ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Qualified 24th) ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THAT QUALIFYING RUN? "Pretty much. That's exactly what we practiced yesterday. The race track is a little bit slower, so se picked up and I'm just looking ...
ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Qualified 24th) ARE YOU
SATISFIED WITH THAT QUALIFYING RUN? "Pretty much. That's exactly what we practiced yesterday. The race track is a little bit slower, so se picked up and I'm just looking forward to the race. It's going to be an awful good car in the race. We'll get our teammate in here and get us together and let us draft up towards the front."
HAVE YOU IMPROVED ON THE CAR SINCE THE JANUARY TEST? "We've come a long way. All of the guys at ST Motorsports have come a long way just building this new Ford. It's been a challenge for them after having the other cars about ready and then switching over. We're a little bit behind right now, but now it's race time and we're solidly in the field and we'll be ready to go."
WHAT IS THE PIT WINDOW FOR THE NEW TIRE COMPOUND? "We'll probably be pitting about every 50 laps according to what they're saying. I think we're a little bit behind on qualifying, but once this race starts we're all going to be happy with the package that we've got."
YOU HAVE A TEAMMATE THIS SEASON. HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER IN THE DRAFT? "That's going to be so good having somebody because the thing is we've been just about the same all day long. I think we'll start around 18th or 20th, and with this rules package, after 10 laps we can be leading this show. Knowing that we have a teammate, that will make it a lot easier."
MATT KENSETH-17-Bayer/Express Personnel Services Ford Taurus (Qualified 29th)
"I thought we were better than we ran there. We maybe could have worked on it a little more, but the thing is that you get all of those cars out there and it's hard to get a clean lap by yourself and try to learn from any changes. I'm really disappointed with what we ran there. I thought we should be have been way faster than that. I knew we weren't in great shape, but I thought we were in better shape than that."
THE AERO PACKAGE IS DIFFERENT IN THE BUSCH SERIES COMPARED TO THE CUP SERIES HERE AT DAYTONA. DO YOU LIKE THE BUSCH SERIES RULES PACKAGE AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT THE CARS IN THE DRAFT? "We haven't tested this car in the draft, so it's hard to tell until we get in the draft during practice. It's definitely going to be different. I think it's going to be a wild pack drafting out there so we'll have to see how it works out. In the front, I don't think it will be too bad. I think in the middle or the back it will be pretty crazy."
STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Beans Ford Taurus (Qualified 19th)
DO YOU FEEL THE CAR IS BETTER THAN IT WAS A FEW WEEKS AGO IN TESTING? "We're happier. I'm awful proud of the guys on this Kingsford Ford Taurus. We picked up time today. I think we're one of the few cars that have actually picked some speed up. I think we're on track. I know we've got a good race car and we're ready to get to drafting practice. We're through with qualifying and we're ready to go."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW TIRE COMPOUND? "We'll probably have a better idea after practice this afternoon because we haven't done any long runs on them out here yet. I think Goodyear has done a good job. I say that and we may go out and blow out a tire, but Goodyear has built exactly what we asked for. I think to make the racing better we need to build a tire that will slow down. I'm going to be curious, just like everybody, to see what happens in 20- or 40-lap runs. We went to Rockingham and tested, and Robert went to Vegas and tested, and the tires we're absolutely great there. I think it's exactly what we need. It may be a little tricky getting through Daytona, but the rest of the races, I'm excited about it because I think it's going to put the racing back in our hands and make these Ford Tauruses shine even better."
DOES THIS NEW AERO PACKAGE SUGGEST THAT NASCAR TRUSTS THE BUSCH SERIES DRIVERS TO DRIVE IN TIGHTER PACKS OF TRAFFIC? "I thing you're going to see a better race in the Busch Series than you will in NEXTEL Cup just simply because it's going to bunch the pack up. And, you can look at the quality drivers that we have now. We have a good group of drivers that I think can go out there and use their heads. I think NASCAR sees that and realizes that and it should be a heck of a show."
MARK MARTIN-9-Pennzoil Ford Taurus
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM IN QUALIFYING? "I don't know. I really hate it for this Pennzoil team. They put a lot of work into this thing. It can happen anywhere, but at Daytona, it's more likely to happen than anywhere else. A lot of times you can qualify it even if you've got a problem at a race track where you have to let off the gas. We had some kind of problem between the engine and the wheels, and it wouldn't let it go. I don't know, it was running fine yesterday and they haven't changed anything on it, but it didn't go when it counted."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus (Qualified 33rd)
"It didn't slow down on the straightway and I didn't pick up, and that's usually an indication that maybe it's got too much gear in it. It's kind of weird because it's not the RPMs we were running the other day even with a little bit more gear. Maybe the day is just slow, maybe the air could change or whatnot. The engine is not running as good or something. We lost a little bit of speed and we're no sure why."
WERE YOU CONCERNED AFTER YOU SAW MARK MARTIN QUALIFY? "I hadn't even had a chance to talk to Mark yet. I don't know what happened, but I think they had a separate issue with something maybe seizing up or a bearing going out. I don't know what happened; I just heard a rumor of it, so I don't know what it was."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 26th)
THE FORDS SEEM TO BE STRUGGLING IN QUALIFYING. "That's what we've been saying the whole time. Everybody thought we were sandbagging after a handful of practices. We kept trying to tell everybody that we weren't. They have to help us or what's the point of running?"
YOU WERE ONE OF THE DRIVERS TO TEST THIS NEW PACKAGE AT TALLADEGA FOR NASCAR. ARE YOU STILL SURPRISED BY THE RESULTS? "The car drafts better, but now you have bad pit stalls, and everything that can load up against you to have a bad weekend, now you're facing that. You're back there in all of the mess and traffic. It should draft better, but we shouldn't have to give up something just to get something in return. We should all be the same. We should be as good as the Chevrolets taped up, and the Chevrolets should be as good as us untaped. They've got to come up with a compromise to make everyone equal because what's the point of qualifying if you know how the outcome is going to be?"
JASON KELLER-22-Miller High Life Taurus (Qualified 30th)
THE FORDS SEEM TO BE STRUGGLING IN QUALIFYING. ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW FAR OFF THEY ARE IN QUALIFYING? "We saw it in testing and everybody tweaks to try to come back faster. Naturally, we wanted to come back better, but hopefully it will race good. We don't know yet. We haven't been in the draft, so we'll have to do all we can do in the draft."
MOST TEAMS OPTED NOT TO PRACTICE IN THE DRAFT DURING THE TEST SESSION. DOES THAT MAKE THIS A BIGGER OBSTACLE TO OVERCOME? "No, what it is is what it is. We're going to go out there and do the best we can and try to be as aggressive as we possibly can. It's going to be tough because we don't know. Hopefully we can get this car turned around because we have practice in an hour and a half. We have a lot to turn around in a short time."
YOU WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT HERE LAST YEAR THAT HAD LINGERING EFFECTS INTO THE FIRST FEW RACES. DOES THIS RULE PACKAGE CONCERN YOU? "The possibility is always there, but what I saw yesterday in the 125s is that the field separates a little bit after about 10 or 15 laps. We don't know what this rule package is going to do, but the rule package that the Cup cars have allow them to separate. Hopefully we can do the same thing and get a little bit of racing room."