Ford Racing press release
This marks the third time a Ford driver has won a Gatorade Duel qualifying race that has been a 150-mile event. Elliott Sadler (2006) and Kasey Kahne (2010) are the others.
Ford has now won 22 all-time Daytona qualifying races.
Bill Elliott holds the Ford Racing record for most Daytona qualifying race wins with four (1985, ’86, ’92, 2000)
This marks the first Daytona qualifying race victory for car owner Jack Roush.
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
GIVE US A RUNDOWN ON THE MOVE YOU PUT ON YOUR TEAMMATE FOR THE WIN. “We just had a big run there. Jimmie Johnson gave me a huge push there and that really worked nice for me the whole race there. Without that push it would have never gotten done. Greg (Biffle) lost his drafting partner. We were able to separate him and the 78 and we had such a huge run that Greg was kind of a sitting duck. I was going so fast with Jimmie’s push that we were able to make it past.”
IT WAS A LITTLE MORE TAME IN THIS SECOND DUEL. HOW WAS IT OUT THERE? WERE YOU ABLE TO WORK THE DRAFT AND FIGURE OUT WHERE THE CAR WAS BEST? “Thankfully our Best Buy Ford Fusion was really fast. Doug Yates and those guys have given the Fords really good engines this weekend. Once we got up to the front if I could stay toward the bottom and keep somebody sort of close to my back bumper we had a lot of speed which makes it a lot easier.”
THIS IS THE FIRST WIN FOR ROUSH FENWAY IN A GATORADE DUEL AT DAYTONA. THAT HAS TO BE SPECIAL FOR YOU. “Yeah, that is great. Gatorade has been a great sponsor of myself and our sport and has done a lot for athletes everywhere. I am glad to finally have won one of these races.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
“It was a pretty good race. I learned a lot about the car. It was a little bit tight on those two tires that we did, but the car drove really good overall. It got a little dicey there at the end. I could have probably blocked a little bit more than I did, but that’s not the time to block right there for that win.”
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU SAW THEM COMING ON THE OUTSIDE? “I was thinking they might get stalled out. I wasn’t sure I was gonna stay committed to the bottom, but at the last minute I decided to jump up there and try it, but Matt is pretty smart. He was pretty far up. He wasn’t coming down close to us to where if I would have moved I could get in front of him. I had to move three lanes to get in front of him, so he did the right thing.”
IF THAT’S THE 500 ARE YOU STICKING YOUR NOSE UP THERE AND STAYING THERE? “Oh yeah. If that’s the 500, I’m either gonna get pushed or wrecked, one of the two.”
CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion
“Unfortunately, we’d love to go out there and go after it, but the reality of it is we would much rather race this car than the one we have as a backup. We played it really conservative today and just made sure we had a clean race car for the 500. I’m still excited about everything. You want to go out there and race, but, at the same time, you want to bring your best piece to the 500. I think we did what we needed to do today. We got through the 150 and we should be ready to go for the 500.”
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TODAY? “It was good being up toward the front and being inside the top five for the first few opening laps. It gave us a good indication of how the car was gonna handle and what the temperature was gonna do, so it was definitely valuable being in the 150 to kind of get that information. We would have liked to have been better, but, obviously, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.