Ford Kansas Qualifying Quotes

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
STP 400 Advance (Kansas Speedway)
Friday, April 19, 2013

FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS:
2nd – Carl Edwards
3rd – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4th – Sam Hornish Jr.
6th – Aric Almirola
11th – Greg Biffle
15th – Marcos Ambrose
22nd – Joey Logano
26th – David Ragan
28th – David Gilliland
29th – Michael McDowell
30th – Casey Mears
33rd – Brad Keselowski
36th – Josh Wise
38th – Timmy Hill

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “My seat belts came undone. It was just one of those weird deals, so I had a chance and I fixed it and got back going.” HOW HAS THIS TRACK AGED? “It’s a little bit rougher, but it’s hard to tell because the wind is so violent right now. That really affects how your cars drive here, but it’s full of challenges here at Kansas, that’s for sure. That’s a good thing.”


American Muscle

HOW WAS THE LAP? “It wasn’t what we were looking for, for sure. We didn’t make it through the center of the corner with as much speed as we need to to be fast, so we’ve got to work on that.”

YOUR REACTION TO THE PENALTY? WERE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT THE SEVERITY? “I don’t think I’ve been surprised by much of anything in the last two or three days, but I think it’s really important to allow the appeal process to work its way out on its own. That’s why it exists. I’m thankful that there is a process for appeals because, obviously, we’re in an ‘agree to disagree’ stage between Penske Racing and NASCAR, and there’s, thankfully, a third panel or group to settle those disagreements.”

CAN YOU GIVE US SOME BACKGROUND ON WHAT’S GOING ON? “I think it’s important for the appeals process to work out on its own and then I’ll save those comments for how that works out. I don’t want to jeopardize the ability to have a clear appeal.”

DO YOU SEE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YOUR SITUATION AND THE C-POSTS ON JIMMIE JOHNSON’S CAR LAST YEAR WHERE THEIR APPEAL WAS SUCCESSFUL? “Yeah, I think there’s definitely some similarities. I’m not gonna say it’s an identical situation, but there are definitely some similarities, yes.”

SOME HENDRICK GUYS CALLED THIS TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY AFTER THE COMMENTS YOU MADE ABOUT THEM LAST YEAR. WHAT’S YOUR REACTION? “I haven’t heard any of them say that to me personally, so I’m not gonna comment on something I haven’t heard one of them say to me. I’m sure there are some people out there thinking that, but no one has said that to me.”

HOW MUCH TIME AND ENERGY WILL IT TAKE FOR THE APPEAL AND HOW INVOLVED WILL YOU BE LOOKING AHEAD? “I think it’s definitely a challenge for us, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to continue to show how strong of a team Penske Racing can be, and I think there are a lot of passion inside this group. The strong will survive.”

WHAT WAS YOUR POINT LAST WEEK WHEN YOU WERE OUTSPOKEN IN THE GARAGE? “I think it’s pretty obvious that defining cheating in this sport is something that’s been very poorly done, and I think you all are probably the ones that need to step back and try to figure out how to define that better because, clearly, this garage is having a hard time doing that.”

WERE THE PARTS APPROVED ON THE CAR BY NASCAR? “ As far as I know, yes.” THEY’RE SAYING NO. IS THAT WHAT YOU UNDERSTAND? “Let’s go back to what I said earlier, agree to disagree.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 STP Ford Fusion – “It was an OK lap. We slowed down a little bit from practice, which was a little disappointing, but the track was quite a bit different after that truck practice. That draw didn’t help us again. We continue to get an early draw. I don’t know how that happens. All in all, it was a good run for us. I’m proud of Todd Parrott and all the guys on this STP Ford Fusion. It was a decent lap for us. I think it’ll be a decent starting spot, but the track was just a lot different from practice.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 ACE Brand Ford Fusion – “It just seemed like we were little bit tight turning off into three and four. I don’t know if it’s the wind or what, but I had to lift on the gas on corner entry. The car just didn’t want to lead to the bottom and that will cost us. We’ll end up in the middle of the pack at the end, but maybe a little better than that. We’ll just have to wait and see if this wind plays havoc with everybody else, but it’s a little bit windy right now.”

CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion – “The wind is definitely blowing a different direction. For whatever reason we were just really, really tight that time. I think we had a respectable car in practice and I felt really good about it, but it was just really tight and we didn’t change anything. We’re a little bit perplexed. Maybe it’s the wind changing direction, but we were just really tight that time. I don’t know what the problem was.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Zest Ford Fusion – “That was pretty good. I was hoping for a little bit more there, but the guys did a good job keeping this thing fast from practice. The Zest Ford Fusion looks clean right now and, hopefully, it’ll look clean starting up front. I’m not sure that’s gonna hold up. I think Carl and some of the other Ford guys are pretty fast. Hopefully, it holds up because that would be good for us, but, all in all, it’s been a great start to the weekend. We’re just looking to build on that throughout the weekend.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “We were great in qualifying practice and we heard everybody was really tight, so we made some adjustments before we went out and it was too free. We went for a second lap there and I just scuffed the wall and normally when you do that it tightens up, so I stayed in it thinking it was gonna be OK through three and four on the second lap, but it was still too loose. We missed it a little bit ,but I’m still proud of my Stanley team. They gave me a great car today. There’s no real damage there. We’ll just clean that up and be ready for tomorrow.”

SAM HORNISH JR. – No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion – “I’m not really sure to tell you about that. I haven’t been in one of these Gen-6 cars since October of last year, so having the opportunity to go out and run it, and to get a short amount of practice time today, and to see how everything has come together with this 12 team – Greg Erwin and all the guys that work on my 12 normally, as well as some of the 22 Nationwide guys, I’m real happy about what they’ve been able to do. We came here just having to qualify in on speed. I felt we had a good opportunity to come out of here with a top-10 starting spot, so I’m real happy about that. I’m looking forward to the race. SKF is a really great company to be associated with. They’re not only on our Nationwide car and on this car, but they’re on every car that runs out of the Penske stable – Indy Car and NASCAR – so we’re really proud to be part of that with them and, hopefully, we’ll have a top-five starting spot when it’s all over with.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 AAA Ford Fusion – HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. We’ve been really good in race trim. Our AAA Ford was good in race trim, but as soon as we switched to qualifying trim we didn’t have much speed in our car. We went to more of what the 12 car had because he was pretty good and he spent the whole practice in qualifying trim. We didn’t go all the way there, but most of the way there and it was better but not quite good enough. I’m looking forward to putting it back into race trim and getting it tuned in.”

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE PENALTY? “Obviously, we’re not OK with it. That’s why we’re appealing it to try and get back what we feel like is right. I think the big thing to realize is that we finished fifth without it. We never raced those pieces before. That was the first time we ever brought anything like that to the track and I think that both of us ran well with Texas despite all of the controversy and rolling up to the grid late. I think a top-five after a day like that feels like a win.”

THERE’S BEEN TALK ANOTHER TEAM IN THE GARAGE MAY HAVE RATTED YOU OUT? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? “The drivers are here to drive their cars and we’re here to debrief. We’re not out by the cars a lot, we’re in the trailers getting our cars tuned in to where they need to be, so I don’t know enough information to comment on that.”

FRUSTRATING BEING WITH A NEW TEAM AND HAVING THIS HAPPEN? “It’s frustrating, for sure. Anytime you get points taken away or have team personnel taken away that hurts a lot. That’s why we feel we don’t deserve that, so we’ll try to fight that and see where it ends up.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 STP Ford Fusion – “It was fun while it last. What did he run? A .145, we ran a .162, so we definitely have some really good race cars. Man, I really wanted to be on the pole. This car is fast. It’s gonna be a great race on Sunday and I feel like our guys have done a really good job with our test here and what we’ve prepared for the race, so you never know. This is a cool track. To win here would be huge.”

HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “We had the pole for two or three minutes there and that felt real good. This is a special place and we’ve got a very fast Aflac Ford. Hopefully, it races as well as it runs in qualifying trim. I really messed up my first lap. My second lap was pretty good, but it still wasn’t as fast as what we ran in practice. I think we’ll hold up for second, so that’s a great starting spot. I just want to win this race. That’s it.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “We were pretty tight through the center of the corner. I got into the turns pretty good, but it would tighten up in the center. It was mainly in one and two. We were pretty good through three and four. We picked up a little bit of speed from practice when a lot of guys slowed down. We’ll keep working on it tomorrow and hopefully find some more speed before Sunday.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion – “Our car was pretty good in practice earlier today, maybe a little bit loose. On our qualifying lap, it was tight. Tight on both ends of the track, actually. I don’t know if it was the wind or what. It was pretty gusty and that might have made a difference.”

