Ford Performance NASCAR: Daytona 500 Qualifying Quotes

Ford Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Daytona 500 Qualifying (Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL)
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ford Qualifying Results:

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6th – Joey Logano

8th – Clint Bowyer

9th – Brad Keselowski

11th – Paul Menard

15th – Kevin Harvick

17th – Ryan Blaney

18th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19th – Aric Almirola

20th – Daniel Suarez

23rd – David Ragan

24th – Ryan Newman

25th – Michael McDowell

35th – Matt Tifft

39th – Corey LaJoie

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT THE MUSTANG OUT THERE? “We thought all along it was gonna be really competitive and I think it hasn’t missed a beat from testing to now. We’re pretty excited about it. I think it’s a pretty good upgrade.” WHAT IS THE STRATEGY FOR THURSDAY? “To win the race. Nothing else matters.” HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CAR TO FEEL IN THE 500? “I think with this rules package, especially with the temperatures we’re seeing, you’re gonna probably trim for speed rather than handling. I think just fast.” DO YOU LIKE IT TO BE LOOSE OR TIGHT OR WHAT? “Generally in the 500 you want to be a little bit tighter than most of the race weekend here. It seems like the track always changes on the 500 day a little bit.”

RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang – “Today is really only about the front row. If you’re not there, then you really need to focus on making your car faster and making it drive good in race conditions. We’ll work on our Oscar Mayer Ford to do that on Thursday. We didn’t spend any effort at all with the way timing worked out in practice yesterday, so we’ll see how it drives on Thursday and then make sure we get it all tuned up for next Sunday. That’s what really matters.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “I think we’re pretty happy with that lap. I thought it was a good lap for us. We weren’t really sure what to expect because we didn’t know what we really had based on practice, but we felt good about it. If you’re not gonna sit on the front row, you’ve really got to make sure your car drives good and you’ve got a good race car and I think we’ll have that. I’m looking forward to it. The Smithfield Mustang has been pretty comfortable to drive and it feels racy, so that’s what’ll pay off next Sunday.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford Mustang – “We haven’t drafted with our 500 car yet, but I stress out the least about qualifying here because you have a chance in the duels to get better. I think we qualified around there last year and we went out and won our duel and were really good in the 500. I mainly look for how my car drives, if it’s gonna drive well and make aggressive moves. Sometimes it seems the cars that qualify the best don’t handle great in the 500, so I think that was our strongpoint last year. We could make really aggressive moves and our car did have decent speed, so we have chances to get up there, but we’ll see.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – “Obviously, it’s all about the front row, but I’m happy with our Mustang so far and the performance in it. There are a lot of unknowns when you bring a new race car to the forefront you don’t know, and the guys worked hard. You knew they put in the effort, the time and the hours spend on these race cars is just unreal. The effort is there and now I’m happy with the results. That being said, that’s qualifying day. Let’s go out here and see what it does here in the race. I’m looking forward to this Clash. Our Clash car felt really good. It pulled up really good in the draft and did a lot of good things you need it to do in these kind of conditions, so we’ll get that race under our belt and get ready for the 500.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “It wasn’t too bad. I’m a little disappointed we weren’t any faster than that. We come down here and want to be in the final round and have a good shot at a pole, but the Hendrick cars are really fast so nobody has really got a shot other than them. Our Fastenal Mustang felt really good yesterday the little bit that we did draft, so I’m looking forward to the duels.”

PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Mustang – “We picked up a little bit from our mock runs yesterday, so I was happy with that. The Hendrick cars are really fast, so we didn’t really figure we had a shot at the front row, so we put a little bit of driveability in the race car with it being an impound for the duels, knowing that we were gonna give up a little bit in qualifying because of that. I was happy with having the speed in the car, plus the driveability we have.” HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CAR TO HANDLE? “Here you definitely need big suck ups. You don’t chase balance quite as much here with the new package and everything and last year with the ride height rule. The cars are really stiff, they’re real rough so you just have to kind of deal with that.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE BIG ONE? “There’s not much you can do about it beside being ahead of it, but you can feel it ramping up as the pressure keeps building. The moves are more aggressive. The blocks become later and the bumping is more aggressive and eventually we crash. You know it’s coming, you just hope that you’re ahead of it or in a place where you can miss it, but you can’t back out of it. You might get yourself a solid top 10 if you do something like that, maybe, but that’s not the way I race and I don’t think that’s what the fans are here to see.” HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CAR TO FEEL IN THE 500? “I want it to feel fast, really fast. You want a car that has speed so you can make a move to the bottom or make a move somewhere and can finish it and complete the passes, but you also have to have a car that’s driveable to where you can take a bump to the back or you can put yourself in really tight spots and not crash. You’ve got to have that too, so it’s just a balance between those two.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – “You always want more speed, but we’re happy with where we’re at. We built those cars in-house and feel really good about everything that we’re doing. Somewhere inside that top 20 is good. You’d love to have a shot at the front row, but we knew going into qualifying that the four cars that are up there sort of had it locked in, so we really set our car up to drive good Thursday night and I believe it will do that and we’ll go racing. I’m really proud of everybody at Front Row Motorsports.”

DAVID RAGAN, No. 38 Select Blinds Ford Mustang – “We would have like to have gotten one more run yesterday in final practice and we could have adjusted a little bit more, but we were able top pick up some anyway. That’s something we can go race with on Thursday. For us, it’s all about fine-tuning on this car and getting it to drive good. I think anytime you’re within a few tenths of those top 10 cars, you’re gonna be able to race well. Our car drove good yesterday in the draft and this is an impound race, so it’s important for us to race good on Thursday to set us up good for the weekend.”

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