ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Fusion (Qualified 19th) "I'm pretty happy with it. We never got to make a run in practice. We had talked about it and felt like it was going to be flat out, that the track was definitely going to have it in...
ASHTON LEWIS, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Fusion (Qualified 19th)
"I'm pretty happy with it. We never got to make a run in practice. We had talked about it and felt like it was going to be flat out, that the track was definitely going to have it in it. Unfortunately, we had a problem with the fail-safe throttle and the first lap was pretty much junk, as you could see. We figured it out for the second lap, but I didn't have the courage to go for a wide-open lap. I know there's faster times out there, so I don't know where it will end up, but for the guys and taking a shot at it, it was pretty good."
WHAT FAIL-SAFE MECHANISM DID YOU HAVE ISSUES WITH? "It's on the gas pedal itself, not the one on the steering wheel. We'll get it figured out for tomorrow."
CARL EDWARDS-60-Ameriquest Mortgage Ford Fusion (Qualified 6th)
"That's not going to be the pole, but it's a pretty good lap for me. I think if I could do it over again that I wouldn't go any faster. The guys did a great job. We didn't make a mock run. Darrell Morrow and PK (Pierre Kuettel, crew chief) and all of them did a good job. It was fun; it was a little free. The last time here I wrecked it in qualifying, so they were on me pretty hard not to do that. A big improvement from wrecking."
GREG BIFFLE-16-freecreditrepot.com Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th)
"That was flat out all the way, just pushing on the brake pedal down there in three and four. It kind of bounced around a little bit, but it really stuck good. Eddie Pardue (crew chief) did a great job with the freecreditreport.com car. I hope it's that good tomorrow. A decent qualifying run, we didn't make a qualifying run in practice. I'm pretty happy with that lap."
IS IT TOUGH WHEN YOU DON'T MAKE A MOCK-QUALIFYING RUN IN PRACTICE? "The cars don't change that much, and it's not that big of a deal. There's nothing that we can change from race trim to qualifying anyway. If I tape it up and make a qualifying lap, whatever I've got is what I've got and I've got to drive it anyway, so we can't adjust it, so I'd rather not know what it's going to be like and use all of my time to get the car right in race trim."
MARK MARTIN-6-Ameriquest Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st)
"Mike Beam (crew chief) called a 28.02 or something like that, and I was real busy because I going into turn one, and I asked him on the backstretch, 'Was that the pole?' He said, 'Yeah, that's real good.' So I said, 'I really don't need to be running the second lap then because it had my attention.' Our team is just awesome. This is our truck team and they have this Ameriquest Fusion really working today. I'm real proud of the way that it drove in race trim and this was surprise. That was about eight-tenths faster than our mock run was in practice. It was a big surprise, but the car was just spectacular. I look forward to tomorrow."
STEPHEN LEICHT-90-CitiFinancial Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd)
"These guys have done such an awesome job all weekend. The car was good since we unloaded it. I screwed up the second lap. The first lap, I burped it a little bit in one and two and then I was wide open on the second lap. It felt so good that I tried to overdo it turn three and overshot the corner, otherwise it probably would have been better. The thing is, we're more happy about our race trim than we are our qualifying trim, so it's pretty exciting. This CitiFinancial team has done a great job."
WIDE OPEN WASN'T THE BEST OPTION IN TURNS THREE AND FOUR? "No, that corner is a little bit sharper. If I would have backed off a little sooner and got back to the throttle early, I probably would have picked up another tenth or so. That's about all it has; it's pretty close."
MATT KENSETH-17-Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th)
"It was all right. I don't know how to go much faster, so it was all right."
WERE YOU ONE OF THE DRIVERS THAT OPTED TO STAY IN RACE TRIM DURING ALL OF THE PRACTICES SESSIONS TODAY? "No, we did and we gained a lot of time. We didn't run very fast in practice and we were struggling a little bit. We definitely made it better. I don't know if it's good enough to win, but we made it better."
-credit: ford racing