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AUG 15, 2014 | Brooklyn, Michigan

Five Fusions Fall in Top-11 of Michigan Sprint Cup Qualifying

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(Ford Racing Public Relations Report)

Pure Michigan 400 (Michigan International Speedway)

FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS

2nd       JOEY LOGANO
3rd       CARL EDWARDS
5th       BRAD KESELOWSKI
10th     RICKY STENHOUSE JR.
11th     GREG BIFFLE
20th     MARCOS AMBROSE
23rd     ARIC ALMIROLA
28th     RYAN BLANEY
29th     DAVID GILLILAND
34th     DAVID RAGAN

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion -- QUALIFIED 2nd
TALK ABOUT YOUR STARTING POSITION FOR SUNDAY. 
“Close but didn’t quite make it. Once again. That is our seventh front row start this year, which we are very proud of don’t get me wrong. It takes a lot of effort to do that but we only have one pole. That is frustrating. That means that is a lot of second place starting positions. We were close again and just weren’t able to do it. I have a really fast Shell Pennzoil Ford this weekend and we have been able to keep showing Penske is very strong in qualifying. We are making all the sessions besides the superspeedways and we are proud to have done that this deep in the season. I have a good car in race trim too. I feel like I have something similar to what I had in this race last year that we won the pole and race with. We are going to come up a little short on the pole but hopefully we can do it in the race.”

WHAT IS THE SPEED SENSATION LIKE? “You get used to it. When things go bad that is when you feel like you are going really fast because you don’t slow down very quick when you are going however fast we were going. It is fast I know that much. You actually get used to it. It is such a smooth racetrack and if your car drives as good as mine did here today you get used to that. In the race when you get dirty air and restarts and you are fighting for any kind of air you can get, any gap you can see you are shooting for that in the corner to get something on your car because you are going that fast and relying on air that much. The faster you go the more you rely on air. When you have a car in front of you the bigger affect there is. It is challenging but a lot of fun having that much speed out there and setting these track records and all that is pretty cool.”

IS THE TRACK GOING TO GET FASTER OR DO YOU THINK IT WILL CLOSE DOWN A LITTLE OVER TIME? “It has nothing to do with the racetrack picking up speed it is what we are doing to the race cars to go faster. This year we have added downforce and taken the ride height rule away. We went faster today because we developed our cars more than what we did in the spring. It is cooler out too. Between those two things that is why we went faster again. The race track itself isn’t picking up speed. If anything it is maintaining to get slower but it is widening out. It is becoming a better race. I think we see that. It is a good thing they have the truck race before the Cup race to rubber it up on the bottom and the top and widen it out. That will be a better race for the fans. The reason why we are going faster is because of what we have done to the race cars with the rules changes and as we develop our stuff we keep getting better.”

HOW IDENTICAL IS YOUR SETUP TO THE 2 CAR? “We have kind of our own things that we like in our car each and every week. We have kind of the common things. He likes something that is different than I like and I have tried what he likes and it doesn’t really work for me and vice versa. There are a couple odds and ends that are different and that is a constant week to week. There is also some things we can switch back and forth and changes that switch over from car to car. It just kind of depends. Knowing what your teammate likes and what that offset typically is, whether he likes it tighter or looser and the parts and pieces, knowing what that is before you get to the race track and getting used to that is a very important thing for setting up your race car and if he is faster than you you can see what it is and know if you can handle that or not or the reasons why he is fast or not. The more you can understand that the easier it is to work on your race car. That is what is taking us a little bit to figure out. Especially last year as a rookie with Team Penske and learning what the differences are over there and what your teammates are like. I think that is something that is important to have that chemistry and why we are doing what we are doing.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Ford EcoBoost Fusion -- QUALIFIED 3rd

TALK ABOUT QUALIFYING HERE AND THE SPEEDS AND YOUR STARTING POSITION FOR SUNDAY. “It is fast. That is the simplest way to describe it. It is fast. I wish you guys could ride in that car with me. That is screamin’. If I had to do over again I think I could do better but I am sure everyone could say that. There is so much speed out there you have to do everything perfectly. We almost did. I thought we had a shot at the pole there – we did have a shot at the pole. It is like Jimmy Fennig said, ‘It is nice to be disappointed with third.’ I think we were 23rd the last time we were here. It was definitely a fun day and just what we needed, something positive like that.”

HOW NICE IS IT TO HAVE THE TEST HERE IN JULY COME TO FRUITION? “I believe that at this point it looks like we did the right thing. I feel like we have a very fast car here. It shows us that we are doing the right things. We are working on things and it is paying off. The race is another story but we will enjoy this today. It has been a lot of work for a lot of people. Hopefully we just keep moving forward. We have been making progress and this is a good step.”

HOW MUCH FASTER CAN THIS PLACE GET? IS IT TOO FAST? “It is pretty fast. It is really up to Goodyear and at what point -- let me say this, Goodyear is doing a great job because the amount of force on those tires in the corner are spectacular and those are pretty small tires relative to other racing series’ for the car weight. I really have to say Goodyear is doing a great job. If you start thinking about the fact that there is just a little bit of rubber and some air holding that whole car up with that much force on it, I have to stop thinking about it because it is pretty amazing.”

WAS THE CAR SET UP SPECIAL TO GO THIS FAST FOR QUALIFYING? WILL IT BE AS FAST TOMORROW? “A little bit of both. We did not run race trim yet but it looked like Stenhouse was fast in race trim. Not as fast as the Penske Ford’s at first blush there but I think if we get a chance to work on them a little bit tomorrow we could be very good. You just never know. Right now, at the end of the day, everyone is in qualifying trim and we stacked up well against the fast guys which is a huge step forward.”

RICKY STENHOUSE Jr., No. 17 Zest Ford Fusion -- QUALIFIED 10th  “It is nice to see these Ford’s up front a little bit. It has been awhile since we were able to put our Fusion in the final round and it was nice to do that here at Michigan and it is nice to start the weekend off on the right note. Obviously we would like to be a bit higher up the board, but I will take it.  The strategy of these qualifying rounds is tough. The first run out I went down in turn one and got loose and almost got in the fence. Had to come back in and make an adjustment and cool back down. I tried to wait on a cloud and we timed it just right and got a cloud and put a solid lap down. Technically we got a run and a half on those tires there and that was a bummer but it was the right adjustment to get it tighter. It becomes more of a cat and mouse game to get into the final round and then that final round is so short you just go and get what you can.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion -- QUALIFIED 11th “It is a huge improvement from June. We still have a little ways to go though. I didn’t want to come here and run 10th but I felt like if we came here and legitimately ran 10th on speed then that would be a huge improvement. I am looking for pieces. We aren’t going to get it all at once. I feel good about that. It is a start. We still have some to go and I don’t know exactly where the rest of it is at but we will keep working on it and see where we end up.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – YOU CAME UP A LITTLE SHORT IN QUALIFYING BUT IT WAS PROBABLY A GOOD DAY OF WORK WITH THE TEAM I AM SURE. “Yeah it was a good day of work with everyone here at the Wood Brothers team. We didn’t get the qualifying lap in that I wanted to. I am excited for tomorrowto be able to get some race runs in and hopefully get it pretty good for Trevor for Sunday. I am looking forward to that. It is good to get out here and get my first laps on Michigan in a Cup car. It is a whole lot different than those trucks over there I will tell you that. It is all about learning and helping these guys out as much as I can. I am just happy to be here.”