STEADMAN MARLIN-95-Keystone Light/Shoney's Inn Ford Taurus (Qualified 28th) "The car had a bad push in it. We scrubbed a lot of speed coming out of the turns, and I don't know where we'll end up. I think we'll be all right tomorrow; we just...
STEADMAN MARLIN-95-Keystone Light/Shoney's Inn Ford Taurus (Qualified 28th)
"The car had a bad push in it. We scrubbed a lot of speed coming out of the turns, and I don't know where we'll end up. I think we'll be all right tomorrow; we just need to get it dialed in a better. We've been a little off the whole time we've been here, but that's the deal with racing, you've got to learn how to get better. We're picking overall, but the right front chatters bad. I really don't think we're off as bad as it seems. Once we get it out of qualifying trim, I think we'll be all right."
HAS THE TRACK SURFACE IMPROVED DRASTICALLY SINCE LAST YEAR? "The track is a lot better. They shaved the bumps in 1 and 2 and the track feels a whole lot smoother right now. It will wear the tires a little bit quicker, but the track feels good to me right now."
WILL TIRE WEAR PLAY A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE OUTCOME OF THE RACE? "Actually, our tire wear in the test when we came down here was good. I was surprised by it. We had some other people here testing with us and they had cords showing through their tires, and they didn't have half as many laps as we did on our set. We still had plenty left so I think we're all right."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 2nd)
"That's about as fast as we ran in practice, and with some of the speeds falling off, we're happy with that. There are still a couple of really fast race cars to go, but I think that will give us a good starting spot no matter what. We need to start up front so that we have a good shot tomorrow. We were going for the pole, but we didn't quite get that. We really concentrated on our race stuff because we were afraid that the weather was going to come in this afternoon, so we didn't know about Happy Hour. To get qualified up front, that's what we needed to do. So far, so good."
YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO RUN WELL AT THE CONCRETE RACE TRACKS? "I love concrete race tracks. I've won at Dover and I've won at Bristol, so this is the only concrete track on the circuit that I haven't won on. Hopefully that will change tomorrow. We want the concrete Triple Crown."
HOW MUCH IMPROVED ARE THE TRACK CONDITIONS IN TURNS 1 AND 2? "It's an improvement. It's still a concrete race track and I seem to like those."
WITH ONLY 43 CARS ATTEMPTING TO QUALIFY, DO YOU ANTICIPATE LAPPED TRAFFIC AND SLOW CARS TO BE A PROBLEM TOMORROW? "There are some of them, but hopefully the race track here is wide enough to where it won't cause to much of a problem."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"I'm happy with all the guys at ppc. They did such a good job on the Nesquik Ford Taurus. That was pretty good for us. We didn't quite back up what we did in practice; it got a little tight with me. We're here to race and we'll see if we can dial her in. I think as long as we can hold out in the top five there, I'll be pretty happy and we'll have a good starting spot and work our way up."
YOU WERE ABLE TO RACE HERE LAST YEAR IN THE TRUCK SERIES AFTER THE TRACK WAS GROUND ON IN TURNS 1 AND 2. DID THAT EXPERIENCE HELP YOU TODAY? "I don't know. I think everybody can pretty much see what the track is going to be like in race conditions. The track is just going to continue to get tighter with the more rubber that we put down. That's just typical of this place. It was in the truck series and I think it will do the same thing this weekend."
WILL TIRE WEAR BE AN ISSUE IN THE RACE? "I think so. I think that if you have a problem and the car starts getting really tight and you really start shoving the front end pretty hard, you're going to have to be careful and start looking at that right-front to make sure you don't run too long on it. I know that some people that ran here in tests and they could run 38 to 40 laps and sometimes get down to the cord on the tire. I think it will get better because more cars are here and we're all running at the same time, and if we get Happy hour, we'll get a lot of rubber down. Rubber gets down pretty quick here, and think the tires will be OK. Right now, I think everybody is thinking that tires can be an issue, but I think that after everybody gets down and runs a lot of laps in Happy Hour, there won't be a tire problem."
**Note: Biffle crashed the No. 60 Ford in Turn 3 on his first lap of qualifying, but he was able to limp the car across the start-finish line to record an official qualifying time. After assessing the damage to the right side of the car, it was deemed that a backup car would be needed for the race tomorrow.
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 42nd)
"It got loose going in Turn 3, and I couldn't save it. I was just pushing it too hard and wanted to win the pole."
TURNS 1 AND 2 WERE THE PROBLEM LAST YEAR. IS THERE A SLICK SPOT IN TURN 3? "No, not really. It just got out from under me and I did all I could to try to save it."
DID YOU PUSH IT TOO HARD KNOWING THAT YOU HAD A CAR THAT COULD GET THE POLE? "That's the thing going late. You can see what the other guys ran and we ran a 74 in practice and I thought it was a little better than that."
IS THERE ANY WAY TO FIX THE CAR? "We probably could fix it up, but we would just spend more time fixing it. We need to run happy Hour and we can't get the car fixed by then.
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR. -25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 4th)
"We're pretty happy. All we did was tape it up, once again, and the Robert Yates motor and Fred Wanke got this thing dialed in for us. We just taped it up and took off and we ended up fourth."
THERE IS IMPROVEMENT IN YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT EVERY WEEK. IS IT A CASE OF GETTING USED TO A NEW MAKE OF CAR? "It's just getting everything in the right place. That's been the big thing for us. With the points jump, and we've been running in the top 10 all year long, we just might not have the finishes to show it. That's because the team is growing together. This is only our sixth race together. We're pretty happy with the progress."
IS THERE ANY SORT OF HOMETOWN ADVANTAGE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND? "The only advantage that I have here is that I know where the bathroom is at."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHANGES TO THE TRACK FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR? "It really hasn't changed to me. I know that they graded it to give it more grip. Last year, our race stuff was perfect, but in qualifying trim, everybody was slipping and sliding, and we did some shock work, and we brought that same stuff back this year, so we're happy."
HAS THE TRACK SURFACE BEEN FIXED SINCE LAST YEAR? "They've done everything possible, and, of course, it's up to every driver and team to fix the problems that we've got. A lot of the problems that we had here had to do with shock packages and stuff, and you just have to work on your race car. That's what we did. We've done it for two years now. We unloaded loose, but the Marines Ford, I can't complain about one thing about my car. I'm happy. I'm glad to be home and I can go sleep in my bed tonight."
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH FOURTH? "No, I'm never happy with fourth, but the 47 probably worked in qualifying trim all morning long. All we've done is race stuff. We added a little fuel, taped it up and took off and ended up fourth. That tells you how good this car is."