Ford Texas Qualifying Quotes

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES

AAA Texas 500 Advance

November 4, 2011


American Muscle

Texas Motor Speedway

Ford Qualifying Results:

1st – Greg Biffle 2nd – David Ragan 3rd – Matt Kenseth 7th – Carl Edwards 12th – Marcos Ambrose 13th – Trevor Bayne 26th – AJ Allmendinger 27th – J.J. Yeley 34th – David Gilliland 37th – Mike Bliss 39th – Scott Speed 41st – Andy Lally 43rd – David Starr (DNQ) 44th – Travis Kvapil

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “That’s gonna be close. My teammates are who I better watch out for – Matt, Carl, Greg, Trevor – they’ve got some fast Fords out here. I’m proud of my UPS guys. We didn’t start off that great. We made a lot of changes for a Friday, but they did a good job. That was a good lap, so that will be in the top five, I think, but we’re here to win this race.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion – “I think it’s okay. In race trim we were okay. I wasn’t real happy with it in qualifying trim, but there we had it pretty decent. We were just missing the balance a little bit. I just didn’t quite get it, so somebody is probably gonna run a little quicker than that, but, overall, it was a good lap.”

NICE TO NOT KNOCK YOUR TEAMMATE OFF THE POLE. “I think that lap is okay. I know all the fast cars are still behind us, but I felt like I got all of it, but we just missed the balance a little bit and I couldn’t keep the gas down as long as I needed to. Overall, it was a good lap. It was a lot better than what we were in practice.”

HOW HARD HAS IT BEEN TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER MARTINSVILLE? “It’s never easy, especially when you don’t know what’s gonna happen the last three weeks. We had some bad luck at Talladega with David breaking, so you never know, but in a way you feel like you blew up a whole season of work in 20 minutes, so it’s hard to get over that. Yet, there are three races left. We’re down but not out and we’re gonna go work as hard as we can, try to run up front, try to win some races and hopefully climb back in it.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion – “I wish I would have gotten more out of that run. I thought for sure I had a top-five run going, but the track gained so much grip through one and two everybody picked up a lot and we only picked up a little bit. We went faster than practice, but it just wasn’t fast enough. I’m frustrated with that a little bit and that’s good because we’re still top 10, but I thought for sure it would be top five. Still, that’s all right.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – “We wanted to be a little better than that, but I came to the green and I was a little loose. I thought, ‘I better be a little careful my next time through here,’ and I was probably a little too timid down there through three and four, but it is a good starting spot. We focused hard on qualifying here. We had an opportunity to go out there and sit on the pole. We’ve got the top three spots are Fords, so now we’ll just work on the race trim. There couldn’t be a better race track for us. This is a fun one. We’re gonna work hard tomorrow and run that Nationwide car and hopefully learn a little bit for the race on Sunday.”

YOU LIKE THIS TRACK. “It’s nice to be sitting here disappointed in seventh. I think my average qualifying is steadily increasing. We were 21st average for years and now we’re getting better and better, but I think it’s the Ford power. The Fords are so great here and Jack Roush’s Fords run so well. I’m the odd man out there. I got shown up by my teammates pretty bad, but, hopefully we’ll have a good, solid race.”

TONY IS A COUPLE SPOTS AHEAD OF YOU. “Five hundred miles, we’ll see what happens. I think it is gonna be a good race. Those guys have been good. A lot of the guys up there in the Chase have been good. You couldn’t pick a better place to come to to just race it out. This is gonna be a good one. I love this place.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “I just had to look at the speeds after qualifying because we didn’t quite get to the bottom on either end of the track. I’m proud of my guys though. We’ve had a good day here. We’re gonna start in the top 15 and I’m looking forward to seeing if we can make it stick.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion – “The track temp is close to the same as practice, but we were too free. I was too loose on the gas, but, overall, it was a good pickup for us. I think we picked up over two-and-a-half tenths, so that’s good. As long as we keep going in that direction all weekend, it’ll be a good weekend for us. The car drives really well. It’s in the race track good and I feel like we have an opportunity to have a good weekend here.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “We made a few adjustments there trying to make it a little better and I feel like we kind of stepped over the edge. We were too tight at the end of practice and right there the car was just way too loose for qualifying and we just didn’t have any speed. We actually slowed down from where we were in practice and everybody is picking up quite a bit. Luckily, we’ve got tomorrow to work on it and we’ll go after it hard and get a good result on Sunday.”

J.J. YELEY – No. 55 Ingersoll Rand Ford Fusion – “I’m really proud of all the guys that work on this Front Row No. 55 with Ingersoll Rand being on the Ford this week. We unloaded and the car was really comfortable to drive and had a lot of speed and because of that we didn’t run too many practice laps. I was very happy with our last run of the day, which fell down to about 27th overall in practice, but I knew the car had some more speed. To me, it was still a very conservative lap out there. That’s hard to say when you go out there and you barely lift when you go around this race track, but with the cool temperatures the race track has a ton of grip and makes it a lot of fun to drive. I’m just real happy for these guys. They continue to make it better for me every time I come back and drive the 55, and I’m looking forward to when we go to the next mile-and-a-half.”

MATT KENSETH AND DAVID RAGAN PRESS CONFERENCE (2nd and 3rd-place press conference)

DAVID RAGAN – “I didn’t expect to have a shot at the pole. We had a pretty good car in practice. I thought we’d be comfortable inside the top 10, but just had a good lap and hit my marks. Our team made a few small adjustments prior to qualifying and it just paid off, so it’s cool to see all of the Fords up front, but, hopefully, we can be up there at the end of 500 miles. That’s our goal.”

