FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS
3rd - Austin Cindric
15th - Joey Logano
16th - Harrison Burton
19th - Chase Briscoe
20th - Michael McDowell
24th - Jenson Button
26th - Ryan Preece
29th - Kevin Harvick
30th - Brad Keselowski
32nd - Chris Buescher
36th - Todd Gilliland
37th - Cody Ware
38th - Ryan Blaney
39th - Aric Almirola
Austin Cindric posted his third top-10 start at Circuit of The Americas with Saturday’s third-place qualifying result. It is his fourth in six races this season.
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – HOW DID YOU THINK YOUR QUALIFYING WENT? “Yeah, good execution by everyone in our Discount Ford Mustang in qualifying. I feel like this weekend, more than others, qualifying will certainly have an impact on your ability to have a good finish – without the stage cautions. So, solid place to start, it gives us great pit selection. But, we’re still lacking a bit of overall pace to try and challenge. I really thought I nailed my lap in the second round – just not enough. We’re definitely focused on trying to have a good car for tomorrow, and I’m hoping this pays off.”
HOW HAS THE CAR AND PACKAGE BEEN HERE AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS SO FAR? “The adjusted aero package certainly did the same things that we experienced at Phoenix. Just a lot less grip, a lot smaller window with the car. Being able to stay on-top of those things could be really important as the track and race evolves.”
DOES YOUR ROAD COURSE BACKGROUND HELP IN CUP? “In some ways it’s apples and oranges. I don’t think there’s any car I drove GT racing that had this little downforce. So, I’d say a go-kart might be closer to some of the GT cars I’ve driven."
Jenson Button posted the fastest Ford time in Qualifying Round 1A.
JENSON BUTTON, No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN. “The car was moving around a lot. My first lap I definitely didn’t get everything out of it. When you go out on old tires, you don’t really get the best out of it. I already lost the rear. I mean, it was OK. We’ll see. I’m in front of one of my heroes from NASCAR, Kevin Harvick, so it’s not so bad. It’s a pretty good day."
HAS ANYTHING FROM GARAGE 56 HELPED YOU BRIDGE THE LEARNING CURVE? “I think in terms of the weight, yes. In terms of everything else, I think it’s probably hindered me more than anything else. You brake at the three-marker everywhere here and then in Cup car, you brake before the four-marker. So, certain things are very different – we have traction control in that as well. Some things have hurt me, some things have helped me.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SECTOR AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS? “The first sector is really tough. In an F1 car through the esses, it’s pretty awesome and very fast-flowing – pretty easy in an F1 car. In this car, it is not easy. You’re bouncing over the curbs, there’s a lot of movement – front, rear roll. So that’s the trickiest section but if you get it right, it’s very rewarding. The best section for me is Turn 12 and the slow corners there. Just because I think that’s my most competitive sector. That’s why I like it. If I was slow there, I wouldn’t like it. That, for me, is the best sector. I struggle in the carousel, the long right-hander – a little bit understeer and oversteer. It’s getting used to the car bouncing, hitting bumps… just not used to that yet.”
HOW ARE YOU ACCLIMATING? “It’s been all good. The team has been fantastic to be fair, and it has really helped me get into a groove. The people I’m working with at Stewart-Haas Racing and Rick Ware Racing have been fantastic. Really, really good. I think in terms of the pace, we’re still quite a bit off over one lap, but that’s me just getting used to coming out of the pits, pushing it hard for one lap. It takes a little bit of time when you’re not 100 percent confident in a car."
Ford Performance PR