Ford Performance Qualifying Results:

6th – Todd Gilliland

9th – Austin Cindric

10th – Joey Logano

12th – Ryan Blaney

14th – Chris Buescher

16th – Ryan Preece

17th – Noah Gragson

23rd – Brad Keselowski

26th – Harrison Burton

30th – Josh Berry

31st – Michael McDowell

32nd – Chase Briscoe

35th – Kaz Grala

36th – Justin Haley

TODD GILLILAND, No. 38 FARXIGA(dapagliflozin) Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “It was a solid day, but we still need to keep working on a bunch of stuff, especially kind of longer runs because everyone gets to a point where they’re not comfortable. We made good adjustments, improved our starting spot, into the second round, I thought all of that stuff – definitely multiple positives to take from today.”

CAN YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCE WITH THIS PACKAGE? “I can’t, really. To me, the biggest thing, and I’ve said this before but it blows my mind, because even here last year with the whole diffuser if you raised the back of the car one or two rounds, I was crying. It was not good. The back of the car felt so out of the racetrack and it’s crazy to me that we took almost the whole diffuser off and you can’t really feel a difference. The tire feels really good. I think starting off it has tons of grip, so I think, overall, it seems like it’s in a good spot right now.”

HOW ARE THINGS GOING WITH THE PENSKE ALLIANCE? “As far as drivers go, we’re not in the meetings or anything but our crew chiefs go over there once or twice a week. They have lots of meetings and those are the more important meetings for sure. As far as everything goes, it’s been an awesome relationship for us and I’m super excited. To me, we’re still at the tip of the iceberg as far as all the information and stuff like that. We’re just getting to a better spot where we’re gonna continually use it better and better throughout the season.”

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU CAN POINT TO WHERE THAT RELATIONSHIP HAS REALLY HELPED? “I don’t know. This is a tough series. It takes everything. To me, I think we definitely have just had really fast cars and that comes from having aero information, unloading with good setup information that we have so many more data points now to go off of. Even if it’s hitting our balance right. You go to the racetrack with whatever setup you have, but being able to hit your balance right for whatever amount of grip you have is still super important. I think our race cars are super fast coming from the shop and with all the extra information I think we’re able to narrow it in into a smaller window with more data once we get to the racetrack.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang Dark Horse – WHAT DOES A DAY LIKE THIS DO FOR THE OVERALL GROUP? “We had a really solid day and really solid practice session and a really solid qualifying session, so those things all add up. Those are two smaller parts to the weekend to add together, but very critical ones to execute a very successful Sunday. I’m excited about the opportunity. We’ve put ourselves in this position this far, you’ve just got to keep going. We’ll study for the race now and see what we’ve got to do to keep that 2 car up front.”

HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS IT THAT THIS RACE IS GOING TO BE A NIGHT AFTER QUALIFYING IN THE DAY? “I think that plays a pretty large role just because of the difference in track temp to ambient temp is gonna be different than races past. It’s a bit of an unknown. There’s not much of a notebook and I would say that this is a pretty significant notebook racetrack, so it’s kind of new for everybody, but I think we all like racing at night.”

WHAT HAS THE NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH FRONT ROW BROUGHT TO YOUR ORGANIZATION? “It’s more data points and more experienced people. Obviously, there were a lot of races where those guys had really good speed last year and obviously the database and the information that we have at Team Penske clearly poses some value. So far, it’s been good. I think it’s kind of early days as far as the payoff for both parties as far as that relationship goes, but I think just having more data points is great and it’s what do you do with them afterwards to make the relationship stronger.”

WHAT IS RYAN AND THAT TEAM DOING THAT THEY ARE FINISHING THE WAY THEY ARE COMPARED TO OTHERS? “I think Ryan and his team, you guys all saw it at the end of last year, execution, confidence in the packages that they bring. Execution, I say it twice – it is so critically important and I would say, quite frankly, that used to be one of Ryan’s weaknesses. He’s always been extremely fast and now I think it’s one of his strengths and he’s probably better than most in the field at doing it. Between him and that team – that pit crew has gotten a lot of criticism over the years and those guys are executing probably better than most on pit road. I don’t want to jinx anybody, but they set a great example for us within the team as far as what it takes to be the best and consistently do that each week.”

IT SEEMS YOU HAVE MAYBE TAKEN EXCEPTION WITH WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT HOW YOUR SEASON IS GOING. IS THAT THE CASE? “That’s what your job is, not mine. You get to write the story. I just get to give you something to write about, I guess. It quickly changes. A great start to the year turns into a not-so-great start to the year. It’s like, ‘OK, there’s been a difference of two or three weeks here.’ I’m the same person. We’re the same team. Stuff happens in racing and that’s it. You just have to keep pushing forward. We have the great opportunity of racing every single week and I guess rewriting that narrative, but it’s not necessarily something I’m overly concerned with because if you get lost in results it’s a long year. It’s more about performance and extracting the most out of yourself and your team. I feel like we have a ways to go to be where I want to be, but I also feel really strong about a lot of the pieces of the puzzle we have on this car.”

ARE THE RESULTS DECEIVING ABOUT HOW YOUR TEAM HAS PERFORMED? “The cream rises, so I guess we’ll find out in however many weeks we have left. We’ll see, I guess.”

Ford Performance PR