May 16, 1999 – Mike Bliss Takes Pole At Pikes Peak

Mike Bliss Takes Pole At Pikes Peak


Mike Bliss, #99 Exide Batteries Ford
F-150
: (Qualified first) “It was a good lap. I’m really
happy with it because it was better than we’ve been all day long.
The lap went better than I thought and I left a little bit out
there. You know us as drivers try to leave something on the table;
we always come in and whine about not going fast enough. But we’ve
been loose all day entering the corners and I did expect to be loose
during the lap but I wasn’t at all. I talked to Greg (Biffle) right
after qualifying and he said that the track had really freed up. So
we went back and adjusted our tire pressures. We need a good
top-five finish out of this race. We’ve had it in the past few
races but we screwed up a little bit. We want a top-five out of
this race for the team.”


Kevin Harvick, #98 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford F-150:
(Qualified second)
“Our truck tightened up a little bit out
there. I might have overdrove it a little bit getting into the
corner. The Porter-Cable Ford has been awesome since we unloaded it
again this week. We should have a great race truck tomorrow. We
has a good qualifying effort but Mike (Bliss) did have a good run
out there too.”


Greg Biffle, #50 Grainger Ford F-150: (Qualified
fourth)
“Our truck just loosened up a bunch. It may be the
amount of sand and dust blowing onto the track and the wind is
blowing really hard out there. It might have been the different
tires that we used to qualify. The truck was just terribly loose.
I did everything that I could to hang on to it and try not to wreck.
I think that we’ll be pretty decent on the long runs tomorrow. The
Grainger Ford ran really well in practice. We used the final
practice to try and fine-tune the truck. The guys are doing a great
job again and I’d be happy if the Grainger Ford was up front again
this week. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”


Mike Wallace, #2 Team ASE Racing Ford F-150: (Qualified
16th)
“The qualifying lap was not that good. We’re
struggling with our motor program here this weekend. We’re not
running well down the straightaway. We’re handling extremely well
but it’s not running down the straights and I just can’t make up the
difference in the corner. TELL US ABOUT RUNNING BOTH THE TRUCK RACE
AND THE WINSTON WEST RACE HERE AT PIKES PEAK. “The biggest thing is
that we’re trying to elevate this team into a better truck team to
possibly take this team to do some Winston Cup races later this
year. The Winston West race will allow us to learn a little bit
about the Taurus and to get the team ready. The team can learn to
adapt itself to some different things. Our Taurus is very strong
here, we’re on the pole with it, but we’re struggling with the
truck.”


Rick Crawford, #14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150:
(Qualified 22nd)
“The Circle Bar Motel and RV Park
Ford had consistently fast times in both practices. We were looking
for our first pole but we must have made the wrong qualifying
adjustment. Don’t be fooled, this is still a fast truck. This
truck will race well and we’ll be okay tomorrow.”


Kevin Cywinski, #31 Auto Trim Design Ford F-150 (Qualified
19th)
” We’re still tight going the middle of the
corners. I think that we’re looking for that one quick lap and we
haven’t been able to find it today. We’ll be really good in the
race. We’ve got a really good race set-up. We’d like to start a
little farther forward but I think the crew will get this Ford up
front tomorrow. DOES ONE LAP QUALIFYING PUT ADDED PRESSURE ON YOU?
“I kind of like the one lap qualifying. It doesn’t give you any
room to mess up especially on the big tracks.”


Ron Barfield, #55 Icehouse Beer Ford F-150: (Qualified
14th)
“We’ve been really quick all day today. But
with the heat picking up on the track, it got a little bit loose on
me. I had to chase it through turn one and two and than I didn’t
want to carry it off through turn three because I was afraid that it
would do the same thing. I had to baby the throttle off there. We
got a real good truck. We’ll hope for the best and just go with
it.”


Mike Stefanik, #66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford
F-150
: (Qualified 18th) “We were a couple of
tenths quicker than that in practice. Apparently I don’t have this
qualifying stuff quite figured out yet, not the team, just myself.
Our truck is really driving great here. It’s not something
(qualifying) that we’ve been working on consistently. My confidence
is not very good in qualifying. The Ford truck runs fine but I just
don’t have the comfort level that I’m accustomed to when qualifying.
I really need to figure it out personally myself. In the race, I
feel great and we usually move up from our starting position. All
that we’re going to do is just get ready for the race.”

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