ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Qualified 35th) – “It’s gone pretty good. I’m having fun working with Kenny Francis. He’s a lot of fun to work with and really smart. Our Budweiser Ford is pretty decent. We’ve been struggling a little bit in qualifying trim, but in race trim it seems really good. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday. I don’t know that we’ll get a great starting spot with that lap, but, nonetheless, I think we’ll be in good shape come tomorrow and better shape Sunday, hopefully.” WHAT’S IT LIKE TO JUMP INTO THIS CAR? “I’ve jumped in a lot of race cars this year, so you just try to adapt as quick as you can and make the most of it.”
ANYTHING BEYOND THIS WEEKEND? “I’d love to keep doing it, but right now, I’m just focused on Martinsville and as far as I’m concerned I’m just worried about Martinsville. Whatever happens next week will happen next week.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 10th) – “I don’t know that the draw hurt that much, I just missed my mark by a couple of thousandths and we just didn’t get a great lap in. I’m pretty disappointed at myself for that because I thought we could have run a high four or something, but I still think overall that’s a good lap – just not as good as what we should have run.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th) – “That was pretty good. I’m pretty happy with that. I didn’t do the best job I could. I think it still might hold up for a top 10 and that would be big – to start here in the top 10 and have a good, solid day. We’ve already out-qualified the point leader, that’s a big deal, we’ll have a good pit stall selection hopefully. There are still a lot of cars to go, but that felt pretty good.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd) – “That was pretty good considering I almost wrecked. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I thought I was gonna hit the fence. I didn’t know it was gonna stop, but I did the best I could. I gave up a little bit on that second lap, but I learned something that will hopefully help me for Sunday. We weren’t that great in race trim, but since we switched over to qualifying trim we’ve been pretty decent. I just keep trying to do the best I can.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Qualified 27th) – “It’s always nerve-wracking when you have to qualify in on speed.
Even as solid as I thought we were today in practice, you just never know. You slip a little bit and anything can go wrong. I’m just really proud of my team. Everybody at Front Row Motorsports did a really good job this week. We went to a little short track up the road here and shook down yesterday and just kind of made sure we had everything covered, and had a solid day there. We came here and didn’t really have to change much. It’s just a really good piece under me. I’m happy with our Ford and excited about Sunday.
Hopefully, we don’t have to worry about this going into Talladega.”
YOU’RE ONLY A FEW POINTS OUT OF THAT 35TH SPOT. “Obviously, you want to get the best results you can, but the motivation for this 38 team the last month has been getting back into that top 35. If we go out there on Lap 50 and wreck, we’re not gonna be able to accomplish our goal, so we need to be there at the end of the day and race smart. I think we can get a good, solid top 20 finish, that’s what we’re shooting for, but if it’s not there, just a couple spots in front of those other two guys would be mission accomplished after Martinsville.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Tums 500 Qualifying, Page 8
October 22, 2010 Martinsville Speedway
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 12th) – “We picked up a little bit. In practice, the last run that we made I could have run a lot faster and got kind of free. We tightened it up a little bit and the car drove really good there, but the track has less grip than it had earlier. To be able to pick up some time makes me pretty happy. I think we could have got a little bit more, but we’ll talk about it and see if there’s anything more we could have done.”
GREG BIFFLE PRESS CONFERENCE – “I tell you, I got axle-hopping on my warm-up lap there and thought I was gonna not get to qualify, and then turned around and got it going. I’ve never gone that fast here, so I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I got it right up front there, so we’ll take it. I went in and watched the lap-tracker, which is probably worse. I was green all the way until about 50 feet before the start-finish line, so it was a good lap and the car is real fast.
I just need to take care of it on Sunday.” IS IT A CASE WHERE YOU GO INTO SUNDAY JUST READY TO RUN YOUR OWN RACE? “I know how angry you are about the 48 possibly winning the fifth title, so I’m not gonna do anything to that 11 car starting in front of me (laughing). I promise you.” IT’S BEEN EIGHT YEARS SINCE FORD HAS WON HERE. IS THERE AN ODD REASON FOR THAT? “I think a couple things come to mind. One, as a company, we haven’t been that good here – and when I say we I mean Roush Fenway. If you look back, it’s really been Yates and Roush Fenway that have carried the Ford banner, so they haven’t had multiple teams throughout the sport like GM and some other manufacturers have, so it’s really limited to us. As a company, we haven’t run that good here, so that’s probably some of the reasons why Ford hasn’t been in Victory Lane. I don’t think it has anything to do with the vehicle itself, it’s just probably us as an organization and getting better at this place. Richard Petty Motorsports has definitely helped our program this year and our short-track program has gotten a little bit better. That’s why we’ve all run a little bit better here this weekend – myself and Carl and David. We all qualified fairly well and hopefully we’ll break that streak.” DO YOU HAVE MORE OPTIMISM THAT YOU CAN DENT THIS POINT DEFICIT? “Absolutely. I’d love to finish second or third or fourth in points. That would be great. Obviously, winning the title is our goal first and foremost. It would be a feather in our cap to finish in the top four, so if I can stay up front this weekend and learn something from that 11 car and learn something from Marcos, that’s what I need to do is pay attention, learn, pick up on what I can and try to save the brakes and stay off the curb and be there at the end. I like to think we have a chance to win here. We certainly had a chance to be on the pole and it was really, really close. Gosh, it gives me great excitement to know that we might have a chance to win here.” WHAT KIND OF ENGINE DO YOU NEED HERE? “I think you want something that accelerates real smooth.
That’s what’s real important – for the power to be real consistent coming off the corner. When you put the gas down in the middle of the corner with low RPM, you don’t want that engine to really come alive halfway off the corner and have your foot all the way in it. I think something that has throttle response and responds well and accelerates up off the corner, but, you’re right, when you have good tires on it you want all the power you can get. When it starts to get later in the run, you want something that’s maybe a little easier. You want something that’s real consistent, though, for probably not spinning the tires.”