Almirola top Ford finisher at Martinsville with a fourth place

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ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Gwaltney Ford Fusion – “That was a good run for us. Todd Parrott made a gutsy call there. We were horrible at the beginning of this race and I mean horrible. I don’t know how we didn’t go several laps down, but we fought hard all day. We fought for every position. We made all kinds of adjustments on this Ford Fusion all day and Todd Parrott made a great call there to take two tires at the end to get us some track position and it took off. I was really surprised at how fast it went on two tires, so I’m proud of everybody on this Gwaltney Ford Fusion. They worked really hard and we deserved this one.”

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

YOU WERE EIGHTH IN THE SPRING AND NOW FOURTH TODAY AT THIS TRACK. WHY SO SUCCESSFUL? “I don’t know. I grew up short track racing and I’ve raced in Late Models here, but I don’t know. I love this place, but I didn’t feel like I belonged on the race track the first 200 laps of the race, but these guys worked their guts out. They never give up.”

YOU WERE UP THERE WITH ALL THE CHASE GUYS ON THE FINAL RESTART. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING AT THAT POINT? “You try and be respectful to them. You want to be as respectful as possible because you know they’re racing for a championship, but, at the same time, we’re racing to get all we can get every single weekend so it’s a great run for us and I’m really proud of all my guys.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A RUN LIKE THIS? “This just goes to prove that we can do this. Five weeks ago they switched crew chiefs and gave me Todd Parrott and from that point forward I’ve been having the most fun I’ve ever had at a race track. We’ve been running so good. Today we made chicken salad out of you know what, and that’s the kind of stuff that Todd Parrott can do and all these guys on his team. I’ve just got a great group of guys and I’m proud to have great sponsors like Smithfield Foods and Gwaltney Hot Dogs. We had a great day.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It was a great day, but the second-to-last set of tires went the wrong way for us. I just didn’t have the grip. It would slide the front and spin the back and then we pitted again and a lot of guys stayed out or took two. That would have been a great option for us, other than we really felt like we needed to put four on to be competitive, or we could have stayed out with Brad because we were faster than Brad and those guys. But it was a pretty good day overall.”

YOU WERE FRUSTRATED AFTER QUALIFYING, BUT ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THIS RESULT? “Yeah, I think we had a good qualifying car, but it just snapped out from under me and I knew coming from the back here is just terrible. In Happy Hour I thought we had a pretty good car. We were sixth and 13th in the two practices on the lap-tracker, so I thought we’d be OK and it turned out we were. I think we’re gaining on it. We’re not quite there, but I think we’re definitely gaining on it.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Geek Squad Ford Fusion –

A FRUSTRATING WAY TO HAVE THE RACE END FOR YOU. “I’m not going to worry about the end too much. We just got wrecked, but the race was fun. I had more fun than I’ve had here in a long time and I credit our guys because they’ve worked very hard. We still have a long ways to go, but that was more fun than normal, and I think all the Geek Squad folks had a good time and for about 400 laps I had a really good time.”

ONCE YOU GOT TRACK POSITION YOU STAYED THERE. “Yes, which is really nice. I think we had the car balanced pretty well. The track changed throughout the day and we can do a better job with that, but we’re not used to running that well here, so we can be excused for one mistake.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Where’s Waldo? Ford Fusion – “It was an up-and-down day. We stayed on the lead lap for a long time and then we got two laps down. We had to pit under green with a loose right-front tire, so it was typical Martinsville. Our Ford was fast. The Front Row Motorsports guys did a great job. Mechanically, brakes, transmission, gears, it held up under extreme environment here, but we just need a little bit of luck and I think we had a top-15 car.”

Source: Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race report
Tags almirola, biffle, edwards ragan, ford, martinsville