Kenseth top Ford starter at Martinsville

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion – “That’s a great lap for us. I feel like I missed it there a little bit and the car had a little more in it, but I think that will get us a top 10 start and that will be a lot better than usual. It’s always been challenging, but I feel like us with the 17 have been pretty competitive over the last four or five races with maybe top-five or top-10 cars and that’s really good for us here. I know I don’t have all the finishes to show for it because of things that have happened, but our cars have been getting better and I feel like after 12 years I’m finally getting a little bit better here. We seem to be gaining on it. I used to just dread coming here, but the last few times I’ve started looking forward to it because we’ve got to running a little bit better.”

Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Geek Squad Ford Fusion – “I’ve got to figure out exactly where we lose so much speed here. We struggle here at this race track. We’ve raced pretty well and we’ve had some pretty good results, and we want so bad to get a win this year. We’d like to do it on a short track, that would be really nice, but in qualifying we went a little faster than we did in practice. We’ve got Best Buy with the Geek Squad on board, so we’ve got a really cool paint job and a really neat race car, now we’ve got to work on it in race trim. I’m hoping that’s a decent qualifying spot, but I don’t think it’s fast enough. I think we’re gonna struggle a little bit.”

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR? “I think it would mean more now that we’ve struggled so much this year than it’s meant in a long time. If we could win a race or maybe two races, that would be great. We just talked about this track, which if I stay off the curbs and I don’t make any big mistakes, I think we can run pretty well here. And then we go to Texas, Phoenix and Homestead and those are all places I think we can win at, but I’m really excited about 2013. We don’t quit. We’re gonna do everything we can this season and, hopefully, we get a good run here.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Gwaltney Ford Fusion – “We’ll get beat by quite a few people, but it’s still better than practice. I’m proud of Todd Parrott and all the guys on this Gwaltney Ford Fusion. We weren’t very happy with it in practice, so they made quite a few changes right there and made it a lot better. I’m happy with that. That will be a good enough starting spot. We didn’t qualify very good in the spring and we drove up to the front and finished eighth, so we’ll be OK.”

CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion – “I was really happy with the way practice went because in race trim I felt like we were pretty good. Our first qualifying run was pretty decent and then we seemed to get a little tighter as we went. We had a couple scenarios happen to us on our last couple of runs where we couldn’t get our entire run in. It felt tight but I wasn’t positive because we got a half-a-lap and the caution came out. When I went back out again it was real tight, and, unfortunately, we were tight again right there, but I think we’ve got a pretty good race car.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Where’s Waldo? Ford Fusion – “There are a few tracks on the circuit where qualifying is a matter of fractions and split seconds and a half of percent of driver input here and there means a lot and this has to be one of the tightest qualifying sessions all year long. It’s very critical not to underdrive certain corners. It’s very critical not to overdrive. There is a very fine line between too hard and not hard enough, so I was close. Our Where’s Waldo? Ford was pretty neutral as far as balance and I just wanted to get a smooth lap. I knew we could get a decent lap and we backed up what we ran in practice, so there was no disaster and we’ll have some time to work on it tomorrow.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “We had a problem with the left-front tire there. We thought we had it fixed from practice, but we still have an issue. I locked up the left-front getting into the corner, so it’s something we need to work on and hopefully we can get it better.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL – No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford Fusion – “This is a good track for us. We’ve always had good qualifying runs, but you never know because one-tenth is 10 spots here. I feel like I left a tiny bit out there because I had to crack the gas off of four a little bit, but it was a good lap. Everybody has been working hard on the 98 PPR Ford and these guys, it’s a small team, but we beat a lot of good cars here today.”

Source: Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags almirola, edwards, ford, gilliland, kenseth, martinsville, mcdowell, mears, ragan