BUSCH: Ford Racing Gateway qualifying notes

JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd) - "We seem to be a tenth or a hundredth off everywhere we go. It seems the harder you try, the slower you go. It was a pretty good lap for us, but we just need more grip. I thought going...

JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd) - "We seem to be a tenth or a hundredth off everywhere we go. It seems the harder you try, the slower you go. It was a pretty good lap for us, but we just need more grip. I thought going out later would help us, but the car didn't grip any more than it did this afternoon in the hot sun. It's a good starting position for us. We knew we would be in the top five with anything we would have done, but we want to get that extra tenth too."

WILL THE HEAT BE A PROBLEM TOMORROW? "It won't be a problem. Nighttime racing - that's the way it ought to be everywhere. It cools off and the cars have air-conditioning and the vents that blow on the driver, so I don't see heat being a problem."

WHAT ABOUT HAVING A NIGHTTIME RACE WITHOUT A NIGHTTIME PRACTICE SESSION? "We'll have to rely on our notes a little bit to see what the track does, what the car does. I think it just gives you a little more grip. If you're loose in the afternoon, you're going to be looser at night. The balanced cars will be the guys up front in practice in the afternoon and in the race at night."

THERE'S ONLY BEEN ONE RACE WINNER WHO STARTED IN THE TOP FIVE. DOES THAT SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS TRACK? "It's pretty easy to pass. If you have a good enough car, it's pretty easy to pass. In 1 and 2, you can run anywhere in that corner. In 3 and 4, you need to be right on the bottom. It's a pretty easy race track to pass on, but you still need to be able to turn on the bottom and hopefully that will be our Taurus doing that."

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 6th) - "That was a pretty good lap. Actually, when we made our qualifying run in practice, I overdrove the corner a little bit just to see where I could go. That's probably why we picked up more than most. I'm proud of that lap. I hope that still ends up being in the top 10 because that's where we practiced all day."

HOW BAD WAS THE HEAT TODAY? "It's going to be hot tomorrow. I think it's only going to get faster as it gets cooler here and that's a little bit of a worry to me. You know when you come to St. Louis that it's going to be hot and it's been hot today, and I don't see any difference tomorrow."

DID YOU FOCUS MAINLY ON TURNS 1 AN 2? "Actually, on my segment times I had been pretty tight through 1 and 2 and I hadn't really been doing good, so I'm curious to see what the segment times were. I really felt like I was on the throttle more coming out of 2, and that's where our focus has been. Once we get it turning off of 2 good, I think we'll be OK."

WE HAVE A DIFFERENT ENGINE PACKAGE AND TIRE COMPOUND FROM LAST YEAR. DOES THE LACK OF A NIGHTTIME PRACTICE SESSION LEAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS? "Well, we're not going to change the car very much at this race track from qualifying to the race. We know what our car did in the heat today and what it did tonight. We'll try to read it the same way tomorrow for our race package. It's always tough when you practice in the day and race at night. I think that if the car is neutral and the car is good, I think it will be good at night."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 1st) -

DID YOU THINK YOU COULD TURN A 33-SECOND LAP? "No. I'll tell ya, this was the best qualifying run that I've felt I've ever had so far. I drove it about perfect and I can't see it being an ounce better somewhere. That was a great run and if they beat us, more power to them; they have a good piece, too. That's a pretty stout time. The only way that somebody will beat that is if it cools down when the sun goes down and they get their motor running better with the cooler temperature. I think that's a pretty good lap. It's definitely a top-five starting spot."

YOU PICKED UP THREE-TENTHS FROM PRACTICE. "I think it cooled down a little. I was on hot tires, used tires. I only had one sticker run and that was our first guess. We made two more guesses at it on used tires and we said it would be good on stickers from there."

NOW YOU HAVE TO SIT AND WAIT.  "I
think we're pretty good.  It was perfect for us.  The lap couldn't have
been any better.  The car was perfect."

DID YOU SET THE CAR UP FOR TURNS 1 AND 2? "Yeah and trying to get the balance between the two. You've got to keep it turning down there (Turns 1 and 2) and you have to keep it tight enough over here (Turns 3 and 4). You juggle those two back and forth."

THERE ARE NO NIGHTTIME PRACTICE SESSIONS. WILL THAT HURT YOU BEING A ROOKIE? "We'll have to guess at it a little bit. We'll have to gauge it off how the track was tonight on that qualifying run and then what we think it will be like tomorrow."

WILL YOUR TRUCK EXPERIENCE HELP YOU HERE TOMORROW? "It will help out as far as race runs and as far as tomorrow in the race. I've been around here for three races, so I think we'll be OK."

ELTON SAWYER-98-Univ. of Illinois/Starter Ford Taurus (Qualified 11th) -

YOU SPUN ON YOUR SECOND LAP, BUT YOU KEPT IF OFF THE WALL AND QUALIFIED 11TH. "We had a pretty good car in practice and we had a pretty good first lap. We were going for the pole. We didn't come here to run second. We had a good car like I said in practice and I got into 1 pretty hot, but I thought it would be OK, but as I got to the center it started around. I guess I just ran out of talent about then."

DID THE TRACK CHANGE THAT MUCH FROM PRACTICE? "No. The track was fine; we just went after it. I knew I was going to have to pick it up some from what we ran in practice. We ran a 40 in practice and we ran a 49 on the first lap. The second lap was going to be pretty good if we got back."

IF THAT THE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING TWO LAPS OF QUALIFYING? "You try to see where your car is and what it likes. We had been picking up a couple of tenths on the second lap. We got the first one behind us and went for it."

CHRISTIAN ELDER-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 32nd) -

YOU MADE A GREAT SAVE TO KEEP THE CAR OFF THE WALL AND COMPLETE YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. "Well, we were a lot faster in practice. Obviously, after spinning out like that and flat-spotting the tires, you're not going to do all that well. I was slipping all over the place on that second lap. I've never been here before and never saw this place before this morning. We decided to bring the Great Clips Ford here last weekend just at the last minute. I'm just happy to be here and get one good lap, so we can at least make the race and run. It was a rookie mistake and that kind of thing happens."

WHAT HAPPENED? "I just got loose coming off of 4 and decided rather than get out of it, I was going to steer into it and keep on truckin. Like I said, I've probably only got 20 laps here, and the wall came around faster than I was expecting it to and I had to turn to wheel a little more and that was the end of that."

-Ford Racing

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Series NASCAR XFINITY