 

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. AND CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE

CARL EDWARDS – “I had the pole there for about five minutes and it felt really good, but we’ve got a great starting spot. It’s a good lap. I hope our car is as fast in race trim. It looked like Ricky was pretty good the little bit of race trim he ran and hopefully we can go get this thing tuned in tomorrow and win this race on Sunday. I think the Fords are gonna be really tough.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – “It was good. We were hoping to back up what we ran in practice and I actually think that would have tied Matt. We knew we had a good car when we unloaded here and, really, all of the Fords are fast. Doug Yates and the guy s in the engine shop have been working on our complaints we’ve had the first few races and it’s paying off right now. There’s a lot of speed here. The race track is really fast. Zest won the last time they were here with Matt, so, hopefully, we can be battling for the win before it’s over with.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED — WHAT SLOWED YOU DOWN IN QUALIFYING FROM PRACTICE AND DID YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHT THAT MATT WOULD BE ABLE TO BEAT YOU? “I think it was maybe a little windier. It seemed like the groove was a little bit more narrow than it was in practice, to me. I missed it the first lap and, no, I didn’t think Matt would be a factor, but he somehow pulled that out at the end. That was a really good job by him. I talked to his crew chief and he said he didn’t expect that either, so Matt did a really good job.”

RICKY STENHOUSE CONTINUED – “Yeah, for us we were just a little too tight. I think that hour of truck practice they had put a little more rubber down and got a little bit tighter for us. We tried to make some adjustments to free the car up so it wouldn’t get too tight on us, but it did. I knew Matt was going to be a factor. Somebody said, ‘We’ve got to wait until Carl goes,’ but I was like, ‘Well, the 20 goes right after him.’ They’ve been fast all year, so I don’t think you can count him out anywhere you go these days, so that didn’t really bother me after Carl beat me. I was hoping we were gonna have a Ford front row, though.”

RICKY STENHOUSE CONTINUED – THIS IS YOUR BEST QUALIFYING EFFORT. HOW DOES IT FEEL AND HOW DO YOU FEEL SUNDAY WILL BE? “It feels good. We had a track bar break at Martinsville and cut a left-rear tire at the beginning of the Texas race, so it feels good to come here and be fast during practice. It seems like when you roll off the truck with a fast car, you generally have that fast car throughout the weekend, so that’s what we’re hoping to obtain and carry this throughout the weekend. We have two long practices tomorrow to dial it in in race trim and I see a good race coming. If we stay consistent and don’t do anything over our heads, we should be OK. We have won on this new surface in the Nationwide car last year, so I know the race track and I feel good about the race track. We’ve just got to get our car dialed in and stay up front.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – IS IT ANY WORSE TO LOSE A POLE TO AN EX-TEAMMATE AND A GUY NOT KNOWN AS A GREAT QUALIFIER? “Thanks for rubbing it in (laughter). The whole field has to feel bad getting beat by Matt Kenseth in qualifying. Let me tell you, Matt must have one really fast race car, I tell you that. That has to be a heck of a rocket, but I did out-qualify Ryan Newman. That’s key. Matt and I will both make sure he knows that tomorrow. I guess we should all feel bad.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT STARTING IN THE FRONT ROW? “We’ve talked about it a lot, but a win here would be huge and this is a heck of a start. We had a great test. All of our cars are fast. During practice tomorrow we can work together, hopefully Ricky will share some stuff tomorrow if he’s fast and we can dial these cars in. I think having that good starting spot, good pit stall, all that stuff makes a big difference in the race.”

HOW MUCH WAS YOUR TEST HERE A FACTOR? “I think the test was really big. I think we still could have been real fast, but I think it helped me to personally get dialed in to the race track. I don’t think any of us expected to be this fast, so I feel like we have a little leg up. I imagine we’ll all be about even tomorrow. Everyone has their notes now and had the day today to work on their cars, but at least for today I think that test was a big help.”

