BUSCH: Ford Racing Richmond II qualifying notes

RYAN NEWMAN-02-ALLTEL Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd) - "I knew we had a good car in practice, but we never got to knock off a real good lap. We were fortunate to beat Jimmy (Spencer) by what we did. I don't know if it will hold up because Jeff...

RYAN NEWMAN-02-ALLTEL Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd) - "I knew we had a good car in practice, but we never got to knock off a real good lap. We were fortunate to beat Jimmy (Spencer) by what we did. I don't know if it will hold up because Jeff Green was pretty fast in practice and I think Jason Keller has something up his sleeve. I'm just happy to pick up what we did and it should be a top-five starting spot. Now we look forward to Happy Hour and the race."

YOU SEEM TO QUALIFY WELL NO MATTER WHAT THE TRACK. "It's just a lot of good teamwork. We didn't get a chance to test at all here this year, but I guess that proves that we don't have to test to be fast. I attribute it to a lot of hard work, good horsepower and my crew chief does an excellent job getting me a car I like to drive and balancing it out."

DOES THE TRACK HAVE PRETTY GOOD GRIP RIGHT NOW? "The track has a lot more grip than it did for the first race, which I think is good because as the race goes on I think it will wear away, and it such wear away. That will give us more room to race with. It will definitely be a good race."

HAVE YOU LEARNED THAT MUCH FROM THE SPRING RACE? "I learned a lot, but mostly about the race car. I got to run a Silver Crown race here in 1996 and that helped me with the line. If you get a fast line around a race track, it usually doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you drive."

ELTON SAWYER-98-Hot Tamales/Starter Ford Taurus (Qualified 14th)
YOU COME INTO THIS WEEKEND RIDING A WAVE OF MOMENTUM. "We just hope we can keep it up. We weren't very good in practice and we made some adjustments and it was better. We're trying to get the car to rotate better in the center. We didn't quite go as far as we needed to, but it was still a good effort. That should hopefully get us in the top 15."

HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY CHANGES TO THE TRACK IN TERMS OF GRIP SINCE THE FIRST RACE? "It doesn't seem to be a whole lot different. I know that they did some patchwork to it, and even after our practice and the trucks ran, I don't notice a chance with more rubber. I haven't seen a problem with it so far."

DO YOU FEEL ANY ADDED PRESSURE RACING SO CLOSE TO YOUR HOMETOWN? "No, but it's more fun. We want to run good every week and with the type of success that we've had the past two months, we want to continue to have it here. I can't think if a better place to run well than Richmond."

JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 1st) - "That was a good lap for the Nesquik Ford. We haven't sat on any poles this year and we needed to do that. My teammate has a shot at it, but that was about as good as we could do today. If they can beat that, they can have it. We need to sit on poles and we need to run better. We've been running good, but we just need to be a little better in qualifying and we did that today."

YOU STARTED ON THE POLE AT DOVER, BUT THAT WAS DUE TO RAIN. WHY HAS YOUR QUALIFYING NOT BEEN UP TO YOUR STANDARDS? "Well, it's just all the changes. The Ford has a little bit to do with that and the tires have probably had the biggest impact. You can't get after them like you used to be able to. You have to finesse them a little more because you don't have as much grip. I'm not a very good finesser sometimes, so that may have something to do with it."

HAVE YOU SEEN ANY CHANGES SINCE THE SPRING? "It has a little more grip in some places and it's a little slicker in others. It's going to be interesting tonight to see what the guys in the truck race are going to do when they get two and three-wide. We'll see if that comes back. We had it in the spring, and hopefully that will come back. It makes for good racing. I hope that it's not gone away, but if it has gone away, it will take a little time to get it back. Hopefully after tonight's race, we'll have a second groove, or maybe even a third."

YOU TESTED HERE IN AUGUST. COULD THAT HAVE BEEN THE DIFFERENCE TODAY? "Well, we tested a whole different car and a whole different team. We tested the Cup car here, so other than me getting laps on the race track, I don't know. They're still race cars even though they're different and we can learn from both cars."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 6th) - "It wasn't a bad lap. It was pretty close to where we practiced. It was slick on the first lap, but it stuck on the second lap. I think all that means is that there's a chance the preferred line will move around during the race. The race tonight should also impact that."

WILL YOU WATCH THE TRUCK RACE TONIGHT? "I will definitely watch the truck race to see if the track changes. I haven't seen anything yet, but we haven't put that much rubber down yet. We'll certainly watch it, but it will be more of how we can prepare for tomorrow."

YOU HIT THE REV CHIP GOING INTO TURN 1. "Yeah, but I don't think that hurt us. We want to be careful not to hurt the engine and if I kept on the throttle, we would have really been pushing the RPMs. It's better to put it against the chip, and I think it helps to keep you from overdriving the corners, too."

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS WEEKEND TO BUILD POSITIVE MOMENTUM? "We've just had some bad luck lately. This will be a hard place to try to change that, but we know we have a good car, and as long as we can stay out the wrecks, we'll be fine. If we can keep a top-five starting spot, that will be good for us."

"It's exciting to have the Grainger Ford end up sixth here today. That about where we practiced, but I was maybe hoping for a little bit better than that. But, sixth is OK and it will be a great place to start tomorrow."

TALK ABOUT THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "The track is in pretty good shape, it seems like. It was a little slick that first lap, but there was a lot better grip for me on the second lap. I just really made my marks. I overdrove it a little bit in 3 and 4, but it was pretty decent for us."

-Ford Racing

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Drivers Jason Keller , Jeff Green