BUSCH: Talladega: Ford teams qualifying quotes

Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the No. 10 Ford was involved in a multi-car incident midway through today's morning practice session and will require the use of a backup car for Saturday's race. Jourdain, who is currently in the top 30 in owner...

Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the No. 10 Ford was involved in a multi-car incident midway through today's morning practice session and will require the use of a backup car for Saturday's race. Jourdain, who is currently in the top 30 in owner points and guaranteed a starting spot in the Aaron's 312, commented on the incident.

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-10-ppc Racing Ford Taurus

WHAT HAPPENED? "We were running in the draft and we were passing the 32; he was on inside and the whole pack was going by him. Somebody was on the outside, I don't know who, and I had not cleared the 32 yet and everybody started going to the bottom in the corner. I still didn't have space and I guess the guy on the outside of me wanted to go there, but I had no space and he pinched me down, got me loose and I started spinning. Shane Hmiel was right behind me and he told me that I got screwed. He was watching the replay from the truck and he said I got screwed because I got pinched down. You can see the marks on my outside. It's a shame for the guys. It's terrible to lose a car in practice."

WAS IT A HARD HIT? "No, because I hit with the 52. I feel terrible for him because he was just there going slow on the apron and it's like getting hit by a stray bullet."

ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO PRACTICE THE BACKUP CAR? "I'm not worried for qualifying, I'm worried for the race, to go out and race in a car that I haven't driven at a superspeedway. It's a car that ppc Racing bought in the off-season."

IS RESTRICTOR-PLATE RACING THE CLOSEST RACING YOU'VE EXPERIENCED IN YOUR CAREER? "We had several years with the Hanford Device in Fontana. We were running almost as close and 50 mph faster. You were 230 to 240 mph and those days were hard. Still, you have more cars here. It's just different and you can have things like this happen. I think whoever it was right there next to me, he was just trying to be a little bit too aggressive for practice."

JASON KELLER-35-McDonald's Ford Taurus (Qualified 32nd)

"The car drove good in the draft. It's just a lot like it was at Daytona. The cars are driving good in the draft and it seems like they can do things in the draft that they can't quite seem to do by themselves. It's the same car that I ran at Daytona and we didn't do a whole lot to it. We'll probably end up about like we qualified in Daytona, around 30th or so, and just do what we can do during the race. It was pretty aggressive out there practicing today. I think everybody got through Daytona and felt that we were going to be a little bit more aggressive here. It's still pretty tight."

YOU CHOSE TO STAY AT THE BACK FOR THE START OF THE RACE AT DAYTONA, EXPECTING THE BIG ONE. CAN YOU USE THAT STRATEGY HERE? "I don't know. We really haven't talked about it. It's probably the smartest thing to do because every time you go that race without that Big One it's just closer around the corner. I don't know if you can hold back at Talladega. Our car was really handling good at Daytona. It seemed like when we really wanted to go we could and unfortunately we cut a right-front tire. It was playing into our hands at Daytona, but I'm not so sure you can play that card here."

DAVID GREEN-27-Cottonelle/Food World Ford Taurus (Qualified 28th)

"We never did do a qualifying run in practice, so I guess that's OK. When we tested back in January a 53.50 is about all we ran, and I think that was a flat, so I guess that's OK. As I look up on the board I don't know where the Fords stack up, but we might be all right in the race."

IS THE LACK OF A PRACTICE SESSION ON FRIDAY A CONCERN? "I don't think that matters at this track. The only thing that's probably a big deal here is if it rains. If it does rain, which will probably only be on Friday night or Saturday morning, and if the Cup guys get a practice session after the rain that might be the only issue. This place doesn't change a whole lot, so it's not a big deal

STACY COMPTON-59-Kingsford/Bush's Baked Beans Ford Taurus (Qualified 39th) - "It certainly wasn't what we were hoping for, but the car drives really good in the draft. We never made any qualifying runs this morning, and it doesn't make a lot of difference where you start here, it's where you finish and we've got a really good race car. The Kingsford Ford was good with everybody out there - the Chevrolets, Fords and the Dodges; it looked like the car would draft with all of them. I'm just a little disappointed with qualifying, but pretty excited about Saturday. If you've got a good driving race car here you can have a good day on Saturday, and we've got a pretty good piece right now. We'll wait and see."