TIRE WEAR HAS BEEN KEY IN MOST OF THE RACES. ARE YOU EXPECTED TO SEE SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING LIKE AT CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS? “I’m not expecting it to be an easy race track to pass on, but that doesn’t really mean much. Until we run the race and see how it goes, I don’t think we’re gonna know what happens. If a second groove comes in and if, for some reason, the rubber makes that bottom groove slow and we get to moving up a little bit, I think we’ll see a pretty interesting race, but we’re really, really going fast and the faster you go and the less the tires fall off — both of those things seem to contribute to difficulty passing.”

RICKY STENHOUSE CONTINUED – “I think looking at this race track last year in the fall race I think it got pretty racy, but, then again, I don’t think the cars were as fast as these Gen-6 cars, especially when we go over in to race trim. They’re gonna be quite a bit faster, but I think the truck race will be a good indication. I think the truck guys seem to do a good job of moving around, being that they hold it wide-open around here and got guys all around them. They’ve got to move around and look for a lot of air, so hopefully they’ll widen it out for us and we can learn watching it. I know the top groove came in a little bit last year in this race, so hopefully those truck guys will widen it out for us and we can put on a good race.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – DO YOU FEEL THIS IS YOUR BEST CHANCE TO WIN THAN YEAR’S PAST HERE? “I feel that this season we have a couple of really great things going for us. We’ve got Jimmy Fennig on the pit box, who is second-to-none in the garage with experience and decision-making capability. We’ve also got the fastest pit crew on pit road. We talk about how difficult some of these tracks are to pass on right now, that pit crew is hugely important, so I think we have some great reasons to look forward to this race particularly, and the starting spot won’t hurt. I think it’ll all be good.”

HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS IT ENTERING THE CORNERS HERE WITH THE GEN-6 CAR? “Right now at this race track you don’t think of the corner entry the same way you do with the old surface or even at Texas last week. You’re out of the throttle for a very short period of time and by the middle of the corner you’re wide-open, so it’s kind of an odd way to drive and you just carry so much speed. I’m sitting here going through my qualifying lap in my head and thinking of places where I could have gone faster. It’s almost mind-boggling when you’re in the car how much speed you can carry at certain points of the race track, where classically you couldn’t at these mile-and-a-halves.”

RICKY STENHOUSE CONTINUED – HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR SEASON TO DATE? “I think we’re a little frustrated over the last couple of weeks, but we started out consistently and running consistent by finishing races inside the top 20 like we thought we would. We had hoped to get a little bit better, but the last couple of weeks it’s gotten a little bit worse. We’ve had some bad luck the last two weeks, but we’re looking to turn that around. I think we’ve got the speed in the race car and the race team, and I think we’re all gelling pretty well together right now. We’re working with the 99 and the 16 team back at the shop and things are going better. Everybody is really working together and that’s been a key to it, but I would say a little frustrated the last couple of weeks, but we’re definitely getting back in the groove of things and we’re fast in practice. That always seems to pay off eventually.”

WHY DID THREE GUYS BREAK THE TRACK QUALIFYING RECORD TODAY? “Because we got from the start-finish line back to the start-finish line faster (laughing). I don’t know. These Gen-6 cars are fast, for sure. I think you’ve seen that over the races that we’ve had so far. The new pavement had kind of aged in and I feel like it’s ready to go. The cold temperatures here, I think, are playing a factor in to it. I wish one of us had the track record right now, that would be nice, but we’ll have to try to get it next time we come back.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – “I don’t think anyone went faster than that lap I made in practice, so I won something. That was pretty good. It’s not official, but….”

WHAT’S IT GOING TO BE LIKE HAVING YOU KIDS AT THE TRACK TONIGHT? “You just go back and try to keep the work life and home life pretty separate. Whether it’s good or bad, I just try to be the same person away from the race track either way.”

RICKY STENHOUSE CONTINUED – HOW WOULD YOU GRADE JASON’S PERFORMANCE WITH YOUR SPRINT CAR TEAM RIGHT NOW? “That’s perfect – winning races and leading the points. Things are going good on the Sprint car side of things. I think we’re looking forward to getting the 410s back. We got those at Roush Yates getting tuned up and fixing a few problems that they’ve had, so hopefully we can run a few more Outlaw races before the season is up, and hopefully I get back to drive as quick as I can. I’m trying to line up my schedule and Tony’s schedule so I can jump on the plane with him and fly out. That’s what we’re working on right now, but things are going great. We’re plugging along and, hopefully, we win another championship.”


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