Ambrose and other Ford drivers talk about testing crash at Daytona

A number of Ford drivers were involved in a 12 car wreck early in the afternoon drafting session at Daytona Preseason Thunder testing Friday afternoon. The wreck ended the day for the No. 99 of Carl Edwards and the weekend for Brad Keselowski, Joey...

MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion

HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SEE WHAT TOOK PLACE BESIDES WHAT YOU WITNESSED FIRSTHAND BEHIND THE WHEEL? “No, I haven't seen it yet. But it doesn't really matter. I just feel bad for my Stanley and Richard Petty Motorsports team. You know, I had junior pushing me. He’s just a great drafter, really can feel it well. I guess I just got caught on the edge of the bumper there and with the shaped noses and the tires, just spun me out. It was hardly even a bump. It was just enough at the wrong angle, wrong time and just went for a spin. I feel bad for everybody because quite a few cars were torn up there. But we'll repair this one and probably build a couple new ones and get ready for Speedweeks.”

Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

WAS IT MORE OF AN INCIDENT OF A TYPICAL DRAFTING TYPE DEAL WITH THIS OR WAS THIS MORE RELATED TO THE NEW CARS? “Well, certainly we used to get greedy with the old cars. It was very easy to bump draft. You really had a good square surface to push from. You could get across on an angle and still get away with it. So I guess we are used to that. I didn't think anything of it. I got a couple shots from him down the backstretch and we carried some steam. Just the third shot just spun me out. So I definitely think it's a consequence of the new shape, and like a downforce, the car’s very light and it doesn’t take much.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – “I actually had just gotten in the draft two laps before that. We came in and made some adjustments and it was a lot better. I am not sure what happened. I saw Marcos get hooked but couldn’t tell who it was. It is just part of this kind of racing. We are in a big pack and if something goes wrong at the front we are all in it. Maybe the bad luck is out of the way before we come back here for Speedweeks. You never want to tear up race cars, that is no fun. The bright side is that the change we made is better and hopefully when we come back down here for Speedweeks we won’t be in that big one.”

WHAT IS YOUR SITUATION WITH A BACKUP CAR? “I don’t know. We get a ride from Roush and I know the 99 was in the wreck as well and our two cars were in it. I don’t know if we will go home or wait for the other Roush teams to finish testing. We will have to wait and see.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

WHAT DID YOU SEE? “I didn’t see anything. I saw cars smoking and wrecking in front of me. I think I ran into the back of the 43 and someone ran into me. That is just the way this deal is. It is unfortunate but sometimes you have to wreck ‘em to learn.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THE DRAFT WITH THIS NEW CAR? “The sport is rewinding. That is the important thing to say. The sport advanced to the two-car tandem three or four years ago and there were certain things you could do then that you couldn’t do in the past without wrecking. Now the rules package is back to where we were in the early 2000’s when the fans enjoyed the racing better. I think we as drivers have to rewind to how we used to drive those cars. This is how you do it. You make mistakes and learn and that is part of it. I might be the guy that makes the mistake next time so I can’t be mad about it. It is unfortunate that there are torn up cars but lets be honest, it is January and we have another month-and-a-half to build them right. Nobody if the field was going to race these cars anyway. We will build another one and have the Miller Lite Ford ready for the Daytona 500.”

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU CAN’T GET PULLED UP TO EACH OTHER TIGHT ON THE BACK BUMPER. CAN YOU NOT DO IT OR IS IT NOT THE FASTER WAY? “I think you can see from Dale that you can do it but we are all learning the consequences and nobody wants to be that guy. Unfortunately somebody has to be that guy. That is the way it is.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “It is unfortunate that we tore up the Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion. We weren’t taking this one back anyway so the chances are we were going to cut the body off it and do something different anyway. It isn’t the end of the world for us but I would have liked to get another day of testing. That would have been more valuable than the car for us even. It is a bummer for the guys that work on these things. I don’t even know how that started. I just saw smoke and we all ran into each other. It all happened too quick.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE PACK? HOW WAS THE CAR HANDLING? “It was good for me. The car didn’t have a ton of speed but it handled really good. We were making pretty good gains. Hopefully we will bring back a car that handles good with some more speed and we can go out there and get some trophies when we come back here for Speedweeks.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion

“This is okay. The car is barely tore up. It isn’t like we flipped or anything. It is really too bad but I don’t know how hard you are supposed to test. You want to learn everything you can. We made it almost 90 minutes. That is pretty good for us as a group of guys (laughter).”

BIFFLE SAID THE BACK END FELT LIKE IT WAS LIFTING. DID YOU FEEL THAT? “Yeah. The cars are stuck less and they are looser. That is good for racing. It is good for the fans. It will make it more exciting and make pit strategy come into play. If you put tires on you will be able to go faster. I think all of that is good. This is going to be a heck of a race. I like that the cars were sliding around and hard to drive. It will make it a fun race.”

DID YOU GET ENOUGH OUT OF THIS WEEKEND TO BUILD ON? “We got enough to build on what we will do for Speedweeks. I don’t know how much more drafting practice we will do but we have a place to start now for those races so that is good.”

Ford Racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Marcos Ambrose , Carl Edwards , Eric Gilbert , Brad Keselowski , Aric Almirola , Joey Logano
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports
Article type Interview
Tags ambrose, daytona, drafting, ford, testing