BUSCH: Kentucky: Ford teams qualifying quotes

BUSCH: Kentucky: Ford teams qualifying quotes
Jun 19, 2004, 12:40 AM

ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Qualified 21st) "We picked up a little bit, and expect for those top two, that put us a little closer. It's better than what we practiced, and we did mostly race runs there. We just have to get it ...

ROBERT PRESSLEY-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Qualified 21st)

"We picked up a little bit, and expect for those top two, that put us a little closer. It's better than what we practiced, and we did mostly race runs there. We just have to get it better in the race. We probably gave up too much in qualifying, but that was the only way that we were going to get everything worked out. The track has grip and the new tire has changed a lot of things around. We never came up here and tested a whole lot when we did the Cup deal, but now I wish we had."

JOHNNY BENSON-17-Bayer Ford Taurus (Qualified 32nd)

"It's an interesting place. We came here to test one time, and it rained so we only ran about four laps. That's all the experience I had here before today. It's a little slippery in qualifying, but I think we're really good in race trim. I can run about what I ran in qualifying in race trim. I'm excited about the race. I hate it that I couldn't get it qualified any better for the guys. They're doing a terrific job and I look forward to Saturday night."

DID YOU TEST HERE IN A CUP CAR? "I ran four laps here in a Cup car two years ago. We got here, unloaded, ran a couple of laps and it rained all day, so we went home."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus (Qualified 7th)

"Mike McLaughlin did a great job with Brad (Parrott, crew chief) on the Charter car getting it ready for me here. I just turned it in a little too early in one. I forgot this race track, how you cross the start-finish line, and I was thinking like Nashville, where you have a lot of time to get out to the wall, and before I found myself I had made the turn into the corner and didn't quite get the arc I need in. We were a little tight in the center out, but the guys did a good job. I feel that we have a car that will definitely run good, but could have qualified a lot better than that. It's been two years since I've been here, so that lap was tough for me. I wish I could have been here for a little bit of practice. I know I could be on the pole; it's a really good car. The car was a little bit off from where I would have had it. They're trying to make it conservative so I can get in it and go. It's hard to get it just right with the track conditions and changing drivers. The tire that they've brought, this year's new tire is a lot faster and we've seen that everywhere we've been. This new tire is shattering track records about everywhere we go."

STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Beans Ford Taurus (Qualified 15th)

QUALIFYING SPEEDS REALLY PICKED UP FROM LAST YEAR WHEN YOU BROKE THE TRACK RECORD. "It's a shame we didn't come back with the same tires; I think we probably would be sitting there with the track record still. But that's all part of it, and everywhere we went this year, these new tires have been lightning fast. It's fast and that was a fast lap, no doubt. I think it will be a while before anybody breaks that track record. The Kingsford Ford was pretty good. We picked up some from practice. I'm just a little disappointed that as good as we ran last year that we're not any better right now. We're making gains on it. We've got something to work with."

HOW MUCH OF THE SETUP INFORMATION FROM TODAY WILL HELP YOU IN RACE TRIM TOMORROW NIGHT? "I think it will be pretty close to the same. The track might tighten up just a little bit. The speeds that we're running right now, everything is so aero right now that I don't think the track will slow down a whole lot."

MIKE WALLACE-4-GEICO/SportClips Taurus (Qualified 26th)

IS THERE ADDED PRESSURE HERE KNOWING THAT YOU WILL NOT GO TO MILWAUKEE NEXT WEEKEND IF YOU CAN'T FIND A ONE-RACE SPONSORSHIP DEAL? "We have decided jointly, between Fred Biagi and myself, that we're going to Milwaukee. I guess you could say we're sponsoring ourselves. I'm putting some money into it and he's putting some money into it. But, we feel pressure every week, self-induced pressure. We need to have better performances than we presently have. This is a new body, a new car, something different than we've ever had. We'll see how the race ends up tomorrow. We're still not running as quick as we'd like to, but we're trying. We're trying awful hard, and if we keep digging on it, maybe it will work out for us."

HOW DIFFERENT WILL THE TRACK CONDITIONS BE TOMORROW NIGHT? "Everything that we've done today is kind of useless. We've practiced during the day, qualify now, and the race track should tighten up and not be as slick. The cars should run faster tomorrow night than what they did during the day. They always have, whether it's a truck race or a car race. We'll have to wait and see. We're going to adjust our car right now thinking it's going to tighten up a little it, so we're going to free it up. We probably should have gone more extreme in qualifying than what we did, but we didn't get enough practice time with a few problems we had."

JASON KELLER-22-Meijer/Airplus Ford Taurus (Qualified 12th)

"We definitely picked up from practice, and that's really what we have to do. We really struggled in practice, so it's encouraging to know that we made some of the right changes, and hopefully we can continue stepping in that direction."

HOW MUCH OF THE SETUP INFORMATION FROM TODAY WILL HELP YOU IN RACE TRIM TOMORROW NIGHT? "I think the good cars are going to be the good cars because they have a good aero package. I do think it's going to take some different setups for the night, but I think there are three or four cars that are the class of the field right now and we need to catch up to them."

ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE QUALIFYING SPEEDS? "Not particularly. A lot of cars have really gone fast during all qualifying sessions this year."

WITH CARS RUNNING IN THE 180 MPH RANGE, DOES THIS PLACE NEED TO BE NEXT TO HAVE SAFER BARRIERS? "This is probably one of the places that needs it before some of these high-banked race tracks. I know they're in line for them, but this is a fairly low-banked race track and it drives like a low-banked race track. You drive away from the wall, so it definitely needs them."

BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"The 5 and 8 can't do any wrong right now and it's showing. They breeze through tech, they breeze through practice and they get poles. We've just got to keep working our tails off. They're giving me great race cars and they're doing everything they can do, we're just getting beat. I've got to step it up on the track to get it because I have great race cars. I don't know what else to do. We keep working our tails off to get the cars doing what they're supposed to do, and they do and we pick up two or three tenths, but those guys seem to pick up a half a second. We're just going to keep doing what we're doing and hopefully get a pole before the end of the year."

WITH THE NEW TIRE COMPOUND THIS YEAR, ARE YOU ABLE TO USE ANY OF LAST YEAR'S NOTES? "Everything is about the same. We went up a little bit on right rear because the tire has more grip. We took a little bit out of the left rear and that's about it. We're starting Happy Hour just like we won here last year, so everything is about the same."

-ford racing-

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