Lally Qualifies TRG Motorsports Interstate Moving Ford Seventh at Daytona
Andy Lally qualified the TRG Motorsports No. 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Fusion in an incredible seventh place for tomorrow evening's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Lally has won at Daytona three times, all on the road course in the Rolex 24 Hour. The Northport, New York native posted a time 49.713 and speed of 181 mph to put his No. 71 Interstate Moving Ford on the fourth row for tomorrow night's 400-miler around the 2.5-mile tri-oval at the World Center of Racing. The qualifying effort is the teams best to date. The effort is even more impressive with the fact that the team's only had 45-minutes practice before qualifying due to rain.
"The guys have been messaging on this car ever since the last Talladega race," Lally said. "It's a real testament to the amount of work Doug (Richert, crew chief) and the guys have done on the car. The guys have improved everything on the 71. We come here and qualify seventh. It is a really neat deal to run at Daytona and qualify as well as we did. It is all on the crew here. The driver doesn't make a lot of difference. All we did yesterday was two mock qualifying runs. We were going to do a third in the draft but it didn't work out."
Lally has a race strategy and drafting partner for tomorrow.
"We need to stay smart in the race. In this new age of two car bump drafting you have to get around the craziness and there will be a lot. In these superspeedway races there is so much craziness that you just have to stay clean. I have a drafting partner that I am hoping will be a lot of help. He is a veteran of the series and someone I think that I can run with. We need to get within 10 laps of the finish and then think about making a move."
Kevin Buckler, team owner, knows that this is a big shot in the arm for his team.
"This is fantastic," Buckler said. "Andy did a great job in the limited practice time to get the set-up working with Doug and the guys to get us up front on the grid. The guys at Roush/Yates gave us great horsepower and we were able to parlay that into a top qualifying run. Doug and the team have been rubbing on this car for weeks. Seeing the 71 up on the top of leaderboard for a good chunk of the day was awesome. I hope that this will help us gain a little more respect tomorrow on the track and our Ford friends will draft with us. This is a big boost for Andy's confidence and our team as we head into the second half of the season. We are close on working with a couple of key sponsor partners for the rest of the year so this really helps! I just want to say thanks to our TRG Motorsports partners that have hung in there with us, this is for them!"