BUSCH: Talladega: Ford Racing qualifying preview

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 8th) "It was an awesome lap. It won't be fast enough for the pole, but I don't think we thought we had a shot at it either. Here, it's about getting through tech with the car optimized. Running...

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Qualified 8th)

"It was an awesome lap. It won't be fast enough for the pole, but I don't think we thought we had a shot at it either. Here, it's about getting through tech with the car optimized. Running good here in qualifying means you have to hit all of your marks, and running a perfect lap just takes everything. Sticker tires must have made a difference. We were thinking that it wouldn't speed us up because everyone was slowing down. Sticker tires sped us up."

OF ALL THE TRACKS THE SERIES RUNS AT, HAS YOUR SUPERSPEEDWAY PROGRAM BEEN THE SLOWEST TO GET UP TO SPEED? "It has, especially when you only have two or three of these types of races a year. If you don't run at these two-plus mile tracks often, it just takes more time to get your car where it needs to be. It takes a lot of money and resources to run well at the superspeedways, and to spend all that money for three races doesn't always make sense, especially if there another part of your program that can be helped more with that money. You run the majority of the races on the intermediate tracks so you'd want to make sure that part of your program is running optimally before you start working on other areas. Our car was a little draggy compared to other cars in Daytona and we didn't turn as good in the draft, but from what I felt today, we're getting there. I think we're as fast as some of these guys now. Obviously, he's (Nemechek) is still three-tenths faster than us still, but I think we're getting there."

SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Qualified 6th)

"I'm pretty proud of all of the guys on the Nesquik Ford. That's pretty good for the Fords here at Talladega. I think we definitely stepped up our program here since Daytona, and I think it's showing with where we qualified at Daytona and where we qualified here."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS CAR IN RACE TRIM? "I feel good about it. I'm just going to be careful in Happy Hour and make sure I don't have to pull out my backup like I did in Daytona. I think it will be good. I think when it gets in the draft, Harold assures me that it will be even better than the one we had earlier in the year at Daytona. If that's the case, we drafted our way from dead last at Daytona up to sixth. If we can start somewhere in the top five here, maybe we can draft our way up to the front."

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GAUGE YOURSELF AGAINST THE COMPETITION IN PRACTICE WHERE CLEAN AIR SO IMPORTANT? "It's tough, but we know when turn a lap in clean air. The fastest lap we ran in practice was a (51.)12, but we had a car pull out in front of us and cut the wind for us. We ran a (51.)25 the last time we went out and got really clean air. We almost backed that up with a (51.)31 this afternoon. I feel pretty good about that. You've got to give it to all of the guys on the Nesquik Ford, they're the ones that did this. The driver doesn't play a big role here, and I think Harold Holly and all of the guys on the team have definitely stepped the car up since Daytona. This is the same car we had as our primary and we qualified 19th in Daytona, and we felt that was all we could get out of it. We're able to come back here, and to be close to the top five will be real good for us."

HOW DO YOU APPROACH YOUR FIRST RACE AT TALLADEGA? "At this kind of place, I guess I look at it the same way I did at Daytona. I'm real excited about being at Talladega, and lot of patience is what I'm going to have to do; the same I did at Daytona. I just need to be real patient and follow the leader and make sure I don't get out of line and try to get where I think I feel real good and think my car is going to be able to pass by itself. You've got have some drafting help to make any kind of move here. Hopefully, I've earned some respect from some other drivers since Daytona and maybe I'll have some good people to work with out there."

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU'LL HAVE MORE FRIENDS IN THE DRAFT THAN YOU DID IN DAYTONA? "I think so. I think we earned some respect at Daytona, but even more so at the other races since Daytona. I think some of the other drivers out there have seen that I will use my head and try to be smart and patient, and hopefully we'll have some people that will draft with us right off the bat."

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Qualified 13th)

"That was about as fast as we ran without help in practice. It's tough to repeat that, and I just couldn't find much more speed out of it, so we can't be real disappointed with it; I'm just gonna try to draft good in the race."

IS THIS THE SAME CAR THAT FINISHED FOURTH IN DAYTONA? "It is, but it's also the same car that qualified 15th for that race. This car drafted real good in Daytona, so it should be OK. We definitely want to go fast on qualifying day, but this car has always qualified anywhere from 8th to 15th, and it looks like it will be right in the middle of there somewhere again. Our confidence has grown in the past year on the superspeedways to where we know we can race if we can qualify somewhere in the top 15. You have to have that kind of confidence and I think we're getting there now."

BOBBY HAMILTON, JR. -25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 5th)

"The Marines Ford is fast, but we just got hot, and then these things start losing power; I know our was at 220. I can't complain because Robert Yates brought us a bear for a motor; I can't wait to untape it and go racing. I think that will be in the top five, and that's a prefect position to miss the big one. The Marines Ford if fast and we're happy."

THIS IS YOUR SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-FIVE START. "It's a good effort for qualifying. Last week, we qualified fourth, but we didn't end up there at the end of the day. This is a totally different type of racing. This is just pretty much the luck of the draw with whoever goes with you and whoever won't. If you're fast, they'll go with you, and if you're decent they might hang you out. We just have to ourselves in a position where we are fast."


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