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Bayne Qualifies Motorcraft Ford Fusion Third In Daytona

Even though his third-place qualifying run on Sunday doesn't mean he'll start there in Sunday's Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne definitely opened some eyes with his run in the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford of the Wood Brothers.

Bayne Qualifies Motorcraft Ford Fusion Third In Daytona

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Qualified 22nd) – “It was fine from where I sat, but I don’t think that’s gonna be very. We lost a little time from yesterday for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the conditions or not, but I think the 33 and the 5 ran about the same, so I don’t think it’s gonna end up very good. I think we’re probably a little disappointed. We had a real good practice and thought we’d have a little more speed than that today.” WAS IT A DISADVANTAGE GOING OUT EARLY? “If you’re not in the top two, it doesn’t really make any difference at all. We’re already not in the top two, so it doesn’t matter. But I always feel like at a speedway, especially at this time of day, it’s generally an advantage to go out early because usually the winds are a little lighter. You’ve still got your engine cooled down and all your stuff hot underneath, so I always think it’s an advantage to go early, but it probably doesn’t matter much.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Qualified 38th) – “It was good. It drove great. They’ve done a great job repaving this place. It’s really smooth and drivability is not an issue anymore. We didn’t really put a whole lot into qualifying our car. Our main focus at Front Row Motorsports has been to focus on Travis Kvapil’s car and getting him locked into the race today. Hopefully we can do that. I think we’ve got a good chance and I’m proud of all the work the guys in the shop have put into his car, but we didn’t really do anything special for qualifying. I feel like our car has good speed, much better speed than we had last year and I feel like it’s gonna race really well.”
ROBERT RICHARDSON, JR. – No. 37 Front Row Motorsports Fusion (Qualified 43rd) – “This is really my first time on the race track. I didn’t get to come down here and do any of the tire testing with all of the other teams, so they kind of have an advantage over some of us. This is our first time on the race track this week and we’re trying to get the car dialed in as quick as possible. The car is driving really good. It doesn’t really matter where you qualify today because the duel races kind of determine where you start for the 500 anyway. We’ll see how it drives next week in the draft and go from there.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 9th) – “It was pretty good. I thought it would be a little faster than it was, but it didn’t seem like it accelerated down the back and I could feel the wind. I was thinking I was gonna see some more speed down the backstretch, but that’s a respectable lap. Before I went out I thought I’d be between top-five and about 15th and it looks like that’s probably where we’re gonna end up. We’re right among the Childress and Hendrick cars, so I think that’s pretty respectable.”
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion (Qualified 13th) – “It’s the first time with my crew and I’m really excited to drive this number 9 car for Stanley and Richard Petty Motorsports. It’s just a real thrill for me and it’s just good to get one in the books. We picked up from yesterday and when you can do that, you’ve got to be happy.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th) – “Unless you get on the front row it doesn’t really matter, but it’s more of a moral victory for the crew chief. We’ve been pretty slow and we all have competition about where we’re gonna qualify, so it was cool to see. For me, I didn’t do anything, but for as much speed as we picked up, we picked up about a half-second from where we were in practice, which is really tough to do. In the end, it doesn’t change the 500 at all, but it’s more of a moral victory. We’re having fun.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th) – “We came down here hoping to qualify in the top 15 – realistic goals. We knew we didn’t quite have a shot at the pole, but our race car is fast and it’s got some good speed. Obviously, from what we’ve seen down here in testing and the Bud Shootout, it’s gonna take more than just one fast car. You’ve got to play that game getting hooked up with the right guy and how long can you go, and where are you gonna go on the race track. Our car is good. I’m happy. It’s had good speed since we unloaded and I can’t wait until Wednesday to get out there and start running again.”
TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd) – HOW WAS IT TO SIT ON THE FRONT ROW FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS? “It was cool. If I’m gonna get knocked off by somebody, I’m sure the fans were glad it was Dale, Jr. But to be sitting third behind two of the most well-known drivers in NASCAR – and Jeff Gordon my childhood hero – I mean, this is incredible. I can’t thank this Wood Brothers team enough and everybody at Ford Racing and Roush Yates for giving us a car like this to bring here. Obviously, we were praying a lot before we went out there, so we got a good run. The winds were kind of calm and I think this will show everybody that we’ve got an awesome race car and they can work with us in these twins coming into Thursday. Maybe they’ll see that and they’ll know they can help us out and we can get a good starting spot in the 500.” HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP YOU GAIN THAT RESPECT? “I think right now they have more of an effect on how you do than ever just because of the way it’s working out having to work with somebody. It’s always been a team sport with your crew, but it’s never been that way with the drivers, so now, more than ever, you have to build those relationships and rely on them to help you as much as helping them. I would be fine with pushing somebody all day as long as we can finish second. I would be good with that, but I think we’ve got a really stout race car and they’ve done an awesome job all week with it.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th) – “I wish we were faster, but this race is gonna be all about working with someone. We’ve got some fast teammates. Trevor is fast. Biffle’s fast. Matt’s fast. We all look like we can work well together, so it’s gonna be good.”
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Qualified 20th) – “It’s the Daytona 500. It’s the first race of the year. Being a go-or-go-homer is just so incredibly nerve-racking. The qualifying format here is very unique. If you’re not locked into today by the top three on speed, you can always race your way in on Thursday, but tonight, Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night you don’t hardly sleep. All you think about is the race on Thursday, especially this week because it’s so different. In the past, you could not have a very fast car, but if it handled good, you could race your way in on Thursday. Now it’s all about speed in those two-car drafts and a lot of us guys don’t have any experience with that, so I was hoping we could do what we did today. The next couple of nights we’ll rest easy and take care of this race car throughout practice and the duels and get a good, solid finish on Sunday for the 500 and kick our year off great for our Front Row Motorsports team.”