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Edwards Leads Ford Qualifiers at Kentucky

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) – “That was pretty close. I think if I could do it over again I would have a pretty good shot at it. I am telling you that as poorly as we have run here that is a really good lap and I am happy with it. I will get over my frustration here in about 10-15 minutes. I don’t know if it is worse to be 2nd or 22nd. It is always tough to be that close. I don’t know if we will end up second but we probably will. The track temperature makes a huge difference.”

MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 9 Mac Tools Ford Fusion (Qualified 5th) – “We have had a really tough couple of months and Sonoma was good for us. We had a lot of speed in the car there and just didn’t get the result we wanted. Here we have had speed all day and have made the most of it. That was really good for us. We are excited for a top-10 start here. We will have to see what we have for the race. I feel really good about our car in race trim as well so that is good.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Qualified 11th) – “The sun popped up but that is how things go. I don’t think we would have had the pole either way but maybe it is worth a tenth and maybe that puts us third or so. That was a decent lap. The car was a little free but the guys did a good job of making the right adjustments after practice to give us something good to work with. We will work on it tonight for some good ideas for changes in the morning and go from there.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 20th) – “That felt pretty good. It felt better than we had been. I hope that gives us some confidence for the race tomorrow night. We haven’t been real happy with it today. We worked a little bit on race stuff and some on qualifying at the end and we weren’t very good at either. I think that we have about a 15th place car and we want to be better than that.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 Eckrich Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th) – “Everyone is going to go a lot faster than that because the cloud cover is coming in now. Speeds are going to pick up tremendously. All in all we picked up from practice so that is respectable. We have some work to do. We have been struggling all day with our setup and trying to get the car to handle a little better. The car was okay right there but we still have a lot of room for improvement. I am proud of all the hardwork of my guys on this Eckrich Ford Fusion team. We have about 24 hours to get a handle on it.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Fifth Third Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th) – “I have no idea where that will get us. We have clouds rolling in and things are starting to cool off. It is going to get really fast here in a minute I think. We weren’t terrible. Compared to practice our Fusion was definitely better and we were able to carry a little more speed. We were just too tight. We have kind of been too tight really since we got here. It is a challenging track and we have a long race tomorrow to work on it. I think we will get a decent start out of that and we will have to see where that ends up and go to work and make sure we have a good game plan for tomorrow. I think we will need to be able to adjust the car a lot and the track will cool off. We will start in the sun and the track will change a lot. It should be exciting tomorrow.”

DAVID GILLILAND, No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Qualified 34th) – “This weekend was the worst we have unloaded all year of any race track and the bumps really caught us. We have gotten progressively better but we were too tight there in qualifying and we were on the splitter a little bit. It is such a challenge here because you want the splitter down but if it hits it really makes it tight. That is the line we are walking right now.”

DAVID RAGAN, No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Qualified 36th) – “We have really struggled since we got here at Kentucky. We have got to make a lot of changes for or Ford for Saturday. We are struggling big time. We are just fighting the bumps on the racetrack and this was a very bad track for us last year. We didn’t perform like we should have and we still have our work cut out. This is probably one of our worst tracks on the schedule and we need to work on it some but we have been struggling so far and qualifying is the same so hopefully the race will be a little better.”

CARL EDWARDS QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 UPS Ford Fusion – “I think we have a very fast UPS Ford and we had a good cloud. The cloud and the track temperature was a huge part of qualifying today. We were fortunate enough to have cloud cover over about 75-percent of the race track which was nice. I didn’t expect, after our mock qualifying runs, that people would be going that fast. I knew how fast we had to go to get the pole and just couldn’t quite go that fast. That was a good job by Dale Jr. and those guys, they did a great job. They did a good job with their qualifying effort and they did a good job with theirs and they just beat us. That was fun. I like this race track."

CAN YOU STRATEGIZE AT ALL FOR THE CLOUDS TO GET ONE IN YOUR FAVOR? “You can’t really change when you go so everyone was just real religious out there on pit road today. You start to think about all the things you’ve been doing wrong in your life and you hope you have been walking the right path enough for the cloud to work out. Last year we were either the last car or the second to last car to go before the cold front came through and so we got annihilated in qualifying last year. We were 28th or 35th or something way back there. This year we got a little more fortunate and I am very grateful for that because it is no fun to go out there and qualify in the sun when everyone else gets the cloud.”

BEFORE QUALIFYING STARTED DID YOU THINK JUNIOR WAS ONE OF THE GUYS TO BEAT? “No, we were watching Jimmie and those guys and Jimmie laid down that lap to begin with and I thought it was screaming fast. When I saw Dale’s lap I thought that was pretty spectacular. When I walked out there the sun was out so I didn’t really expect us to have a shot at it and then the cloud came and we did. He was not on my radar though.”

IF YOU GO THROUGH THE DAY DOING YOUR MOCK QUALIFYING IN THE SUNLIGHT, HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR WHEN CLOUDS COME UP? “I don’t know. Everyone tries to predict as best they can what the car will do and how the tires will react and it will affect the bump stops and all those things but it is really hard to model that to figure that out. It is a little bit of an art and I hope that we got it right because it is going to be a different race track tomorrow night. Yeah, I think that a lot of people are going to be working really hard tonight, all the engineers and crew chiefs, trying to predict what the track is going to do.”

Bucuresti, 29.06.2013
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