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Feb 16, 2014 - 05:09 PM
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· 2014 Daytona 500: NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Order & Preview (Feb 16, 2014)
· Denny Hamlin Wins All Three Segments In Sprint Unlimited Victory (Feb 16, 2014)
· 2014 Daytona 500 (Sprint Unlimited): NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Results - Hamlin, Toyota Win! (Feb 16, 2014)
· 2014 Daytona 500: NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice Two Results - Newman, Chevrolet Fastest! (Feb 15, 2014)
· 2014 Daytona 500: NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice One Results - Menard, Chevrolet Fastest! (Feb 15, 2014)

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2014 Daytona 500: Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
Posted by: ASkyler on Feb 16, 2014 - 05:06 PM
NASCAR News
2014 Daytona 500: Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes


ERIC MCCLURE - No. 35 Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Ford Fusion - "I guess it was a great time for us, a good pick up. I’ve always felt like qualifying at these places are like being a field goal kicker, you’re expected to not mess up and that’s what I try to do is just focus and have a good lap. The guys are happy with that. I’m proud just to be here, so I’m really satisfied with the progress we’ve made this weekend."

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO MAKE THE 500? "For my family I’m not sure there are words for what it means. They even put a number 4 sticker as just a reminder of what our family accomplished here. Just the opportunity to be here is amazing. I’m trying not to think too far ahead. I love the restrictor plate race. I obviously have not been in this new style of car, so I’m looking forward to that challenge on Wednesday and getting comfortable and try to race the heck out of them on Thursday and hopefully we get in the show."

 

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DO YOU FEEL ANY BETTER ABOUT YOUR SITUATION? "I’m glad we picked up. It seems like there is some speed in the car, but I’ll feel a whole lot better after other people kind of in our boat go. I’m a half-empty kind of guy at all times. That’s one of the traits that I struggle with, so I’m looking forward to watching everybody go. The guys are thrilled with the lap. We picked up good from yesterday. We made solid gains everytime out and I don’t know anything else that we could ask for, so now maybe we change our focus to where I can maybe contribute a little bit more and go race. Like I said, everything from being a rookie to not running many races over on this side, all of that works against us to some degree mentally with other guys, so Wednesday is gonna be a big day for us just to get ready, and then on Thursday I know the car is there. These guys race really well and we’ll go race as hard as we can and see where it ends up."

TREVOR BAYNE - No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion - "It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but it never is unless you’re on top of the board."

COULD YOU FEEL THE BREEZE OUT THERE? "You more so look at the flags down here in turn three and four and you don’t want to see them blowing towards the backstretch and that’s the way they were headed when we were out there. That’s the disappointing part because it all comes down to the wind here. I feel like we had a decent car yesterday in practice when everybody was out on the track at the same time, but it was just luck of the draw today. I feel like my guys did all they could with our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford to prepare it and massage on it in the body shop, to build the best engine possible and to work on the setup to get the car down on the straightaways, but, at the end of the day, when you get a head wind down the backstretch it kills your lap. All we can hope for now is maybe that wind will pick up and make it worse by the end and we can hang in there tough. I don’t know where we’ll end up, but we should be OK."

THE DUEL IS THURSDAY NIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME. HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING INTO THAT RACE? "For us it’s all about the starting spot because we’re not locked into the show. Obviously, that’s the importance of qualifying here today. The better you qualify, the better your chances are of not having to race in just in case you break and engine or get in an early-race crash. You want to make sure you have something to fall back onto with a lap time here today. That race, the Duels, I watched the Sprint Unlimited last night on the spotter’s stand, which is a different style of race because there’s not as much on the line. Guys race a little bit more aggressively, but I was happy to see that the bottom or the top could work if you had cars behind you - at least five cars that would follow you. If you went on your own, you were going to the back so that will be the key to the Duels is showing people that you know what you’re doing and they can work with you because it’s gonna be all about who has the most friends at the end of the day when it comes down to winning the 500."

ARIC ALMIROLA - No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion - "It was a good lap. Our Smithfield Ford has been real fast since we unloaded down here. We’ve been really pleased with it. We came down here wanting to be in the top 15 on speed and I think Trent Owens and all the guys on this 43 team have done that. We have a really respectable race car and from what we learned in the test I think it’s gonna be really good in the draft as well. Anytime you have a car that’s really fast by itself it’s gonna be fast in race trim too. I’m really excited about all the effort that’s been put in over the winter at Richard Petty Motorsports and our car has a lot of speed in it so it’s been a good couple of days and we’ve got the rest of the week to keep tuning on it."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 3M Ford Fusion - "We were hoping to run in the 90s. I told them I’d be happy with a 45.99 and did a .96, I think. These guys have worked just so hard on this race car. The engine shop, nobody has given up. We came down here and just weren’t as fast as we wanted and went home, did our homework, worked really, really hard and sitting on the front row right now. There are a lot of fast cars to go, but the wind has to stay calm and normally the wind picks up as the day goes on, so we’ll just have to wait and see. We knew it was gonna have to be a perfect lap and I made a pretty perfect lap behind the wheel. There’s not a lot you can do here as a driver but try and be smooth, but we’ll just wait to see what happens."

