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Pepsi 400 Qualifying Quotes -- Ford Drivers

3 July 1997

NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Ford Quotes
Busch Pole Qualifying
Pepsi 400
Daytona International Speedway
July 3, 1997

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The following provided by Ford Motorsports Public Affairs:
DALE JARRETT (#88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Thunderbird) - "The lap was not
very good. We've done some work and didn't get our qualifying down pat on
this. We've kind of slowed up the last two or three times we've run
restrictor plates. But, we'll get to work on it for Saturday and see what we
can do. The lap was about what we'd run in practice, but we can't seem to
pick up anything. It's not been as fast off the truck as we wanted.
Hopefully it will be good to race, but we've got some work to do as far as
our qualifying package. We didn't qualify very well at Talladega (9th), not
like we normally do, and then we slowed down a little bit more here. We've
got some work to do in that respect, but hopefully we'll be ready for the
MARK MARTIN (#6 Valvoline Cummins Thunderbird) - "Well it was OK. We've been
qualifying 22nd, 25th with this car. It looks like it will be better than
that today, but not by a lot. It seems that we always do (make changes for
the race). This car qualified 25th for the 500 and 22nd at Talladega, so it
looks like we may wind up in the teens this time. It's about par for the
course. We led a lot of laps here in February. If we can get her to the
front this time, maybe we'll stay there."
JIMMY SPENCER (#23 Smokin' Joe's Thunderbird) - "It's fastest we've run so
far, even though it's not that fast. Hopefully, we'll hang around the
top-15, and if it does we'll be in good shape come Saturday. It's gonna be a
hot one on Saturday. We've got to get the car handling nice. It's gonna be a
whole different package from qualifying to the race here. Donnie (Wingo,
crew chief) and Travis (Carter, car owner) always do a great job for the
race and we feel real confident going into Saturday's race."
MICHAEL WALTRIP (#21 CITGO Thunderbird) - "Well, my spotter always tells me
to go in high, be at the bottom in the middle, and then come off high. I try
to do the opposite of that because he doesn't usually know what he's talking
about. I was down here in February for three weeks, and I never saw anybody
wearing a 'Speedweeks' shirt. It was like I had the plague. I was running
last and nobody wanted to talk to me. I've got a lap in the books that will
make the top-25. I'm really excited about his race. I always handle
awesomely in this race, at least I have. And Jack Roush and Eddie (Wood)
have gotten me a super engine and car combination this year. I think I can
contend on Saturday morning."
JEFF BURTON (#99 Exide Batteries Thunderbird) - Qualified 23rd - "What we do
with the car to qualify is really soft springs, and a lot of rebound in the
shocks. It's no secret. Everybody does it. They drive pretty bad. There's no
way at all that you can take any information whatsover from today into
tomorrow. Tomorrow is a totally different game when you get ready to go
racing. We've struggled quite a bit with the Exide Batteries Thunderbird in
qualifying, especially on the superspeedway. Last year we were really good
at it. This year, we've been really bad at it. (The lap) isn't great, but
it's a step in the right direction."
RUSTY WALLACE (#2 Miller Lite Thunderbird) - Qualified 6th - "It's got a
great engine in it. It runs real strong. To tell you the truth, we left
something on the table out there, because we didn't get the shocks just
right. They're real good, but it's bouncing like crazy out there. I thought
we could have run a little faster out there if we'd had a little more time.
we just ran out of time. But I'm proud of the lap. The guys did a great job,
the motor's running real strong, the guys back in the engine shop did a hell
of a job. I'm real proud of everybody right now."
TED MUSGRAVE (#16 Primestar/Family Channel Thunderbird) - Qualified 22nd -
"We're about two-tenths off from where we practiced. You know how it is in
restrictor plate racing, you open the carburetor and put a different
restrictor plate on and little things can change. Two-tenths is right in the
ballpark of where we practiced. It's close, but it wasn't what we were
looking for."
HOW HOT IS IT IN THERE? - "Boy, you wouldn't believe how hot it's gonna be
this weekend. I tell you what, this may be one of the hotter days we've had
down here in Daytona Beach. Come Saturday, I think everybody's going to be
looking forward to going to New Hampshire, where it's cooler. I believe it's
about 90 there."
RICKY RUDD (#10 Tide Thunderbird) - Qualified 13th - "It gets pretty violent
with this qualifying spring package and shock package. They're pretty much a
handful to hold onto. We'll get on to race set-up now. This is a brand new
car. I'm really happy. The guys did a great job on this Tide Thunderbird. We
got about six or seven laps of practice this morning. We didn't do any
testing with this car, so it feels like it'll be real racy come race day."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (#37 Kmart/RC Cola Thunderbird) - Did not qualify, 29th
fastest - "The lap didn't feel too good. But we're happy with it. That's the
quickest we've run all day. These guys keep working hard for me. I just try
to get them a good lap. We had a right rear tire go down and didn't know it.
So I guess I shouldn't feel bad. Hey, it ran fast. That's the fastest we'd
run all day, so we're happy with it. We've got really good race cars. We
want to worry about qualifying, but we don't get real upset about it. We
just worry about what happens on Sunday and, I know they'll always have a
good car for me to drive in the race. It makes it easy for me."
ERNIE IRVAN (#28 Texaco/Havoline Thunderbird) - Qualified 24th - "Obviously,
it's not fast enough. That's just what we got today, and we'll just go work
on it some more. Well the cars weren't handling real good, but we know when
we put things in to make the cars go fast, they don't handle very good. So
we just get ready for racing. We'd like to go faster, but that's exactly
what we practiced at, as far as the no draft stuff. So we'll get ready to
race and change a lot of stuff."