DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th) – “I think I just drove in a little too hard. Our car was a little free in qualifying trim in practice, so Drew and I talked about it and decided not to change much. The track is a little warmer now and maybe gave up a half-a-tenth or a tenth, but, all in all, our car has pretty good speed and hopefully that will wind up in the top 10 or top 15 for our UPS team.” IT’S ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF WEEKS WITH DREW, BUT THINGS SEEM TO BE GETTING BETTER. “I think it’s a couple of things. Drew and I have been able to click pretty well here and, number two, our whole company is certainly better than we were a month or two ago.
These are tracks that certainly play into our favor. Now it’s just about being perfect over a weekend. I can’t make any mistakes. The crew can’t make any mistakes. I think our cars are close enough that we’ve got something to race, whereas six months ago we were still scrounging around with our cars to find some speed. I think we’ve got good speed and now it’s just a matter of fine-tuning and running some perfect races.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th) – “It was a great lap. I probably left a little bit out there, so I’m sure some guys will nip us off, but that’s still gonna be a good starting spot for us. These cars, the guys are doing such a great job back at the shop and the engine department, it’s big power out here in California and you need that for the car to run good, but Erwin and the guys are giving me great stuff right now. I’m just excited. My whole family is here, so maybe we can get another win.”
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 24th) – “It wasn’t terrible. We picked up close to four-tenths, so you can’t complain too much. We’ve just been off a little bit in qualifying practice, but we’ve got a couple hours of race practice tomorrow to get it dialed in.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd) – “We made good adjustments today. It wasn’t perfect on the track, I actually didn’t think it was quite as fast as it was, but they were good adjustments. We were a lot better than what we had in practice, and just like Kansas it seemed like all the Roush and RPM cars unloaded with a lot of speed. Now we just have to work real hard to get it handling well because the speed is there again this weekend.
We need to get it to handle right, like we saw the 16 do last week.”
HOW WAS THE LAP? “It was pretty good by the speed. It didn’t drive exactly how we wanted it to, but our speed was really good. Jimmy and Chip made some really good adjustments from practice and what we were fighting, so it was a lot more comfortable and we could carry some speed. It was a great lap for us.”
KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Qualified 5th) – “I was looking for more, but that was pretty good. The guys did a real nice job and gave me a much better car. I kind of under-drove it and just wasn’t ready for it to run like that, but it was good. That was a big pickup for our Budweiser Ford. All of the guys have done a nice job and hopefully we’ll do some of that tomorrow and get it right so we’ll be able to race on Sunday with these guys.”
ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 19 Reynolds Wrap Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) – “I’m gonna be honest with you, the reason we qualified second today is 100 percent Todd Parrott. He’s put so much effort and so much hard work into our program the last couple of months. This is one of our newer cars – one of this year’s cars – and they’ve done a lot of work back in the body shop preparing the body on it, getting the car as light as we can and doing a lot of cool stuff. Man, that felt good.
It feels good to qualify like that. We’ve got a lot of people here from Reynolds Wrap, and I can’t thank them enough and, of course, Doug Yates’ engines. It’s a good day for us so far. We knew we were good in practice, I just had to make a really good lap and I was able to do that today. Todd, it’s been amazing working with him again. He’s given me like a new life. We’ve been pretty good the last couple of weeks, we just have to put it all together for 400 miles on Sunday and hopefully we’ll be able to do that.” YOU HAVE A BIG GRIN. “Yeah, this is a pretty big grin for me. That’s a great run for us and our team needs that. We’ve got a lot of cool people here today from Reynolds Wrap, and Todd Parrott has worked his butt off the last couple months turning our race team around and getting our program going in the right direction. This is one of our newer cars and I’m very happy to bring it here to California. Todd and I were talking about it this morning, the last time we worked together here at California Speedway we went to Victory Lane, so this is definitely a great start to the weekend and we’re gonna try to make the most of it.”
MATT KENSETH AND ELLIOTT SADLER PRESS CONFERENCE
ELLIOTT SADLER, Qualified 2nd – “It was a great lap for us. Everybody knows we need this for our team. Todd Parrott and all the guys back at the shop did a lot of work to this car. It’s a car I wrecked on the first lap of Indy this year and we re-did it. It’s one of our newer cars, we updated the body on it and it’s been good since we unloaded it. We felt really comfortable coming to this race this weekend and that’s a great way to get started off. I’m just very proud of my guys and they made me look pretty good today.”
MATT KENSETH, Qualified 3rd – “Our lap was really good, too. It’s encouraging this weekend and it’s a lot like last weekend at Kansas, where we showed up and all the Roush and RPM Fords were really fast on the sheet and they all have a lot of speed. We just have to get them to drive well and we feel like we’ll have a shot on Sunday. So that was a great lap for us. Obviously, I’m usually not the best qualifier, but we made some adjustments and fixed the things I was complaining about in practice and got a good lap out of it.”
ELLIOTT SADLER CONTINUED – ANY CLOSER TO KNOWING WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE FOR NEXT YEAR? “No, not yet. We’re definitely working on some stuff, but nothing yet to announce or finalize. Hopefully, this will help – to qualify good this weekend and hopefully run good – but, no, nothing yet. I wish I had some better news for you right now, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed and we’re working hard on it. I’m definitely gonna do some stuff with KHI next year in the Truck Series.
I’m gonna run a couple races for them, but as far as anything else, I’m not really sure yet.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Pepsi MAX 400 Qualifying, Page 10
October 8, 2010 Auto Club Speedway
MATT KENSETH CONTINUED – WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS TRACK FOR ALL OF YOUR SUCCESS HERE? “I’m not sure. It has been a really good track for us in the past, but lately we’ve been to a lot of good tracks and haven’t necessarily had all the greatest results. You have to be able to perform and put the whole race together every time you show up. It has been a good track. Ever since the first time I came here I just liked the track and, for some reason, we’ve run pretty well at it more times than not.”
DID YOU RUN THE SAME LINE AS MONTOYA? “I did not run the same line as Montoya. I just kind of saw his lap because I was no pit road, but it looked like he ran pretty high in one and two and low in three and four. I ran the bottom on both ends. Whenever you get done with your mock-up run, it’s funny because there have been a few tracks where after you’re all done with practice they’ll tell you, ‘Hey, by the way, those guys are running the top,’ and I’ll say, ‘It’s a little too late now.’ We just did our mock-up runs and our car was set up for that because you know where your marks are, and it would be awful tough to change that and expect to get good speed out of it, so I was committed to running the line that I ran in practice.”