MICHAEL MCDOWELL - No. 95 K-LOVE Ford Fusion - "The weekend has gone well. Up until now it’s all basically a formality until the Duels. If you’re not shooting for that first row, then you’re just trying to get a starting spot for the Duels. We’re gonna have to race our way in and we knew that coming into it, so everything has gone as planned up to this point."

MARCOS AMBROSE - No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion - "We’ve brought great cars here. Last night we had a competitive race and today we backed that up with good speed on these cars. It’s great to see. We’re up in the stratosphere on qualifying day, which is the highest I’ve really ever been here for a 500 qualifying. We’re gonna get a top-10 speed before the Duel and showed some speed in the car. I’m really happy with our progress."

HOW ABOUT THE PROGRESS FROM THE JANUARY TEST. "I guess a lot of teams came down with everything they had, but Doug Yates and everybody at Roush Yates Engines knew they had a little bit left and they came back with some, so I’m really pumped."

BRAD KESELOWSKI - No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion - "It’s quite a bit better than I thought we were gonna be. It’s obviously not the pole, but a strong showing and a little bit of momentum for what it’s worth."

A FAST CAR BY ITSELF IS FAST IN THE DRAFT, OR SO THEY SAY. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE YOU ARE FOR THURSDAY? "In theory. Sometimes that stuff carries over and sometimes it doesn’t. It really depends on the different engine specs, but I think Doug and his group over at Roush Yates Engines have been working on that and it’s pretty encouraging."

DAVID GILLILAND - No. 38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion - "I’m very happy. Frank (Kerr) and all the guys have worked really hard. I think that’s the most speed and the best we’ve qualified for a Daytona 500 since I’ve been with Front Row Motorsports. So I feel like we’ve got a fast Love’s Travel Stops Ford and that’s going to make our odds of having a good day in the 500 even better. I’m very happy with the speed of the car, and after watching the race last night, I’m excited to get out there and do it."

DAVID RAGAN - No. 34 CSX - Play it Safe Ford Fusion - "Not quite the pickup that we wanted. We made a few changes after practice and we did pick up a little speed but not as much as some of our teammates. So, we feel like our CSX Ford will race fine, we just missed it a little bit on qualifying. I’m looking forward to the Duels on Thursday, and we’re excited to have a fast car to go racing."

CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion - "The Fords are great. We weren’t very good in testing, so everybody went back and worked really hard. Doug Yates, everybody at the engine shop did a great job. We’ve got great cars, so I’m real excited about the race. This has been one of the best Speedweeks speed-wise that we’ve had in a long time."

WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH THAT LAP? "To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the lap to be that good, so it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s hard to explain how much work goes into these cars. When we left here testing we were 30th-place or something and they massaged on every little part of that car and I’m really proud of my guys. It’s pretty cool to have this fast of a race car."

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM WATCHING GREG’S RUN? "I actually did watching Greg run. He ran a little bit different line than I did. He washed up in the center of one and two. I didn’t get to watch Austin’s lap, but it’s tough because it’s not like you’re sliding the car around and you’re trying to get on the throttle. It’s just about picking the right line and trying to stay out of the wind. It’s a real technical lap and when it’s as close as it is right now - I mean, it’s closer than it is at Martinsville - it’s close."

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO HAVE THE 3 CAR ON THE POLE? "For me, that’s the guy I’ve got to beat (laughing). That 3 is personal to a lot of people and it means a lot. From my perspective, being around Austin Dillon, and knowing how much he cares about the sport and how hard he works - him and his dad and his brother. I was over at Volusia watching them the other night. Those guys, they’re hard racers, so as much as I hate to see them beat me, I’d be happy for them."

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. - No. 17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion - "We’re never really fast down here in the test. I think some other guys kind of go all-out at the test and we just try to keep everything the same and make sure what we do back-to-back and the changes we are making are positive changes. That’s all we really focus on. We don’t focus on trying to go out there and be the fastest the whole time. I think it’s cool to see all of us on the pylon. That’s a positive. I would definitely want to be on the front row, that would be cool, but I don’t think anybody is shocked what the front row looks like right now. The RCR cars have been fast."


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