KENNY WALLACE-22-AutoZone Ford Fusion (Qualified 25th) "This track amazes me with the speed it has in because I truly ran open through that corner. I had to lift maybe a quarter off, I was going to hit the wall in turn two, but I must say that...
KENNY WALLACE-22-AutoZone Ford Fusion (Qualified 25th)
"This track amazes me with the speed it has in because I truly ran open through that corner. I had to lift maybe a quarter off, I was going to hit the wall in turn two, but I must say that I'm proud of my team. This is the first time that we got the thing coil-bound, and it's not driving stupid, so we'll run the race and see how it plays out. Every time we run this race it gets real hot. Right now it's like a Daytona or Talladega, and then when the race starts it's like a Martinsville - you don't run the throttle anywhere near like you do in qualifying. I expect with the Cup cars getting here, the IROC race and the heat, the track is probably going to get some speed out of it. Still, turn two is always the spot here you have to keep the car turning."
IS IT A BIG DISADVANTAGE NOT HAVING PRACTICE TOMORROW? "It's not a big disadvantage because nobody is going to get practice, except Cup guys."
REGAN SMITH-35-McDonald's Premium Chicken Ford Fusion (Qualified 29th)
"We're definitely competitive and we've got our cars going in the right direction. I thought that lap time, I thought an .18 would be a lot further up. I don't know if everyone picked up that much or there are a lot of good cars going early. I'm pretty happy with that lap. The car drove good. I had visions of trying to flatfoot it the second lap, but I bottomed out in turns one and two, so I said there was no point in wasting the tires. We've got a good race car. The problems we had in practice, we fixed them and I'm pretty excited."
YOU'RE NOT A ROOKIE, BUT AS A YOUNGER DRIVER, ARE YOU UPSET THAT THERE IS NO PRACTICE SESSION TOMORROW? "I'm just upset that I'm not racing something else that I could come out here and get in. I think the last couple of years have been like that here, and that's how the schedule is. I'm going to play golf or do something entertaining."
MARK MARTIN-6-Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Qualified 4th)
"To not have any points and to get through tech real late, we put down one a spectacular lap and we'll get us a reasonable starting spot. Our car is just really good and the sun has gone down some and it's time to go."
DO YOU HAVE TO LIFT HERE IN QUALIFYING? "Yeah. I doubt if they were flat-footed all the way around either. They get a little carried away telling their stories."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE ON SATURDAY? "There's too much to think about. So far, we've had our hands full here today. A new car that has never been on the race track, no points, late getting through tech and several issues about the car, we're not thinking about the race yet."
JON WOOD-47-Clorox/American Red Cross Ford Fusion (Qualified 19th)
"I didn't expect us to do that well. I know we have a good enough race package, but we could never get it to run taped up, so I was pretty pleased."
YOU EXPERIENCED A BRUSH WITH THE WALL IN PRACTICE. WHAT HAPPENED? "That wasn't any big deal. I just got a little tight off of turn two and scraped off the right-rear decals."
HOW IS THIS TRACK DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER MILE-AND-A-HALF VENUES? "It's not the typical mile-and-a-half, it's a fast one. It's more like Atlanta than Kansas. We typically run better at the faster tracks, so I'm pretty excited."
JOHN ANDRETTI-10-Freedom Roads/Camping World Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th)
"I think we have a better car than that. I think I let the guys down. We didn't do a qualifying run in practice, and I didn't drive the car as good as I should have in qualifying. You run wide open, but you can still make time by doing things. But, I didn't do them; I was just trying to make it around the corner. The next lap I really didn't get aggressive at all with it because once you got one in the books you hate to wipe out the car that you're going to race. I'm happy, and as we keep going along this is a good step for us at the mile-and-a-halfs, and hopefully we'll race strong, too. I think we will; I think we have a pretty strong car."
