Ford drivers David Ragan and AJ Allmendinger finished first and second in the opening practice session at Michigan International Speedway Friday afternoon. They will be the last two cars to qualify Saturday under new NASCAR rules and each talked about their fast lap and what it means for qualifying tomorrow.
DAVID RAGAN, driver No. 6 UPS Ford on his practice run: “It is sometimes easy to do that on Friday. It gets a little harder Saturday and a litter harder Sunday. Our UPS Ford is fast. We expect it to be fast when we come here to Michigan. There is a chance for rain tomorrow and the time slot for tomorrow’s qualifying falls in line with that first practice so we spent some time in qualifying trim, as did some of our teammates. It was fast I look forward to seeing how it is after a few more laps in race trim this second practice.”
YOU GO LAST TOMORROW IN QUALIFYING. “It doesn’t change much for us. We have seen that you can go out and sandbag and try to have an earlier spot but that kind of messes with the rhythm of the weekend. Our opinion is to go out and go as hard as we can every lap of every practice and let the chips fall where they fall. It may hurt us a little bit going out really late if it gets really warm out, but our UPS Ford has enough speed in it that we feel like we have a great shot at the pole and certainly a top-five or top-10 run.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, driver No. 43 Best Buy Ford on his practice run: “The tough thing about this place is that it will change so much by Sunday and get a lot slicker. We are just trying to get a good baseline package. I think race trim is okay and the qualifying run right there was a good lap. I don’t know if I could match that again. We will see how this next practice goes.”
YOU WILL QUALIFY SECOND TO LAST, DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH AT ALL? “Well, we will see. A lot of the strategy with that is the rain that is coming. If it rains then we will start second in the race which is good. We have been starting like crap lately so that would be nice. I know how this track is going to slicken up, so we have to keep working on a good package, but this is at least a good start.”