Almirola fastest Ford in qualifying for Phoenix 500

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Farmland Ford Fusion – “Our Farmland Fusion, no matter where we bring this sponsorship and these colors we seem to run really well. That was a good lap for us. It wasn’t the prettiest of laps, but it’s fast and that’s all that matters. Todd Parrott and all these guys did a really good job. They made some really good adjustments and surprised me.”

Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

DID THE CLOUDS HELP? “Yeah, I thought so. We struggled with some things in practice and Todd made quite a few adjustments for qualifying right there, and it seemed like our car had more grip so that was better.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Black & Decker Ford Fusion – “The team here is trying really hard. We want to finish up these last two races well and get ourselves some momentum for 2013.”

DID YOU CATCH A BREAK WITH THE CLOUD COVER? “Everybody else is going to get the same benefit, so I’m not sure it’s going to help us any.”

CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion – “It was OK if the sun would have stayed out, but now this is gonna change the whole game. It just dropped 10 degrees standing here, so I don’t see us beating anybody else from here on out. It probably would have been halfway decent if it would have stayed the same.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Filtrete Ford Fusion – “I think we could have been way better than that.”

WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE? “I just got loose. We were loose in and it just got away from me, but I went slower there than I did in practice earlier. It was all body (as far as damage), so that’s good because there was no mechanical damage – no axle housing, no front suspension – none of that. That makes it a little easier when you just have to focus on the body work, so they did a good job of getting it fixed. I just wish we could have run faster. I don’t know why we’re having such a hard time running faster in qualifying trim.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “I should have been better than that, but the car is very good. The guys did a really good job. I should have just done a better job of driving. I had two laps to get it done and I needed a third one. I just got really loose into one and I messed it up. I was just trying too hard, but it’s still a good lap for us. I hope that is hopefully a top 10 starting spot, so that’s two weeks in a row we’ve had good, solid qualifying efforts. Even with mistakes on my part and the setup not being perfect, the cars are fast in qualifying and that’s really nice.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Barrett Jackson Ford Fusion – “Our Barrett Jackson Ford was OK when we unloaded, but we’re still trying to figure out this new track surface and how it changes throughout the day. It was really warm in the sun when we practiced and it’s cooled off and there wasn’t much sun out when we qualified, so we made some adjustments and probably could have been a little more aggressive on what we changed, but we picked up a little bit of speed and now we’ll work on it tomorrow for the race.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Loan Mart Ford Fusion – “I felt like my second lap was going to be better, but I locked up the tires getting into three a little bit, but we picked up speed from practice, which is good, and feel like I’ve got a real good car in race trim. I only made one qualifying run in practice, so I feel good about our effort.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL – No. 98 Phil Parsons Ford Fusion – “I’ve just got to thank everybody at Phil Parsons Racing. They do a great job on the 98. Even though we don’t get to run all the races, they work hard and we still keep making our race cars better and better. We’ve been able to qualify in the top 25 the last four or five weeks, which, I think, is a big achievement for this program and the organization that we have. We’ve got ASU online on the car this weekend, so it’s cool to carry the local colors being an Arizona native.”

Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags almirola, ambrose, biffle, edwards, ford, gilliland, mcdowell, mears, petty, ragan