KENNY WALLACE MENTIONED HE IS TRYING SOME DIFFERENT THINGS ON HIS RACE CAR COMPARED TO YOU. IS THAT AN ADVANTAGE OF HAVING A VETERAN AS A TEAMMATE? "They're doing something different than what we're doing. Some of it is feel and some of it is trying things. We've been doing a lot of work and a lot of things. I've been giving them information of what I like to feel and what I know works for me. I can't say that it will work for Kenny or someone else, but it does work for me. Even when we got here, we got better and better and better, and at the end of practice - the last 10 minutes - we made our biggest gains. It's kind of good that we're going down two different paths because if we race bad and he races good, we'll make that setup work on our car. I'll drive whatever setup is going to be the faster one and then we'll go from there. It's kind of good that we're in two different paths, but eventually - Kenny's driving style and my are very similar - and I think we'll end up in the same place."
DANNY O'QUINN-50-Stonebridge Life Ford Fusion (Qualified 26th)
"We're pretty happy with that run. We got tight and we tried to go with a little something that we thought might be good for qualifying, and we ended up being a little too tight. I think when the car comes around for the race that we're going to be really good. That was a decent qualifying lap for us. We're qualifying better and better every week. I'm just looking forward to the race. I think we're going to have a really good race car. I love this race track. We went to Atlanta, and they said this is a lot like Atlanta. Atlanta was OK and we struggled a little there, and it probably wasn't my favorite race track, but we got here, though, and I really liked racing here so far. I'm excited about the race."
WHAT SETS IT APART FROM ATLANTA? "It's big and fast like Atlanta, but it's so smooth. You can race really good around the track. I think it's going to be a good race for us."
MATT KENSETH-17-Ameriquest Mortgage Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd)
"That was real good and I'm happy to start there. We were not nearly that fast in practice and I thought I hit a pretty good lap. The late draw probably helped a little, and overall I was pretty happy with that lap. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good."
YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCCESS HERE IN THE BUSCH RACES. IS THIS ONE YOU LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY YEAR? "I really like the track. It's real fast and you can work on a lot of different things here. It's a lot of fun and it's definitely one I look forward to on the schedule."
ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-United States Marines Ford Fusion (Qualified 24th)
"It's helped us a lot to get a few mile-and-a-half tracks under our belts because we really started with this style of setup in California and refined it at Atlanta. Atlanta is kind of what we based this one off of, and we found out it's not quite the same and spent first practice learning it and the second practice doing some more changes to it. I just think we're going to keep getting better and better. It's nerve-wracking when you don't get it figured out until your qualifying lap, but it's been going well."
IS IT FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU HAVE A DAY OFF BETWEEN QUALIFYING AND THE RACE? "We'll go play golf and have some fun, but I think whoever you're at the race track you'd rather just get here on Friday and do what you can and go racing. I don't like the schedule, and I don't think there are many drivers that do, except for maybe some of the guys that are driving in the Cup race and they get all day to concentrate on the Cup car."
GREG BIFFLE-16-Ameriquest Mortgage Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)
"It was really tight. We've been kind of fighting tight since we got here. But, I'm pretty happy with that. We didn't do a qualifying run, so I didn't really know what to expect, but it's pretty much nearly flat out here anyway. I've been listening to other guys, and listening to what Matt did, so I thought I would breathe her getting down in and hold it flat. I didn't quite push it down as quick as I wanted to, or I thought I could, but it's pretty decent."
DO YOU EXPECT THE TRACK CONDITIONS TO BE DIFFERENT IN THE RACE ON SATURDAY? "It will be a little warmer and a little slicker. We were kind of anticipating that. I thought we would be looser qualifying, anticipating Saturday's track, but maybe not."
CARL EDWARDS-60-Henkel Ford Fusion
WHAT HAPPENED? "I just got loose off of two. We're going to pull out the backup car, which is a good car. We just had enough damage on that one to go to the backup. It's frustrating, but we'll get there."