GREG BIFFLE -60- Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 9th) "I think our balance was off a little bit; our car just didn't turn good down there. I was just running off the track and maybe entered the corner too hard." DID YOU QUALIFY ON STICKERS OR ...
-60- Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 9th)
"I think our balance was off a little bit; our car just didn't turn good down there. I was just running off the track and maybe entered the corner too hard."
DID YOU QUALIFY ON STICKERS OR SCUFFS? "We ran on scuffed tires." HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO START THE RACE UP FRONT, ESPECIALLY AT A NEW VENUE? "It is, but we're real early in the draw. We'll probably end up 10th or 12th; our lap wasn't as good as we wanted it to be. The car was a little loose, and the conditions have changed quite a bit since the Cup cars were on the track. I'm not sure what has happened, but we were pretty tight down in 3 and 4. Hopefully that will keep us in the top 10."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO START UP FRONT AND RACE HARD ON A NEW TRACK? "It's pretty important and hopefully we'll start up there and stay up there. We think we're pretty good on race runs and we hope that our race runs yesterday were pretty accurate and now we'll wait for Happy Hour. I think we'll be able to stay up front."
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ONLY RUN ONE LAP? "It was a little tight and then I got up in the gray and it got loose. At that point, I knew the second lap wouldn't be faster and there was no point to wreck the car when you know that. We only have two laps today, but we have 200 tomorrow and those are the ones that really matter. This should get us a good starting spot, and we'll go from there."
-9- Gain Ford Taurus (Qualified 4th)
THE LAP TIMES ARE SLOWER FROM PRACTICE. HOW HAS THE TRACK CHANGED? "Let's blame it on the track. We gambled a little bit on the setup thinking we understood how the track has changed, but we guessed wrong and that's not going to be very good. It's not going to be terrible, but it's way slower than we ran in practice. I think going out early was a big disadvantage. The track should get more and more like it was, but it is what it is."
YOU'RE AT THE TOP OF THE SPEED CHART IN THE BUSCH CAR BUT YOU'RE STRUGGLING IN THE CUP CAR. IS IT EASIER TO SETUP THE BUSCH CAR THAN THE CUP CAR? "No, not really. Some days I think the Busch cars are easier, and then on other days, I think the Cup cars are easier. On average, I think my Cup car drives better than my Busch car."
-10- Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th)
YOU LOOK DISAPPOINTED, BUT THAT IS STILL A TOP-15 QUALIFYING EFFORT. "We had some problems in this morning's practice and we had to give up on practice to change motors. We put in a motor that was known to the 60 team, but it wasn't known to us. We needed a different gear with that motor; the track is slowing down and we needed another gear. We tried to run too high of a gear to qualify and that killed us. Everybody slowed down a little bit, but we still should have been close to what Robby (Gordon) ran there. That's disappointing when you know you have a car that good. When you're not first, you're disappointed, and that's why I have the long face."
DOES THIS PLACE A GREATER EMPHASIS ON HAPPY HOUR FOR YOU? "We're fine, but we just didn't get a lap with this new motor. You want to be as good as you can and it's disappointing when you can't be that way. Our race setup was extremely good. The track is about the same today as it was at this point yesterday, we just didn't do any qualifying yesterday and maybe we should have to find out how much the track slows down in the heat and gives up grip. There were a lot of unfortunate things happened to us today, and it's hard to guess in this business and be fast every time."
KEVIN LEPAGE -71- State Fair Corn Dogs Ford Taurus (Qualified 1st) - "I can't say enough for Richard Lasater and all the guys on the Ball Park/State Fair car. We've been working real hard and Cosworth came here with a great motor program, but I don't know if it will stand up because we still have Kevin Harvick out there to go. I think he'll be our threat, but if we can start in the top three, it's a great job for the limited deal that we run. We're looking for sponsorship for next year, and this just shows what kind of talent we have with this little race team that I put together last year. I'm just looking forward to try to put something together next year with a sponsor and do a lot more of these."
DOES THE SPONSORSHIP SEARCH SERVE AS ADDITIONAL MOTIVATION? "This car runs good each week, every time we race, and I'm just happy for the guys. If we can sit on a pole - Scott Pruett did it in our car earlier this year - my hat's off to everybody, but if not, we're going to do what we need to do to win this race on Saturday."
DO YOU FEEL LESS PRESSURE WHEN YOU RACE IN THE BUSCH SERIES? "This is a lot of fun. We're struggling today in the 4 car, but this may give me some momentum going into Cup qualifying. Points aren't at stake here tomorrow, so that makes it a little more enjoyable when you can just go out and race for the win."
-57- Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 5th)
"That was a good, solid run. We changed a gear, and if I had to do it over, and you always second-guess yourself, I would have put a different gear in. It's been a really solid two days. We really ran bad last week and we needed to rebound. To come here and not even test and have the right attitude and a real, fast car, it's pretty cool."
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE NUMBER OF CUP DRIVERS STARING UP FRONT? "Well, they have twice as much time on the track already this weekend. That's kind of expected at a new venue since they get the extra practice."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THOSE GUYS STARTING UP FRONT WHEN ALL THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT IS THE WIN AND NOT POINTS? "The good thing about it is that you're not going to have a lot of inexperienced guys on the race track around you. They're going to have a lot of laps. By the time they run their Happy Hour in the Busch cars and they run their Happy Hour in the Cup cars tomorrow, it's going to be tough to outrun them. I think our race setup is better than our qualifying stuff, though."
DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE TWO GROOVES TOMORROW? "I'm going to let everyone else figure out that upper groove. I'm glad that I qualified on the inside because I know you can race down there."
-98- Kansas State/Starter Ford Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"The heat is up and all the times are down; it's not a lap that we're real proud of. The car is a little tight and it didn't have the grip we had earlier. We were hoping for something five tenths faster. We didn't seem to get faster from yesterday. If we could have backed up what we did this morning it wouldn't have been too bad, but we'll still work on it."
DOES THE CHANGE IN THE TRACK CONDITIONS NULLIFY WHAT YOU LEARNED IN YESTERDAY'S TEST SESSION? "It's a little warmer now than what we've seen. It's a different race track than what we were practicing for. Our guys did a good job. They worked hard and we thought we made the right adjustments. Now we just have to get ready to race."
DOES THIS CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK FOR TOMORROW? "I think we have a good race car. This just lets you know how this race track reacts to heat. Some tracks are not as sensitive and some are, so we'll log that away for tomorrow."