Ford Performance NASCAR: Logano Lands Richmond Pole

Ford Performance NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond International Raceway
NSCS Qualifying
Friday September 11, 2015

1st Joey Logano
3rd Brad Keselowski
19th Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
24th Aric Almirola
28th Trevor Bayne
30th David Gilliland
32nd Sam Hornish Jr.
34th Cole Whitt
37th Brett Moffitt
38th Greg Biffle

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Qualified 3rd
“Not bad. I probably made a little mistake in the second round that cost us a shot at the pole but all in all we end up third and that is not too bad. I am really happy with the speed we have in race trim. It has good speed. We just have to keep working on it. It is an ever evolving target.”

American Muscle

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – Qualified 24th
“That is certainly not where we hoped to qualify. We planned on qualifying a lot better than that. All in all, I think the race typically plays out a lot different than what we see in practice here. We practice in the heat of the day and then we race at night time when the track cools off a lot. We will have to make some educated guesses on our race car for tomorrow. We weren’t very good in practice. It is certainly a tall hill to climb but anything is possible.” WHAT ABOUT MOVING THROUGH THE FIELD AND HOW HARD THAT IS HERE? “We have done that here before. We have qualified deep into the 30’s in years past and managed to get out of here with top-10’s. It is really a race track that you can pass on and the tires fall off really bad. As long as you can keep your car turning you can pass a lot of cars. It is not that detrimental to qualify poorly but it is very detrimental to have a car that is not turning in the race. We will have to go to work tonight and come up with things for tomorrow night.” ARE YOU GUYS JUST GOING TO GO FOR IT TOMORROW NIGHT? “We don’t really have anything to lose. We are on the offense. There is nothing for us to lose so we are going to throw everything we have at it and see what happens.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Cargill Ford Fusion – Qualified 19th
“We felt really good with our Sam’s Club Ford on the first run and didn’t think we would lose that much grip in our second run but we did. It took us three laps to run our best lap. We tried to tighten it up a little bit and tried to give all four corners a little more grip but we got a little tight. It looked like everyone else was getting a little loose so I ran the track bar down a little bit. Overall we were just a little too tight that second run. The first run I felt really good with it. At least we know when we do get it right that maybe our car will be good enough. If we go green once and stay green for awhile I felt okay with our car in race trim but like Aric and I were just talking, the cycles on the tires didn’t seem to benefit us at all. We really seemed to struggle throughout practice. It was hard to make adjustments in practice going in and out on tires. It is always bad here but seemed worse for us this go around. We did a 30-lap run in practice and I felt better about our car. If I didn’t do that 30-lap run I would have been really frustrated. I am still not real happy with it but it is definitely better than where we were in practice.”

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion – Qualified 28th
“As a driver you think back to one little part of the corner, a millisecond of getting of the brake sooner to roll the middle, something you could have done different. A lot of times you get out of the car after qualifying and say that is all you have and there is nothing else you could have done to pick up two or three-tenths but when it is hundredths of a second you beat yourself up over it. I think our AdvoCare Ford is good in race trim. I see a lot of cars are in the back of the pack. We will be able to follow them up through hopefully with long run speed. If you make two or three laps on tires you expect two or three-tenths to fall off every time. You have to get it that first time out.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Pole Winner Press Conference

JOEY LOGANO – “We weren’t able to put down a fast lap in practice but I felt like as we kept working on it that we were a little better at the end of practice but we didn’t have another set of tires to put back on. It was a little bit of an unknown going into qualifying and I didn’t know where we would stack up. That first run we were 12th or 13th and then we were 2nd and then on top in the third round. I am proud of my team. This is a tough place to qualify because the track is changing with the sun going down and a lot of tire wear. The car changes a lot through each run. I am proud of the adjustments they made in making my car faster and allowing me to do my part and ending up with a nice starting spot again. It is nice to have a good starting spot here. If you are up front you can take care of your tires better through the first part of the race. That should help us with the first pit stall and we will go let it rip.”

PENSKE AND GIBBS HAVE WON THE LAST EIGHT CUP RACES. DO YOU SEE ANYONE OTHER THAN THOSE TWO TEAMS HAVING A SHOT? “I hope not. I think those two teams are very fast right now but if you look a the 4 and 41 they were very fast last week and have been very fast. I don’t think you count them out at all. They are pretty tough. I think our execution has been strong which is why we have kept them back for now. It isn’t because of speed. They have a lot of speed. I think we have a good car for tomorrow night. I think the 20 is exceptional and probably the fastest car here and the 18 as well. I think Brad and myself have good race cars and have been fast here in the past as well. I look for good things tomorrow night but you can’t count anybody out when it comes to looking at your competition.”

IS THE LACK OF PASSING AN ISSUE OF THE GEN 6, THE TIRES, WHAT? “I don’t know. I guess I would have to look at the stats to know that for sure. I think Richmond has put on some good racing here in the past. I can think of a few times where there were late race cautions and half the field took tires and half didn’t and it was a complete mess and a lot of fun to watch and be a part of. Richmond has a lot of unique things that come along with it but the race track has migrated to the bottom. A lot of guys have been running the bottom which makes it more challenging to pass. I think this is a better package to race here than what we had last year here because I think the smaller spoiler allows more air on the trailing car and helps the racing more. Similar to the low downforce package but not quite all the way there obviously. It is directionally the correct way compared to last year here. It seems like this tire doesn’t lay down much rubber. It doesn’t look like much rubber has been laid down all weekend here so far. When it doesn’t lay down much rubber the track doesn’t move up or down much. It stays where it is at. I don’t expect tomorrow night to be much different. I think you will see guys running up in the second lane but the bottom will prevail most of the time.”

PENSKE AND GIBBS HAVE DOMINATED THE PAST FEW MONTHS. IS THERE ANY REASON TO THINK THOSE TWO TEAMS WON’T BE THE BIG DOGS WITH THE CHASE COMING UP NEXT WEEK? “I hope not. I will answer it the same way. It is like I said, it is hard to count anybody out when it comes to Chase time everyone finds a little more. Some teams find more than others and are able to pick it up a lot. I think you look at what Tony Stewart did a few years ago, barely making the Chase and then winning the championship, he picked it up a lot when it came Chase time. You have to focus on your own thing, what has gotten you to this point and get a little bit better in every area. It doesn’t take much, just a little everywhere when it comes to Chase time or playoff time it is like every other team in sports, you have to find that little bit more and dig down deep. You may think you are giving 100-percent but there is always more in the tank, you just have to search for it.”

YOU AND THE 20 HAVE THE TWO FASTEST CARS HERE AND THERE ARE A LOT OF GUYS THAT NEED TO WIN TO GET IN. DO YOU EXPECT THOSE GUYS TO DO THINGS – BE MORE AGGRESSIVE – CAN YOU PLAY THE STRATEGY OF THIS RACE ANY DIFFERENTLY? “For us, we are going to do what we typically do, race hard and race aggressive. We won’t change that this week or next week. I think guys that have to make the Chase may do some crazier stuff because they are in a do-or-die situation. There will be cars out there with different agendas. It will be interesting to see what they do. If it comes to the end of the race I would expect the same thing we saw at Phoenix last year in the same scenario. I wouldn’t count anything like that out and I think some of those guys have good speed that are outside looking in right now. Hopefully they will put on a good race for everybody.”

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