Ford Performance NASCAR: Six Mustangs Qualify Top 10 for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Thursday, May 23, 2019
EVENT: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying

Ford Qualifying Results:
2nd – Aric Almirola
5th – Kevin Harvick
6th – Daniel Suarez
7th – Joey Logano
8th – Clint Bowyer
9th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17th – Paul Menard
18th – Ryan Newman
19th – Ryan Blaney
21st – Brad Keselowski
23rd – Michael McDowell
26th – Matt Tifft
30th – Corey LaJoie
31st – David Ragan

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “We got off a little bit and just kind of aborted on all the changes we made and went back to how we started practice, where we felt the most confident about what we had for qualifying. I’m proud of all the guys on this Stars and Stripes Smithfield paint scheme on our Ford Mustang. It looks awesome and I’d really like to bring the field to the green with it. Hopefully it holds up for the pole, but if not I’m really proud of the effort and that should be a good starting spot for us.” DID YOU GET EVERYTHING YOU COULD OUT OF IT? “I got everything I could out of it. If somebody else gets in there maybe they might be able to do something different, but I felt like I got everything I could out of it. Surprisingly, it was a handful to drive so I’m proud of that lap.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang – “It wasn’t easy, but I’m really proud of my guys because I felt like the car was good enough to maybe go a little bit quicker than that and maybe we’d be P1 right now. I don’t know. It’s very hard to adapt in one lap only, but the car has been fast and just trying to make the car drive a little bit more comfortable, but I’m proud of my guys. The 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang is looking amazing out there and I’m looking forward to the race.”

PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Menards/Knauf Ford Mustang – “The race on Sunday is gonna be a lot different than qualifying on Thursday night, so we’ll wind up somewhere around the top 15. That’s decent track position to get a good pit selection and 600 miles is a long time to dial in a car. You start in the day and end at night, so hopefully we’ll get it dialed in for the night time.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – “We’ve definitely found the speed and, in my opinion, you have to have speed and you have to able to lead laps to consistently win races. We still are fine-tuning where we need to be on the handling of our cars because we’re still going to a lot of these places for the first time and knowing what you can and can’t do, and I think you can’t do a lot of the things you did in Kansas here today for sure, compared to what you could do there. So we’re still learning where the limits are, but our guys are doing a good job. Today we were horrible in practice with all the things we tried and just kind of went off of what we did last week for qualifying and wound up being OK.”

ARE YOU SURPRISED SHR DOES NOT HAVE A WIN YET? “Nothing surprises me in this sport. I think we’ve been in this position before as a group and not having won a race. You just never know how a year is going to go. We’ve run well, really, for all of the conditions and scrambling and all the things we’ve had to do. We’ve run well, but the last couple weeks we’ve led laps and, to me, that’s more important than anything in getting into victory lane.”

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF IF YOU WERE MAKING YOUR FIRST START IN THE 600 THAT YOU NOW KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE? “The car matters. My cars are a lot faster today than they were the first several 600s. This place used to be my least favorite and it’s definitely become one of our better race tracks.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Peak Antifreeze & Coolant Ford Mustang – “We are among the fastest cars, that’s for sure. I don’t know why, but it seems like the track is a lot different than it was last week even. It’s so close. I mean, I think it’s so tight. Anytime the cars are like this, where they’re close to wide-open, you know the lap times are gonna be close and they were.”

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