Ford Michigan 1 Post Qualifying (Ambrose Presser)

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Quicken Loans 400 (Michigan International Speedway)

NSCS Qualifying (June 16, 2012)

CarParts.com
American Muscle

MARCOS AMBROSE, TODD PARROTT AND RICHARD PETTY PRESS CONFERENCE

MARCOS, TALK ABOUT BEING ON THE POLE IN EXCESS OF 203 MILES PER HOUR. “There is no I in team and I am part of a great car to get this pole today. We’ve had a great car from the moment we got here. We’ve gotten under some things that really helped my feel behind the wheel and allowed us to get better setups. We knew we had a good car going into today’s session and I just needed to do the same thing I did yesterday at the end of the second practice. We threw down a lap and played a good strategy. We didn’t throw down a lap in the first practice so we could get an early draw and it worked in our favor.”

TODD PARROTT, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE MORE WORK TO DO LATER IN THE AFTERNOON WITH NEW LEFT SIDES BUT TALK ABOUT THE QUALIFYING EFFORT AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH LATER TODAY. TODD PARROTT, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 STANLEY FORD FUSION – “I think that Marcos did a great job qualifying today. We unloaded on Friday and our Stanley Ford Fusion was fast. It had a good feel balance wise and we had a good day on Thursday on the test day and learned some things. We hit on a few things and I think that we brought a little comfort to what he was looking for and we tuned on it. We made several race runs in the first practice yesterday and scuffed all of our existing tires that we were going to race on for the race in that first practice. Then we made a couple race runs in the second practice and worked the last hour really hard on qualifying. We knew it was going to be important to start up front. We had a fast car and he just did everything he needed to do. The guys on the team, they dotted all their I’s and crossed all their T’s and made sure everything was right and ran over 200. 200 and fast, I will say that.”

LAST TIME ANYONE RAN THIS FAST IN A QUALIFYING SESSION WAS 1987 WITH BILL ELLIOTT. HE RAN JUST  TICK FASTER THAN THIS AT TALLADEGA.

SAMMY JOHNS, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS – “Edsel (Ford) was at the shop the week of Charlotte and told us he wanted to see a win here on Sunday, on Father’s Day. We are off to a good star on that. I can’t be any prouder of all the guys and everyone at RPM who is working hard and working real well together. Todd and Marcos, they barely missed the pole at Charlotte and now we have both cars with a pole this year and it is time to go get them in victory lane. I can’t be any prouder of how everyone is working together.”

THE KING, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESS BUT CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GOING THIS FAST AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOUR RACE TEAM TO BE OUT FRONT TOMORROW.  RICHARD PETTY, OWNER, RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS – “That is why I was asking when the last time anyone ran 200 mph. I can’t hardly remember that far back. To be able to do it on a flatter race track, not Daytona or Talladega, that is unheard of. Of course you know being we are running so fast and running into the tire problems we used to run into when we ran this fast on other speedways. Today is qualifying and tomorrow or Sunday is going to be a completely different operation. Nobody has ever run on these tires so we come up here and we practice one whole day and then practice yesterday and then qualify today. It is completely different just as if we come up here blind. It is going to be a whole different deal. We are proud that the guys put it together today, under the circumstances everybody else had, now we have to get our circumstances right for tomorrow.”

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Quicken Loans 400 (Michigan International Speedway)

NSCS Qualifying (June 16, 2012)

Page 6

AMBROSE PRESS CONFERENCE CONTINUED –

MARCOSE AMBROSE – IS THIS A WHOLE NEW TRACK? HOW HAVE THINGS COME TOGETHER? THIS IS A DRAMATIC CHANGE IN FORTUNE FOR YOUR TEAM. “We didn’t wander into it, that is for sure. Our team has been running well all year and this has been a track that I traditionally have not done well at for several reasons but not one thing. I wouldn’t say it is the track or tire or resurface or whatever. It still feels like Michigan. We are the fastest team in NASCAR and we are proud of it. We threw down a great lap and didn’t luck into it. We didn’t get a cloud or anything like that. We had a fast car yesterday and converted it to a pole today. It is a lot of hard work really. I am just a piece of it. I am the guy lucky enough to strap in the race car and drive it around the race track. There are a lot of people that went into this and we have been working exceptionally hard on these flatter race tracks to get a handle on it because it has been one of my more difficult disciplines of the sport.”

