Ford Michigan Qualifying (Biffle/Kenseth)


GREG BIFFLE: “I tell you what, Matt Puccia and the guys did a great job with this race car. We weren’t sure what we were going to do, come here in qualifying trim or race trim or what. We decided on qualifying trim today. The car was really fast off the truck. We were wondering what we were going to do the rest of practice. The car drove good and we didn’t have a lot to work on. That was a good thing. I had to get out of the gas a little off of two and thought that might be my demise. Normally a driver can pick out one spot on the track where he gave up a little and that could cost you or could not. I got really good in three and four and was good in the flat.”

ARE WE GETTING TOO FAST HERE? “It is pretty fast but where we are right now, the one good thing about this race track and that is not to say that we don’t need to improve facilities and repave and move on, the good thing is that is only for one lap. The next lap is three tenths or two tenths slow, then another two tenths. Six laps in or so, we are running a second slower per lap. That is what makes this place so much fun and so fun to race at. It is the falloff. If it was that fast every lap for the whole tire run, then it would be pretty fast. That qualifying lap, ask any driver, we are holding our breath. That is a pretty fast lap, but speed slows down right away. Even the second lap you saw guys were three-tenths slower.”

YOU NEED SOMETHING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS. IS THIS A GOOD FIRST STEP? “Yeah, it certainly is. It is a big moral boost for the team to come here and run as good as we did off the truck and get the pole. We have to have a win to get in the Chase, that is obvious. Here, Bristol and Atlanta are good tracks for us. I think this is probably our best and this may be our best opportunity. Here or Atlanta. This is a huge deal for us and huge momentum for us going into Sunday.”

WHERE ARE YOU AT WITH BORIS SAID? “I don’t like Boris either (laughter). We said our peace and that is it. Kudos to him, because he is telling his side of the story. He says I was upset because I qualified bad and was two laps down and was mad because I raced him too hard last year. That is all incorrect. He wrecked me last year, didn’t race me too hard. He can race me as hard as you want. Matt and I race hard together all the time. I hate the person who says, ‘oh, the guy is racing me too hard’. There is no such thing as racing to hard. For starters, we cleared that up. I don’t have a problem with racing too hard. I have a problem with wrecking people. Then he ran me off the track in the carousel. That is the only thing I was upset with Boris about. Our deal is over with. We had our differences on the race track, that one instance, I told him I wasn’t happy with it on the race track and then I didn’t go around him the rest of the day. We talked about that on the phone and it is over.”

NO DOUBTH ROUSH HAS GREAT HORSEPOWER, BUT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT FUEL MILEAGE FOR SUNDAY? “Considering I have run out of gas about every race this year (laughter). No, you know, these things always end up being, always seem like fuel mileage races. Last year we led the most laps here and got caught on the last stop of the day. Last week all of us ran out of gas. Definitely it is an issue and when you make a lot of power, it takes fuel to make the power. Our engines are good and make a lot of power. Our fuel mileage is getting better. It could be a fuel mileage race though, but all of them can be.”

NEXT YEAR YOU GO TO FUEL INJECTION, CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT AND ON YOUR TESTING SCHEDULE? “I drove the fuel injection car in Kentucky at a test and I thought it drove real similar to our cars now. It drove much better through the garage area and down pit road. That low RPM the car responded better. I don’t know how it is going to start hot and if you run it out of gas, all those kinds of things. I do know they have done a tremendous amount of testing and somebody is maybe going to have a leg up on the competition between manufacturers when we roll it out next year. Some guys will maybe be better than others, but we will have to wait and see.”

YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF GOOD QUALIFYING RUNS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. ARE YOU SURPRISED IT HAS BEEN THAT LONG SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ON A POLE? “Yeah, you know it takes the right combination and right qualifying draw which is now set by practice time and takes a perfect lap and weather, everything plays a factor. For me to get a pole all the stars have to line up and they did today. I just looked at it and Matt was almost a tenth better than me in three and four but it looked like he was scared to push the gas down. That is why I am up front.”

MATT KENSETH: “It was a good lap. We had a lot of speed and honestly I wish I wouldn’t have watched Greg’s lap and saw his lap time. If I hadn’t tried so hard I might have had a shot at it. That is pretty fast. I was loose coming to the green and drove into hard too hard on purpose to make sure my car stayed loaded up and tight enough and got in there a car length too hard. Other than that, it was a good lap for us. It had a lot of speed and since we got here, it is the same car we ran last time, which was real fast. Hopefully we can drive it a little better for Sunday and be up there again.”

NO DOUBTH ROUSH HAS GREAT HORSEPOWER, BUT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT FUEL MILEAGE FOR SUNDAY? “I am not worried about it yet. You worry about it Sunday after if you can run, make up a number, 40 laps on fuel, and there is a caution with 44 to go, then you worry about it. Until then I won’t worry about it. Jimmy and I have talked about it a lot and we both agree that racing is about going as fast as we can go and we bring the fastest cars we know how to build to the race track and ask Doug for the most power that he can possibly build us. We are going to go out and race hard and hope we have a fast car that can compete on speed. Hopefully it plays out like a normal race and we can race it that way. If circumstances work out that way with fuel mileage then maybe we will get beat, but we are going to keep trying to go fast.”

YOUR CAR HAS A NEW SPONSOR THIS WEEKEND, IS THAT A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? COULD THAT LEAD TO A BIGGER, LONGER TERM THING? “I am 100-percent honest when I say I have no idea. Crown sold off a certain amount of races for this year and this is one of the races they sold off. I think there are a couple more coming up but I can’t remember which. Crown sold off some races and this was one of them, so I am not sure how they are making out for next year to be honest with you. Jimmy and I have had our heads in set-up books to see how we can make a run here at the end of the year and hopefully secure a spot in the Chase and win a championship. That is all we have been thinking about.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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