Ford Daytona Cup Qualifying

Ford Qualifying Results:

2nd – Trevor Bayne
5th – David Ragan
7th – Andy Lally
9th – AJ Allmendinger
14th – Carl Edwards
15th – Marcos Ambrose
16th – Matt Kenseth
17th – Greg Biffle
27th – Travis Kvapil
40th – David Gilliland
42nd – Terry Labonte
43rd – Tony Raines

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “It’s so hard to tell. Even just doing qualifying runs yesterday you still don’t know where you’re gonna stack up because it’s so hard to get a good, clean lap when the track is covered with cars. I thought we were gonna run a little bit faster lap time than that. Obviously, we’ll take it because it gets us in the race, but we expected some more so we’re a little bit disappointed. The main thing is we’re in the race. I know our Ford is gonna be really fast, just like it was at Talladega. This is the same car and I’ve just got to thank the engine shop. They’ve done a great job and always getting better every time we come to these tracks, so I’m optimistic and excited about tomorrow night’s race.”

CarParts.com
American Muscle

ANDY LALLY – No. 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Fusion – “This is the same car we ran at Talladega and we didn’t have it exactly right then, but with the little bit of down time the guys have had since then they’ve been massaging on this and it’s a testament to their hard work. I’m thrilled and proud about the effort these TRG Motorsports guys have put into this. It’s great for Interstate Moving Services to be a little further up the grid and for us we’re showing progress. This starts an important part of the season I’ve been looking forward to because almost every place we go to from here on out I’ve been to at least once, so I can look at my own notes instead of trying to interpret other peoples’ feelings on how to go about things. For the most part, we’ll be able to go back with the same car and that’s huge, so I’m looking forward to that.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – SO THIS IS A BETTER CAR THAN FEBRUARY? “That’s what they always tell you. They always want you to think you’ve got a better car than you had before and you still want to go out there and win, but I’m starting to believe them. We qualified really well there, but I still wish we could get the one out of the Daytona museum here, but if they could build another one that is equal and they say it’s better, then I’m proud of them. It’s really fast. We’re on the pole right now, but most of the good cars are still left, so we’ll see what happens. Either way, I think it’s gonna hold up for a solid starting spot. We’re in on time now and we can just worry about the race.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – ARE WE GOING TO SEE THE SAME KIND OF RACE OR WILL IT BE TWEAKED? “I think it’ll be tweaked a bit. I think it’ll be slightly different, but really the same old thing goes – it’s gonna be two-by-two, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I think the 3M Ford Fusion car was really good in practice. Even though it was a brief amount of practice, I think the car is driving well. We worked really well with Carl out there, so we’ll just wait and see what the race has to offer. It’s a long race and a lot of stuff can happen. We’ve run really good here, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion – “I think this is gonna work out perfectly for us. Greg Biffle is my partner for tomorrow night, and it looks like the 16 car will be starting right behind us. It’s gonna work out perfectly as far as qualifying is going. Obviously, we’d like to be up there in P1, but a Ford is still up there, so that’s good. We’ve got great cars. It’s a fun race tonight. We’ve got Subway on the cars both nights – breakfast sandwiches tonight and regular sandwiches tomorrow. We’re hoping to win that race for them tonight. We’ve got some Little League All-Stars here from Orange City, so it’s cool to have them here. It’s just a fun overall weekend. I’m glad we’ve got the points lead, so I don’t have to stress too much about this race. I can just go and have a good time. My team has been doing great. We’ve had some really good luck and we’ve had some great runs. When you come to a race track like this anything can happen. Everybody knows this is a track where you can lose a ton of points, so it’s nice to come here and not worry about it. We can just go out there and race and however it works out will be fine.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “It’s a very nice run. That just means that our guys did a little bit extra massaging on this thing. That’s what it’s all about on qualifying day here at Daytona. You have to have a car that can go through the air. The engine department has been doing a great job. It’s cool to see those two Fords up there on the front row. You don’t have to worry about a lot of the grip here at Daytona like you do the wind. I think the wind matter more so than the sun just because you’re already flat out. We’re not having to worry about lifting and getting back to the throttle like we do at the other race tracks, so the wind probably hurt us more than anything. I know it’s a little windy all over the track, but our UPS Ford is fast. We’ve got a good plan for Saturday night. We just need to be there at the end and try to win this thing.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion – “Our main focus has been being able to push and our cooling system and everything. That’s worked for us the first two speedway races of the year, so that’s where our main focus is and being able to work and push well is gonna be the key to a great finish. We drafted with Tony out there yesterday and the cars had really good speed together. I feel like we’ve got a great car for the dance.”