YOU JUST RAN THE FASTEST LAP IN 25 YEARS. THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WANTED THE BRAGGING RIGHTS. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? “It is going to sound great at the bar when you have had about six too many. It is good bragging rights, I will give it that. I am really excited to get the speed and to claim to be the fastest guy out there. It is just awesome. We have missed some poles. This is my first pole in Sprint Cup and we have missed some by thousandths of a second and conditions changing. It is good that we actually got one to stick and one that has so many records attached to it. It is the fastest lap at Michigan ever and everything you said. And it felt that fast out there too. It felt like I was getting it done. It was fun times out there. When you get onto the front stretch and you gain about 100 RPM in a mile you know you got everything you could out of the corner. We were wide open for 99-percent of the lap and I felt good about how we got the car dialed in to do that.”

RICHARD PETTY CONTINUED – WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO MICHIGAN IN 1969 TO DRIVE HERE THE POLE SPEED WAS LIKE 43 MILES PER HOUR SLOWER THAN IT WAS TODAY. CAN YOU FATHOM GOING OVER 200 HERE AND DOES THAT ADD AN SENSE OF EXCITEMENT TO RACING?  “When they redid the track and came up here testing and said they were running over 200 mph it was blowing my mind. I think the last time we even flirted with that was when they redid Atlanta and we ran 198 or 199 mph. We knew it was going to be quick but I think it was a whole lot quicker than what we thought and definitely quicker than what Goodyear was thinking.”

DOES IT ADD EXCITEMENT FOR THE RACE FAN?  “Speed is relevant to what everybody else is running. The big deal on us is to sit on pole but we ran 203 mph. That is like Indy Car speeds and stuff. Being able to accomplish that – to run 203 mph is more exciting to me than sitting on pole.”

MARCOS AMBROSE CONTINUED – YOU HAVE WON YOUR FIRST POLE AND SHOULD BE TOTALLY EXCITED YET YOU HAVE THIS WHOLE TIRE THING HANGING OVER YOU. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT IN THAT SENSE? “Let me put it into two phases. The tire that they are going to from 2006 at Charlotte I remember really well because I crashed on lap five in my first truck race because the tire was so sketchy and had no feel, so that worries me in the back of my head. On the positive side, we have such a good race car and team that I feel we can overcome the tire change and I think it is going to make the cars that aren’t handling well handle terribly and the cars handling well a little slower. I am hoping and I feel like we are going to have a team that is going to react with this tire and a good enough car to handle the tire change and I think it could split the field up in speeds. I am looking forward to it and getting back into the car. Two and a half days of testing isn’t enough in my mind. I think we need two and a half weeks here.”

TODD PARROTT CONTINUED – A LOT OF GUYS IN THE GARAGE SAY THEY WILL EITHER HIT IT OR MISS IT JUMPING TO THAT NEW TIRE. CAN YOU ADDRESS THAT?  Well, Sammy actually at 8:45 last night I was on Clark lake fishing with my son when I got the message about the tire change. As soon as we got the message the engineers and all the sim guys started working at 9 last night. We worked on it throughout the night and worked on it all morning. I think that what Marcos said, and it is a good point, if you have a good handling race car I think it will make it a little slower and probably not handle like it is right now but if you have a bad car, I think it is going to be even worse. It is going to throw us a new direction. Obviously with a different tire that has been sitting around awhile, nobody knows what is going to happen until we get on the race track at 6 pm or whatever it is to see what it really feels like. All our guys have worked together, all the engineers on both teams have talked about air pressure and setup stuff. We feel like we have a good game plan going into it and like you said, we have a good fast race car and hopefully it won’t affect it too bad.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – YOU HAVE SOME SERIOUS MOMENTUM GOING INTO SOMOMA, AS IF YOU NEED THAT GOING THERE.  “I promised myself after winning Watkins Glen that I was going to win on an oval before I got to the next road course race because I wanted to get that monkey off my back and prove to the world that I am an oval driver and road course racer. I have Sunday to get that done so the pressure is on. We feel great about Sonoma. We feel great about our team. Our team has come strides since this time last year and we are getting stronger and stronger as a group. We are working well together and it is exciting times. I have been in a team like this before where you continue to improve and it is limitless when you get the ingredients right and I am excited to be a part of that. Sonoma is a good chance for us but that is next week and we want to focus on tomorrow and we think we have as good a chance as ever to win.”

