JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd) THAT WAS A FASTER TIME FROM YOUR PRACTICE TIME. ARE YOU SURPRISED? "We were real slow. We had a real bad in lap in our practice qualifying run. We had one of those laps where we weren't going...
JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
THAT WAS A FASTER TIME FROM YOUR PRACTICE TIME. ARE YOU SURPRISED?
"We were real slow. We had a real bad in lap in our practice qualifying run. We had one of those laps where we weren't going fast, we were just trying to keep from wrecking. That was a lot smoother than what we did in practice. I do think the track slowed down some. We picked up a tenth from what we ran in practice and I thought there were three-tenths left from what we ran in practice, so I think the track is off a little bit."
WITH CUP PRACTICE THIS AFTERNOON, YOU'VE BEEN ON THE RACE TRACK MOST OF THE DAY. DID THAT HELP YOU IN BUSCH QUALIFYING KNOWING HOW THE TRACK CONDITIONS CHANGED? "That lap was so ugly in the Busch car that we weren't really able to use anything from the Cup car. We had to make a lot of changes to the car to get it to do what it needed to. We worried about the Busch car and didn't really worry about what the Cup car was doing. And I can't really use what we're going to do in the Cup car because we had to change so much to get the Busch car to work. We're not able to use the two of the together quite as much today as I'd like to."
CAN YOU SEARCH AROUND THE TRACK TO FIND A SECOND GROOVE IN THE RACE TOMORROW? "Yeah, it's still a run-on-the-bottom kind of race track, but in the Cup car, I missed the bottom a few times and was able to run halfway in the second groove and run real good speeds. I think the groove is going to open up some, and definitely one and two, I think the groove will be wider."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 5th)
YOU POSTED THE FASTEST TIME FOR A NON-WINSTON CUP COMPETITOR. "It was an OK lap for us. It wasn't spectacular and it wasn't real bad. We just lost a little bit here and there and it wasn't a perfect lap, but it was another good, solid qualifying run for us. I believe it's going to be a real sensitive track position track, so we just wanted to start up front."
THE WINSTON CUP DRIVERS SEEMED TO HAVE GAINED AN ADVANTAGE FROM RUNNING THIS AFTERNOON. CAN YOU OVERCOME THAT BEFORE TOMORROW'S RACE? "Nobody really has a ton of laps around this place, and now, they got another couple hours this afternoon, and every little bit helps. You look from the start of practice till the end of practice, everybody got faster, so I'm sure with two more hours of practice that you could get even faster. I don't know if it's an advantage or disadvantage, we just did the best we could. I sure would have liked to have made a few more changes, but we just didn't get a chance to do that."
IS IT A TWO-GROOVE RACE TRACK YET? "I would be surprised if it is, but I've been surprised before. We just have to wait and see. Time will tell." IS THE INSIDE THE PREFERRED STARTING POSITION? "Yeah, the bottom groove is definitely what you want right now, and it looks right now that's where we're starting. If we could choose, I would definitely choose the bottom, but sometimes you don't have a choice in the matter."
KASEY KAHNE-98-Channellock Ford Taurus (Qualified 28th)
YOU FOUND SOMETHING FROM PRACTICE. "We had a little problem in practice and we weren't able to run any qualifying runs. That was all race stuff. We didn't know where we were right there. We taped it up and just hoped we were pretty good. We were pretty tight and kinda were on the conservative time, so yeah, that's a pretty good lap for not having any practice in qualifying trim at all." WITH 47 CARS HERE THIS WEEKEND AND YOUR SITUATION AFTER PRACTICE, DID YOU FEEL ADDITIONAL PRESSURE TODAY? "It puts a little more on you. You have to make the race. You have to qualify in the top 36 because it would probably be tough for us to get a provisional this weekend. I kinda went out there and felt the car out for the first couple of corners and then hoped it went fast enough." HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO USE THE TEAM RENSI CREW FOR HELP, ESPECIALLY IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS? "They've helped us out a lot since we moved up there with them. We're pretty much Robert Yates still; we have our own little deal going. We run a lot of different things than they do."