DO YOU TALK WITH TONY TONIGHT AND COME UP WITH A PLAN FOR GETTING TOGETHER? “Yeah, we’ll get that all figured out. There are so many things that can happen in these races. Traditionally, it’s a little bit safer back there. There’s no perfect place to be on the race track, but traditionally it’s been a little bit safer back there, so we’ll make some decisions on what we’re gonna do. At Talladega we went from the back to the front two or three times together and we have confidence that our cars work really well together, so we’ll just make a plan and execute it tomorrow night.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion – YOU AND MARCOS QUALIFIED PRETTY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER. “We’ll be hooked up together. I don’t know what we’re gonna do. We’ve talked about kind of falling to the back and riding there, but we’re race car drivers and that’s tough to do, especially when you’re starting this close to the front. But it’s cool. I’m proud of everybody. We’re building better race cars. Doug Yates and everybody are building a lot more horsepower. All of the Fords are up near the front and when it comes to qualifying at this track, it’s all about good cars and good horsepower. We’ll keep working on it and pray to the racing gods that we get through everything tomorrow.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “We’re lined up pretty close and just about as good as anyone can. We’re actually even in the same lane, so I feel good about it. He’ll just drop back to me and we’ll get after it. I’m really proud of my DeWalt team. Todd Parrott cut the nose off this car about 10 days ago because he wasn’t happy with it. I’m just really proud of my guys and it was fun going out there last, so I’ll take it and look forward to the race.”

TREVOR BAYNE PRESS CONFERENCE – “I’m starting to like this room a lot. It seems like we’re always in here for good reasons, so, man, it stinks to be that close to a pole and not get it, but I’m just really proud of the guys for building another car. Obviously, we don’t have the one that’s sitting in the Daytona USA museum, but they’ve built me another one that’s just as good and we’re happy to be able to show how fast it is and hopefully, it’ll be that way in the race.”

DID YOU THINK YOU WERE GOING TO WIN THE POLE? “When you are that fast, but it’s that early in qualifying you try to never think that you’ve got the pole. You always just say, ‘Alright, this is a good, top 10 run or top 5 run because most of the time somebody at the very end will knock you off and you feel pretty bad if you’ve been expecting to be on the pole the whole time, so, for me, I was just really happy to be in the top 10. We had to do it on time and then I knew there were some really good cars at the very end, but when it starts getting down to like the last 10 you start to think, ‘Man, I might have a shot at this pole because we’ve held off a lot of good cars already.’ Obviously, we were a little bummed not to get the pole. We were all standing on top of the trailer watching and I kept saying, ‘Man, that would be cool. This person is lined up here,’ and Len and Eddie would say, ‘Alright, it’s too early for that. Just hang on a minute.’ They were keeping me in check, but you always want to get the best starting spot possible, but we’re definitely happy with the front row.”

HAVE YOU TALKED WITH DAVID RAGAN ABOUT RESTARTS OR WORKING WITH HIM? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO DO THIS TIME? “Try to do it all over again. You don’t want to come here with a mindset of ‘I have to win or we can win.’ You come here with a mindset of the same thing we had last time where we have to finish the race and be in the top 15 and then we’ll have a chance to win. It never crossed my mind that we were gonna win that race, even at the very end, so I think you just have to keep yourself in check and stay out of trouble and find partners. I think David Ragan will probably be a master of the restarts this time because he learned the hard way, but you just find whoever you’re around. I haven’t really worked out anything with anybody in particular yet, but we were waiting on qualifying to see who is around us. We have some good cars around us and then as the race changes you’re able to shift out partners, but I like staying loyal to people. If we work well with somebody early, I’d love to stay with them, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.”

DO YOU HAVE THIS TRACK FIGURED OUT? “The Wood Brothers have this track figured out. I can say that, but as a driver in qualifying, really Clint could tell you, too that this is a cool place to get a pole, but then again as a driver you would rather get it somewhere else because you actually had to do something. Here, you’re just running the top and then you go to the bottom and make sure you don’t bind the car up any and run the shortest line possible, so in the race there’s a lot of thought that goes into it – not tearing up your equipment and finding partners and timing out the ending right, but as far as qualifying goes, that just goes to show what the teams can do and the Wood Brothers and Donnie Wingo and those guys have done a great job with our superspeedway cars. I think this is one of the place where time in a car pays off. There are a lot of places, but this is amplified. When you put a lot of time into a car and really work at it and try to figure things out, it really shows on the track as speed.”

WHY IS THERE A DISCREPANCY IN THE CARS THAT DRAFTED TOGETHER IN QUALIFYING? “You can see it in practice. When two cars get together and they catch and try to time out to catch that pack in front of them to go to the top of the board, for our team, we never made any drafting runs in practice. We did two mock runs because we had to make it on time and people pulled out in front of us on those runs, so we didn’t really hardly get any practice at all, but I think Clint is right – you’ve got to try to figure out before you get going there at the beginning of the race who it’s gonna be and get to him as quick as you can and try to stick together. I guess at driver intros I’ll be trying to figure it out a little better.”

