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Edwards Wins Ford 400 Pole

RICKY RUDD – No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Qualified 25th) – “We were in pretty serious trouble yesterday.We didn’t test here.We would have liked to, but as a single-car team you can’t really cheat the system like these other guys do by having two or three cars.They sort of blame it on another guy’s test, but we can’t do all that.We would have loved to have been here and tested, so we’re just a day behind. We didn’t have anything yesterday.We were really bad off and Fatback changed the car around completely from yesterday to today and it was better.It was too loose today and I probably left three or four-tenths of a second out there.You hear a lot of guys say it, but I think when you untape the grille a lot of that looseness will go away.”ANY THOUGHTS BEFORE YOU GOT IN THE CAR THAT, ‘HEY, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I MAY DO THIS?’ “That was a pretty good handful.When you have a qualifying day like today, it’s kind of nice knowing you’re not gonna have to do that again.But you have those days and they’re not always perfect.But as far as this week being any different than any I’ve experienced over thirtysome years, it’s really not any different.I don’t think it will be until January because you always leave Homestead knowing you’re gonna have some time off and this is no different.I’m just gonna have some extended time off.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Qualified 17th) – “We were just too loose.It was a lot faster than what we ran yesterday, which is a good thing.It’s not gonna end up being very good, but I think our car is OK for race trim but it’s really loose in qualifying trim here for me to be any good, so we knew we were gonna have to struggle through qualifying today.”WHEN YOU’RE LOOSE IN QUALIFYING THAT’S A GOOD SIGN FOR TOMORROW?“You like to think it is.I don’t know if it always is, but you’d like to think it is.If you’re tight in qualifying trim, you’re gonna be in trouble in race trim. It’s cooling down a lot, so it probably won’t end up very good, but, overall, I thought it was a lot better than what we were yesterday and it was just too free to go any quicker.”

KENNY WALLACE – No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Taurus (Qualified 36th) – “It seems like we’re struggling. I can’t get out of the car, really, want I want out of it right now. But, it’s a long race, we’ll keep adjusting. Just a little embarrassed, you know, with that qualifying run. Got it a little bit too tight. We were real loose last night.” WHAT’S YOUR COMFORT LEVEL THIS WEEK COMPARED TO LAST WEEK? “Just to do better than I did last week. Always do better, you know?”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Qualified 1st) – “That’s a great qualifying effort. I actually screwed up a little bit in turn three there. I didn’t do my job perfectly. We’ll just go race. I’m so pumped about these new Office Depot Fords they built me. They’re great cars. I love racing them and I’m just excited to race tomorrow.” HOW DOES THIS RACE TRACK SUIT YOUR DRIVING STYLE? “There couldn’t be a better race track to come race the final race. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a great race track. The pavement seems to be getting a little bit slippery, which is fun. I love sliding around. And, it’s got multiple grooves. I think it’s going to be an awesome race.”

MARK MARTIN – No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Qualified 5th) – “This is what I was dreading the most all weekend, but it turned out good.  I want to salute my crew.   They’ve given me such a great year.  They’ve never given up and have always had their chin up.  I think we probably have a better race car than I thought yesterday evening, so I love these guys and I really do appreciate the equipment they put me in.”  WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAY SO FAR?  “That was the most fun I’ve had in a race in a long, long time with the truck.  I certainly have a lot to learn.  I saw that today.  I expected that.  I knew I did.  Now we know what we’ve got to work on for the next race and that was real important -- this race with Stonebridge Life coming on board and helping us make this race possible, and Jack Roush.  This was a very, very important race because now over the winter I have some direction for my team to work, and when we come out next year I think we can start improving.”  WAS THE TIRE STRATEGY SOMETHING YOU STILL HAVE TO GET USED TO?  “We had tires there.  I can’t see the whole picture where I’m sitting in the truck and I didn’t realize there was only 12 and I certainly didn’t realize that every one of them behind us were gonna come but one, and did tires or I would have came.  I would have had new tires and not lost anything, but we’ve got to make our vehicle better than that, too.  Todd Kleuver hasn’t had the proper opportunity to show what he’s got this year based on our program being weak.  We’re gonna start strengthening that and try to give these next guys a better chance to show what they’ve got.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 National Guard/Post-It Taurus (Qualified 7th) – YOUR CREW CHIEF IS SMILING. ARE YOU GOOD WITH YOUR QUALIFYING RUN? “Yeah, real good. We’re really worried about this race car. It’s real, real loose in race trim and, which make a fast, fast car, but I was really worried about qualifying it, you know, I was nervous as heck, you know, that it wasn’t going to stay under me, I saw a lot of guys spinning out. These guys did a good job. They did a lot of stuff to tighten it up a bunch. That’s what we did and it stuck for us.”

