Kenseth and Edwards Qualify Top 10 for Sunday’s Food City 500

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Kenseth and Edwards Qualify Top 10 for Sunday’s Food City 500

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 30th) – DID YOU NOTICE THE SAFER BARRIER EXTENSION? “There’s not a big difference right now with just one car on the track, but when you restart the race in about 10th spot, and you’ve got everyone crowding you up, I think you’re gonna wish you had that extra three or four feet. With just one car on the track here for qualifying it’s not that bad, but it should be fun for the race.” DID YOU HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR LINE AT ALL? “I really haven’t had to adjust my line much, but even in that qualifying lap I just ran out of room and I barely touched the right rear. If I would have had six more inches, I would have been fine.” HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “The lap was average, just like we were in practice. The car was the same as it was in practice and we just didn’t make it any better. I’m not too happy with our lap. I wish it could have been better, but, hopefully, we’ll have something we can go race with on Sunday.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th) – DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS TEAM IS RIDING A LITTLE WAVE? “Yeah, I do feel that way and I’m proud of it. The guys have worked really hard. Randy and all the guys, and Ford stepped up and helped us with some seven-post time. We learned a lot there that we were able to apply this weekend, so I’m excited. Hopefully, that will put us in the upper half of the field and we’ll go from there. Randy Seals and all the guys have done a great job.” DOES THIS PLACE SORT OF EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD IN THAT IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT AERODYNAMICS? “Yeah, for sure. We qualified good here and ran good here in both races last year, so we’ve carried a little bit of that momentum, but the biggest thing is we ran good at Atlanta last race and that’s aero and everything else. It’s just a good tribute to our team and the race cars we put on the track. Each week, we’re focused on just getting better. We don’t have a set thing of saying, ‘Hey, we want to be a top 10 team.’ Our realistic goal is to get better each and every week and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scotts Ford Fusion (Qualified 8th) – HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “Our Scotts Ford Fusion is pretty good. It’s just good to be at the race track. I didn’t need a week off with all the drama, but it’s just tough. It’s amazing. I guess the racing is the thing I love most about this sport, and I’m pretty excited about the race this weekend. That’s a pretty good lap for us. I think it might hold up for a top 10 and it should be a good starting spot.” WHEN THESE KIND OF ISSUES HAPPEN DOES IT PLAY WITH YOUR HEAD? “You have to be mentally tough. I think a football player said it best – ‘Last week is last week. You have to just go do your job and go do the best you can.’ That’s the definition of being mentally tough. I could have used a race last weekend, but it is nice to be back here at the race track and I’m glad our car seems to be fast.” WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO COME OUT OF THE MEETING TOMORROW WITH BRAD? “I don’t know. We’ll just go to the meeting and we’ll take care of it. I really think that we’ll come out of it better. In the end, hopefully, this is something that six months from now we can look back and go, ‘Man, I’m glad that’s over with,’ and everybody will maybe understand one another better. That would be the best thing.” HOW CLOSELY DO YOU THINK NASCAR WILL BE PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU TWO ON SUNDAY? “Probably pretty close.” WHAT’S IT GOING TO BE LIKE RACING UNDER THE MICROSCOPE? “It’s just part of racing. Stuff goes on all the time, so, for me, it’s no different than any other week. I just go race as hard as I can. I’ve got a lot bigger things to worry about. We need to run better. That’s my mission everytime I’m here at the race track and that doesn’t change. We’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to get back in the top 12 and we’ve got to go win those championships that we know we can.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th) – “I’m really pleased with the time, but I’m not really pleased with the lap. I didn’t do a very good job. I probably overdrove it going for the pole. We tried to tighten it up some and went too far. I was way too tight and just couldn’t get the speed out of it that I wanted. I’m real happy with the lap time, but I wish I would have driven a little better. I wish I could do it again.” DO YOU FEEL THIS MOMENTUM IS BUILDING WEEK TO WEEK FROM A PERFORMANCE STANDPOINT? “I hope so, but it’s only been four weeks of the season. It’s been good so far, and hopefully we can keep it up.”
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 12th) – “We picked up quite a bit from practice. We were really tight on the gas in practice and Slugger waved his magic wand and made it turn, so I’m really happy with it.” YOU MUST HAVE SOME MAGIC INSIDE THE CAR AS WELL. “I’m typically pretty bad at qualifying here, especially when we run the Nationwide car because they’re so different on a short track. I’m just real happy with that.” 

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