Biffle Qualifies Third For Samsung Mobile 500
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 13 th ) – “Our UPS Ford is pretty good. I was happy with it in practice. We had a good qualifying lap in practice, so we improved a little. You always want to improve more than what you did, but I guess after the first couple of cars that seems to be a decent lap. Obviously, I don’t think that will be the pole, but if it could be in the top 10 or 15, that would be a good start for us. Like I said, I think our car is pretty good.” WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? “We did our normal deal. We did a lot of race runs and felt like we were in the ballpark. We certainly have something we can work with. This is an important week for our UPS team. We really need a strong run and, hopefully, we can do our part to try and get Ford back into Victory Lane soon.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Qualified 31 st ) – “I feel good about the car. I was just a little bit tight, but it’s the closest we’ve been timewise in qualifying, so we’re making gains. I think the car in race trim is gonna be really, really good and I’m looking forward to the race. Going out in the front here for qualifying has never been good and it was no different here today, but it is what it is – you can’t change that – so we’ll start working on the race now.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion (Qualified 28 th ) – “It’s been a struggle for us all day. I don’t know why, but we just don’t have any speed. We made a couple of stabs at it for qualifying. Our balance was pretty good and that lap felt pretty good, but it’s just slow. I really don’t know why and I’m kind of befuddled by it actually.”
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Quaker State/Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 25 th ) – “The draw isn’t helping us for sure, but we picked up two-tenths from practice. With the way everything stacks up, the field is so close for being such a big, fast track, everybody is right on top of each other, so a little bit goes a long ways. That’s just kind of so-so right there, but we’ve got a good race car. We were really good in practice and I was happy with how it drove. We made some adjustments that improved things, so I’m looking forward to the race.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Post-In Ford Fusion (Qualified 3 rd ) – “You can tell when you turn down in the corner and you can lay the throttle to these things and the car sticks to the race track and doesn’t slide up. These guys have done a good job with this Post-It 3M Ford Fusion so far this weekend, but with these clouds coming over and it cooling off, I know we’re probably gonna get beat, but that’s still gonna be good enough, I think, for a top five.” DID YOU GET IT ALL? “When it comes down to it I just didn’t arc it into three and four like I needed to. I pinched it off a little bit early and it might have been half-a-tenth, but there wasn’t a lot of speed left.”
KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Qualified 5 th ) – “We had a couple things that you just kind of learn over the years what the car is doing and I felt like the guys jumped on that stuff. What I fought there was hardly anything, it was actually really good and I just slid around a little bit. That was a pretty solid lap. We have a great team and it should be pretty fun on Sunday. It’s a good track for us and I think we should run strong. We’ve qualified well. There are still some good cars to go, but it’ll be a top 10 and it’ll be a decent starting spot for Sunday.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion (Qualified 17 th ) – “That was alright. We were just a little bit loose overall. This place is so sensitive, especially with the heat, that just trying to get the rear grip is tough. It’s a fine line from being a little too loose and being just a little too tight. We would have liked to have been a little bit better. I thought we could be in the top 10, but were just too loose. I thought we had a decent car in race trim. It’s gonna rain at some point here, so I don’t know if we’ll get any practice tomorrow. I think we’ll be 18 th or 19 th , it’ll be raceable and we’ll go from there.”
KEVIN CONWAY – No. 38 ExtenZe Ford Fusion (Qualified 41 st ) – “We thought the car was gonna have a lot more in it than that. I really thought we could run a high .60 or a low .70, but the ExtenZe Ford was too tight in the center. That really caused us to put a lot more steering input than we wanted in the car and you could just feel it bind the car up from the center off and that scrubs a lot of speed at that point.” YOU DON’T WANT RAIN TOMORROW, DO YOU? “No, we definitely need to get a couple more practice sessions in tomorrow. We actually started the first practice this morning in race trim and we were pretty decent. We were actually really happy, so I know in race trim the ExtenZe Ford Fusion is a whole lot better than what it is in qualifying trim. We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing and try to be a little more competitive each week to stay in that top 35 and try to add to our Raybestos Rookie of the Year point lead.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Qualified 35 th ) – “That’s no fun. It’s been a rough week. I’ve definitely been in this situation before and it’s all you think about. When you lay down in bed until the time you wake up in the morning, that one lap right there is on your mind. The guys just did a great job today with the Long John Silver’s Ford. They made a lot of changes this week. They weren’t expecting to bring the car home between Phoenix and here, but since we had to get in on speed we brought it home and really went to work on it. We put a lot of effort into qualifying and it’s not a pole run or anything like that, but it’s a pretty good qualifying effort and good enough to get us in the show. First things first, so now we hopefully will get some laps tomorrow and have a good race car for Sunday.”
GREG BIFFLE PRESS CONFERENCE – “It was a really good lap. We wish the track was a little bit cooler. The sun started to get covered up a little bit by the clouds right there when we were getting ready to go. I probably could have arc’d it into three and four and got just a little bit more speed out of the car, but got a really good one and two, and knew I was carrying a lot of speed. It was really tight up front – really, really close on the three of us – but I’m just happy we’re back on track. The car was super-fast in race trim and that’s what I’m more happy about than I think qualifying up front. Qualifying up front is definitely gonna help us with a pit selection and all that, so I’m looking forward to Sunday.”
ANY SETUP CHANGE GOING FROM THE WING TO THE SPOILER? “I think the setup is fairly similar. My car seems to be a little bit freer with the wing on it, and turning a little bit better on corner exit is what I’m noticing with the spoiler. I noticed that when we did the tire test. That’s about the difference that I feel. I feel like the car has a little bit more yaw to it and it’ll get a little bit freer, but the setup is not drastically different. The car still sees about the same amount of downforce, it just changes when the car goes into yaw what happens. The center pressure moves forward on the side of the car and makes it turn better, so there are some things the spoiler does on the back of the car that the wing didn’t do, and I think it’s a positive for our type of car.”
GIVEN THE SUCCESS RFR HAS HAD HERE, DO YOU LOOK AT THIS TRACK AND FEEL IF THE 17, 16 AND 99 AREN’T COMPETITIVE THAT YOU HAVE TO START RE-EVALUATING THINGS BEFORE GOING FORWARD? “Yeah, I mean, I was nervous about coming here because I was so looking forward to Phoenix. Martinsville is known as one of my not-so-great tracks and we finished 10 th
there and survived the day. I was like, ‘Whew, that’s great. Now we can go to Phoenix.’ I felt like everytime I’ve been there I’ve had an opportunity to win in Texas and Darlington and we ran so bad at Phoenix that I hadn’t been that bad in a long time, especially at a race track I really love. So I was a little nervous coming here with how our cars were gonna run. I was extremely happy when we unloaded and first went out because the car was real fast. The car was turning good and it drove like it did at the tire test and we continued to make it better, which is an improvement. We put some shocks on it and changed a spring and I felt like the car started driving better and gained more speed, so, at that point, I was fairly relieved. We felt like we were on track and I’m glad we’re continuing to gain on all those other teams.”....
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