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NASCAR BGN: NAPA Auto Parts 300 Qualifying Notes

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
SHANE HALL-63-Lance Snacks Ford Taurus (qualified 31st) - "We lost a little bit from practice. The RPMs didn't seem to come up on the motor like it did in practice. I don't know if the race track slowed down or we missed a little something on our tune-up." DID LOSING A PRACTICE SESSION HURT YOU TODAY? "It probably did. It would have given us a little more time with this race car; we haven't had a lot of time with this car." WAS YOUR EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW A DISADVANTAGE WITH THIS WEATHER? "I think it's going to be a small disadvantage. We'll have to wait and see. It will be if we see some cloud cover. We need to see where we end up and figure out where we need to go from here. Hopefully that will be enough for first round, and then we can work on drafting, but we have a long wait to see where we end up."

KELLY DENTON-77-Merck-Medco Ford Taurus (qualified 38th) - "That felt pretty good. We haven't been as good in practice as we wanted to be. We were just hoping to improve on our practice time. As far as I know I think we did. I couldn't hear all that well because we took the antenna of the car for qualifying because everything helps here. We took it off and it made it difficult to hear the guys." HOW WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "The track feels pretty good. We have a lot more drag than we'd like to have. We're just catching too much air. I think we'll draft pretty good. This track is famous for getting greasy, so I think we'll be pretty good in the race as far as having the downforce to really turn off the corners and make good moves. I'm excited about the race, but I was dreading qualifying. We need to get the car handling on the bottom and drafting well."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (qualified 24th) - "That wasn't bad. That's the fastest we've been so far. That morning practice probably hurt us a little bit, but we're pretty happy if we can get in the top 25. I'm excited to be in the Busch Series, but I kind of miss the trucks a little bit, but I'm excited to be where I'm at." WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO? I think the Busch cars drive a little bit better at times. More rear downforce makes them drive different, not really better. I'm just trying to adapt to that and get used to that." DID THE CLOUD COVER HELP YOU OUT? "Yeah, it could have. You can really feel the temperature dropping right now. Right now it's really going to make a difference, but a few minutes ago it was still pretty sunny. I think that the rest of these cars will start picking up unless the sun comes back out." IF THAT LOCKS YOU INTO THE TOP 25, WHAT DO YOU WORK ON TOMORROW? "Totally race setup. That was our sixth run since we've been here. We've been prepared and right on time, but we just don't get the opportunity to get on the track that much. We only had an hour of practice and that gave us just on stab at race setups so we just had to do our best and go."

ELTON SAWYER-98-Starter/Hot Tamales Ford Taurus (qualified 25th) - "We'd liked to have run a little bit faster, but we're not sure why we lost speed. We thought that we had a clean lap yesterday when we ran a 49.20 (seconds), so we were kind of hoping for the same thing today. We just lost a little. DID YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE CAR SINCE YESTERDAY? "It's the same package we had in the car yesterday, so we're scratching our heads right now, but hopefully that will lock us in the top 25."

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (qualified 19th) - "We made the top 25, that's the main thing. We just wanted to make it in the field today so that we can get ready to race. I think these Ford will race a lot better than they qualified. I'm not too worried about that. We felt like the Pontiacs were going to go to the top of the field, and they did. That's not quite as fast as I hoped for, but we're in the top 25, so I can't complain. We haven't done any drafting practice yet so Friday's practice will be important to see where we stand." YOU MADE YOUR QUALIFYING LAP A LITTLE LATER THAN EXPECTED. DOES THAT MAKE IT TOUGH TO REGAIN YOUR FOCUS? "Places like this don't bother you too bad but if it had been Rockingham or something it would bother me a little more. The guys did a good job of getting it through tech and now we need to get ready to go racing. I'm not sure why we were detained, so you'd have to go ask Steve (Addington)."

JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle NesQuik Ford Taurus (qualified 14th) - "That's the fastest Ford Taurus out here, and that was a good time without any practice today. We took some calculated guesses and they worked out for us. Qualifying doesn't mean that much to us here. The draft will play the biggest part on Saturday, and hopefully we can get this NesQuik Ford Taurus into Victory Lane." DID YOU FIND SOMETHING IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY? "We just put all of our tricks into the car and basically picked up a couple of tenths. We knew we didn't have a shot at the Pontiacs, but we weren't down here to sit on this pole, we have a lot more to sit on later. The race is a big equalizer. We'll see how fast these other guys are on Saturday when I get my Ford Taurus stuck up under them." DID THE LUCK OF THE DRAW HELP YOU OUT TODAY? "It didn't hurt us. The weather doesn't seem to matter that much here, and it's not a handling race track with just two laps on your tires. It didn't hurt anything, and I always like to go last."

CHRISTIAN ELDER-38-Great Clips Ford Taurus (qualified 30th) - "I'm pretty happy with that. It definitely isn't the fastest in the field, but we picked up considerably. We did a lot of testing to get prepared for this. We went to Talladega and we were here earlier, and ran real well, but when we can back this week, we haven't been that good. We've actually been slower than our first test up to now, so that time will definitely pick this team up. The guys dug in last night with the No. 98 team, and we put our heads together and threw everything at it today. That's much faster than we've been the past couple of days." HOW HAS ELTON HELPED IN BRINGING THIS TEAM UP TO SPEED? "Elton is a heck of a guy. He's bent over backwards to not only be nice to me personally, but to also to coach me, bring me along and teach me some of the tricks and some of the good lines. It's definitely been a thrill so far. I've run an ARCA car here and a Goody's Dash car, and the speed isn't that different from the ARCA car, but the respect that you get for running in the Busch Series and the respect you get from the other drivers is an awesome feeling."

Text provided by Ford

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