Allmendinger's 15th Position Paces Ford Qualifiers at Richmond
A.J. ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion (Qualified 15 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN “The track had a decent amount of grip, but we have been up and down today. I am more disappointed in myself more than anything today. We brushed the wall there in practice and my crew did a great job of getting the car back together. I always want to try to be as perfect as I can and that hurt us a little bit. The car was a lot better for qualifying, probably a little bit better than the driver. If it get’s us a top-20 spot I will be happy.”
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Qualified 32 nd ) - ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN– “It was an okay run. We are just really lacking speed right now. We are all in the same boat I think. We were struggling to get it to turn and then you try to free it up and you can’t get off the corner. That is what was going on out there with me. IS THAT WHAT YOU AND GREG (BIFFLE) JUST FINISHED TALKING ABOUT? “Yeah, he was experiencing the same thing. It is just really tough because you have to pick your poison a little bit.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Qualified 38 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN “My car was still a little too loose. We couldn’t quite get it to the bottom in three and four and we lost some time there. Overall I am okay with it. The good thing is that anything can happen come race time. We have seen some really huge wrecks here in the past. We have run two and three wide here in the past. It is a fun track that is exciting for the fans and us. We will change a few things and make it run good for 40-50 laps at a time instead of two. HOW DO YOU FEEL THE TRACK WILL BE AT NIGHT? “What we do during the day is get the balance as good as we can. The track is going to pick up grip tomorrow night and be faster. There are a few things we have to adjust to compensate for the speed. We don’t want to drag the splitter on the front end. The main thing is balance, we want to maintain balance tomorrow night and hopefully come away with a good run.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scotts/Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 27 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN “I just got a little bit loose into one and that messed up my faster lap. You know, I think the car will be faster for the race, so we will just have to go out there tomorrow night and see what we can get.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 35 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT “We have been pretty slow since we got here. Our UPS team spent a lot of practice in race trim, so I didn’t expect to qualify that great. We changed a lot of things trying to get ready for the race. That was the pickup from practice. We just weren’t fast enough. We have worked on the car a lot for the race and hopefully we will get to pass some cars at the beginning and get going.”
ELLIOT SADLER – No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion (Qualified 24 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING LAPS AT HIS HOME TRACK “We will have to see where we end up. It is definitely a big gain from where we were in practice. I am proud of my guys. We just have to race good here tomorrow. Man, I really want to race well here tomorrow. It is my home track so there is a little added incentive there. We feel like we know what we need to work on so we will continue to keep digging on it and see where it puts us. HOW MANY RACES DID YOU WATCH HERE AS A KID? “A bunch. I watched a bunch here as a kid. We have been coming here since the early 80’s when it was a half-mile track. I was here the day they knocked down the fence and made it from a half-mile to a three-quarter mile track. I have seen a lot of stuff here, it is just really cool to be on this side of it now and race for my hometown fans.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Qualified 40 th ) - ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN "We struggled today, and we picked the wrong day to struggle. We were in a situation where we found ourselves out of the top 35 and had to qualify on speed here. And the car just never felt right all throughout practice today even though we tried a lot of different things. We're in the race and now we'll go to work on making the car better for tomorrow night. I'm proud of our guys. They did a great job."
KEVIN CONWAY – No. 38 Extenze Ford Fusion (Qualified 46 th ) – ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN “We really struggled in qualifying trim. We spent the majority of practice in race trim and the Extenze Ford Fusion is really good in race trim, it is just a little too tight in the qualifying trim. The track actually has a lot of grip right now. I got in the center of the corner and really had to wait on it to give it the gas and that cost us some time.” YOU MUST TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE HAVING FINISHED ALL EIGHT RACES SO FAR, DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT GOING INTO TOMORROW NIGHT? “The old adage holds true. You must first finish before you can finish first. We are just trying to get as much experience as we can, not only myself but for the whole team. Back in December this team didn’t even exist. You have a new team, a new driver, there are a lot of variable there. We are learning a lot and we want to run all the laps and learn as much as we can. Hopefully we continue to improve each week.” DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE GIVING YOU MORE RESPECT AS THE WEEKS GO ON? “I think we are starting to earn a bit more respect. Maybe not at Talladega though, I didn’t have a friend in the world there. You just try to be respectful of everyone out there and focus on our race. We know what our equipment is capable of and we don’t have any illusions of grandeur to go out and beat the No. 48 or the No. 17 right now. Our equipment is not there, our team is not there and certainly as a driver I am not there yet. However, as we keep running we get closer to that goal.”
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