KASEY KAHNE-98-Channellock Ford Taurus (Qualified 20th) THAT TIME WILL GET YOU INTO THE FIELD COMFORTABLY? "I think we'll be comfortably in, but we've been a little looser than we had been in practice. I wasn't really ready for that but we got...
KASEY KAHNE-98-Channellock Ford Taurus (Qualified 20th)
THAT TIME WILL GET YOU INTO THE FIELD COMFORTABLY? "I think we'll be comfortably in, but we've been a little looser than we had been in practice. I wasn't really ready for that but we got it back in one piece and in the show. Tommy (Morgan) and I talked earlier and we decided to make two conservative laps. I think we'll be all right. The Channellock car has been good and we're much better on race runs."
YOU WERE THE SECOND DRIVER TO QUALIFY. DID YOU EXPERIENCE ANY EXTRA NERVOUSNESS, NOT KNOWING WHAT TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO GET IN THE RACE? "I was a little nervous, but we knew based off of what we ran in practice that we had a car good enough to qualify in the top 20."
DID YOU PUT ALL OF YOUR EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING RUNS THIS MORNING? "We put more time into race runs than we did on qualifying runs. We'll work a little more on our race package this afternoon, and we'll definitely be a little stronger then."
YOU RACED YOUR SPRINT CAR LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, AND NOW YOU'RE QUALIFYING FOR YOUR FIRST STOCK CAR RACE. IS THERE AN ADJUSTMENT PERIOD JUMPING FROM THE TWO CARS? "It's a completely different car, but it really doesn't mess with your feel. Once you race them enough, you start to know what each feeling is and it doesn't take but one lap to get your feel back. It's really pretty fun."
HOW MUCH INPUT HAVE YOU GIVEN ON CHANGES TO THE CAR? "I can feel some changes. These cars are a lot different in what you do to them and I'm learning that now and trying to learn that as quick as possible. That definitely takes time, so Tommy is great to have around as a crew chief. He definitely helps out this team with his knowledge of Busch cars."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 29th)
"This car that we have this weekend, even when we tested it, it doesn't like tape on it. Once it's untaped, it fine, but we've struggled to get it turning in qualifying trim. We had to bite the bullet here, and we'll probably start somewhere in the back, but if we run the way we tested, we'll be fine."
WILL 200 MILES BE ENOUGH TIME TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE FIELD TOMORROW? "That's fine. That's the big thing that we have to look forward to. We knew that we weren't going to qualify good, so we untaped it in testing and ran 64 laps and never got out of the 25-second bracket. This is all that we were looking for. We just wanted to make a lap to get in the race and then race tomorrow. Passing isn't a problem here because you have so much room, you can go anywhere."
CHRISTIAN ELDER-38-Deka Batteries Ford Taurus (Qualified 24th)
"This is my first time here and we just wanted to get a couple of clean laps in and a decent place to start the race. I don't want to start so far forward that I'm getting pounded by the big dogs in the beginning. I felt like we got in a couple of pretty good laps and I'm just happy Deka Batteries came on board so that we can start the season running the first two races. I've pretty much put last week behind me and I'm trying to run this race track rather than the competitors like last week. It's all about tires here, so I'm not going to be real concerned where I'm at position-wise; I'm going to be a lot more concerned with where my car is at."
YOU'RE NOT RACING A FULL SCHEDULE, BUT CAN YOU GET CAUGHT UP RUNNING FOR POINTS? "Not racing for points kills you as a driver. You're always gunning to run against the boys that run up front every week. It's just another learning year and I have to stay focused on that. They keep pulling the reins back on me and that's good. A lot of these places that we're racing this year, these are new tracks for me. It's another building year."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 19th)
"I think we'll be around the top 20 after everything plays out, and I think we could have been better. We were tight all day and we freed it up a little bit and really made the front end turn well. It just got a little loose, and I really couldn't apply the throttle like I needed to. We'll fix it up and get it ready for the race."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO CHASE THIS TRACK? "I think this track is one that you're always chasing no matter what the weather conditions are. It will be hard to have a good car all day long. It will be good on some runs and bad on others. If it's bad, you sorta have to wade through it and stay out of trouble and finish the race."
THERE'S A LOT LESS PRACTICE TIME HERE THIS WEEKEND COMPARED TO LAST WEEK AT DAYTONA. "I think that plays into the hands of the veterans a little more, but there are always a couple of new variables that everyone has to deal with each time you come back here, so whether it's tires or a rules change, the practice time is all the same for everyone."
MATT KENSETH-17-JaniKing Ford Taurus (Qualified 11th)
"The car has been good since we got here, but we're just loose in qualifying trim for some reason. Everything has been going smooth; we were just way too loose to go for the pole."
YOU POSTED YOUR FAST LAP EARLY IN THE MORNING PRACTICE SESSION. HOW MUCH DID YOU WORK ON QUALIFYING TRIM? "We just ran two qualifying runs and basically put the same setup under the car that we used last year. We didn't put a lot of time and effort in qualifying and decided to focus on race runs instead. The Ford is a little different from the Chevrolet, so we decided to work on race runs, knowing that we could qualify up front."
JANIKING IS BACK ON THE CAR THIS WEEK. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY SPONSORSHIP DEVELOPMENTS? "They came on for one more race and then Texas, for sure. I don't know what we're going to do, but I think we'll go to Las Vegas even if we don't get a sponsor, so we're just going to go from there and see if we can't land a sponsor."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 10th)
"We probably had a little more left, but we just couldn't find it in qualifying trim. It drove good, though, and I hope it drives good in the race."
YOU STRUGGLED IN QUALIFYING LAST YEAR, BUT YOU'VE POSTED TWO STRONG STARTS IN THE FIRST TWO RACES. "We knew had to pick up our qualifying deal up a little bit to contend for the championship, but we still have a little ways to go. We're not exactly where we need to be, but we're much better than we were last year." WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE? "I try not to think about it more than anything. I'm just trying to drive by the seat of my pants a little more. I just haven't quite gotten the feel that I need to quite yet, but we're getting there."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 3rd)
"We didn't go out for our qualifying run early in the morning and that's how a lot of those guys posted faster times than us. The morning crisp air is worth a couple of tenths and the track was real good. We didn't want to do qualifying runs in those conditions because we knew that we wouldn't be qualifying in those conditions. We elected to do some race runs first and then some qualifying runs at the end. I knew we would be close to the pole, but I messed up in 3 and 4. If not for that, we could have had the pole, I think."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO QUALIFY WELL HERE AFTER LAST WEEK'S FINISH? "This is a clean slate for us this week. We practiced really good and I feel confident. I think the team feels good and the car is good. This is a fresh slate and the guys that we're racing with in the points are behind us, and that's what we need. I think our championship run can start here this weekend."