Ambrose Qualifies Second for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Martinsville

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Ford Qualifying Results:
2nd – Marcos Ambrose
4th – Joey Logano
7th – Brad Keselowski
9th – Carl Edwards
20th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22nd – Greg Biffle
23rd – David Ragan
30th – David Gilliland
34th – Aric Almirola
42nd – Casey Mears

Joey Logano during 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 practice

2013 NASCAR Martinsville
April 5, 2013, Martinsville, Virginia USA.Joey Logano during 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 practice..(c)2013, Matthew T. Thacker.Autostock..

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “Todd Gordon and all the guys did a good job on this Shell/Pennzoil Ford getting it better for me than what we had in practice. In practice there were some things that I could have done better, but we just worked as a team and made it a little better. I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna hold up, but it’s gonna be better than where we were in practice. Having a decent starting spot here really means a lot.” WHAT’S THE CHALLENGE FOR YOU HERE? “It’s actually a little bit easier than normal because you get a warm-up lap and then your first and second lap are fairly similar in time, so, as a driver, if you make a mistake, you have another lap. Typically, it’s one lap and that’s all you’ve got, so it gives you a little bit more time here as a driver.”

Aric Almirola during 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 practice

2013 NASCAR Martinsville
April 5, 2013, Martinsville, Virginia USA.Aric Almirola during 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 practice..(c)2013, Matthew T. Thacker.Autostock..

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Jani-King/STP Ford Fusion – “That’s obviously disappointing. We want to be better than that for sure. Martinsville is extremely important to qualify good and have track position all day, so that’s tough. It will just force us to put our heads down and figure out something for tomorrow. We’ll get a better package going for tomorrow. We’ll work real hard and get this STP Gas Boosters Fusion running a little better.”

Marcos Ambrose was the fastest Ford Fusion in qualifying starting 2nd on the front row

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Martinsville
April 5, 2013 Martinsville, Virginia USA.Marcos Ambrose was the fastest Ford Fusion in qualifying starting 2nd on the front row..© 2013, Brian Czobat.autostock USA..

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “You can always say you could get more out of it, but it was a solid lap. Our No. 9 Stanley Ford has been on a rail today. I’m just really proud to come out here strong. We had a fast car off the truck and it’s really gonna help us.” WILL A DAY LIKE TODAY BE THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD? “Yeah, it can turn us around, no doubt. We’re a great team. We’ve got all the ingredients. We proved today that if we get our stuff right we can do it. We’ve just got to get some momentum and get some confidence back. Our little team is a tough team, but we’ve been knocked around pretty good. It’s like we’ve gone nine rounds with Mike Tyson, but we’re coming back strong here and we won’t quit.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – YOU JUST PUSHED THE CAR OUT OF TECH, HOPPED IN AND RAN A PRETTY GOOD LAP. “That’s what I get paid to do (laughing). That’s as tough as we make it. We’re obviously trying to do all we can do to maximize the performance of our car and we just missed that a little bit. That’s all right. NASCAR is trying to keep us all line, so we kind of had to hustle to get out there and do what we could to put up the best lap possible. That’s not quite as fast as I hoped we’d be, but I think it will probably end up somewhere around 10th to start the race. That’s not bad, but not great either, but we’ll have somewhere to start from so that’s good.” HOW IMPORTANT IS A 10TH PLACE STARTING SPOT? “I think qualifying here itself is not necessarily important, but pit selection is because it’s a really small pit road. That could really play a big benefit to you in the closing stages of the race when you have a pit stop and you can get out in front of somebody, especially with double-file restarts. With double-file restarts if you get a bad lane on a restart, especially on that last restart, it could be your whole race, so having a good pit stall, if that moves you up one or two spots on the last restart, is what you want.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion – “We backed up what we did in practice, so at least we didn’t get any worse. I was just a little tight. This place is pretty tricky, but I went out there and hit my marks and we didn’t go slower than practice, so I think that’s a success. We wanted to go faster for sure, but, all in all, I think we’ll have a decent starting spot. It won’t be the worst we’ve had this year, so we’ll keep learning. We come back here again. This track hasn’t been one of Roush Fenway’s best in the past, so we’ll just keep learning. We’ve got a long day tomorrow to practice some more and figure it out, and then 500 laps on Sunday. We’ve still got a lot to learn, but, all in all, not too bad.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “I hate to say I’m happy with that lap, but I am. That was a pretty good lap for me. If we could do it again, we could be faster. The guys made some changes that we wanted. We needed one more run in practice. The warm-up lap I tried something and then the first lap I tried something different and finally the last lap I did what I knew I could do. The car is pretty fast, though. It’s faster than I was on that run.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion – “Martinsville is a fun track. All three of our teams unloaded with a little different package because we’re still trying to figure out the Generation-6 car at these short tracks. So it was good to pick up from practice and we made some gains in qualifying. Every one-thousandth is important here at Martinsville, so I’m excited about the race on Sunday and pleased with our qualifying effort. It was on OK lap.”

MARCOS AMBROSE PRESS CONFERENCE

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “It just feels great to get a front row spot. Like Brian, we’re less than a hundredth away from the top spot and felt like a would, shoulda, coulda out there. It was just a little extra time to get the pole, but we’ll take it. This track has been a great track for Petty Enterprises. I think they’re tied with Hendrick for the most wins here at 19, so we’d love to keep that streak going and go one better and get their 20th win around this place. That would be fun, but we’ve had tough start to our season. It’s just good to be in this room and I feel good about our race on Sunday. The car has been on a rail since we got here and it’s a nice change.”

ANY IDEA WHY IT’S BEEN A TOUGH START, AND HOW ARE THINGS WITH DREW? “Drew is fantastic. We’re lucky to have Drew. I’m lucky to have him. I get along with him great. We just have not gotten it done. You could look for excuses, but the new car has taken us for a bit of a loop and we just haven’t hit our stride. We finally tested for the first time during the week at Richmond and I think that’s really helped us here, and I think it’s gonna help us at most of these shorter race tracks, more mechanical grip type race tracks, so we just have to keep fighting. It’s not easy. We have under-performed, no doubt, so we’ve got to turn our season around and this is a good way to start that.”

THOUGHTS ON CAMBER ISSUES WITH THE NEW CAR. “It certainly has been on our project list early in the season was checking the temperature in the rear end to make sure the camber wasn’t excessive. We haven’t seen any issues with it. I think it’s less about mechanical problems now and more about the tires and how much camber can you get away with for speed versus durability over the long run. In most forms of open-wheel racing or racing have a certain amount of camber in when there are no rules, but they don’t have too much camber to blow tires out, so it’s a fine line between lap time and durability.”

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Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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