Allmendinger and Ambrose Qualify Second and Third For Watkins Glen NASCAR Race

Richard Petty Motorsports was front and center Saturday at Watkins Glen International as AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose qualified second and third for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Allmendinger and Ambrose Qualify Second and Third For Watkins Glen NASCAR Race

Ford Qualifying Results:
2nd – AJ Allmendinger
3rd – Marcos Ambrose
8th – Carl Edwards
16th – David Ragan
24th – Matt Kenseth
28th – Greg Biffle
29th – Scott Speed
30th – J.J. Yeley
32nd – Andrew Ranger
36th – Andy Lally
41st – David Gilliland
43rd – Terry Labonte
 
AJ ALLMENDINGER/MARCOS AMBROSE PRESS CONFERENCE
 
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion – HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “It was pretty good. I felt like I got into one just a little bit deep and locked the right-front just a little bit, but felt like I carried good momentum through there. I was just a little tentative getting in the bus stop, sitting there in line when we sat there I could see the track was really dirty getting in there, so I was a little bit conservative getting in and tried to make it all up through the bus stop and got a little bit loose, so I lost a little bit of time there. I don’t know if that was enough time lost to Kyle, but I felt like overall the car was really good. It’s been solid ever since we unloaded. Greg Erwin and everybody on the Best Buy Ford just brought a good car and I feel like these last couple weeks, although the results may not show it, have been really good. We’ve been working well together and I think we’re making a lot of progress, so to go out there with what we’ve been building on is really good. To have a good lap today was really good.” 
 
IS IT NICE TO GET THIS KIND OF RESULT? “Yeah. I’ve always liked Watkins Glen a little bit more than Sonoma. I feel like I’ve struggled at Sonoma. Watkins Glen is a race track that you’ve really got to be aggressive on and you can really kind of just hang the car out, and I feel I’ve always been pretty good here, so I look at this track – coming to it – if we can build some momentum and get a good finish tomorrow, we’re right there in points. Obviously, if we get a win that puts us with a chance for the Chase, but I’m not looking at that as make or break. I feel like if we can just keep getting better as the year goes on and have a good, strong finish to the end of the season that that’s gonna be what I’m gonna look at for our season and really build off of that, so this is a great place to start. We’ve always been fast here.”
 
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “I felt a little unfortunate really. We had a probably had the hardest part of the practice and I underdrove it just a little bit, but we’re proud of our efforts. It would have been great to be on the front row with AJ, but we’ll start third for the race. We’ve got a great package. I feel really confident and we’ll just see how the day unfolds. It’s gonna be interesting to see how it goes on fuel strategy and brake wear and all those factors that come into play on a road course. Hopefully we make the right judgment calls in getting the car ready for the race.”
 
AJ ALLMENDINGER CONTINUED – WHAT IS ERWIN BRINGING TO THE TEAM? “It was built by Mike Shiplett. He really got our guys working well together and we were bringing good stuff to the race track and it was something that we were just lacking a little bit, so with the change Greg brings a lot of experience. Obviously, he’s a crew chief that has won a lot of race, been in the Chase and been in championship contention. I think that experience level has really been helping me in times where I maybe get a little bit lost because I forget that I’ve been in here for five years, but when it comes to everything that I’ve been through in this sport, I look at that I’ve really only had two really competitive seasons, so I’m still learning a lot. There are times where we kind of get lost and I think Greg can kind of keep the team on track and figure out whether we need a big change or a small change or race strategy – things like that – and just help make me a better race car driver. Inside the race car driver and out of the race car driver trying to figure out what we need with these race cars, so, like I said, the results don’t show it but Indy we were really fast all day. Pocono I felt like we were pretty good on Friday and on Sunday we lost a little bit, but it was still a solid weekend. Since we’ve unloaded, I feel like Marcos is the guy to beat, but we’re right there with everybody else and we have something for everybody else, so he’s just brought a lot of experience and that’s just in three weeks, so I think as the season goes on, hopefully we just keep building on that.”
 
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “I think I probably hit 80 percent of my marks. It’s real tough for me to get in a rhythm just in one lap. I’d much rather have that two or three lap qualifying like the Nationwide cars do. That would help me a lot, but that was a good pickup from yesterday. This is certainly not my strongest race track up here, so it seems like every time we go out we improve, but so does our competition. I think we’ve made some good strides here. We still have a lot of work to do, but our UPS team is ready to have a smart race on Sunday or Monday, whatever happens. We just need to get out of here with a  top 15 or top 20 finish and not lose any points because then we can go be aggressive the next four.”
 
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scotts Ortho Ford Fusion – “I thought I had a pretty good lap going. It felt like a pole lap until I got to the bus stop and then I came to a full stop, I let all the passengers on, I collected the toll, and then I took off again. I did my best. I put in all the effort I could after that, but I’ve just got to thank Ortho for being on board – Ortho, Aflac, Scotts, Ford. I’m excited about this race. Even if we don’t get it in tomorrow, it’s gonna be a good race. It’s one of my favorite race tracks and we’d love to get a win here at a road course.”
 
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “It was OK. It was maybe a little bit too conservative. I would have sort of like to have done a nine-something, but I’m really proud of my Stanley team. It’s been a lot of fun this weekend. We’ve got a great chance to win the race and I’m really happy with our race setup. I just hope it goes our way.” IT WAS JUST OK? “Yeah, it could have been a little better, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve got the Stanley car up front and I’m just really proud of my opportunity here at Richard Petty Motorsports. I’m looking forward to a really good Sunday. We had a tough Sonoma that didn’t quite go to plan, but this weekend so far has gone great. I’m excited about our chances. I’m just really proud of Stanley for giving me the chance to come here and try to get it done.” DOES THIS CAR FEEL LIKE PAST YEARS WHEN YOU’VE FINISHED SECOND OR THIRD HERE? “Yeah, it feels really good. I’m confident for tomorrow, I’ve just got to make sure that we keep the fenders on it, look out for the brakes, and the rest will come to us.”
 
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion – DISAPPOINTED? “ Yeah, a little bit, but to be on the front row with the Best Buy Ford here is pretty good. It’s Kyle Busch. He’s pretty good at this. I think when he gets older he might be pretty good at this sport (laughing). At least it wasn’t that close. If he beat my by like a hundredth, I know where I lost a little bit like two-tenths, but I’m proud of everybody on the Best Buy Ford and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty cool to beat Marcos. He’s the man, so to be able to put up a lap a little bit better than him is cool. I think he’s still gonna be the guy to beat, but we’ve got a great starting spot and it’s a great day.”
 
SCOTT SPEED – No. 37 Green Stuff Absorbent Ford Fusion – “Our strategy for the race tomorrow is to save our stuff as much as we can in the first half of the race and hopefully get a caution halfway through and then start to attack. For us, qualifying isn’t super-critical and the bottom line is we’ve got to make the race, so we have to put in conservative qualifying efforts at the moment. It is what it is, but the car should be good for tomorrow and hopefully all things go well and we have a good showing.”
 
 
 

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