Ford Performance NASCAR: California (Clint Bowyer Wins Pole at Fontana)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Saturday, February 29, 2020
EVENT: NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying (Fontana)

1st – Clint Bowyer
5th – Kevin Harvick
6th – Aric Almirola
7th – Joey Logano
8th – Michael McDowell
11th – Chris Buescher
12th – Matt DiBenedetto
15th – Brad Keselowski
16th – Ryan Blaney
18th – Cole Custer
23rd – John Hunter Nemechek
26th – Corey LaJoie
27th – Ross Chastain

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang
American Muscle

“I thought that is about where we expected to be. We have done a good job at qualifying in the past as an organization and our cars always have speed. It really is just about trying to figure out how to create longevity and make them run good for a long time. I felt decent about what we had in practice yesterday and I think the package that you bring here is always interesting because the track is so big and long with long straightaways but the pavement is worn out. There is certainly a balance between speed and downforce but tomorrow will be overcast and 55 so hopefully speed will pay off.”

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang

“That was a good lap for our Fastenal Ford Mustang. I was really, really happy with the gains we made yesterday through practice. The second practice was night and day over where we unloaded. I am really proud of the group and what they did to get us to that point. I kind of thought we might give up a little speed through some of the changes we made but it is holding its own really well. I don’t think I am really too concerned about it. The car is driving good, right to the bottom. I was able to put down a decent lap. We have been holding on.”

COLE CUSTER, No. 41 Production Alliance Group/HAAS Ford Mustang

“I was hoping we would be a little better than that. I got a little tight on the bottom. I probably could have done something a little bit better. We will just go and race. I think we have to try to go out there and see what we have in the race.”

MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Quaker State Ford Mustang

“It was fine. I held it wide open and didn’t lift. That is good. Qualifying is just different because it isn’t like before where we would go and see what kind of lap we could lay down. It is different because we hold it wide open and we are not quite trimmed out, so we aren’t really shooting for the pole, so it kind of changes the game. It is weird to have the odd situation where you could easily just set your car up to go out and get the pole, it wouldn’t be hard. We would trim the car out, trim the body out and go get the pole, but then you sacrifice raceability and it kind of stinks from a drivers perspective because you want to go compete for the pole but the game has changed with the new package in 2019 and you have to figure out what you really want, what is important, starting position versus raceability in your car. That is most people’s focus.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang

“We just weren’t very good yesterday so we made wholesale changes to the car. We were a little too loose right there for our run on both ends and kind of had to breathe it off of two and kind of missed my mark getting into one, sliding a little bit. Everyone did a good job on our Mobil 1 Ford. We had to do something different and that is what we did.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang

“I am happy and worried all at the same time. With this package we have seen this a few times last year where we had a lot of speed in qualifying and then struggled in the race. We have as much downforce built into it as we can. Definitely not us trying to be tricky by any means. We thought our car was really good yesterday in race trim and the fall off was good. I thought we were about a top-15 car. Not a top-10, but a top-15 which is a good step from where we were last week. It has been a smooth weekend. Vegas was a struggle and this weekend has been good. The Ford Mustang is good. Love’s Travel Stops is on for their third consecutive race so hopefully this will be a good one for them.”

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 38 Fire Alarm Services Ford Mustang

“That was definitely an improvement from yesterday. We struggled yesterday in practice. I went back and talked to Michael (McDowell) quite a bit and put his setup in for today. We definitely made improvements for sure. I was happy with where we are at right now. We finally got on the other side of where we were at yesterday as far as balance so we will go back and fine tune for tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. It is my first time here in a Cup car but only my third time here as a driver so I am trying to figure out this place still. I have leaned on Ryan Newman quite a bit back home as well to ask him questions as well.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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