All Three Ford Chasers To Start Inside Top 12 on Sunday at Martinsville

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Goody’s 500 Qualifying – Martinsville Speedway
Friday, October 24, 2014

Ford Qualifying Results:
2nd – Joey Logano
6th – Brad Keselowski
11th – Carl Edwards
18th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21st – Greg Biffle
25th – Marcos Ambrose
27th – Aric Almirola
29th – David Ragan
34th – David Gilliland


American Muscle

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – PRESS CONFERENCE – “I was not first, but we were close to it.  Jamie laid down a hell of a lap there.  A half-tenth sounds like nothing, but around Martinsville here that’s quite a bit, so congratulations to them and we’ll be able to have a very fast Shell/Pennzoil Ford.  I thought we were decent in race trim earlier today.  We only made a couple qualifying runs, so I thought overall we laid down a decent lap there.  I thought we were in really good shape after the first round.  We only ran two laps and most guys ran at least three.  The only ones that ran two were me and Kenseth and we still got beat by the guy that ran more laps, but, overall, I thought it went well.  We just came up a little short.”


YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE TOP 10 FIVE OF THE LAST SIX RACES HERE.  IT SEEMS LIKE MORE GUYS ARE STARTING TO FIGURE THIS PLACE OUT.  DO YOU AGREE?  “Yeah, I feel like the last couple of years especially we’ve been able to kind of figure out what we need to go fast here.  This is definitely one of those race tracks that it’s usually the same guys that run faster every single year.  One of them is Matt’s teammate there, so I don’t know what it is – I don’t know if it’s a setup they have or if it’s just a certain driving style or the way they attack the race track, what they’re looking for in their car, the patience that those guys have and show throughout a run, I think all of that kind of stacks up as to what makes a good driver at Martinsville.  And I feel like I’ve been able to hone in on that and communicate with my crew chief as much as I can, talk to my team and try to get as close as we can.  We tested up here last week and I thought that was good.  I thought we were able to kind of hone in on our setup a little bit and try things you don’t typically get to try here because it’s so hard to practice here when your tires wear out so quick.  You’re never really sure what the change did, so the test helped us a lot with that and it showed today just not enough.”


HOW MUCH TROUBLE IS HARVICK IN STARTING FROM THE BACK?  “You start back there and it’s tough for a lot of reasons.  Obviously, the leaders are gonna be there in a second, so you’ve got to go pretty hard.  But, really, when you’re that far back the line that checks up so much, the inside lane just keeps checking up a lot into the corners and you can shove the nose in pretty quick there and really be trying to take care of yourself – the next thing you know you’re in the back of a car – so I think that will probably be something you’ve got to be aware and obviously guys fighting to the bottom and the sense of urgency back there is very high, so you’re not really saving any tires because you’ve got to go.  If it’s a long run, that’s where you can get in trouble pretty quick, if it’s a long green flag run on the first run.  I’ve been there before that’s how I know.”


CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 EcoBoost Ford Fusion – “I think we could have been a solid sixth or seventh, and I hate to give up anything, but I’m also aware that this is statistically probably better than I normally qualify here.  So we feel like we’ve got a good race car that’s got some speed in it.  Our Ford EcoBoost Fusion, if we do everything right tomorrow and figure something out for Sunday I think we’ve got a shot at having a really good run, so it’s a good day for us.”  WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE CAR GOT OUT OF THE GROOVE ON YOUR LAST ATTEMPT?  “What happened was I went faster on my first lap than I had on any of my first laps, so I got down into one a little bit deep, got the brakes and the tires chattering, and got up a little bit.  I got two more laps after that, but I think that second lap would have probably been good enough for a seventh or eighth or something.  I was having fun out there and I guess that’s the name of the game.  The car handles pretty well and had some speed in it, so that’s better than we are normally here.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – “We had a decent day.  We came here and tested and I thought we were very competitive.  I think we’ll be better in the race than we are in qualifying, that’s kind of our trend here, so I’m optimistic when we can start up front.  We’ve been a car and a team that’s come to Martinsville, I think, five of the last six times and finished fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth.  I’ve been right there, but have just needed a little extra step to be able to win.  We came here and tested and put a lot of effort into this weekend and hopefully this will be the weekend.”


THE 48, 11, 24 WAS THE WHOLE SHOW, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE SOME OF YOU HAVE CAUGHT UP.  WHY?  “I think the testing ban that came in 2008 kind of froze the field and that group was ahead at that time, and along with their driving styles are pretty good here, but you combine all those things together and they just seemed to maintain an advantage that we couldn’t really seem to displace.  I think we’re definitely gaining on it and hopefully today is an indicator of that.”


DID YOUR TEAM HAVE TO COME DOWN FROM THE UPHORIA OF LAST WEEK?  “I don’t know why you’d have to, but I think we’re all enjoying it.  With this kind of Chase everybody knows that each bracket could be your last bracket and you have to enjoy it while you can.”

HOW MUCH TROUBLE IS HARVICK IN STARTING FROM THE BACK HERE?  “I’ve been there and it ain’t no fun, but if you have a strong car and you can stay out of the early trouble, it doesn’t seem to be too big of a hurdle, other than the poor pit selection.”


WILL WE SEE A RACE HERE SUNDAY THAT MIRRORS THE INTENSITY OF LAST WEEK?  “I don’t know the answer to that.  Talladega is its own animal in a lot of different ways, but in that particular scenario it’s its own animal because it’s the last race of a bracket.  I always feel like the first race in these brackets is probably the most conservative of all because you don’t want to be playing from behind in the next two.”

ARE YOU CONCERNED YOU ARE THE ONLY CHASE DRIVER WHO HASN’T WON AT THESE FINAL FOUR TRACKS?  “I would be concerned if we hadn’t run well at any of these four tracks, but we’ve run well.  Like I said, Martinsville we’ve been in contention.  Texas, we’ve led laps and almost won several times.  Phoenix, we’ve led laps and almost won.  Homestead, we could be a little bit better at, but we’re going there to test so I think that will hopefully nullify anything there, so I’m very optimistic.”

SO YOU’RE DUE AT ONE OF THESE PLACES.  “Yeah, that’s kind of how I feel.  I like that.”


HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE COMPARED TO DALE EARNHARDT?  “I said it earlier this week.  I understand why everyone wants to compare someone who is successful to Dale Earnhardt because of what he meant to this sport and because of his drive, intensity, large fan base.  I’m OK with accepting the fact that there was only one and there won’t be another one.  And like I said earlier this week, it’s a lot like music in that you can be influenced by another band, but we’re still a different band and we still have our own codes.  The sport has changed so much that, quite frankly, Dale Earnhardt wouldn’t be Dale Earnhardt if he came out today – in my eyes at least – so I’ve accepted that and moved on, but I understand why everybody wants to make that comparison.”


IS ANYBODY IN A PAYBACK MODE THIS WEEK?  “Not really.  I think everybody is just looking to have a good, strong outing to the first race in this bracket.”

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