Roush Fenway Duo Leads Ford Qualifiers For Bank of America 500

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Bank of America 500 Qualifying – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ford Qualifying Results:
10th – Carl Edwards
12th – Greg Biffle
13th – Joey Logano
15th – Aric Almirola
17th – Brad Keselowski
27th – Marcos Ambrose
28th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
34th – David Ragan
37th – David Gilliland

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion – “We’ve been off a little bit in qualifying trim since we’ve been here, but I thought our race trim was really good in practice and that’s the most important thing so we’ll keep working.”

DO YOU HAVE OPTIMISM FOR THIS WEEKEND DESPITE HOW QUALIFYING WENT? “I was optimistic before that. Our first round was not where we wanted to be and the guys worked on it and got us a little more speed. That got us to the next round and then we still didn’t quite have enough. It was a good effort by everyone on the 2 crew. We think we have a solid race car. We’d like to have a little more speed in qualifying, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

HOW IS IT PRACTICING IN THE DAY AND QUALIFYING AT NIGHT? “That’s one of the anomalies of Charlotte, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just part of the challenge and you have to rise up and beat that.”

IT’S A TRACK POSITION RACE. “It’s a big track position race, but there are a lot of variables that can break that up – pit strategy and we’ll see if the top comes in. I don’t think it’s going to, but that could certainly open things up as well.”

HOW DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM KEEP THE BALANCE WITH YOUR CURRENT POSITION IN THE POINTS? “There have been races where we started up front and not finished up front and there’s races where we start towards the back and raced to the front. It ebbs and flows. Everything that goes down will come back up and you just have to ride it while you can.”

HOW ARE YOU HANDLING ALL THIS? THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE, BUT THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE EVERY WEEKEND. “Yeah, there’s a lot at stake but it is every weekend. This is part of the challenge. For us, this is a very Homestead-like weekend. We need to perform. This is our last chance to really control our destiny in the Chase for this round and we want to make the most of this opportunity.”

YOU TESTED HERE. DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE BETTER? “We didn’t work on any qualifying stuff, so I don’t know if that’s really fair. And we didn’t get our full test in because of rain, so it’s kind of a 50/50 deal.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “Our Fastenal guys did a great job. I didn’t do the best job on my final lap and that’s why our second lap on the final run was the fastest one. It’s tough. You go out there and we ran a good first lap, a good second lap in the second round and then that third round either the car changed a little bit or I changed a little bit and somehow I just couldn’t get through turns one and two very well, but really fast. We’ve got a lot of speed in the car. The guys did a good job focusing today and it’s a top-10 starting spot. That’s better than last week, so hopefully we can do the same thing and come home with a top five so we can go to Talladega next week and have some fun.”

DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE DOING WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO GO FORWARD? “I wish that was a little better, but everybody has stepped it up and we are performing a little better. We’re qualifying better, we’ll hopefully finish better. I’d like to have that last lap to do over again, but it looks like from the times a lot of guys struggled a little bit that last run, so we’ll take it. Hopefully, we have good practices tomorrow and we can build on that and have a good race. Last week was awesome. If we can do that again, we’ll be real happy.”

HOW DO YOU DO THAT AGAIN? BY ATTACKING OR BEING CONSERVATIVE? “We went pretty hard last week and it worked. It’s obvious that it can also backfire because we saw a lot of people have a lot of trouble. This race is gonna be a little different. It’s a long race. It’s a tough race being at night with no practice at night. I think this one is a little more of a thinking man’s game as far as crew chiefs and engineers are concerned, so I hope we guess right and get the adjustments right and then at the end if we’ve got something we can be aggressive then.”

IT’S 100 MILES LESS THAN MAY. “The races here always feel real long and it’s not just the mileage, it’s the intensity, track conditions changing, the character of the place. I mean, there’s nothing simple about it. When you’re done here, you’re tired mentally and physically.”

HOW DO YOU GET READY FOR SATURDAY? “We take care of all the small things and make sure we have a plan for everything, make sure we perform the right way and make the right guesses with the car. We look at past experience and try to predict what the car is gonna do, and then the length and difficulty of this race is such that I’ve got to keep my head on straight and I can’t make any mistakes.”

WHAT’S THE EBB AND FLOW LIKE IN THIS CHASE? “It’s completely unpredictable. Who knows what it’s gonna look like going into Talladega and then after Talladega. It’s completely unpredictable.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Pennzoil Platinum Ford Fusion – “We are going to be alright in the race. We just got a little loose in the second round of qualifying and when you go back out a third time, there is just too many cycles on your tires and it’s hard to go even faster. This track is very much on the razor’s edge. It takes just a small mistake or the car being just a little bit off to lose some time. It’s fine though. We can see the front of the field and the car was good in race trim. We’ve got two practices tomorrow to figure it out. We will be alright.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It went pretty good for us. It was unfortunate that even in that second round I might have been sixth or seventh, but when I get down in three and four I just go straight ahead and I don’t know why. But we’re happy with making it all the way to the final round and have at least a halfway decent starting spot for Saturday night.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford Fusion – “That’s a really respectable run for us in that second round. That was our third time on tires, so I was proud of that run. I think we just got a run behind. We started out qualifying tight and that forced us to make a second run in the first round, which ended up hurting us, but, all in all, it’s a good run for us. I’m proud of the guys and I think that will be a good starting spot for Saturday night.”

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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