TODD PARROTT CONTINUED – HOW CRITICAL ARE THE FIRST FEW LAPS IN THE TEST TONIGHT AND HOW MANY LAPS DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FOR SUNDAY? “Have you been talking to Doug Yates? Right after I got the text from Sammy last night I got a text from the engine shop telling me how many laps I had left for my one hour and fifteen minute session since we ran so many laps in practice. We got together and they upped the laps a little bit. The first laps will be critical. He is going to know within five laps of being on the race track how close we are or how far off we are. We will know what we need to do to try to get that better. The first laps on the race track are going to be very critical.”

RICHARD PETTY CONTINUED – BACK IN YOUR DAY THE GOAL WAS TO GO FASTER THAN YOU HAVE EVER GONE BEFORE. DOES THIS FEEL FAMILIAR TO YOU FROM A DAY WHEN RACING WAS ABOUT PUSHING THE ENVELOPE ALL THE TIME? “You know, we would come up here and every time it would get a little quicker and a little quicker. Goodyear was kind of controlling a lot of that from the tires getting better and wider and you could just stick a little better. Plus, NASCAR with the rules and stuff they got better form year to year with different engines. At that particular time, every time we came we had a new body. Every year they changed new bodies. We have been stuck on this body for however long and so there is no improvement in that particular part of it. On the other hand, Goodyear has gotten in a situation where they want everything so safe that a lot of times as a track goes away they don’t go to a softer tire. They kind of stay the same because they know it is a good safe tire and they can put on a good safe race. When you come to something new, it is completely different for Goodyear and us from the standpoint that the cars are a little bit better but they are basically the same as what we have run here last fall as far as the cars. They give you the tires and you set your car up according to what tire you got on the car and that is what we have to do now. We will set it up with the tires we have tomorrow and that is the tricky part. Like I said before, the gain we used to have every year was that the tires got better. Now Goodyear just gets a safe tire and says ‘Go race.’”

MARCOS AMBROSE CONTINUED – HOW FAR DO YOU PUSH IT TOMORROW? THE REASON I ASK IS WE REMEMBER DAN WHELDON. HOW FAR DO YOU PUSH THE ENVELOPE? “Dan was a good friend of mine and he loved pushing the limits. There is nothing wrong with pushing the limits. We are race car drivers and it is what we do. We are going to put the pedal to the metal and we are going to go. However the car handles is what we are going to drive to. All the drivers are exceptionally talented. I will say on the tires that we have run as many laps as anyone out here and run as fast as anyone and had zero tire issues. From my perspective I want to keep the same tire because if the car handles well and is tuned to the tire you have no problems. We will test tonight and if I make it through the first corner then I will find out what we’ve got for the second corner. We will take it corner by corner and get a balance. The Nationwide race will put more rubber down and move the groove up the hill. We will have to wait and see.”

RICHARD PETTY CONTINUED – 200 WINS AND YOU ARE CELEBRATING YOUR 75TH BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR. IS THIS POSITION THAT THE TEAM IS IN TODAY AND SETTING THE NASCAR SPEED RECORD SOMETHING YOU LOOK AT AS A TOPPING ON YOUR CAKE?  “It is just another weekend really. I have been doing this since I was 11 years old. I don’t know any better. You just keep coming back and coming back. Age is just a number from my standpoint. I don’t look at myself and doing things any different than I did five year, 10 years or 20 years ago. So, you just keep plugging along and saying everything will be better tomorrow than it was today and that has been my philosophy all these years. It has gotten me this far and I don’t think I will change it now.”

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