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Ford Bank of America Qualifying Quotes

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Bank of America 500 Qualifying (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Thursday, October 10, 2013Ford Finishing Order:
3rd – Greg Biffle
11th – Aric Almirola
12th – Joey Logano
15th – Carl Edwards
16th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23rd – Brad Keselowski
28th – Casey Mears
29th – Marcos Ambrose
30th – David Ragan
34th – David GillilandRICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 My Best Buy Ford Fusion – “I don’t feel like anybody is gonna beat us through one and two.  We felt good down there all day, but we were just fighting it and getting it to turn in three and four.  It was a little too tight for us, but, overall, the My Best Buy Ford was fast.  I overdrove a little bit in three and four, which obviously helped create the tight issue, so I think if I could go do it over again I would love to, but the week has been pretty smooth so far.  We got to test Martinsville this past week and got to learn a lot there, make a lot of laps.  I think I almost ran a full race with as many laps as we ran and having only one race there was a big benefit for us.  And then we came here today and worked on nothing but qualifying trim, so tomorrow we’ll be looking forward to getting out there and running some laps and doing some longer runs.  It’s always a tricky balance here with the sun being out and not being able to actually practice at the same time you race.  That kind of throws you off a little bit, but, all in all, it’s been a smooth weekend so far and hopefully we can keep it like this.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “I had a really good three and four, but one and two was a nightmare-and-a-half.  I missed the bottom trying really hard to put the thing on the pole.  Every once in a while that works for you and every now and again it doesn’t, so that’s what you get for going for it.  That’s what you’ve got to do.  That’s what qualifying is all about.  When it’s night time like this you expect a lot of speed.”  WHAT’S THE TOUGHEST THING FOR YOU TO DEAL WITH HERE?  “I love this place.  This is a lot of fun to race here.  Obviously, being at home makes it always fun to race here.  Everybody and a lot of guys from the shop are obviously here.  I think one of the big things is how much the track changes as the sun goes down, and the bumps are getting worse as this place gets older.  It’s been interesting for sure.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – “All in all I’m proud of everybody on this Smithfield Ford Fusion.  It was a good lap for us.  I think that will hold up to be a respectable lap, but it felt quite a bit faster than that.”  WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD HERE?  “I think it’s the team.  I think our race team does a really good job.  Todd Parrott brings a really fast car here and we tend to run well, especially in qualifying, so we’re gonna work really hard on it and hopefully we’ll run as good in the race as he have in qualifying in the past.  I’m proud of that lap.  We want a pole really bad.  We’re running out of chances.  We were in the Shootout this year after qualifying on the pole here last year, and we’re gonna be really disappointed if we don’t get one of these poles before the end of the year.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion – “We’ve been struggling a little since we unloaded.  The track has changed throughout the summer and we’ve been fighting some bumps and having a little landing issue.  In late corner entry where the car lands it just isn’t happy.  It just doesn’t take a good set, so we probably spent a little bit longer in race trim than what we usually do, so we didn’t make a big effort for qualifying and I think it showed.  That’s not a great lap, but not a terrible lap by any means.  We’ve got to work on it some for Saturday, but at this track you can move around, you can pass, you can run the bottom, you can run the top, so I’m not too worried.  We would have liked to have qualified a little better, but we still have a little bit of work to do with our Taco Bell Ford.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “There are a lot of things going on the whole way around the race track.  The track has changed a little bit, in my opinion, and I think it’s for the better.  It’s an adventure out there.  You go into turn one and it’s so fast your car slams down.  That corner went really well, but you’ve got too much time to think going into turn three. That’s the problem because that corner down there looks the same top to bottom, but there are a lot of different little spots of grip out there and there are so many things you could do.  I’m probably like most of the guys because I wish I had that lap to do over again, but it was definitely a lot of fun.  This is one of the neatest qualifying events we do all year.  Trevor Bayne was saying this is his favorite and it really is a lot of fun.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “We bottomed out really hard, so I’m disappointed we didn’t go faster.  I felt like the car had more speed than that, but we hit the exhaust and a whole bunch of stuff underneath the car.  Speeds are up and it over-traveled in the back.”  DO YOU FEEL THE TRACK IS ROUGHER THAN IN MAY?  “Yeah, it definitely feels rougher to me on both ends of the race track – it’s not just one particular corner.  It definitely feels rougher to me and kind of threw us off a little bit in practice, but we feel like we’ve got something with the front end that really made the bumps 100 percent manageable and I think that’s gonna be the key to the race for Saturday night.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – PRESS CONFERENCE – “I wasn’t on the pole as long as I wanted to be.  I was on there for about two cars or so, but, I tell you what, I was very surprised the track didn’t have more grip than it did watching all those guys go.  So I was using the Kevin Harvick mentality of don’t try for more than what the track is giving everybody right now.  That was my mindset going in and when I left coming across turn three and four the car had so much grip I barely even came out of the gas, I about went flat across three and four coming to the green, and I thought, ‘This race track has got a ton of grip.’  So I got all I could in turn one and two, similar to like what Kevin said, and it had so much grip down there that it kind of sucked me into three and four thinking it was gonna be as good as one and two and I drove it down in there and it went straight to the bottom.  I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got this,’ and I went to the gas and it started slipping the nose up the race track.  I actually came out of the gas pretty far, believe it or not, touched the brake pedal and back in the gas because I wasn’t sure.  It felt like it was going straight ahead there for a bit, so it would have run much faster if I would have backed the corner up just a hair, but I think Jeff had the best opportunity because he watched where everybody made mistakes.  It looked like he was quite a bit behind us going into turn three and it looked like he was going to be about fifth and then came out with the pole, so he got a really good three and four.  I wish I would have.  I’m really happy with starting up front, especially after the week we had last week.  We struggled a little bit, but ended up with a medium finish.  I’m looking forward to Saturday night.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED HOW MUCH THE TRACK PICKED UP AT THE END?  “I got out of the car and said the same exact thing that Kasey said word for word.  Kasey said, ‘Man, I probably would have run a .60 if I wouldn’t have pushed up in three and four,’ and I feel the same exact way.  I just went back and watched the lap and at the end of the backstretch I was in the green by a mile and then just barely beat the 5 at the start-finish line because I was way out of the gas. I think a lot of guys did that very same thing, and there were just good cars at the end.  But I am surprised.  We’ve seen that the track doesn’t pick up speed throughout qualifying every once in a while and it’s kind of weird it does that.”

DID YOU THINK GORDON WAS GOING TO WIN THE POLE?  “Kevin was probably still in the car and I was looking at the monitor because they were getting ready to interview me and he was probably, I’m gonna say at least fifth or worse getting into turn three, and he laid down a really good three and four.  His car really worked and there is a lot of speed down there if you get it hooking around the white line.  There’s a ton of speed, so I turned around thinking we were gonna be on the front row.  I didn’t think he was gonna beat me or Kevin, and then came back and beat both of us.”

HOW CLOSE TO LOSING IT ARE YOU WHEN YOU GO OUT ON THESE QUALIFYING LAPS?  “The car just hooked the bottom of the race track really good and the car has a lot of sideforce.  I drove it down into turn one a long ways and when it landed down in there it kind of hooked a little bit and it got a little sideways.  I was in the gas when it did that and kind of turned the wheel to the right, but there’s a different aero package.  The cars have a tremendous amount of sideforce and when they get a little bit loose they want to straighten themselves back up a little bit – to a degree they will take off – but I think that’s got a lot to do with it.  It’s just a different aero package with a different car.”

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