lap. That was a good lap for us. I thought that was quite a bit of speed pickup, but maybe a little discouraging that the only car that's gone in front of us ran a .29, which is a little over a tenth faster, so that concerns me a little bit, but it was a great pickup for our car."
WHAT WOULD BE AN IDEAL DAY FOR YOU TOMORROW? "An ideal day would be win, but I think, really, what our focus is a top-five for tomorrow -- just keep our nose clean basically would be a good day."
HOW HARD IS IT TO GET A TOP FIVE HERE? "Really hard, considering the spring race was the first one I finished here ever, so it's gonna be difficult. We've run good enough, we just have to stay out of trouble."
WAS IT A DISADVANTAGE TO GO OUT AND QUALIFY EARLY? "I don't know. I'm not a meteorologist or an engine guy, but I know the cooler the air, the better the engine will run, but the cooler the air, the denser it is and a little bit more drag is created, so I don't know where the trade-off is with this new car as far as that goes, but normally going out when it's cool is better at most of the places you go. I don't really know how it will pay off here, but that was a great pickup for the 3M Ford Fusion guys. They did a good job with the car. I'm pretty happy."
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY TOMORROW? "I think we're gonna see where we end up here. We went out early, we were second going out, so we'll wait and see where we're at. If we're in that top half, hopefully in qualifying, then maybe we'll try to hang up there and try to get to the front and lead some laps and see how our car drives, but if we're in the back half when qualifying is over, we'll probably try to lag back a little bit and stay out of a little bit of trouble."
WHEN DO YOU KNOW IT'S THE RIGHT TIME TO COME UP THROUGH THE FIELD AND TRY TO GET TO THE FRONT? YOU TALKED ABOUT DOING THAT AT SOME POINT IN THE EARLY TO MIDDLE PART OF THE RACE. "I don't know when you decide that. Whenever you end up in the back with track position and right off a yellow flag pit stop or something, after things get shook out a little bit, that's typically the time, but it's just kind of instinctively whenever you feel like going."
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Bernzomatic Ford Fusion (Qualified 28th)
"I thought that our car drafted pretty well yesterday and I think almost all the cars seem very equal. It seems like whoever can get the push at the right time is gonna be the guy to beat. I don't think you'll see just one guy dominate the race because it seems like everyone is really close, but our car is pretty quick. They've done a good job with the cars and the engine shop has done a really good job again, so I just hope we can get together with all the Ford guys and get in the good line at the end and just shove the hell out of each other, I guess."
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 -- Ford. Drive one. Ford Fusion (Qualified 41st)
"It drove good and that was the biggest thing. Our biggest concern was to make sure the splitter wasn't hitting and there was no vibrations for the race. Everything looked good so I've got a lot of confidence in our Drive one Fusion. It's gonna drive good on Sunday and that's what really matters. Qualifying doesn't really matter here. We knew it really didn't have the speed and we didn't really try for that. We did a lot of stuff for raceability to put into the car, so we feel good about Sunday and hopefully we'll have a good day."
STILL NO LAPS ON THIS CAR, HOWEVER, SO ARE YOU STILL BEHIND THE EIGHT-BALL A BIT? "We got to work on our primary car a little bit on getting it to suck up to cars better and tried some different changes, so we transferred everything we learned into this car and we're just hoping it all works just as well. I feel good about it. We tested this car and it drove really well in the test, so I think we're gonna be fine."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th)
"That's not too bad. Obviously, we're gonna be starting in the back, but it's important to get a good starting spot so we can get a decent pit selection for the race on Sunday. But I feel like our AAA Ford is gonna be fine. It's gonna drive well. It's gonna draft good and it's just a matter of getting up toward the front and having some good track position and we'll be fine."
ASSESS WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ROUSH AND YOU PERSONALLY? "I feel like we're at the best of our game, but we've still got some more to go. We've got a lot of speed in our race cars. We've had a good, solid season so far, but we've always got to keep striving to be better and to be faster every week and certainly trying to end the season on a good note."
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 Academy Sports & Outdoors Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st)
"I'm really just thankful for Yates Racing and Roush Yates Engines. This is a brand new race car. All the guys that build these things back in Concord, they did a great job in the fab shop and I'm just really proud. Todd Parrott loves coming to speedway races and he did a great job preparing this car. All of the guys on the 28 team did a phenomenal job. I'm just really excited to drive it. We've got another new sponsor on board with Academy Sports and Outdoors, so we're excited to have a good showing for them."
ANY CAKE FOR YOUR 100TH CUP START? "No, it's just another day for me. Qualifying here there's not a whole lot a driver can do to differentiate from a good lap to a bad lap. You just get up through the gears clean and then from there you just hold the white line. It's all about Yates Racing and the Roush Yates power under the hood. Hopefully, it'll hold up. We'll see."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Qualified 31st)
WHAT STRATEGY WILL YOU HAVE FOR TOMORROW? "I'm just gonna go race. All of the fans pay a lot of money to go see the race and trouble can happen anywhere. We're just gonna race hard in the beginning and see what our car handles like and see who your car works good with and doesn't work good with. It seems if we try to hang in the back, a lot of times you don't get to run with some of the better cars and you don't know maybe how your car is gonna work with some of those guys, so I like to just go race."
DOES HANGING BACK CHEAPEN THE RACE AT ALL? "I don't know. It's the nature of this kind of racing. You could be three-wide probably the whole race and then there have been times, especially the first race we ran in these cars, everybody was lined up on the top and when everybody did line up on the top, it was hard to pass on the bottom unless you could get five or six guys to go with you. If you get one of the guys everybody likes to follow, like Dale Jr. and some of those guys that have fast cars, and will pull on the top and lead, everybody is just gonna follow them. Unless five or six or seven guys all at once decide to try a different line, you're not gonna be able to pass with one or two or three cars, so it's kind of dictated by the first bunch of cars do a lot of times with how we race. A lot of times you might be trying to pass but you just can't unless you have help. I don't know what the race will be like, but I guarantee it will be crazy at the end."
SOME PEOPLE COUNTED YOU OUT AT FIRST, BUT YOU'RE CLIMBING BACK INTO IT. HOW FAST CAN THIS CHASE CHANGE? "There's a lot of racing to do and, really, with where we started in New Hampshire, I mean, we're so far out of it that you're not racing one or two cars, you're out there racing for wins and trying to lead laps and get the best finishes you can, so we just have to go every week and not worry about anybody else, just go and try to lead laps, try to finish as high as we can, get as many points as we can and take a look at it down the road."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 12th)
"That's great. It's better to start up front and then we can just go race and hopefully stay up front. I wasn't sure of my strategy, but it looks like hopefully we'll be in the top 12 and that will be a lot better than starting 25th and being stuck right in the middle of everything, so that's good."
JON WOOD -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 27th)
"It's quite a relief. It was very intense the past several hours, particularly for my dad and Len. When you're in that position where practice reflects the fact that you will probably get in on time, but you don't know if maybe you got a little bit of a draft, you don't know what to expect. The best position to be in is the Monday morning quarterback. That's the only guy that knows what to do and, unfortunately, you can't ask him before qualifying, but we made it and at least this time I get to race."
YOU'VE HAD TO PIT FOR MAJOR CHANGES THE LAST TWO TIMES AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS JUST AFTER THE START OF THE RACE. HOW ARE YOU SET UP FOR TOMORROW? "We'll have to change maybe some minimal things like put water in it because I got a little hot on that second lap, but besides that we can race for once."
-credit: ford racing