KEVIN LEPAGE – No. 66 Cabela’s/Stihl Taurus (Qualified 28th) – “Another great effort from the PEAK team, especially with Cabela’s onboard this weekend. I just gave it up a little bit in the race car. We were so worried about these guys wrecking out there, and just trying to get a good solid lap to get in the race. Just gave up about two-tenths out there, but, again, we’re going out with a great note. We’ve had a great seven, eight weeks with these guys. Was a little disappointed last weekend, but, hey, that was only one out of eight races that we struggled with. But, we’re just looking forward to next year. Jeff Stev and all the guys, they’re behind me 100 percent. We’re talking to Cabela’s about coming back and joining this race team next year, besides several other sponsors. The Roush-Yates horsepower has been great. This whole team, if we can just start the season together, I think it’s going to be a real good year for us next year.”

DALE JARRETT – No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 9th) – “We made no qualifying-type efforts yesterday, we just worked strictly on race. I knew we had a really good race car. I didn’t have any idea what it would do there, but it stuck really well and got us a good starting spot. I’m pretty excited about the prospects for tomorrow night.” CAN THE TEAM TAKE THE LAST RACE OF THIS SEASON AND USE IT AS A SPRINGBOARD THROUGH THE OFF-SEASON AND INTO NEXT YEAR? “There’s a lot of things that we’ve done here differently. We’ve kind of stepped it up a little bit more each race. From Charlotte, we thought we were pretty good. Made some changes to go to Atlanta a little better. Texas, a little better. And now we’ve made some more aero changes here, so that’s allowed us to do the things that we know we want to do with the chassis, so our program is much better. So, hopefully we’ll just continue that direction and that’ll help us get off to a good start next year.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “My Office Depot team did a great job.The car was unreal.This is one of those tracks where if you get the car set up perfectly it’s not the hardest job for the driver.I wiggled a little bit in turn three and I thought I gave it up.I just talked to Ryan and he said he wiggled just a little bit and I thanked him because if it would have been just a little bit different we wouldn’t be on the pole.It’s awesome.It’s a great springboard for Sunday’s race.Hopefully, we can get out and lead some laps and not have any trouble.”

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY TOMORROW?DO YOU KNOW THE NUMBERS OR WILL YOU JUST RUN ALL OUT?“I know what the numbers are, at least I think I do.I looked on the internet last night.We haven’t actually calculated them, but I really don’t have any option other than just go out and try to lead the most laps and win the race. I can’t control how well those other guys run.If we had a lead, it would be different.I think in Tony’s position, he’s probably gonna be very aware of where he can run and still win the championship.But anything other than winning this race on Sunday is honestly gonna be a disappointment.I mean, we have to go out and do this.If we can leave here on Sunday with a victory and a good performance on our part, we’re gonna be happy no matter what.”

WHAT WILL YOU EXPECT FROM THE OTHER 42 GUYS TOMORROW?“I expect the same thing we get every week.These Nextel Cup Series competitors – all 42 of them or 50 or however many come to each one of these races to try to qualify – they’re all unbelievable drivers.It’s just gonna be the same thing we see every week.It’s gonna be a great race.”

ARE YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT THIS WEATHER?“Yeah, we’ve had the weather on the internet all day.I don’t know exactly what’s going on.I guess there’s a low-pressure system or some sort of tropical depression or something coming this direction.It could affect things.Obviously, it will affect the schedule, but we’ve done our jobs already. It’s an impound race.We’re gonna go race.That’s all we have left to do, so we don’t have the option other than how we spend our time if there is a delay.I’ll just go back to the motorhome and do a little cleaning.I had a flood last night, so that was a little frustrating, so I have stuff to do.I definitely have chores I could do to keep myself busy.”

HOW DID YOU GET A FLOOD?“I left the darn sink running all night.And the people here at Miami-Homestead Speedway are so gracious that they leave you a water line hooked up so you never run out of water (laughter).”

IS THAT JUST FROM THINKING ABOUT THIS CHASE SO MUCH?“It might have had something to do with that wreck I had yesterday in the Charter Ford in the Busch practice.I woke up this morning and I couldn’t figure out why my neck hurt, and it took me a couple of hours to remember even that I wrecked.I don’t know, maybe it knocked something loose for the good up there.I don’t know.”

