Kahne To Start Second in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Race In New Hampshire
KEVIN CONWAY – No. 34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion (Qualified 44 th ) – “We were really tight in practice and got the car to turn a lot better in the center, but that just killed our forward drive. It was really tough to get the power down, so that hurt our lap. We were looking for something around a 29.40 or 29.50, so we missed our mark by a little bit there, but the good thing is that in race trim we were halfway decent on old tires. That at least gives a direction to start tomorrow in the two practices, but everywhere we go for this qualifying deal when you get to the race track and have an hour-and-a-half to figure it out, and then you have to go qualify against the best in the world makes it pretty tough. But everybody on this whole ExtenZe racing team keeps tuning on our Fusion and getting it a little bit better each time we get out, and I’m getting more and more experience, so I’m looking forward to being even better tomorrow in both practices and getting ready for the race on Sunday.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 34 th ) – “I’ve had trouble with getting the power down, so we continue to tighten it up but got it too tight and just chattered the front tires. It’s unfortunate. We’ll have to start in the back, but I’ve won here from the back of the field before.” DOES THIS TRACK CHANGE AT ALL? “No, it really stays pretty close to the same most of the time. It seems like it has a fair amount of grip. I had a lot of grip leaving the corner, but I just couldn’t turn in the center.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 21 st ) – “I don’t know how bad that’s gonna be because of our draw. Right now, the clouds are covering the race track, so I just don’t know. It’s still a good pickup for us. I thought it was a really good lap for our draw. That’s the fastest lap all day for our Aflac Fusion, and I couldn’t run faster if I did it again. We’d have to change some stuff on the car, so I feel pretty good. Hopefully, that’s a top 10 or top 12 starting spot. That would be good.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 19 th ) – “That’s a little better than we were in practice. I felt like we could have maybe gone a little bit quicker. Another tenth would put us about seventh or eighth right now, but that’s better than we typically qualify up here. I was pretty happy with our Ford when we unloaded. I feel like we’ve got a good race car to work with. I can remember up here in year’s past when we were running 30 th that I would kill for a 15 th or 16 th -place spot, so it’s okay but you always want a little bit more. We’ve got a good car for Sunday.”
KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Qualified 2 nd ) – “It was good for our Budweiser Ford. We felt like we had a pretty good car all day. The guys made a few adjustments there for qualifying and it seemed to help. Montoya was super-fast this morning, so I wasn’t surprised that he was on the pole so far. It’s been a good day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and just trying to get our Budweiser Ford where it needs to be for Sunday.” YOU FEEL LIKE A TOP 5 IS POSSIBLE SUNDAY? “Yeah, we’ve run pretty well here. We’ve had some races here that weren’t very good because of things we couldn’t do anything about, but we’ve run good here at times also, so, hopefully, we can have another one of those this week and keep this little roll going that we’re on.”
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Energizer/Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 13 th ) – “For once we got a good draw and that helped us for sure. The guys did a really good job because we changed a lot in practice. The RPM cars ran strong here last year. That’s not how we started, but we went to it and it was a little bit better. We’ll play with it more tomorrow, but we’ve got a good Ford here.” THE DRAW MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE HERE DOESN’T IT? “Yeah. The sun is still pretty high in the sky, but we probably got some clouds that helped us out. The draw definitely helped us out, but we’ve got a good Ford.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Did Not Qualify) – “That was horrible. We had a really good car in practice and never changed a thing, but right there we were extremely loose. That’s probably gonna send us home, which is a big letdown for this team. The penalty a couple of weeks ago really put us in a bad spot and even as comfortable as we thought we were today anything can happen. I’m really disappointed. I don’t know what happened there, but I lost all of the grip and it got really free on me.”
DAVID STREMME – No. 26 Air National Guard Ford Fusion (Qualified 38 th ) – “We’re the little guys that can do and we were not very good in practice. This is a newer Ford they unloaded and we struggled, but we made a lot of gains. We’re so close to getting locked in the top 35. We’re definitely not a start-and-park team. We race the whole race, so this is pretty enjoyable to be able to make it.”
KASEY KAHNE PRESS CONFERENCE – “My lap felt really good. We had a pretty good car in practice and made a couple small adjustments because we were just a little tight getting into the center of the corner. It was the same in qualifying there and I probably needed to turn a little bit more early and might have cut some of the track off and gone a little quicker, but it was still a really nice run for our Budweiser Ford. The guys are doing a nice job. The cars have been really nice to drive for the last few weeks, so it’s good. It was a good qualifying day.” HOW IMPORTANT IS GETTING AND MAINTAINING TRACK POSITION HERE? “I think this is a good track for passing at times. You can run around and there will be two-tire stops, it seems like, a lot so that some people in the front who take four will go back and that will change throughout the race as well. Strategy is a little bit of a factor here, but definitely qualifying up front and having a good starting spot and pit stall will help a little bit on Sunday.” WHO DETERMINES THE EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING PRACTICE VERSUS RACE TRIM WHEN THE WEATHER IS IFFY? “For us, each week pretty much the way Kenny Francis has done it is we try to practice mostly in race trim, and then right at the end we’ll make one or two runs. That’s how we’ve done it for a long time, probably ever since I’ve worked with Kenny. That’s what we do. We always just practice race trim, and, hopefully, we get some more tomorrow to make our car a little bit better.” ANYTHING GOING ON FOR NEXT YEAR? “No, I haven’t heard. No new news. Sorry. Hopefully, it’s coming soon.”
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