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Ford Media Center
Ford Qualifying Results:
1st – Brad Keslowski
8th – Ryan Blaney
12th – Greg Biffle
14th – Joey Logano
18th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19th – Trevor Bayne
23rd – Aric Almirola
31st – Sam Hornish Jr.
33rd – David Gilliland
35th – Brett Moffitt
39th – Cole Whitt
42nd – Reed Sorenson
43rd – Will Kimmel
RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “We got better from the first round to the second round. We had a really good second round and the 2 went a little quicker the last round, and I tried to get a little more and it bit us. I should have just did what I did the round before and see if it was a little bit faster, but I just tried to get too much and unfortunately lost a little bit of speed there, but I’m proud of everybody on this Motorcraft team. To not be at the race track every week and qualify in the top 10 is pretty cool, so I’m excited to get into race trim tomorrow.” WHAT DID YOU DO SPECIFICALLY IN ROUND THREE TO TRY AND GET A LITTLE MORE. WAS THERE A CERTAIN AREA YOU TRIED TO MAKE UP GROUND? “Just stay in the throttle more and it got a little tight on us.”
JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “I don’t know. We haven’t been really fast since we started and I don’t know why. I don’t understand it completely, but our teammates are fast so we know what we have to do to go fast. We didn’t do it, that’s all.” DID YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT TODAY OR EXPERIMENT SINCE YOU’RE ALREADY IN THE NEXT ROUND? “I wish I could say that because then we would have an excuse, but we’ll work on it more tomorrow and just try to figure it out. We’ve got plenty of time to get it.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion – “This track, the temperature isn’t changing a whole lot. It’s definitely chilly out right now, but the track has a lot grip when you’re out there by yourself, but when you’re in a pack of cars and you lose the air off your car – everybody trims their car in to have so much speed by itself and get the spoiler out of the air and everything you do to make speed and when you go racing it becomes a handful.”
POLE-WINNING PRESS CONFERENCE
BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “It’s been a really good day, but, of course there’s a long way to go. We need a really good finish is what we need, and hopefully a win and that’s still about 45 hours from now, so we’ve got to keep working. We have a lot to look forward to, so we’re proud of today for sure, but looking forward. That’s what matters.”
HOW NICE IS IT TO WIN THE POLE BUT NOT TO BE ABLE TO PICK YOUR PIT STALL FIRST? “I guess it’s like getting a nice cheesecake with no toppings. I still like cheesecake. We’ll make the most of it. It is nice to be fast this week. We weren’t anywhere near as fast as we wanted to be at Charlotte, which was frustrating and I’m not sure I could answer why we’re faster this week, but sometimes that stuff just comes and goes and you don’t really understand why. But when you have speed you have to make the most of it, and when you don’t have speed you have to make the most of it. That’s my job as a driver and I felt like last week we made the most of it to get a solid ninth-place finish out of quite honestly what wasn’t a ninth-place day. So today or hopefully Sunday I mean, we’ll have a first-place car and be able to get a first-place finish out of it and that would be key for us.”
AFTER THE FIRST COUPLE OF RUNS SHOULDN’T YOU BE CLEAR ON PIT ROAD? “I don’t know. To answer any questions about a pit stall would be best served after the race because I don’t even know what pit stall I have right now. I don’t know how it’s going to affect and I can guess at it if I did know, which I don’t even know, but until the race is over and you’ve seen everything play out it doesn’t really matter.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHEESECAKE TOPPING? “Call me a traditionalist, but strawberry.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED -- CONGRATULATIONS ON THE POLE AND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT WITH BRIAN AT TALLADEGA. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? “The first thing it means to me is I wish the circumstances were better and that someone didn’t have to get hurt for that to happen. That’s probably the first thing I would say, but on the other side of it I’m fortunate to have a partner with Cooper Standard and Ford that will allow me to do things like that and that’s a really good feeling. It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and sometimes when those things come together you just feel like it came together for a reason and so that’s kind of how I feel about that particular topic. I’m really happy about it. He’s my brother, so I’m gonna have to watch as a nervous brother, which is a little different than a nervous car owner because as a nervous car owner you’re counting the dollars. As a nervous brother you’re saying, ‘Oh, it’s Talladega.’ But Brian has some pretty good experience on the plate tracks having run the Daytona 500 and the Duels and done all that, so I feel pretty confident he’ll have a good day and I’m just really excited to kind of be able to provide that opportunity for him.”
HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT MARTINSVILLE YET? “No.”
HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT WHY THE 2 HAS STRUGGLED A LITTLE BIT? “It’s been a little bit of a frustrating four or five race stretch. It certainly could be worse, that’s for sure, and we’ve had some good races. I look at Loudon. I thought we were awesome at Loudon and it didn’t come together with the restart deal. I look at Chicago, we weren’t where we wanted to be. We definitely weren’t where we wanted to be at Dover or Charlotte, but beforehand we had some great runs and we still have a lot to be proud of, but we just have to keep it going.”
WHO CONTACTED YOUR MOM ABOUT BRIAN? “I didn’t tell her. I was nervous she would be thinking, ‘Talladega. Why Talladega?’ But I was nervous she would be worried about Talladega, so I let her kind of find out on her own. It was like, ‘Who broke the window?’ I figured she would kind of figure it out on her own and be OK, but she was very excited about it too.”
FIVE OF THE TOP SIX IN POINTS HAVE BEEN WITH THEIR TEAMS FOR THREE OR FEWER SEASONS. IS THIS AS MUCH A COINCIDENCE OR DO YOU SEE A PATTERN DEVELOPING? “The cliché of a driver-crew chief relationship being a lot like a marriage sometimes sounds really corny, but I still believe that. So to answer the question I would say is probably just as telling for things you would look at in relationships in modern day as it is anything else. Sometimes it’s easier to get a divorce in that sense than it is to fix a problem, and I would say that maybe that trend is showing up in the racing world. I’ve been with Paul now this is our sixth season together, counting what was then the Nationwide Series, and I hope to be with him the rest of my career as long as he doesn’t want to retire or do something different. And I would say maybe a lot of drivers would answer that same way, but for whatever reason I think sometimes it’s just easier to give up and start fresh. And it certainly, like you said, through example paid some results, but it’s not something that I subscribe to. I hope that I don’t have to go down that path. You can’t fault those that have because it’s obviously working for them, but it’s a very tricky situation. It’s always on the back of your mind whenever you see that person in the garage. I know that feeling too well with some of my very early, early days and team-hopping and so forth, but to each his own, I guess.”
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