Ford Charlotte Qualifying Quotes

Ford Qualifying Results:

2nd – Matt Kenseth

3rd – Carl Edwards

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4th – AJ Allmendinger

5th – Greg Biffle

10th – Trevor Bayne

11th – David Ragan

12th – Marcos Ambrose

33rd – David Gilliland

34th – Travis Kvapil

38th – J.J. Yeley

40th – Andy Lally

43rd – Scott Speed (DNQ)

44th – Hermie Sadler

45th – Mike Bliss

46th – Josh Wise (DNQ)

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “Our UPS Ford was pretty good in practice. We made a few small adjustments and would have liked to have gone a little bit more. I wish I could do it all over again, but our car is really fast here at Charlotte and we were afraid to really do too much. Hopefully, that will wind up in the top 10 or so and we’ll have a great car for Saturday.”

HOW DO YOU LIKE RACING ON SATURDAY NIGHT. “I love racing on Saturday night and wish there were more Chase races on Saturday. I think you have a lot of fun. The atmosphere is great. The cars look cool under the lights, so I absolutely like the night racing. Night qualifying is different and it’s fun for the fans and fun for us, too.”

CAN YOU WIN SATURDAY? “Absolutely. We finished second here in the spring, so I think we’ve got a car that can win if given the right circumstances. We’ve got to make the right moves and have a good, clean night, but we can absolutely win and wouldn’t be surprised.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Fluidmaster Ford Fusion – “I’m really thankful Fluidmaster came on our car this weekend. I’m pretty confident we’re gonna get beat here. I didn’t feel like I got all of it out of the car. Our Fusion was really, really fast today, but I just don’t feel like I got it all there qualifying, so we’ll probably get beat, but, overall, it’s gonna be a good spot for us to start.”

WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET AS WE GET TO THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE CHASE? “It’s the same as it was when we started the Chase and the same as it will probably be at Homestead, hopefully we’ll still be in it. It’s just one race at a time and put forth our best effort from every lap of practice, qualifying and racing and all week in preparation trying to do the best job we can do.”

HOW WAS THE LAP? “I left some time on the table. It was pretty good, but probably a half-a-tenth or a tenth slower than if I would have gotten everything, but, overall, it was good and should give us a good spot to start.”

WHERE DID YOU LEAVE IT ON THE TABLE? “I left most of it in one and two. There was more grip there than I anticipated and I was just kind of lazy getting in the gas and wasn’t going quick enough, and then by the time I got back to three and four I had already lost some of my grip and I was a little on the tight side down there. It wasn’t a perfect lap, but we had a lot of speed and that should get us in the top 10.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – “My lap was pretty good. It seemed very fast in one and two and I struggled in three and four. We’re gonna go back and watch the tape. There may be some stuff I can do better in three and four, but Bob and the guys did really well. I just hope it holds up for a top five or six starting spot. That would be huge for us in this race. We need to get a good, solid run here. We need that one good race that we haven’t had here in a points race in a long time. We really need to take advantage of this track if we’ve got a good car because it’s been one we’ve struggled at.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “I definitely got a little bit loose in one and two, but I think I could have driven it a little bit different down there. I tried to roll out early, but stay in the gas a little bit until the center and when I did that and finally unloaded I got loose. We just expected the car to travel more in qualifying here at night, so we raised the car up a little bit and it got free. That was OK, but in three and four I got a little bit tight and lost a little bit of grip. At least we went a little bit faster than practice, so that was good. We’re top 10 right now and it was a good qualifying run for the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “I’m a little disappointed. I thought I had a chance to run faster than that, but if you’re disappointed with a top-15 qualifying run, then something is wrong with you. You should take those days because they’re decent days. I got a lot out of turn one and two, but my problem was three and four. I just pushed the nose and might have cheated the corner a little bit on entry and paid the price.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It’s a great spot, but you want to do the best for your team and they gave me a great car. Gosh, I look at three-thousandths of a second off the pole and think of where I could have done a little better at. It was a real good lap and I’m really happy with it.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Tasty Kake Ford Fusion – “I feel good. We went faster than we did in practice. We have Taste Kake on the car and it drives great. I just wish I had a little more speed, but it drives really well, which I hope translates into a good race car for us. I’m very confident in the way it drives and I think we’re gonna have a great night here on Saturday. We’re looking forward to it.”

J.J. YELEY – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “It was successful in the fact that we made the race and as a go-or-go-homer that’s goal number one, but to lose speed was very disappointing. We had a good lap in practice and I was actually a little too tight then. I expected to run a .50 and I ran into one really good and just couldn’t get the car turned down. This place it’s so much about momentum and if you struggle getting back to the throttle it just exaggerates it as you go down the straightaway. I easily gave up three or four-tenths just through one and two alone.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 55 Ingersoll Rand Ford Fusion – “We had a solid car all day. It’s kind of cool having Ingersoll Rand colors on the car. It looks great on our Ford Fusion. Derrick (crew chief Derrick Finley) and the guys at Front Row just did a great job. Like I said, we had a really solid car off the truck. Just a little too tight there to go really fast. It was the best we ran all day, but there’s more out there. But, for our group of cars, we’re solidly in the field and that’s what we’re looking for.”