SO YOU DON’T HAVE A PARTNER SET ALREADY? “Not really. I’ve talked to a lot of people, but before qualifying for us because we’re a single-car team, if we were a two-car team or a four-car team, you can kind of scout out, ‘OK, you’re my buddy and you’re my buddy,’ and you kind of get it figured out. But when you’re a single-car team, you kind of just talk to everybody and then figure out who is around you and who doesn’t have a partner because they’re gonna be loyal to their teammates first, so, for us, we just have to find the odd man out and try to work with them.”

WHAT DRIVER OR CARS DID YOU THINK MIGHT KNOCK YOU OFF THE POLE? “It was right toward the end. I think there were 10 cars left. There were four RCR cars, two Hendrick cars, the two Petty cars, and I guess the Penske cars, so we were talking about that and trying to figure out which group of those cars was gonna be the fastest. But since no RCR cars had gone yet, we didn’t really know and then after the first one went we were like, ‘OK, we might be alright.’ I think it was Harvick and then Clint kind of surprised us when he went to third because he was a pretty good bit faster than the 29 car, so that kind of threw us off a little bit. And then we didn’t know about the Petty cars or the Penske cars, but I kind of figured the 5 or the 24 were gonna be the best bets at beating us because their teammates were already up there in third and fifth at the time. I kind of expected one of them to knock us off, but it’s really cool to be second. I didn’t expect to be that high up on the board.”

JEFF GORDON IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU SO IT’S KIND OF BACK TO BUSINESS, RIGHT? “Yeah, exactly. When the 6 car was right behind us for a little while I was pretty pumped about that. I’m sure I’ll try to find him a little bit, but to have the 24 and 5 around us, I’m sure they’ll probably pair up, but, if not, I would love to find Jeff out there or one of those guys. I’m sure I’ll try to find a Ford first, and then it’s good to have those other guys around us like the Hendrick cars. We’re definitely in good company, so we’ll see what we can work out.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO COME BACK HERE? “Coming into the tunnel it didn’t sink in that I was coming back to Daytona. I got here kind of late after going to the governor’s mansion and doing all of that, so we pulled in and then the next day when I got on the track in the Nationwide car, as soon as I pulled onto the track I realized that my last lap here was a victory lap. So as soon as you’re making that first lap you’re kind of going through the motions again and kind of feeling how you felt the last time when you’re coming down the frontstretch and pulling down the tri-oval you kind of relive all of that and it was really neat. That was the biggest eye-opener and kind of cold-chill moment for me was when I finally got back on the track, more so than just coming through the tunnel.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EMOTIONS AFTER YOUR MEDICAL ISSUES AND MENTAL ANGUISH? “I don’t know if I had any mental anguish. I might have spun some people out a little bit at the shop when I was gone for like five weeks and they were wondering where I was, but, to me, for some reason I just had a peace about everything. I did go through some tough times and some really good times, so we found out what our team was made of and I found out what I was made of, and found out who was really supportive of us. For the most part, everybody in the NASCAR community kind of caught me off guard with how supportive they were – all the way from the race teams to the drivers to the fans and everybody has been so good to us that anything that came from that was good beside me missing the races. It’s been a good experience whether they were tough times or really on top of the world kind of times this year. We’ve learned a lot.”