MATT KENSETH – “My lap was pretty good. It was better than practice. We were tight the whole time in practice and changed some stuff and was just a little too loose in qualifying, but, obviously, it was a good lap and a good spot to start Sunday.”

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED — ARE YOU GUYS BETTER IN PERFORMANCE AT THIS KIND OF TRACK AS OPPOSED TO SHORT TRACKS? “I don’t think we have an incredible advantage. I don’t think we have any advantage. I’m sure all of you guys have done it, but if you guys ever stand in tech it would be hard to argue that anybody has an incredible advantage over anybody else as far as the car or templates or aero or horsepower. But our stuff does run well at these tracks most of the time. It seems everybody groups the mile-and-a-halfs, but I hate grouping them together because we run pretty good at Dover and Michigan and those tracks as well, so it seems like the higher speed tracks we run maybe a little better than some of the other tracks, but I don’t think we necessarily have an advantage.”

DAVID RAGAN CONTINUED – “I don’t think we have an advantage. Certainly, I think these style of tracks fit our engine package, they fit our cars, we have good notes, good simulation to make good, quality adjustments. The races that are one mile in length or more are on the schedule more than any other, so we certainly pay attention to those more, but we’ll see how that advantage looks tomorrow and Sunday.”

HOW DO YOU RACE AGAINST JIMMIE AND CARL AT A TRACK LIKE THIS? IT’S NOT MARTINSVILLE. “Hopefully, we’re in front of them and we’ll let them play their own games and we’ll be up front worrying about ours. I think Matt’s still in the championship hunt, but we’ve got to go out and just try to win the race and we’ll let them do whatever they want to do. Hopefully, we’re in front of them and don’t have to worry about their race.”

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED – “Yeah, I didn’t know I was out of it yet, but every Sunday when they drop the green it’s one against 42 and I don’t think that changes where you are in points. If everybody’s got equal opportunity and the same rights out there for real estate and to race and to try to win and get the best finish they can for their respective team and sponsors, then you wouldn’t want to be raced or race anybody any different just because it’s coming down to the championship. It’s still a race.”

DAVID RAGAN CONTINUED – HOW HARD IS IT TO BE SO CLOSE TO A POLE AND HAVE SNATCHED AWAY BY A TEAMMATE? “I’d rather a teammate beat me than anybody else. At least it stays in the family, but anytime you’re close to a pole you want it bad. Anytime I’m close to qualifying 10th and if I get beat by one-thousandth I’m still mad, so, obviously, it’s cool to sit on poles, but it’s even cooler to have fast race cars and have a good starting spot for Sunday and that’s what we did. A top five starting spot, we’ll get a good selection on pit road and hopefully have some momentum into tomorrow’s practice and into Sunday. We’ve been fast the last few weeks and we’ve had some crazy things happen to our 6 team, so we just need to get that off of our backs and get a solid run. This is just the start of the weekend and I’m proud that we got a good qualifying effort and I can’t wait until Sunday.”

GREG BIFFLE PRESS CONFERENCE (Pole-winning press conference)

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It was a great lap for us. Our car was really, really fast right off the truck. That’s just a tribute to my team and how hard they’ve worked and how far we’ve come as a team this season. It was a great lap. We had been fast all through practice and made about six qualifying attempts at it, but it was a pretty uneventful lap. I felt like I could have got back to the gas a little bit sooner in three and four. I’m sure everybody felt like that, but one one-thousandth of a second is not a huge margin to beat David by.”

WHAT ABOUT ROUSH GOING 1-2-3. “That’s really exciting that our race cars are that good. It’s just a tribute to our driver lineup, the guys at the race shop, Doug Yates with the engine shop how far they’ve come with this FR9 – all those things are a big factor in our cars being up front at these mile-and-a-half race tracks. We had a really, really fast car at Charlotte a few weeks back and this car is really no exception.”

HAVE YOU PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING THIS YEAR? “Ever since Matt (Puccia) came on board we’ve put a little more emphasis on qualifying and also there are two things that play a factor in that. One is the draw for qualifying goes off practice speeds, so it kind of forced our hand to come here on Friday and start in qualifying trim, which we never do. We come here and start in race trim historically all the time, and then switch to qualifying – make two or three runs and be ready to qualify. Then wherever you drew, you drew. It was luck of the draw. You could go out sixth or you could go out 43rd, so, basically, not NASCAR but the rules have forced us into getting a good draw for qualifying, so it’s up to us and we have to come here in qualifying trim. I made a total of seven laps today – now eight – the whole day. That’s all I’ve done today and I get a little apprehensive, I get a little aggravated because I want to make laps and I like to drive the race car more than eight laps, but I understand what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get a starting spot for Sunday, we’re trying to get a good qualifying draw and have to wait for tomorrow. It’ll be a restless night tonight waiting for tomorrow to when I can go out and make 10-lap runs, so that’s been a factor in us qualifying better. We’re spending more time on qualifying because of the way the qualifying draw is.” SO YOU HAVE NOT BEEN IN RACE TRIM TODAY? “None. A lot of guys do that now. I think probably over half the field probably.”

IS IT A PLUS TOMORROW THAT YOU CAN JUST CONCENTRATE ON RACE TRIM? “Yeah, that definitely can be something we can focus on. We kind of anticipate that tomorrow is all race trim and getting the car to drive really well is the most important thing. We’ve got to keep an eye on weather and all those things in case it looks like we might lose some practice and it forces our hand to practice some today in race trim, but that didn’t look like it was gonna be an issue, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


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