MATT KENSETH PRESS CONFERENCE – “It was a good lap for us. I didn’t feel like in qualifying practice we were really that great. I didn’t think we really had it and today was the first time in a long time we worked on qualifying for the whole hour-and-a-half. We thought maybe there was a chance of rain tonight, so we wanted to try to post a lap and couldn’t really do a lot better than 15th or 17th or whatever it was, so it was a little bit of a surprise to me, but Jimmy and the guys have been doing an awesome job, especially in qualifying trim. Our cars have been so fast most of the year and we’ve qualified above average for us, so it was a good lap. I left some out there. I feel bad. I wish I could do it again. I wish somebody would beat me by more because I wouldn’t feel bad about leaving half-a-tenth or something out there, but it was a good, solid lap, a great place to start and I’m looking forward to putting it in race trim tomorrow and seeing what it drives like.”

WHAT HAS LED TO THIS QUALIFYING IMPROVEMENT? “I really need to give most of the credit to Jimmy. I think if you look at past history, Jimmy, first of all, has had success everywhere he’s been and he’s always been with winners and has always qualified really well. If you look back at it, that’s the way it seems to me, so a lot of it is him. I think I’ve gotten maybe a little bit better at it, probably not a lot but maybe a little bit. As dumb as it sounds, I probably don’t try quite as hard as I used to or I don’t stress out about it as much as I used to and it seems to get us faster laps, and for some reason this year our car just drives really good in qualifying trim. I think they’ve been pretty good in race trim, too, but it seems like most weeks we’ve been almost better in qualifying trim than race trim, which obviously helps for Fridays or qualifying day, whatever day that might be.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “I feel really good. If I would have known how good we were down the back straightaway I would have gone a little easier through three and four, but that’s really neat. We were talking about that up in the hauler how it’s nice to be disappointed with third-place in qualifying. We have not been very good qualifiers historically, so this is gonna be a great start for us. We’ll get a good pit stall selection and now we can focus on the race.”

WHY WEREN’T THE SPEEDS AS FAST AS WE THOUGHT? “I think the speeds were faster in practice because the temperature was lower and we had some cloud cover, so those are still really fast times, but we didn’t see that huge change from practice to qualifying, I believe, because it wasn’t blistering hot out there during practice. But I expected the same thing. I thought the times would be a lot faster.”

ANY REASON FOR SEVEN FORDS IN THE TOP 10? “I didn’t realize that, but our engines run pretty well in the high RPM range. These qualifying laps you keep the engine wound up real hot, but I’m glad you brought up Ford. I didn’t mention it last week after the race, but this is the 110th anniversary of Ford Racing. Henry Ford won a race 110 years ago and we talked to Edsel Ford a little bit this week and he was really excited and we’re all excited about the fact Ford is leading both series right now – Nationwide and Cup. It’s a big weekend for Ford, so, hopefully, that translates into good race cars for the race. This track is definitely two different battles. Qualifying is one thing and the race is another. As well as we’ve run, we still have our work cut out for us.”

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FINAL CORNER? “I came to the green and I had a ton of grip in three and four, so I was real excited to get back there to three and four and do that again, and then on the qualifying lap I just got tight down there. We went back and watched it a little bit and I think I was just too aggressive, but if I had it to do over again, I thought that the pole was gonna be so fast I don’t know if I could make myself slow down there. You have to go in there, especially at a track like this where you have to be so aggressive to run that fast lap. You have to just hope that the grip level is there when you get to the corner. Once you enter you’ve committed. There is so much energy built up that if one end doesn’t work right, it’s just too bad – you’re gonna be slow. That’s kind of what happened to us. If I could do it again, I think I could definitely run a little faster than we ran, but I’m sure everybody could say the same thing, so that was the best I could do.”

DO YOU FEEL YOUR LUCK HAS TURNED AFTER THE WAY LAST WEEK TURNED OUT? “Don’t make me say my luck is going well. That will jinx it. You’re exactly right, there are so many days where you finish fifth and you’re frustrated because we’ve had days like that this year, a number of them, where we knew we could win the race and we were so frustrated with second or third or fourth or fifth. But last week literally felt like we had won the race. We got to 11th and I thought, ‘This is the greatest thing ever. I could never imagine we’d finish 11th in this race.’ And then we had the last couple restarts and maybe it was the last restart and we finished fifth. That was so far beyond what I thought was possible about halfway through that race. Yes, I’m very grateful for it and I’m aware that there is a huge amount of luck involved. I hope that it continues. It could just as easily go the other way. Where was Jeff Gordon running when he blew up? He had been running in the top five. If he didn’t blow up, the points would look so much different right now that everything would look a lot different, so I’m aware of all that. But we do have to run better. We have to perform just a little better. We can’t hope for that every week.”

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.

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