Ford Performance NASCAR: NSCS Qualifying Canceled

Ford Performance NSCS Notes & Quotes:
NSCS 400 – Chicagoland Speedway
Qualifying Notes & Quotes
Friday, September 18, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway was canceled due to rain Friday evening. The field was set by the rulebook with the starting order set by practice speeds from opening Cup practice Friday morning, making the Team Penske duo of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski second and third, the top Ford Fusion’s.

Unfortunately, due to the rainout, the 21 Wood Brothers Racing Fusion of Ryan Blaney will not qualify for the race.

American Muscle

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Qualified 2nd

RAIN IS WIPING OUT QUALIFYING, BUT YOU WILL STILL START ON THE FRONT ROW. “I would rather have been first, but I feel good about that. I was hoping we would qualify because I thought we had a shot at the pole, but I will take second, that is a good consolation.”

WHAT ABOUT THIS TRACK DO YOU LIKE? “I like fast race tracks. Fast bumpy race tracks seem to be a little better for Penske for some reason. It seems like the bumps have always been good for us. Kentucky and here they have been good to us over the years.”

YOU WILL HAVE TRACK POSITION, AT LEAST TO START THE RACE. “Track position is key. This first round is all about clicking off good finishes, which is what it is all about. A nice start here will really start that and we are off to a nice start, starting on the front row.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Qualified 3rd

RAIN WILL PUT YOU THIRD TO START THE RACE “It is a lot better than last year when we started 25th. We will take that and move on. The car has been pretty good so far so I feel good about that. Track position is important here but last year we were able to pass people and get up to the front. I feel like you can get there it is just a matter of time. Good cars always get to the top. I feel like we have a good car though and we will start close to the front, so that is a good start.”


WITH QUALIFYING RAINED OUT, YOU WILL START UP ON THE FRONT ROW. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT? “All of these Chase races are going to be very important to start up front. That is something this 22 team has been able to do quite a few times this year. Starting up front sets you up for a good race. Obviously we will have a good pit stall which allows you to get a couple spots throughout the day. When you are up front you are able to tune your car to clean air, not to dirty air. That is something that sets you up for a good day. I am excited about that. In the Chase, it is very important to get through these races and have three uneventful races and do what we have been doing. It is a good start so far.”

DID YOU INTENTIONALLY SET OUT IN PRACTICE TODAY TO BE NEAR THE TOP OF THE SPEED CHART? “Yeah, we looked at the forecast and knew there was a good chance of rain and anytime that happens you focus in on qualifying practice more. We haven’t been in race trim yet. We stayed in qualifying trim all day today and I felt like it was qualifying during practice. We were really trying to top the charts. We really felt like that was where we would be starting at the end of practice. Obviously this storm is huge and we didn’t have a shot in hell of making qualifying happen.”

YOU’VE BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END OF HARVICK’S JABS NUMEROUS TIMES IN YOUR CAREER. DO YOU JUST KIND OF IGNORE IT? HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT? “You just ignore it. That is obviously a championship driver and he has been through stuff like that before. The best I know how to deal with things is to speak with your performance and with your car. I am not the wittiest guy out there so I decided to just drive the car and shut up. You just block it out and you drive your car.”

WILL THIS RAIN IMPACT PRACTICE SESSIONS FOR YOU TOMORROW? “I feel like the rain already impacted our weekend quite a bit because we focused so much on qualifying. That is not typical for us. Usually, we switch over into qualifying trim with 30 minutes or so left and make maybe one or two runs before we go qualifying. Today, knowing how important it was to be fast in practice we decided to stay in qualifying trim. Tomorrow, obviously we focus on race trim like we typically are. It is always interesting for your first lap in race trim, but I don’t feel like we are starting behind the eight ball because we did what we did today. I think a lot of times if you are fast in qualifying trim your normal offset back to race trim typically your car still has speed. Not all the time but typically. The rain will definitely wash a lot of rubber off the track. The truck race doesn’t look like it is too pretty for happening either so I assume the track will be green. Watching the track as it rubbers and being careful not to get a false read on a green track is important. This is a track that will change a lot from a green surface to rubbered up surface. It usually takes on a lot of rubber and cars run up near the wall during the race. You have to be careful when you are tuning your car to pay attention to what stage the track is at.”

DOES ANYBODY GET AN ADVANTAGE FROM THIS? “No, I don’t think so. It isn’t fun for anyone. Really, to be honest with you I kind of hope we qualified because I thought we had a shot at it. Usually in qualifying we find a little more and pick up more for some reason. So I was looking forward to qualifying but I am also okay with where we are at and knowing what we have to do to get through these rounds. Starting second is not a bad place to get going here. What the real bummer is is for Ryan Blaney. I think this is the third rainout where he didn’t get to race and he was like ninth on the speed charts. That is a heartbreaker for him. At least he has the XFINITY car to race in this weekend. That is a big heartbreaker for him. For the rest of us I don’t think it affects much. If you are locked in the race it doesn’t really affect much.”

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