Edwards Leads Ford Qualifiers With Third-Place Run at Bristol

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Irwin Tools Night Race Qualifying (Bristol Motor Speedway)
Friday, August 23, 2013

Ford Qualifying Results:

3rd – Carl Edwards

American Muscle

6th – Joey Logano

10th – Aric Almirola

12th – Brad Keselowski

14th – Marcos Ambrose

17th – David Ragan

25th – David Gilliland

27th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

29th – Greg Biffle

30th – Casey Mears


CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion – “I think more than anything just going out first was tough because the rubber, for some reason, it did it in practice too, the rubber is really built up and when it sits in the sun it just gets a little greasy.   After a few cars run it gets better, but it was really slick that time.  We picked up a little bit from where we were and the track is just really gonna get fast, so I don’t think that’s gonna be too good.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion – “It didn’t help us with the sun out as much as it was and it’s going down pretty quick behind the stands, but our Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion was a lot better than it was in practice.  We’re still a little too tight for us to carry the momentum, but, overall, it’s OK.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M/Bondo Ford Fusion – “We’re third out of four cars, so that’s probably not gonna be good.  Our car seemed decent in race trim, so we’ll just have to wait and see.” HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE RACING TO CHANGE WITH SO MANY GUYS NEEDING WINS TO HELP ENSURE A CHASE PLACE?  “I don’t think it’ll be any different than what we see normally.  Everybody is trying to win every week and this week will be no different.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – HOW DO YOU THINK THIS RACE WILL PLAY OUT WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT SCENARIOS FOR CHASE SPOTS?  “I think we’ll run single-file for probably about 450 laps until we all get bored, and then we’ll run over each other.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE WHEN YOU GET DOWN TO THIS POSITION AND YOU’RE ON THE BUBBLE OF GETTING IN THE CHASE?  “I can’t speak for everybody, but I can speak for me.  My feeling is I’m going at it as I’ve got three tracks in front of me that I feel like we can win at and I would like to win all three of them going in and I wouldn’t have to worry about anything.”

IS ANYBODY GONNA TRY THE TOP?  “The top is the only place to be.  It’s the only groove there is.  You can run the top the whole race.  The top is about three-tenths faster and a minimum two-tenths faster and anyone who dares go to the bottom will either get wrecked or passed by the whole field before they can find a spot in line.”

WILL WE SEE MORE OF THE SLIDE MOVE OR MORE BUMP-AND-RUN?  “Your guess is as good as mine.  That’s why we race ‘em.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 RainEater Wiper Blades Ford Fusion – “We’ll just have to wait and see how that shakes out.  I’m pretty proud of that lap.  The car drove quite a bit better than what we had in practice.  I’m really proud of Todd Parrott and all these guys on this team.  They made some really good adjustments right there, so I’m proud of that effort.  That should be a decent starting spot and I feel really good about our race car and how it drove in practice.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “We gained a little bit from practice, so that’s good.  We didn’t get the best draw because it’s getting pretty cool here, so it’s not what we wanted.  We wanted to be in the top 10 or top 15 in qualifying and we’re probably not gonna be that, so it’s a little disappointing.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “I’m real happy.  That’s fun.  That’s the fastest I’ve ever gone around here and it’s definitely as fun as it looks.  That’s a blast.  The guys did a really good job with our Fastenal Ford and that’s a fun lap.  I could do that all day.  It feels really good to go that fast here.”

IS IT TIME TO START MAKING SOME NOISE GOING INTO THE CHASE?  “Yeah, definitely.  We’ve got nothing to lose these last few races going into the Chase, so we’re gonna go hard and we’re gonna let it all hang out and hopefully have some fun and get a win before this thing starts.  Our mission is to win this championship and we need to be better to do it.  These next three races will give us a chance to work on some things, but it’s about today.  That was really fun.  We’ll see if it holds up, but that was just a fun lap.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts Ford Fusion – “You’d always like to go a little faster, but that was a good pickup.  Our Peanut Patch Ford has been pretty fast today.  We worked on it a lot on old tires just trying to get it good for the race tomorrow night, but that’s a solid and respectable qualifying lap.  I wish we could have made a few more adjustments, but we were so good in practice we just wanted to leave it alone.  I’m happy with that lap and it looks like it’ll be in the top 15 or so, and that will be a good starting spot for us.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Dockside Logistics Ford Fusion – “We were just too loose.  Our car has really good speed, but we were just a little too loose to get all we needed out of the car.  I’m real happy though because in race trim I think our car has excellent speed, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow night.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “Sixth is not a bad starting spot on the outside there, so hopefully no one else beats us and we’ll take that spot.  We switched over and made a lot of practice runs and changed a lot of things, but I’ve got a pretty good Shell/Pennzoil Ford that’s capable of going two in a row, so we just need to have a solid day.  We’re gonna have a solid starting spot and we’ve got to survive.  We didn’t survive the first time here, so we’ve got to survive tomorrow night.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET A WIN HERE?  “The first step for us was to qualify well and that was a really good lap for us with our Fastenal Ford.  We were not that fast in practice.  The guys did work very hard and made good adjustments.  That lap, for me, felt like a very good lap.  I was disappointed to see these guys out-qualify us, but I’m still real excited about the race.  We’ve got a good pit stall selection now and with three races to go before the Chase starts, our mission is to win a couple of these races and, at the same time, try some things that we haven’t been able to try so we can be best prepared to go out for the final 10 races and win the championship.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED — DO YOU HAVE A RACE-WINNING CAR NOW AND IF NOT WHAT DO YOU NEED TO PUT YOURSELF IN THAT POSITION?  “I’m not sure if we have a race-winning car.  I think it’s close for this race here.  I think we have struggled relative to some of our competition.  I think a bright spot for us, or something we can look towards, was Joey last week with his Ford.  That was pretty impressive, but we feel like we have to be a little bit faster.  Like Kurt said, consistency wins the championship.  It gets you in the Chase and it could win the championship, but you’d like to be really fast as well.  You really need both and I feel like we still have a little bit of speed to make up.  We’ve been working really, really hard on it – all the Fords – and we’ve been working pretty well together.  We only have three more weeks, but if we can just become a little bit faster.  We’re not having engine trouble.  We’re not having pit stop trouble.  We’re qualifying OK.  We just need to be a little bit faster, I believe.  This is a fun race track and I’m hoping tomorrow night that the top slows down a little bit and you can have some good two or three-wide racing here tomorrow.  For us, with the position we’re in in points, we can kind of just go out there and have some fun and try to get a win.  For us right now, this is a great track to come to.  It’s gonna be a lot of fun.  We get to try a couple things, but, still, we’re focusing on Chicago and Loudon and those races for the Chase, especially with what Jimmy Fennig has accomplished in his career with drivers like Kurt.  Anything short of a championship would be a disappointment for us.”

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE TENOR OF THE RACE TO BE?  “We talked a little bit about it in the hauler.  There are guys in the position that I’m in and we can be pretty aggressive and go out and take some chances and do some things, but I don’t want to negatively impact someone else’s Chase hopes.  My teammate, Greg Biffle, is right there on the bubble and I don’t want to see him caught up in anything, so I think from my seat I’m gonna be as aggressive as I can be and still respect the situation that everyone is in.”

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here