Ford Performance NASCAR: Kentucky Cup Qualifying Quotes

by Official Release On Fri, Jul. 13, 2018

Ford Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Quaker State 400 Qualifying (Kentucky Speedway; Sparta, KY)
Friday, July 13, 2018

Ford Qualifying Results:
3rd – Kevin Harvick
4th – Brad Keselowski
6th – Paul Menard
7th – Ryan Blaney
8th – Clint Bowyer
9th – Kurt Busch
12th – Aric Almirola
14th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17th – Matt Kenseth
19th – Joey Logano
23rd – Michael McDowell
24th – David Ragan
37th – Matt DiBenedetto

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion – “That’s a good effort for us. I think as you look at this place it’s hard to put a lap together and I just didn’t get off of two like I needed to. I kind of chattered the front end, but it’s still a good lap for us and a good starting spot.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation/VF-1 Ford Fusion – “We’ll be fine. Single digits. Qualifying against this crowd I’ve always said it’s not a very good goal, it’s not everybody’s goal – to sit on the pole is what you want – but collectively if you can collect single-digit starts those lead to stage points and a chance at a win. We certainly did that. We came here and tested and worked hard and went through a lot of things and had good speed. I felt like we unloaded good, so confidence is pretty high going into the race and I think it’ll be a good one.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion – WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROUND 2 AND ROUND 3? “I was going for it. We had a good car and I felt like if we nailed it and the driver did everything perfectly we might have a shot at the pole. In Round 2 we ended up third and I felt like I missed my mark a little bit, and I felt like I left a little bit out there, so I went to go get all of it at once in that last round. I was trying to go for the pole and just overdrove the race car and it cost us a top-five starting spot. I felt like we were plenty good enough to qualify in the top five and the driver was going for the pole. It was risk versus reward. The risk was if it doesn’t stick you start 12th, so we’re gonna start 12th.”

PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Quaker State Ford Fusion – “I was pretty happy with it. We didn’t do a mock run in practice, so we kind of guessed. We looked at what the Penske cars did and adjusted to kind of where our balance was in race trim and we were pretty close. A tenth within the pole is kind of bittersweet. We know we’re right there, but just wanted that little bit more.”

KURT BUSCH, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion – “Qualifying has been kind to us. We’ve just been a little bit off a little bit off there. We do have a couple of poles at fast tracks. Today, all through race trim and q-trim we were just a little slow through three and four. I’m trying to make sure I don’t overdrive turn three because then that just definitely takes away the feel and the rhythm, so for these next two hours we’re gonna really pin down what we can do better in three and four and that way we can keep our speed up all the way through the lap.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion – “We were pretty good, just not quite good enough to get the pole. Overall, I’ve been happy with the speed we’ve had this weekend with the Discount Tire Ford.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR, No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion – “I went out the first round and was really loose, so we had to make a second run there in the first round. I felt like that may have hurt us a little bit. I’d have liked to run that one and then gone out early in the second round, so if we needed to run two in the second round we could, but I was glad of the pickup. We ran a 29.20 to start qualifying and ran an .85 there at the end. It’s a good qualifying result. We’ve got make it a little bit better in race trim though.”

YOU TALKED TO KYLE BUSCH AFTER QUALIFYING. EARLIER YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T FEEL IT WAS NECESSARY TO TALK WITH HIM. DID YOU HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART? “Not really a change of heart. I just told him why I didn’t reach out. I felt like he ran his mouth enough on his radio and then after the race, so I didn’t really have anything to say to him. I honestly feel like I normally do reach out to people when I make mistakes and I clearly made a mistake, but with him running his mouth I just felt like I didn’t really need to call him. I just let him know that. I told him, ‘You’re right. You do run a lot further up front, but pick and choose your battles wisely because you’ll have to deal with me sometime, whether you’re lapping me or we get our cars better and you’re up there racing with us.’ I told him if he wanted to keep running his mouth, he could come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him.”

FROM YOUR END IS IT OVER? “Yeah, I’m fine. But if he wants to keep running his mouth, he can come over right to me.”

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