BUSCH: Sparta: Ford Racing qualifying quotes

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 4th) We picked up nearly two-tenths from practice, so we went in the right direction. We never really got a clean qualifying attempt in practice, so we thought we had a little bit more left, but...

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 4th)

We picked up nearly two-tenths from practice, so we went in the right direction. We never really got a clean qualifying attempt in practice, so we thought we had a little bit more left, but you can never tell until you make your two laps."

HOW MUCH HAS THE TRACK SURFACE CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR? "The track actually feels smoother to me. We had an OK car last year and I feel like I've got a lot better car this year, and that can be part of it. What you think about the track surface can be influenced by how your car handles. We actually practiced a lot of our race-run stuff in practice this morning. We didn't get a chance to really focus on qualifying, so if we're lucky enough to get a top-five qualifying effort, that's going to be in good shape. I think a lot of how we run in the race will be determined by tonight's Happy Hour session."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 9th)

It's a little bit better from practice, but we still need to keep working on it. It hasn't been something that I can drive very good so far; I haven't been real comfortable. I knew I had to pick it up for qualifying, so I just did all I could do. I kinda put it out there on the edge a little bit. I figured our backup car couldn't be worse than this one, so I kinda let it all hang out there."

IS THIS CAR TAKING SOME TIME TO GET BROKEN IN? "Yeah, it's a new car in our stable. I don't know if it's a little off aero-wise or what. It just doesn't feel right going into the corner in (turn) three. Three and four mostly. I can't seem to get down in the corner like I want to. We'll keep working on it. We'll be there, hopefully, for the race."

YOU STARTED FROM 37TH HERE LAST YEAR, BUT FINISHED SECOND. HOW EASY IS IT TO PASS ON THIS TRACK? "It wasn't that bad, but when you have a car like this, you're in big trouble. That car that I had last year was really good on this surface. This year, this car isn't very fast in race trim at all. We got lucky in qualifying trim I think. We'll work on it now for Happy Hour and I think we'll be decent."

HOW IMPORTANT IS TONIGHT'S HAPPY HOUR PRACTICE? "Being a night race and having only one nighttime practice, it's pretty important. It gives us a chance to run in the same area of time that we'll be racing in. It's going to be really important for us."

BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 7th)

Once again, we just worked on race run stuff. The tires came in good for us, and everything worked out good. We got, I think, a top-ten starting spot with that time. That will give us a good pit stall, and we can just untape it and race."

HOW MUCH HAS THE TRACK SURFACE CHANGED FROM LAST YEAR? "I haven't noticed anything different. The biggest thing is going to be tires, whether you get a good set or a bad set. Hopefully everything works out. For instance, we got a decent set for qualifying and it showed. I had a bad set for practice and a good set for qualifying, so it just depends on what set of tires you get."

DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE SOME LONG GREEN-FLAG RUNS TOMORROW NIGHT, SINCE THIS IS THE SECOND BUSCH SERIES EVENT HERE? "No. There are too many guys here on the edge already just in practice, so you can imagine what we'll see during the race. I might be wrong, but it wasn't here the last time we were here, so it won't be again."

SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 1st)

EVEN WITH THE BIRTH OF YOUR SON THIS WEEK, YOU HAVEN'T SHOWN ANY SIGNS OF BEING DISTRACTED. "I know this sounds crazy, but having that baby this week has allowed me to be able to get my mind off racing and step out of the ballgame for a little bit. It seems like when I did that I was able to look from the outside in and see what I was doing wrong. What it all boiled down to was that I was trying too hard. I just slowed down and didn't try so hard this weekend and let the car do the work instead of trying to hustle it, and so far so good."

DID YOU TEST HERE EARLIER IN THE YEAR? "We were able to come here with Goodyear and do a tire test. That helped us. It definitely gave us a good starting point as far as a baseline, but we did had to tune on it all day."

BEING A ROOKIE, IS IT EASIER TO ADAPT TO A MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACK? "I think that when you come to a track that's this fast and as smooth as it is, I like those tracks better. You don't have so many different bumps and humps and things that may be upsetting you. Instead of your car being off, it could be the track that is doing it to you. Places like this, having such a smooth track, you know that there's nothing there to upset you and you just have to work on your car to get it fast. You can pretty much run any line that you car feels comfortable; it's just a matter of finding that line."


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