LYNDON AMICK-15-Sunrise Farm Fresh Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th)
"I was probably a little conservative. We were better than that in practice and I could have probably run better, but the first time in a car in a while and to be solidly in the field, that's pretty good. The car is really good. The body is really good. It's just great to be associated with an organization like ppc and Ford and Robert Yates motors. It's fun, but the potential is also there for us to do really well. I think we can do that. If we get our car good in Happy Hour, we should have a good, top-10 run." HOW MUCH PRESSURE ARE YOU FEELING THIS WEEKEND, GETTING INTO PROVEN EQUIPMENT AFTER AN ABSENCE FROM THE BUSCH SERIES? "The team has been great, they haven't put a lot of pressure on me, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. I know what I'm sitting in and I know what it's capable of. I think we can achieve that. I'll probably get a little overanxious because this is my first time out in a while. The first run out I was like, 'OK, I was fast.' And then I started thinking about getting the pole, so I probably got a little ahead of myself. The good thing is, I can go mess up and still be in the top 15. That's what makes the difference."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 19th)
DID YOU EXPECT MORE FROM QUALIFYING SINCE YOU TESTED HERE A FEW WEEKS AGO? "'Yeah, but it will be good in race trim, though." WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE CAR IN QUALIFYING? "We had too much camber in the right front." DID YOUR STRUGGLES FORM THE WINSTON CUP CAR CARRY BACK INTO THE BUSCH GARAGE? "No, I'm just keeping them both separate. I don't let it mess with me over here. I know what I have to do over here, and I'm keeping what happens over there over there."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 22nd)
"I don't know what the heck is going on. That's two weeks in a row that we were one of the quickest ones in practice, and we go to qualify and we slow down. It doesn't make any sense and I don't know why. I'm frustrated right at this minute, and don't know what to do." IS IT THE CHANGES IN THE TRACK CONDITIONS BETWEEN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING OR THE CHANGES MADE TO THE CAR THAT ARE FRUSTRATING YOU? "I don't know what's wrong with us. I try not to do anything different between what we did in practice and what we do in qualifying. I don't know what's biting me. I have to figure something out."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 11th)
"IT APPEARS THAT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORTS ARE BACK ON TRACK. "That wasn't as fast as we thought the Marines Ford could run, but it's plenty good for us. We actually made some qualifying runs this morning and got the car driving good. We just lost track of the track. You can see who is on top - the Cup guys. They were the last ones on the race track. We just kinda lost track of the race track and got the car a little too tight. If we could go back and run what we did this morning, we'd be sitting close to the front. We'll take it, though. A top-15 will get us a good starting spot and a good pit stall." DID YOUR TEAM HAVE TO REFOCUS ITS EFFORTS IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS? "We had to refocus on everything. We started getting behind as far as cars and testing. We went to Memphis and tested and we learned a couple of things and it's showing here. In this morning's practice, we were pretty good, and to qualify in the top 10, and Happy Hour ought to be pretty good, so we're looking forward to the race."
MARK GREEN-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (Qualified 15th)
YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORTS HAVE BEEN IMPROVING EACH WEEK. IS THAT A RESULT OF RUNNING A MORE CONSISTENT SCHEDULE? "I think it is. We got Jamie Jones helping us out now and that helps a lot. We're learning every week and getting our system and sequence down of how we're going to do things. That helps more in qualifying because we've able to run our first practice sessions more consistent in terms of the changes we make. Getting all of that together, it gives me more confidence."
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? "We were pretty good. We were better then than we were this morning. We weren't faster, but the car drove a lot better. I probably left a little bit out there because it drove so good I was just trying to make sure I made a good lap. We probably could have gotten a little more, but that was a good lap for us."
ARE YOU SURPRISED WITH ALL OF THE WINSTON CUP DRIVERS STARTING UP FRONT? "Not really. They've been practicing all morning. They practiced later than we did and the track has evidently slowed down, so maybe they kinda adjusted for it a little bit better than we did."