Six Fords Qualify Top 10 For Sunday’s Talladega Race

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Ford Qualifying Results:

5th – Aric Almirola

6th – Brad Keselowski

7th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

8th – Clint Bowyer

9th – Ryan Blaney

10th – Joey Logano

13th – Ryan Newman

14th – Paul Menard

15th – Kevin Harvick

16th – Matt Tifft

17th – David Ragan

19th – Daniel Suarez

22nd – Michael McDowell

33rd – Corey LaJoie

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – PENSKE HAS BEEN SO STOUT HERE.  “We’ve had some good runs here, for sure.  We’ve had some really good race cars and things have gone our way a lot, but I’ve said this all week that superspeedway racing evolves all the time.  It never really stays the same for more than two or three races before our competition figures out a new way to beat you, and then you’ve got to come up with something new again.  We’ve got to stay open to doing what our competition is doing and trying to do what they do better than them.  That’s what we’ve got to try to do, but it seems like now more than ever the teamwork aspect has really come into play more than it’s ever been.  I say teamwork, not just Penske – we’re talking about all the Fords or all the Chevys or Toyotas.  Everyone really seems to be committed to each other and it’s really changed the game a lot.”

IS IT A CONFIDENCE BOOST KNOWING YOU HAVE BRAD AS A TEAMMATE WHO IS LEVEL-HEADED?  “Yeah, that part is great.  But the truth is we need more than just the two of us.  Blaney is also a good one, too, but we need to work with the Stewart-Haas cars, the Roush cars, Front Row, we need to all work together when we can.  It’s hard to do because everyone’s got a goal of their own, but we’ve got to figure out ways to work together.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford Mustang – DO YOU HAVE A GOOD FEEL TOMORROW WITH YOUR TEAMMATES?  “You hope so.  It’s kind of hard to figure out what’s gonna happen.  You can plan all you want, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan, so you just try to stay up front, try to stay in a spot to where you have a chance at the end of one of these things.  Speedways haven’t been too kind to us this year.  I don’t know if we’ve finished one of them, but hopefully that turns around.”

DID YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT WENT WRONG LAST WEEK?  “We burned a left-front hub.  I’m not sure why.  You don’t use much brake at Dover anymore and I think it’s just one of those deals.  A couple of other guys had rough days too.  It looked like we could salvage something out of it, but it kind of put us in a hole and we’ll try to dig ourselves out.”

DOES THIS FORCE YOUR HAND TO BE ON OFFENSE CONSIDERING STAGE POINTS?  “I don’t think it’s really any different than what we usually do.  I mean, you’re always trying to claw your way for stage points and the win.  We can probably do it on points to get in, if we have really good days, but we’re probably gonna have to win one of these.  Tomorrow can be a really good day for you, if you go and get over 15 stage points throughout the day and finish in the top five it could go pretty decent to where you just have to have a good day at Kansas, but I think it’s kind of the same as normal.”

YOU DON’T ANTICIPATE GOING TO THE BACK AND RIDING?  “I never really have been a fan of just going to the back at one of these things.  I’d rather race the whole time and kind of see what you’re car is doing and mix it up.  I’ve just never been kind of a back-rider at this stuff.  We’ll just try to be really aggressive.  You always want to be on offense here and I think some of these guys with the spot we’re in you can kind of force the issue pretty hard because it’s gonna take a big day for us tomorrow to have a shot going into Kansas.  Hopefully, we can scare some of these guys to maybe back it out in some situations.  That’s kind of our plan.”

PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Menards Ford Mustang – “I’m getting old.  It’s all part of it.  It’s all part of what you sign up for when you’re born, I guess.”  WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?  “It’s my neck.  My neck has some disc issues and things that if I were to get upside-down it would be pretty bad.  Normal hits aren’t bad, it’s upside-down things that are bad.”

IS THE PLAN TO START AND GET OUT AT THE FIRST CAUTION OR WILL YOU TRY TO GO AND SEE HOW YOU FEEL?  “We’re gonna kind of see how we feel.  We have a good back-up plan with Matt (Crafton) and tried to get him as much drafting as we could yesterday because more than likely, honestly, I’m probably gonna get out.  We’re gonna kind of see how it goes.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – “We definitely didn’t qualify as well as I’d hoped we would or at least as fast as we predicted we would.  I don’t really think that’s an indication of a whole lot, but the car drove well yesterday in practice and sucked up well.  I thought I had pretty good speed, so we’ll see where it stacks up.  We’ve qualified well here the last few times, so we have pretty high expectations, but you always want to start near the front.  We’ll see where we end up here.  There are still a lot of cars to go, so I’m not really sure how it will stack up, but I was a little disappointed with our speed right there.”


RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford Mustang – “I feel like we’ve got a really good Wyndham Rewards Ford.  It’s probably the best car that I felt like I had in practice in several years, especially here, so we just want to do what we can and keep our nose out of trouble, but at the same time race and race hard and try to get as many points as we possibly can.  That’s our game is to get points and win.”

Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance

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