Top Ford driver qualifies third

For Sunday's Sprint Cup Race

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 5th) –

YOU PICKED UP SO MUCH IS THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT? “Yeah, that’s the difference between day and night, also we were way far off with this car when we unloaded it and I’m real proud of the guys. I didn’t do anything to it. They have made it a lot better to drive. We’ve got a long ways to go in race trim, but I’m pretty happy with it right now.”

YOU WERE NOT HAPPY WITH THIS CAR ABOUT 90 MINUTES AGO. WHAT HAPPENED? “I don’t have any idea what happened. The guys went to work on it, I know that much. I still can’t replay the lap in my mind. I don’t know what I did down there in one and two. I think I still have some more speed that I gave up, but I’m pretty happy to be up there right now. I can’t believe nobody has beaten us yet, so that means we’re probably gonna be in the top 15. That’s what I’m hoping for.”JAMIE MCMURRAY – No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd) – “That’s a really good lap. I don’t know if it’s the tire that Goodyear has brought here, but when we unloaded in practice I thought that we were two or three seconds off the pace and it ended up we were like fifth-quick for most of practice. The cars just drive really odd. They’re really free getting in the corner and then once the car gets loaded up, it seems like it gets real tight. Now in qualifying trim it’s a little bit different because it just has so much grip and you put all that tape on the grille and it’s night time, so it will be an interesting race on Sunday.” WILL WE SEE ENGINE ISSUES LIKE AT VEGAS? “I know that Doug Yates and Jack Roush have worked really hard throughout this week to ensure that we’re not gonna have any problems. The biggest issue we had at Vegas is that the track was a lot faster and the gear ratio that we had, the pace just didn’t slow down. We turned 9300 RPMs at Fontana and then we went to Vegas the next week and we turned 9800 the entire run, so all of the issues that we had was just because our engines are built to run 9600 and when you run them 9800 for 400 miles parts are gonna break. But I don’t think we’re gonna see a problem here. They’ve tweaked on them a little bit and I think made them a little more durable and we’re not gonna see the RPMs here.”DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 39th) – “It’s been a pretty frustrating day. We unloaded and it wasn’t very fast. We’ve made gains, but when you start so slow you can only pick up so much. I think we know the direction we need to go, but we started off so bad and everybody else is so far ahead. It’s been a tough day. We don’t have the speed that we want, but the good news it’s Friday and not Sunday morning.”BILL ELLIOTT – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 35th) – “It’s been one of those days. It’s either do or die and we’ll see what happens. It’s gonna be tight. Qualifying was a lot better, but in practice we were all over the place – loose in, tight in the middle. We’ll just see what happens.”TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 28 Golden Corral Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd) – “It’s just so taxing. It’s all you think about all week is that lap right there. I’m just really happy with my team. I didn’t feel like the car was driving very good off the truck. It had reasonable speed, but it sure didn’t drive very good. It felt kind of loose and I just wasn’t real happy with it. Ben and Nick and the guys did a great job. They made all the right adjustments throughout practice and got it to where I could drive hard and we put in a solid lap. I’m just really happy for Golden Corral. We didn’t give them anything last week, so we’ve got them on board this week and we’re gonna do good for them on Sunday, too.”JAMIE MCMURRAY PRESS CONFERENCE – TALK ABOUT YOUR LAP. “That was good. We unloaded really good in race trim this afternoon and went into qualifying trim and we were like 10th or 12th and didn’t really change a whole lot on the car. When it comes time to qualifying here, it seems just really big to be able to arc the car in the corner. I knew I’d saved a little bit for qualifying and it turned out to be a pretty good lap.” HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO KEEP THIS START GOING? “It certainly makes showing up every week a lot more enjoyable. We’ve run so well at all the races this year and certainly at Daytona we didn’t get the finish for the car that we had and then had the brake issues at Fontana, and then last week being as sick as I was, I was pretty excited to be able to run in the top 10. We have an off weekend next weekend and to be able to come out of here with a good finish makes for a lot easier off weekend, so it’s a good way to start your weekend. I don’t know that qualifying – at Atlanta it’s usually one of those tracks you can pass at, but Sunday’s race is gonna be interesting because the tire that we have here is a huge challenge to drive. The cars drive really odd and I think the track position will probably be more important here than what it’s been in the past.” HOW DO YOU THINK THE CAR WILL RACE? “We did the typical start to the weekend where you do race runs and then just make a couple qualifying runs at the end, but for some reason the cars are turning really good off the wall. I almost kind of feel loose getting down at the corner and then when you get to the white line they get super tight and then they’re really loose off. I know that last year here the first race the cars were really a challenge to drive and I would guess that you’ll hear a lot of guys complaining on Sunday that their cars are gonna be a challenge to drive.” IS QUALIFYING A BIG WHITE-KNUCKLE EXPERIENCE HERE WITH THESE TIRES? “I wasn’t on the pole, so maybe I should be shaking more. I don’t know, I think it’s been more adventurous for me here when I’ve qualified 30th and you’re trying to hang onto that car. My car, it wasn’t that thrilling of a lap. I think my save last week at Vegas was way more exciting for me than my qualifying lap here.”

DID YOU WATCH THE SAVE LAST WEEK ON TAPE? “Honestly, the tape didn’t do it justice. I was like, ‘Damn, I wish I had an in-car camera right now because that was a lot of work.’ It’s just incredible that you’re able to slide that long around a corner and gather it up. Gosh, two or three times throughout that I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got it saved,’ and then I thought, ‘No, I don’t yet.’ So that’s incredible. I can’t believe that we were able to hang onto that. And it’s amazing what goes through your mind in that three seconds. You think, ‘Oh, not another bad points day.’ Or, ‘Who the hell just hit me?’ That’s what I was actually thinking, so my view seemed a lot scarier than what it looked like on TV.”

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