Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, and David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion, qualified in the top five at Texas on Friday. This will mark Kenseth’s sixth career top-10 start at TMS.
MATT KENSETH press conferenceMATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 3rd) – “It was surprising, to say the least. I think we were 34th in practice and really just couldn’t find any speed. We just couldn’t run faster than a .90 no matter what we did. So, they changed just a few little things, really, and these cars are real sensitive, and my qualifying lap was good. It’s kind of like Jeff [Gordon] said, you had the headwind going into one, so, really I was aggressive down there and got through there fast, and took it kind of easy in three down there, and probably we drove a little too straight in the corner, and made sure that I got to the bottom, and that cost us a little bit of speed, but, overall, I’m really happy being third.”YESTERDAY AFTER NATIONWIDE QUALIFYING, YOU TALKED ABOUT THE WIND. HOW WAS THE SITUATION TODAY? “By the time we qualified last night, it was a lot calmer, and the winds yesterday were way more extreme than what they were today. For as long as I’ve been racing, I’ve never experienced anything quite like yesterday in practice, how bad the wind would move the car around and affect the cars, and how treacherous it was out there. Today really wasn’t much of a problem. There was some wind and you had to take that into account a little bit, but it seemed like it was less than half of what it was yesterday.”MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 3rd) – IT’S STILL EARLY IN QUALIFYING, BUT IS THIS A GOOD WAY TO START THE WEEKEND? “Yeah. We didn’t run really that good – that won’t hold up for the pole, obviously – but that should get somewhere decent to start. We really were off in speed in practice – I think we picked up about six-tenths of a second, which is great.”NOT WHERE YOU ON THE BOARD, BUT ARE YOU HAPPIEST ABOUT PICKING UP SO MUCH SPEED FROM PRACTICE? “Oh, yeah. We were 34th in practice, so I knew we weren’t going to be on the pole, but it’s a lot better than I expected for us to be. They made really good changes, and that worked.”WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY? “Sunday’s the most important thing. That was a great qualifying lap for us. I didn’t even dream we’d be close to the pole, to be quite honest with you. So, hopefully, that will hold for the top 10 or 15. We didn’t get a great job. Hopefully, that will get us someplace good to start, because we really struggled in practice today.”DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (qualified 4th) – “Texas has always been a fun place for me. It’s a special place, coming out, racing the Legends cars and stuff, back when I was a young kid. I got my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start here. So, it’s been a good track for us. We struggled the last few weeks – Bristol, Martinsville – we’ve really been searching just for a good top-20 finish, and really haven’t been able to put things together, so it’s good for our UPS team to kind of show what kind of race cars and how fast that we can be when everything is lined up right.”AFTER STRUGGLING FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS, DOES THE FAMILIARITY OF TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY HELP? DO YOU GET A BETTER FEELING ABOUT THINGS JUST BEING HERE? “When we’re struggling, I get a good feeling just being anywhere different. You know, Bristol, I was looking forward to Martinsville on Sunday night. And then after Martinsville, I was hoping we could race in Texas on Monday. So, I’m just ready to put some of those rough weeks behind us. We really tried a lot of new things as a team, and we’ve been working hard. And, we’ve typically run well at all the mile-and-a-half tracks, and so we’ve just got to keep putting our best step forward, and got to get some points back. We’ve got to get back in that top 10 or 15. That’s where we belong.”CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (qualified 13th) – “We were a little slower than what we thought we’d be in qualifying. It was just not quite as fast as we thought it was going to be. But, that’s all right. It’s a 500-mile race, we run really well here, and in race trim we were real fast, so it should be real good.”GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (qualified 14th) – “I don’t know. That’s not going to be very good. The track had more grip than that. I just made a mistake. I was a little worried about that wind. It seemed like the wind was picking up, so I kind of pinched turn three and four down a little, and that’s going to hurt us. That’ll hurt me a little bit.”THAT WON’T MATTER ON SUNDAY, THOUGH, WILL IT? “No, it won’t matter here. We just wanted to start better than that.”Suggested Tags:Ford Racing Martinsville « back