Daytona Duel: Ford teams race 1 notes, quotes

* The last Ford driver to win a Gatorade Duel 150 qualifier was Elliott Sadler in 2006 when he was driving for Robert Yates Racing. * Bill Elliott and Elliott Sadler are the only two current Ford drivers with wins in the Gatorade qualifying...

* The last Ford driver to win a Gatorade Duel 150 qualifier was Elliott Sadler in 2006 when he was driving for Robert Yates Racing.

* Bill Elliott and Elliott Sadler are the only two current Ford drivers with wins in the Gatorade qualifying races. Elliott has four wins (1985, '86, '92 and 2000) while Sadler owns two (2004 and '06).

* Ford has 19 all-time wins in Gatorade qualifying events.

* All 13 Ford teams are qualified for Sunday's Daytona 500.

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AJ ALLMENDINGER -- No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 7th)

"The Best Buy Ford was really fast. The driver did a pretty decent job on the race track, but not very good in the pits. We got to second and I missed our pit box coming in. I lost the pit sign and it just honestly blended in with everything. I guess it was first pit stop jitters and that got us behind. The guys did a great job. The car was really good and I felt like if we could get back in the clean air and get back up front, we had a chance to win the race, but we've got some good notes for the 500 and that's what pays all the points and all the money."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FOR SUNDAY? "It seems like the track is getting bumpier and bumpier every year and our car is bottoming out a lot, so if we can get the front of the race car off the race track, the thing is gonna be really good. I hope the fans enjoyed it because it's gonna be a great 500 and it's gonna be a lot of fun in the driver's seat."

IS IT ANY KIND OF BLESSING WHEN YOU MISS THE STALL AND FIND YOURSELF IN THE BACK AS FAR AS SEEING HOW YOUR CAR HANDLES IN TRAFFIC FOR SUNDAY? "Maybe, but I like being up front. I'm trying to get used to being up front more and hopefully that's what we do all year, so I wanted to start as early as possible. I'm just upset with myself. I knew that pit road was gonna be slick and I honestly just lost the pit sign and overshot it by a mile. You just never know how these races are gonna play out. I started 12th and got a great run on the outside and was third before I even knew it. That last time, I didn't get the right line and kind of got up to seventh or eighth and got stuck there before getting shuffled back to 16th again. It was tough, but, all in all, we came out fairly unscathed. We've got to work on the bumper a little bit. I think the 78's bumper bar was out at the end of the race and I kept bump drafting him, but, for the most part, we came out unscathed. The car is really fast and we learned some things, so hopefully we get that pit road mistake out of the way early and we're good."

WILL YOU GET A NEW PIT SIGN ON SUNDAY? "I hope so because when I drove by on the first pace lap I thought to myself, 'That's small.' Unfortunately, we were pitted with Carl and his is bright pink, so it just blended in. It was my fault, but we worked hard and showed we have a fast car. We got back up through the field and I really thought if we got around the 78 with two to go, I had a chance to win the race because those guys were on two tires. I'll beat myself up overnight for it, but we'll be ready tomorrow."

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CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 13th)

"I learned a lot and that was good. I worked my way up to fifth or sixth at one point and had a chance to race up there, so that was helpful. My pit crew is amazing. I've got the best pit crew on pit road, so that feels real good. I think it's gonna be a great race. The track is perfect and the tire is perfect. It's good all the way around."

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DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 9th)

"If you can't win, you want to bring the car back in one piece. This has obviously been a good car since we unloaded it and our UPS team has done a nice job so far in Speedweeks. I think we certainly had a car that could have won, but so many factors go into winning a plate race. That last restart, a few guys got jumbled around and we did the best we could, and still have our car in one piece. It should be a fun race on Sunday."

DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR CHANCES SUNDAY? "Yeah. The car responds well. Our pit crew did an excellent job on pit road, so that's got us an OK starting spot for the big race on Sunday. We'll tweak on it a little bit, and I think we'll have a real nice car on Sunday."

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GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 11th)

"I'm real happy with the race. The car drove well and I while I wasn't happy with the outcome, I was pretty happy overall with how it handled. Let's face it, if the 13 wouldn't have been in the outside lane on that last restart, we certainly would have had a shot at the win. He's a great driver, but he spun his tires and continued to kind of spin them all the way down. I'm not sure what happened and why he couldn't get traction. I was trying to push him and I could have hung him out to dry through that short chute, but decided to stay behind him and help get him going. Hopefully, he made it in, but I knew at that point I probably wasn't going to win, so two or three starting spots, for me, wasn't gonna make or break my season. So I said, 'I'll just stay in line and not try to cause a big fiasco being three-wide going in there.'"

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JOHN ANDRETTI -- No. 34 Window World Cares Ford Fusion (Finished 16th)

"It was OK. I think that we had a pretty good car. The only thing is we had some issues in practice and they reappeared in the 150, so we think we have a good handle on what's going on now and we'll be able to fix it when they tear the car down and get it ready for Sunday's race. So it was a good race for us. We got to try some things and really went out on a limb on a couple of things with the race car. Some of them worked and some of them didn't. I think we had a pretty fast car, but we didn't want to get digging too much. Plus, with the other issue, we had a small fuel pick-up problem for some reason. We had it in practice and didn't solve it, so I think we have a good idea where it is now."

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ROBERT RICHARDSON JR. -- No. 38 Mahindra USA Tractors Ford Fusion (Finished 23rd)

"I'm not real happy with the handling of the race car. We're still plugging away and trying to get the car handling a little bit better. We're fighting kind of a tight-loose condition, which means the car is pushing in the corner and the more steering input I put in the corner the car snaps loose. We're gonna try to get that leveled out with the practices we have remaining and try to get the car handling a little bit better, and try to get the car to suck up better in the draft. The car didn't draft as well as I thought it would, so we'll just take what we've got and keep going."

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TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion (Finished 19th)

"It was OK. Our gameplan going in wasn't to really push real hard. At the start of the race I drove real hard and got up in there and got some decent track position, but the tires started to wear off and it started to get three-wide and it wasn't a position we needed to be in. We don't need to be wrecking race cars. Overall, our car is decent. We've got a list of things we want to work through over the next couple days and we want it to be with this car. We're in the 500 and didn't really have a whole lot to gain, but a lot to lose so we drove a pretty conservative race. It's frustrating right now because I know we could have finished right up in the middle of things, but, at the same time, if we would have wrecked the race car, we'd feel pretty stupid right now. Overall, it wasn't a bad day, but Sunday is where the money and the points are so we've got to be there when it counts."

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Yates Racing