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APR 5, 2014

Six Fusions Qualify Top-10 in Texas


Ford Racing Qualifying Results
2nd – Brad Keselowski
4th – Greg Biffle
5th – Carl Edwards
7th – Trevor Bayne
9th – Marcos Ambrose
10th – Joey Logano
17th – Aric Almirola
28th – Michael McDowell
31st – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
39th—David Gilliland
43rd – David Ragan

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – PRESS CONFERENCE – “Of course we’re disappointed.  We wanted to sit on the pole, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Tony obviously put down a great lap there at the end.  I didn’t see that one coming.  I thought we had it, but that’s why they do it this way.  It’s really exciting and I think a lot of fun to watch and, quite honestly, it’s a lot of fun to participate in this new format of qualifying.  We came up short, but we still have a lot to be proud of starting on the front row.  We want to make that count, so hopefully we can pull that off.  We did a lot of practice in race runs and not a lot of work in qualifying trim, so I guess that’s a good omen for starting up front as well.  We’ll take it and move on.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW FAST THE SPEEDS WERE AT THE START?  “The lap that Kevin Harvick put down was just blinding fast.  Quite honestly, after I saw his lap I didn’t think we had a shot at anything even close to the front, so it seemed like everybody kind of came to us the second and third rounds, we came up just a tiny bit short with Tony’s lap, but still a heck of an effort.”

DID YOU OPEN UP IN RACE RUNS YESTERDAY AND WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT IF RAIN WASHES ALL THE RUBBER OFF THE TRACK?  “The thing about Cup cars is that we put rubber down really quickly, especially at an abrasive track like this.  I didn’t really catch the first part of what you said, but the tire issues that we’ve seen are not related to having rubber on the track, so I don’t expect it to really affect the racing that much, to be honest, other than just being really, really fast the opening segment of the race and then slow down from there.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Give Kids a Smile Ford Fusion – “I thought it was pretty good.  We definitely had a car that could have qualified in the front row, but I missed turn one by a little bit.  I don’t know if it was enough to beat the 14 or not on that last run, but we’re really happy that we’ve got a decent car we can work with this weekend.  Starting in the top five will definitely help and hopefully we’ll make some adjustments and look at what we’re gonna do for the race and be good.”  DO YOU FEEL THINGS ARE GOING TO TURN AROUND FOR YOU TOMORROW?  “Yeah, right off the truck we were top five, so when you unload like that you’re pretty much not locked in for a good weekend, but all it takes is a fast car and the right setup.  It seems like we’re really close.”

CARL EDWARDS --  No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “It was a good run.  We really went for it and I messed up three and four a little bit, but we had a fast race car.  It’s tough to miss the pole here because it’s such a neat pole to win, but it’s still a very good effort.  I’m really happy with it.  We’re making a lot of power and everybody has been working really hard, so it’s neat when it shows up like that.  It’s good.”
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “We’re really pleased with our efforts today.  I thought we had a really great package in qualifying.  We were calm, cool and collected and have carried speed over from Martinsville.  I’m really excited about our chances for Sunday.  I think our car is pretty sporty in race trim as well and I’m just really enjoying my racing right now and enjoying this team.  We’re really working well together and we’ve come a long ways since this time last year.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “That was cool.  It’s great that the Wood Brothers can bring cars like this when we don’t run full-time and be able to come out here and contend with these guys.  I felt I had a car capable of the pole if everything went perfect, which is the first time in a long time.  At Vegas I think we were nervous about making the race at the end, so that’s a big turnaround for us coming to a mile-and-a-half and having this much speed, so I’m pretty excited to get going tomorrow.”  HOW WAS IT TO KNOW AFTER THE FIRST ROUND YOU WERE IN THE RACE AND COULD GO FOR IT?  “I lay it all out there everytime, so the only thing is you get a little bit of the nerves taken away, knowing that if you lose it or something that you’re in the race.  But I try to put that stuff in the back of my mind everytime I go out.  It was really cool to be in the top two the first round, sixth in the second round and seventh in the third round.  We didn’t go the right way directionally, but to be in contention in every round was really cool.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion – “Going to a backup car we don’t have any laps on this thing at all this year.  We had a little bit of practice and we just felt like we needed to run a few more laps.  Having a 30-minute session for qualifying, we just decided to stay in race trim.  Whether we started 30th or 35th or 40th it didn’t really make a lot of difference because we needed to learn a few more things about our race car for the race tomorrow.  It’s no fun not to go fast on qualifying day.  This is one of the more fun tracks to qualify when you can qualify real fast, but we felt like it was best for our strategy for the race on Sunday to run through a few things we wanted to try and hopefully it will pay dividends on Sunday.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL – No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion – “There’s definitely relief.  I’m happy to make the race for everyone because it’s a hometown race.  I thought we had a really good car in practice and thought we could have made it to round two, but with the rain and cool weather the track picked up a ton.  We just missed it a little bit and was on the splitter a little bit too hard, but it’s an extremely close field this weekend at Texas.  It was only about a half-a-tenth and we would have moved up to round two, but I’m excited about the car we have for tomorrow.  I think we’ll be good.”  WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR TOMORROW?  “To run all the laps and a top 25 would be great, so that’s really our goal is  to run in the top 25.”