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE IMPOUND PROCEDURES WILL BE USED AT TALLADEGA. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IMPOUND RULE HERE? "Right now looking at the scoreboard I don't like it, but it doesn't make any difference here. If you look at how these races traditionally go, you're going to have some people go from the back to the front and from the front to the back a dozen times before the day's over with, and I think we'll be the same way."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SCHEDULE HERE THIS WEEKEND WITH NO BUSCH SERIES TRACK ACTIVITY TOMORROW? "I think all of the guys would much rather spend some time at home than trying to figure out what to do on Friday. I'm not in favor of the schedule right now. For the drivers, they get to spend a little bit more time with their families than the team members and with this schedule it's basically no different than last year, in fact, it may be a little bit longer if you put it in perspective. I think if we had that day off on Thursday it would give the guys a little more time to spend with their families, but this way I don't think it's a lot of improvement."

IS THE LACK OF A PRACTICE SESSION ON FRIDAY A CONCERN? "Here it doesn't make a lot of difference. It's Talladega and you can miss three weeks and come back and you're in the same boat. It doesn't make a lot of difference here. It doesn't make any difference to me, but it gives us a little more to play golf on Friday with our sponsors."

ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Qualified 24th)

THE TALK IN THE FORD CAMP THIS WEEK REVOLVED AROUND THE D3 CYLINDER HEAD BEING USED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A BUSCH SERIES SUPERSPEEDWAY EVENT. "We haven't seen it on the speed charts, but I felt like in race conditions the motor recovered better. It seemed like it was a lot racier in the pack. We still have a problem, I could suck up to guys and get a run on them, but when I pulled out it still kind of seemed like I hit a wall a little bit sooner than some of the other guys did. I think it's better. I don't know if its gotten us to where we need to be, but it's a step in the right direction for sure. I think you'll see a lot of the results in the race."

THERE WAS A LOT OF AGGRESSIVE DRIVING IN TODAY'S PRACTICE SESSION. COMPARED TO WHAT WE SAW AT DAYTONA, DID THAT SURPRISE YOU? "I think that they feel that we've got the first 10 races under our belts, and Daytona is always the first race and I think people are still trying to feel things out and make it a little more comfortable, so you tend to see people be less aggressive in practice. I think this race track feels 10 times wider than what Daytona is, so you feel like you have plenty of room to go out there and race. A lot of the guys were racing a lot closer than I felt comfortable with for practice, but it was good. I was excited about our car. I thought it worked real well in traffic. We'll see. I just hope the race goes smooth."

KENNY WALLACE-22-Stacker 2 Ford Taurus (Qualified 22nd)

"This was the car that we ran competitively at Daytona with and blew that right-front tire. The team got it back together for this race and in drafting it ran real good. We probably could have pulled a little more gear and qualified better, but all it needs it is just a little bit of air for it to be right where it needs to be. I think we're ready to go."

THERE ARE FEWER CARS THAT NEEDED TO MAKE THE RACE ON TIME HERE THAN AT DAYTONA. DOES THAT MAKE THE START OF THE RACE LESS STRESSFUL? "I think every time that you come to the first race at Talladega it's like most of the guys locked into the top 20 in Busch points don't care because we've put so much effort into our intermediate package. They do their best job on this car as they can, but if we get here and we're not real good in single-qualifying mode we really don't harp on it. It's guys like Joe Nemechek and DEI that have that a restrictor-plate program package where they have extra people working on it where we don't have that, and I don't expect my guys to have that because we're a smaller operation."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-10-ppc Racing Ford Taurus (Qualified 43rd)

YOU JUST CLEARED INSPECTION IN TIME TO MAKE A QUALIFYING RUN IN YOUR BACKUP CAR. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THROUGH AN EXPERIENCE LIKE THAT BEFORE IN YOUR RACING CAREER? "I'm sure. That's something typical in racing where something happens and you have to thrash. I've had to thrash to get in races at the start of the race. I feel bad for the guys and that the crash in practice was not of our control. I just feel bad for the guys to have to work so hard, and we'll just see what happens on Saturday."