IF YOU WIN THE TITLE TOMORROW WILL YOU DRIVE THE MOTORHOME BACK HOME?“Kind of like that.Jason and I were talking about this earlier.I’m a new instrument pilot. I got my instrument rating and I’ve been planning this flight to the Bahamas and it’s been kind of a chore for all of my friends and family.They’re trying to get all of the paperwork done and everything.If the weather is decent and I’m in a good mood, I might go to the Bahamas for like a day.I don’t know if I could stay away from home for much longer than that, but I’m planning on trying to fly to the Bahamas.I’m taking a strong swimmer with me, Amanda, in case something goes wrong over the water (laughter). That’s my plan. I know there’s a storm coming and my mom doesn’t want to hear that.She’s nervous about it, but we’ll see.”

SO WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WATER WAS RUNNING?“I was sleeping.My motorcoach driver can’t ever get the motorcoach level and I don’t know how lucky I can be, but he had it listing to the left-front, away from the bedroom, otherwise we would have had so much water in the bedroom.But it all ran out of the left-front of the motorhome, so that was good.”

Ameriquest Mortgage Company announced that Roush Racing drivers Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin will all be competing under their sponsorship in the NASCAR Busch Series next season.Kenseth, Edwards and Biffle gave their thoughts on the deal while Roush Racing President Geoff Smith also spoke about this new concept on Saturday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

MATT KENSETHNo. 17 Ameriquest Fusion -- “This is going to be pretty cool.We’ve got four cars that are going to be on the track at different times, but it’s going to be great to be able to race with all of my teammates in the Busch Series and the Cup Series.Hopefully, we’ll be able to have a lot of fun racing together and learning a lot together, too.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Ameriquest Fusion – “Having Ameriquest on board is going to be awesome.It’s really neat to team up with something like that, especially since I just bought a new house.They’ve been helping me out a little bit, so it’s going to be a fun sponsorship and hopefully it will bring a lot to the fans.It’s definitely going to be fun to race for them.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Ameriquest Fusion – “This is exciting because Ford is changing to the Fusion and this is going to give us some extra track time with the Fusion Ameriquest cars.I love racing the Busch Series.The Busch Series is a lot of fun to race in and to bring a company like Ameriquest onto our race cars is pretty exciting for us. It’s a great association.They do a lot of advertising on TV and this will give us a chance to put them into all the viewership for all the race fans.We know there are millions of race fans all across the country, so we’re excited about it.”

GEOFF SMITH, President, Roush Racing – “We managed to convince Ameriquest Mortgage Company to come sponsor Roush Racing’s Busch Series participants, but the amazing thing was that Ameriquest came forward with a concept that said, ‘We’d like to make this the Ameriquest Dream Team and sponsor all of your Cup drivers that are going to be racing in the Busch Series.’So what we saw this morning was the unveiling of the sponsorship of Ameriquest Mortgage Company sponsoring Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin in the Busch Series next year in approximately 60 races.”

THERE WILL PROBABLY BE A LOT OF COMPETITION BETWEEN THOSE GUYS TO SEE WHO CAN DO THE BEST ON BEHALF OF AMERIQUEST.“We don’t hold them back from competing against one another and we hope that it’s an exciting battle and it’s all up at the front.The question being which one of those Ford drivers is going to finish first and which is going to finish second.Of course, we’ve got some other full-time drivers in the Busch Series next year as well, so there will be some active competition amongst themselves as well as against everyone else.”

WHAT WILL THE BREAKDOWN BE AS FAR AS DRIVERS IN THE BUSCH SERIES?“Carl Edwards is going to run the full Busch Series and so is Todd Kleuver.Mark Martin is going to run the fewest of the races.Greg Biffle is going to run all of the companion races and Matt Kenseth is going to run the bulk of the companion races.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN HAVING AMERIQUEST ON BOARD?“We hope that for Roush Racing this is a prototype of a new form of sponsorship, where you’re packaging multiple drivers as other companies have done before, but you’re also doing it on the track.You’re bringing it to the fans on the track with multiple drivers.”

ROUSH RACING HAS BEEN PRETTY INNOVATIVE OVER THE YEARS WITH SPONSORSHIP AND THIS IS MORE EVIDENCE OF THAT.“They say that necessity is the mother of invention and some of our inspirations have come because we’ve had problems to solve, inventory that we wanted to put on the race track, so we just started to have to think about creative ways to make it attractive to sponsors.This Ameriquest Mortgage Company Dream Team concept is one of those ways.”