Monday, Sep 25

Ford Performance - NCS Chicago Street Race Qualifying

Ford Qualifying Results:

6th – Michael McDowell

8th – Jenson Button

9th – Joey Logano

15th – Chris Buescher

16th – Chase Briscoe

17th – Ryan Blaney

20th – Brad Keselowski

24th – Aric Almirola

25th – Todd Gilliland

28th – Ryan Preece

30th – Andy Lally

31st – Austin Cindric

32nd – Harrison Burton

35th – Kevin Harvick


MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Chicago Pneumatic Compressors – “It was a rough day.  It was a humbling day, I’m not gonna lie.  We unloaded not really where we hoped to be.  We just missed the setup and missed the heights quite a bit, so practice was a struggle, but really proud of the effort.  Travis Peterson and all our guys on our Chicago Pneumatic Compressor team did a good job making adjustments going into qualifying.  I went out for that first lap and I was like, ‘OK, I think I have a decent package now I can work with.’  But, yeah, that practice was definitely a struggle.  We’ve got some work to do tonight to figure out what we can do adjustment-wise to get ready for tomorrow.  The track is a lot of fun.  It’s super challenging.  It’s everything I think we all thought it would be.  The day didn’t go how I hoped it would go, but still made it to the second round and qualified well, but wanted to be starting from the pole and have a clear track.  We’ll go to work.  I think we have something to work with, which an hour ago I didn’t think we did.  I’m really happy with what we were able to achieve in qualifying.”


WHAT’S THE FEEL FOR THE TRACK RIGHT NOW?  “There are some tight sections and bumpy sections and the cars are hard to drive, but I don’t think that’s unexpected based on all the simulation we had done leading up to this week and the month of simulation leading up to this week.  I think everything was pretty representative of what we had today, but in real life when you’re doing 160 miles an hour between concrete barriers it gets more real than it does on the computer, where you can hit the reset button, but the track is a lot of fun, challenging, taking rubber well.  I think it’s gonna be a good race tomorrow and a good opportunity to put on a great show for a new crowd.  It’s definitely neat.  Walking around doing the track walk you could kind of take it all in, but I can tell you 100 percent, not one time, did I see a building when I was on that racetrack.  You’re so laser focused on what you’re doing and where you’re at, that you’re not thinking about anything else.  I’m glad I was able to take it in on the track walk because at speed you’re definitely not looking around.”



JENSON BUTTON, No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE ON THIS COURSE? “It’s been a good day. I mean it’s funny, isn’t it: You always want more than what you have. It’s the way of life, it seems. But no, it was a good run in terms of, I don’t think we did anything wrong. I think the balance was a little bit out. We’ve been fighting a tight car so for me, I’d call it understeer. I really struggled to get a lap on that one, and most people are doing the time on lap one. So, that hurts me quite a bit. It hurt me in Q1, and then in Q2, I had traffic. I can’t do the lap on the first lap, but it was starting my second lap that I had traffic. It was slightly annoying, so I had to do a cool down lap and then go again. Never works as well. P8 isn’t too bad. I’m pretty happy with that. I just wish we got a clean run in Q2. I would have had a couple more spots. It wouldn’t have been top-three, but it would have been a couple more spots.”


FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE AT COTA, DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE? “Yeah, definitely. It’s new to all of us. I think Shane [Van Gisbergen] did a really good job. First time in a Cup car, but he does have the expertise of a street circuit in a heavy car. I think he was always going to be quick. We were a bit off the pace of the top-three there, but we would have been a bit closer. It’s nice to be able to sit in the Top-10. Who knows tomorrow? It looks like we’re going to have rain in the morning. The car feels more like a race car than a qualifying car in terms of where the balance is, which is great. That’s something to be positive about going into the race tomorrow. Thanks to the whole team, and thanks to Mobil 1 for giving me this opportunity once again.”



JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF TODAY’S FIRST TRACK SESSIONS? “The jury’s still out. We haven’t raced yet. So far, I’d say it’s a success from a lot of different things. I told some people from NASCAR that even if the race is just okay, it’s a success because of where we are and the marketing that’s come along with it. So many people in Chicago are talking about NASCAR racing right now. They may not have talked about it or ever heard about it – or interested in it – and they’re going to come see it. Hopefully, you hook them into loving the sport like we have so many others. From that standpoint, it’s already a win for our sport.”


WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE? “We’ll see how the race goes. There are some really tricky spots on the racetrack. It’s hard. It’s like, you push a little too much, you’ll wreck your car. It’s definitely going to be tough.”


WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE AGGRESSION LEVEL WILL BE FOR THE RACE? “I don’t know what to think. Probably the two guys that have run street courses before , that are really fast, they probably know a lot more than us at the moment. They kind of just showed it [in qualifying], kicked all our butts for jumping into these cars.”



KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang – WHAT HAPPENED GOING INTO TURN ONE?  “I clipped the inside wall with the left-front tire and then lost the steering and it drove straight in the wall.”


A LONG NIGHT AHEAD TO COME FROM THE BACK IN A BACK-UP CAR.  “We were gonna be back there anyway.”


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