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO TURN A LAP IN THIS CAR BEFORE THE RACE? "I think it's important to go out and do at least a couple of laps in a car that you've never raced before. This car is not brand new, but it's new to the team. It was just important to go out and do some laps and make sure everything works."

CARL EDWARDS-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus (Qualified 17th)

"Our Charter Ford is a little bit faster than it was at Daytona. Ford has been working really hard on this new restrictor-plate package and it's working pretty well. I feel like the car is going to draft really well. It's just fun to come out here and run wide open. The coolest part was getting up this mooring and the first thing in the morning to go out and run laps on the track. Coming to Talladega is a blast, I can't wait to race."

ARE YOU FEELING MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE DRAFT HERE? "A little bit. I've only run that one Cup race here and we had a mechanical failure and didn't finish the race. We came here and tested in the trucks. I've always liked being here. It's going to be fun to run two races this weekend. Plus, tomorrow night we're going to go over to the dirt track and have a little fun and do a match race there. It's just going to be a fun weekend racing."

YOU'VE RUN CUP AND BUSCH SUPERSPEEDWAY RACES WITH TWO DIFFERENT RULES PACKAGES. IS THERE ONE YOU'RE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH? "I feel that there's a pretty steady progression from the trucks to the Busch cars to the Cup cars. The trucks have a lot of downforce and a lot of drag. The Busch cars are somewhere between and the Cup cars have not a lot of drag and not a lot of downforce. I'd have to say that the most fun ones to run so far for me are trucks. Part of it might be the vehicle and part of it might be because there are guys that don't have as much experience and they're willing to try a bunch of different things so more stuff happens. To have a bunch of passing you have to have a bunch of people that are willing to try to pass, and it feels like once you get to the Cup level, those guys are so good and so experienced that if one guy tries something they'll just hang him out and they're satisfied to pick up one spot. The Busch Series is different from the Cup car and different than the truck. I feel that it's right in between and I feel it's a good mix."

JON WOOD-47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus (Qualified 31st)

"The thing that I'm exited about coming to Talladega is not that we're going to come here with awesome qualifying speed or anything. I know from Daytona that we did a lot of work and I think we improved our aero package for the race. We weren't bad there, but the overall thing that I'm happy about is that we as team have proven that we don't have something to prove at these tracks because we haven't lacked in performance at other places. We've been so fast all year long that we can afford to have one bad week, and with it being a superspeedway it's all the better."

YOU ARE A STILL A ROOKIE, BUT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL HAVE MORE DRIVERS WILLING TO DRAFT WITH YOU THIS RACE THAN DAYTONA? "I've gained two-thirds respect from the field and lost one-third from some others, but the ones that I've lost it from I'm not worried about anyway. Overall, racing up front gives you the ability to race with these Cup guys and I think I've gained it from everyone of them. If I can just do what we've done all year on Saturday I think we'll be fine."

GREG BIFFLE-66-Duraflame Quick Coals Ford Taurus (Qualified 33rd)

"That's all we've got. They can hand the trophy out right now because that's how we're going to race on Saturday. There's no hidden speed and nobody gets to touch the race cars, so what can you do to it? What it is is what is. We've got a 33rd-place car and we just have to put ourselves in the right position get up there higher."

YOU WILL ALSO RACE IN THE CUP RACE THIS WEEKEND, AND THAT SERIES HAS A DIFFERENT AERO PACKAGE. WHICH DO YOU PREFER? "I like the Cup package better because it spreads the field out more. Here anybody can suck right up there and get a huge run and run into the back of you or make it four wide. The Cup cars get spread out a little bit more and make it more difficult to get up there. Drafting is fun if you're with a good group, but it's never fun when you have a slow car."

-ford racing-

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Drivers Joe Nemechek , Shane Hmiel , Michel Jourdain