Ford qualifying in Kansas


Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, backed up last week’s second-place finish at Dover by qualifying fourth at Kansas on Friday. Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, needed to qualify on time, and after being the fastest (12th) Ford Racing driver in practice, took off a little more than a tenth of a second to qualify eighth. Defending race champion Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M. Sherwin Williams) qualified 19th. Juan Pablo Montoya won the pole.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 4th) – YOU PICKED UP A LOT FROM PRACTICE. “Yeah. It still didn’t drive really great, but it was a lot better than what we had. It just didn’t grip the track. It just feels so slow compared to what we usually have here. So, I think overall everybody’s just low on grip, and our group at Roush Fenway seemed to be off since we got here, and Chip [Bolin, crew chief] made some really good changes and that was, by far, the best we’ve been.”

BILL ELLIOTT – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (qualified 8th) – “We kept making changes, and the Motorcraft Ford just kept getting a little better and a little better. And, I was a little nervous about what we had changed to see if it’s going to work, but it all came together.”

ON THE RACE ON SUNDAY. “Well, yeah, now we started, now we’ve got to finish it up. But, we’ll see what happens. These guys have made improvements by leaps and bounds every race, it seems like, the last six or eight weeks, have really taken a turn for the Wood Brothers for what they’re trying to do. If we can just keep working together and understanding each other – we had a productive test. We weren’t really fast at Charlotte a couple of nights ago, but then the night went and we got better and better. I think we communicated better together, and we came in here with a pretty clear defined direction of what we needed to do, and it worked. Sometimes it doesn’t, but here did.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion (qualified 13th) – “That was a pick-up from practice. We unloaded in race trim, that’s what we’re here to do is race. So, it’s important for qualifying, but usually if you’ve got a solid car, it’s fast, it’s going to qualify well. So, we improved a little bit from practice and I wish I could’ve gotten just a little bit more out of it. But that was a solid lap. We’ve got a great AAA Ford, and I look forward to getting it fast in race trim on Saturday.”

GREG BIFFLE WENT OUT EARLIER AND SAID THE WHOLE TEAM WAS STRUGGLING. YOU WENT OUT LATER; DID YOU BREAK THE TREND OR WAS THAT AN ADVANTAGE TO HAVE YOUR TEAMMATES GO FIRST? “Both. I felt like our car was pretty good when we unloaded, and also we can learn some from what they do, but I think we just kind of kept our heads down and really worked on our AAA Ford since the get-go. And then we’ve been strong on the majority of the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so if we had to pick a couple of tracks that we were looking forward to, certainly, this one, Talladega and Charlotte are three great tracks that we should be able to run really strongly on all three of them.”

JAMIE McMURRAY – No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (qualified 17th) – “We were pretty good in race trim, I guess, we’ll find out tomorrow. But, it just never felt really good in qualifying trim. It doesn’t drive horrible, it just doesn’t have a lot of speed there. Hopefully, that’ll be okay in race trim.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M/Sherwin Williams Ford Fusion (qualified 19th) – “We were hoping  for a little bit better than that – actually, I was thinking we might be able to do a .50 or .60 or something. We’ve just got something wrong with our cars here, all of us do, the whole group. I guess we’ve got one more day to figure it out.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Ford. Drive one Ford Fusion (qualified 33rd) – YOU PICKED UP QUITE A BIT FROM PRACTICE. “Yeah, we made some changes and that made the car a little bit better. But, we still don’t have our Drive one Fusion exactly the way we want it, but we’re sneaking up on it. We’ve got tomorrow we’re going to have to work through and get it driving a little bit better.”

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