ANDY LALLY PRESS CONFERENCE – “It’s just a huge testament to our guys. This is the same exact car we had at Talladega a couple months ago. We didn’t really do that well with it. We had a great finish with it just staying smart and clean and staying out of the wrecks and stuff, but we qualified 38th or something like that. Every spare moment that these guys have had, which isn’t a lot because it’s kind of a bare bones crew here, they’ve been massaging on this car and doing what they can to make the most of it. Boy, this was good. We felt pretty good yesterday when we did our mock run, but we weren’t exactly sure where we lined up, obviously because everybody else was bump drafting out there, and we were optimistic about maybe a top 20, but to come out of here with seventh is pretty amazing, so it’s awesome for our Interstate Moving Services Ford and a great testament for all the great work that our guys have been doing at TRG Motorsports as well as in conjunction with Roush.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO WORK WITH TOMORROW? “I was having a funny conversation yesterday and I was relating it to when I was coming up the road racing ranks and getting opportunities here and there. There’s a time you go through as a young driver where you get onto what everybody will call a short list of an opportunity to get to race with somebody and I think I’m building up on the guys’ short list that want to bump draft me, but I’m not at the peak of the list. I’ve made a couple friends this weekend. We had one coming into this weekend that we’re planning on working with and then right after qualifying, and that went well, we made one more so for the first time I’ll actually have more than one radio frequency plugged into my radio and we’ll see if we can make it work. To be honest, looking at how Daytona went and looking at how Talladega went, if you just sit here and live through the first 95 percent of this race, you can hang back with one good, smart partner and push and as long as you get a whiff of the draft up there, you’re not gonna go a lap down. If you can do that, you can come out of here with a pretty good finish.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU AS A DRIVER TO QUALIFY SO WELL? “As a driver on the personal level it’s a huge positive, it’s a huge shot in the arm, it’s a huge encouragement coming from the team that we’ve got good equipment here. As far as did Andy put it seventh? No. I just stood on the gas and tried to stay as close to the yellow line as I could, and my guys gave me a fast piece. I don’t want to take any credit for putting the thing up as high as it is. I was just fortunate to get behind the wheel of a good car here this week, and at Daytona and Talladega that’s what is. But as far as what it does for me mentally as building up confidence knowing that we’ve got a good piece here, we were pretty decent in the draft at Talladega and knowing that we’ve improved a little bit on that, it certainly will be nice if we can hang around on this thing and stay on the lead lap until we get close to the finish. I think we’re gonna have a strong enough car that, one, will be able to get us to the front and, two, will have a little more encouragement from other teams and other drivers that will want to get with us to help us get to the front, so that’s a positive for sure.”

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH TREVOR? “I’d love to, for sure. A good kid like that, as young as he is, and as new as he is to Sprint Cup racing, he’s obviously learned a lot and does a really good job and is composed for his age – for anybody’s age really. You guys have been interviewing him and talking to him and watching him drive for a long time now. He’s an obvious future superstar or current superstar for that matter, so, yeah, I would love to get with him – any of the Roush guys. Actually, a lot of guys in this whole garage, whether it’s the Roush guys or guys outside of that camp, have been very nice to me and welcoming, but it’s just a whole matter of when you get out there and you’re doing 200 miles an hour and you’re pushing and shoving your way out there, are you gonna go with a guy you met six months ago or are you gonna go with a guy that you’ve been a teammate with or friend with for five, 10, 15 years? So I’m trying to build that enthusiasm and confidence up in them to believe in me.”

ANDY LALLY CONTINUED — WHO ARE YOU GOING TO WORK WITH TOMORROW AND IS THIS PLACE MORE SPECIAL THAN OTHERS WITH YOUR ROAD RACING BACKGROUND? “Daytona is hands-down my most special place as far as a race track goes. Having come here with the desire as a young kid to not only race in the Daytona 500 but then as my sports car career advanced, racing and winning the 24 Hours of Daytona, this has become the mecca for me. I’ve got Watkins Glen, which is a close second because I’m from New York, but this is hallowed ground here for me. Coming here, even though this isn’t so much driver talent getting up in seventh, this is just a cool little feather in the cap that a small team has come up here and done this. That’s pretty neat. A year ago today I was sitting up here. We won the Rolex race that was in conjunction. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years with the July Daytona race, so it’s pretty cool. Daytona is incredible. As far as my drafting partner, that’s actually another really cool one there. Just coming here we started talking to Tommy Baldwin and Geoff getting in the race here in the 35. Geoff Bodine and Davey Allison were one of my two first heroes that I connected with because Geoff is from New York, so to have a chance to race with him and hook up with him, I think, will be pretty cool.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR SPORTS CAR EXPERIENCE? DOES IT HELP? “Only if you guys were letting us race in the rain. If we were going green whether it was rain or shine it would, but it’s actually something I’ve asked Kevin to completely relieve me of my duties this year. We have a July 24th event, the next and last open weekend before the end of the season here where there’s a Rolex race at New Jersey Motorsports Park and I actually asked him not to do that. It’s such a different feel mainly because of the tire. I’ve expressed that a lot in the past before, it’s not so much the engine is in the rear or that it’s a shorter wheel base or a higher downforce, it’s the tire is so different. We run a really low profile tire in the Rolex Series and we run a really high profile tire in comparison in the Cup Series here. Trying to get that feel in your head as that tire takes a set into the turn is big, and you guys know more than anything here that especially being a go or go-homer, every thousandth of a second counts here and I need to be focused on this, so as much as I love the Rolex stuff, I need to just focus on this. Yeah, I almost want to remove that from my head. That’s as far as driving fast. As far as racing experience and the ability to maybe calm down a little bit in the high pressure situations, it hugely helps because I’ve kind of been there and done that in high-pressure situations. It’s not obviously the Daytona 500 or the Coke Zero 400, but it’s still a pressure situation where you’ve got to kind of relax on the steering wheel, take a deep breath, tell yourself, ‘Hey, it’s just another day,’ and get at it.”

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

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here