Ford Talladega Qualifying Results

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Aaron’s 499 Qualifying – Talladega Superspeedway
Saturday, May 3, 2014

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “It worked out OK. The final roll of the dice didn’t end up the way we wanted, but it was still fun. I had a good time. We didn’t have a very good plan and it still ended up OK for us, so I feel good about 10th.”

YOU WERE THE LONE WOLF OUT THERE IN THE LAST SESSION. “Yeah, that was tough but I figured I would stick with the Hendrick bunch and the Stewart-Haas bunch because I basically mooched off of them the whole time so when it came down to it, I just pushed Kurt as hard as I could and hoped that it ended up well for us.”
American Muscle

DID YOU CHERRY-PICK WHO YOU RAN WITH? “For sure. We didn’t have a plan and the Hendrick and Stewart-Haas guys had a pretty good group of cars and a good plan. In the end, the Childress bunch did a better job than all of us, but the function of time entered the equation there at the end and when we should pull off pit road. I was doing a lot of math in my head about how long it was gonna take to the line and how many laps we were gonna get, but it was a good time.”

WAS THE LAST ROUND EASIER BECAUSE EVERYBODY WAS ON THEIR GO LAP AS OPPOSED TO GUYS SHUTTING IT DOWN AND POSSIBLY RUINING YOUR LAP LIKE EARLIER ROUNDS? “The last one was easiest because I just went as fast as I could. I tried to push Kurt as hard as I could and he was pushing Jeff, but we just weren’t in the right spot. In hindsight, we should have waited and got behind those guys no matter what, but then the pole would have been a 100-mile an hour lap because everybody would have been just waiting and waiting. Congratulations to Brian Scott and those guys. They were fast and they showed it. They very likely might have the fastest car out here, so they did a good job.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “It was good. I thought the action was about what we expected. It wasn’t too crazy, but it was crazy enough to be fun and fun to watch, so that was good. I obviously wish we would have got out to the very front, but it’s hard because everybody wants to lag and nobody wants to go because the speed is at the back, it’s not at the front. I wish it was at the front. You need like a nitro button for whoever is leading to keep it going straight, but either way we had a good effort and just missed out on the top 12 in the next round, which is disappointing but part of the game.”

WHY MAKE THE EFFORT TO GET THE POLE? “Ego and pride.” THAT CAN BE PRETTY EXPENSIVE. “Yeah, it can, but that’s what we’re here to do. Racing is expensive, so wrecking goes with it. That’s part of the risk versus reward proposition.” WAS THAT FUN? “It’s fun now because it’s fresh and new. I don’t imagine it will be fun many years down the road from now because it’s really irrelevant to the race most likely, and that’s what at the end of the weekend when we go home on Monday we get paid off of and recognized by not how we did in the qualifying session. There needs to be a bigger reward for this to really make it something where I think it will stay as exciting as it is now because right now the reward is so small that eventually you’re gonna get to a point in time when teams and drivers just aren’t gonna risk their equipment, but right now the novelty is so new that that’s not the case.”

WHAT WOULD BE A BIG ENOUGH REWARD? MONEY? POINTS? “I would say at least a point. Maybe not points, but at least a point – something. Right now there’s nothing and that doesn’t really make it worth hanging your car out and wrecking it. You do get a pole, but that’s only one person. Everybody’s got to be on the edge to make it really work, so the numbers just don’t work.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “It didn’t quite work out for me. It’s a bit of a crapshoot out there. You’ve got a better chance at Vegas than you do out there doing that stuff. It’s all pretty random at how it all lines up, so it wasn’t a great day.” YOU WERE IN A BIG GROUP AT THE START, SO WAS THAT YOUR THINKING – TO GET A FAST LAP EARLY WITH A BIG GROUP OF CARS? “Once the cars thinned out it was pretty much impossible, but we’ll learn from this one and see if we can make it better for Daytona.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “We made it to the race and that’s what our goal was, so we’ll see what happens. Things didn’t go as well in the second session. We were on a really good lap with the Gibbs car there and then they shut it down. I thought that was going to be a good lap for us, but it’s just qualifying. It was fun.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END? “Yeah.” OR DOES THIS NOT COUNT IN YOUR BOOK? “It shouldn’t. It’s not by a good car or not, it’s just by strategy. We put a lot of work and effort into making it through the week to keep that streak alive today. It’s unfortunate. We worked the plan perfectly the first session and got up there. All three of us were really in the top five and felt pretty good about that, and then maybe we fell to the back a little too late. We had a good flying lap going and then we caught a group that was three-wide and then somebody else put it four-wide in front of us. Once you’re four-wide there’s nowhere you can go and that killed our run, and then at that point everyone shut down and then the caution comes out and it’s over. It’s kind of a bummer. I would have liked to keep that streak going, but I knew this was gonna be the wild card event. It’s just like the race, anyone can win this race, anyone can put it on the pole today. It’s such a crazy day and I just wish we did a little better, that’s all.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE LIKE AT DAYTONA IN JULY? “It’s gonna be a definitely different ballgame when you go to Daytona because you’re taking a lane away. There are three lane there and four lanes here, so you’re taking a lane away and those big runs you get are gonna be harder to do something with because the track is gonna be blocked more.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “I guess it probably went like I thought it would. Probably the biggest thing was not necessarily people blocking, but people after they get their lap they slow down and then there’s nowhere to go. I had three great runs, probably at least top 5 or top 10 – going really fast – and just had to completely come out of the gas to slow down. Then I was too slow to get a lap on the next lap because I wasn’t at a high enough speed for that lap, so you had to wait another lap. Then you’re going decent speed and you’ve got a gap and then I had a good lap and then the group slowed down. I was just off-sequence and couldn’t get a full lap.”

HELPLESS FEELING AT THE END WHEN THERE WEREN’T MANY CARS OUT THERE? “Yeah, I knew once the big pack pulled in it was over, so I was just off-sequence with the big pack.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Zest Ford Fusion – “I thought it was about like we expected, really. The Fords got together. The Chevrolets got together and kind of just went. Just one small move by somebody can wreck your whole lap and we got a little bit separated there. I can’t remember who kind of slowed us up and we got separated from the 22’s bumper and it allowed a slower car to jump in there and I had to hit the brakes, so it killed that run. And then you’re just trying to look for how you can make another run. We got close, but we couldn’t quite get it.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – “All of the Fords kind of teamed up and went out there. We thought we needed to go out and lay a lap down early, and then kind of drop back and get behind another group that was trying to make a run, but by the time we got behind the groups that were making their run, they had already started checking up, so it just didn’t play out right. That’s OK. We start 15th. It’s no big deal. You really have to make sure that when you’re running your lap, the cars in front of you are also running their lap. If you get to where you’re running your lap and the cars in front of you shut down, there’s just nothing you can do. It just ends up slow.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 KFC Ford Fusion – “It was very frustrating. We have a great KFC Go Cup Ford, but just didn’t get in the right lane in qualifying. We wanted to follow a group, but what happens is as soon as a group completes their lap they slow down so they don’t help another group. So you have to time it just right and you have to be really lucky. This session is all about being lucky. You can have the best plan in the world and the best car and is just doesn’t work out. We had a good car, but we just weren’t lucky.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “You don’t want to tear a car up, but we also didn’t want to qualify where we did, either. We’re in the race, so that’s good. Our teammate didn’t make it, Eric McClure, which is a bummer because I was obviously hoping he would make the race. It was crazy and wild out there. Everybody had different agendas. I think there were some manufacturers trying to slow other manufacturers runs down and just all kinds of stuff – the kind of stuff you’d expect.”

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


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