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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fords continue hot streak with Carl Edwards-Greg Biffle front row

It’s been a great 2011 for the Ford contingent, and that has continued with the front row at Bristol that includes Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.
Edwards scored his second pole of the season, and further showed the strength of the Roush Yates FR9 engines, which have seen a major resurgence since mid-2010. Biffle was second, and David Ragan was the 5th-place qualifier.

“This is another extremely positive day for Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines," said CEO Doug Yates. "The talents of many individuals come out in engines like these when you get to a short track like a Bristol (.533 mi) where mistakes and differences in engine power are easily magnified. The talent inside Roush Yates that designed and continues to build these FR9 engines for all Ford teams week to week - and the true driving expertise of people like Carl and Greg who know how to make these engines perform the way they're intended - has gotten us off to a great start in 2011. I'm also very pleased that our engines have performed extremely well across a variety of track configurations so far this season."

Edwards said he hopes the momentum for the #99 team and Ford in general keeps rolling.

“This is fun. The cars have just been great,” Edwards said. “For me and Greg to be up there sitting on the front row, I mean Greg motivated me. I didn’t think anybody was gonna be able to go that fast. I thought that the track had slowed down a lot more than that, so I was out there driving my heart out. I had my volume turned down too far, so I couldn’t hear Bob the first lap. I thought, ‘Man, we must not be fast. He hasn’t said anything.’ I don’t know what the times were exactly, but my second lap was petrifying. I was driving for all I could, but this is fun.”
In addition to the front row at Bristol, Roush Yates' FR9 engines won the Daytona 500; won the pole at Phoenix and earned the top four qualifying positions and the won the race at Las Vegas.

Bristol intro song fun
One unique aspect of Bristol is the driver introductions, complete with song:
Some of my favorite choices:
#00-David Reutimann: "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" by The Offspring
#4-Kasey Kahne: "A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams Jr.
#13-Casey Mears: "Regulate" by Warren G
#33-Clint Bowyer: theme music from the movie "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
#60-Landon Cassill: "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley

Cassill takes the cake, for bringing the RickRoll song to a NASCAR race.

Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose should contend
Last summer, Kyle busch swept all three races at Bristol in the top three series … the first time that had ever happened. So you can bet he will be up front this Sunday at some point.

But don’t count out my sleeper – Marcos Ambrose. Mostly known for his road course prowess, Ambrose also does very well on short tracks, and Bristol is his favorite. He’s definitely a contender for the win this weekend.

Menard off to strong start
One of the biggest surprises of the early season is RCR’s newest driver, Paul Menard, who is in Chase contention and ahead of all three of his RCR teammates in the points.

Menard said that despite his fast start, he can still do even better.
“We’ve have three solid races and in each race I feel like we could have finished better so something Slugger and I have been talking about is how do we close these races. We ran better in all three races than where we finished. Knock on wood we haven’t had any trouble. With the new points system that is such a big deal. If you stay out of trouble you can gain some points. The guys that have trouble, finish 30th on back, they don’t pay a lot of points back there. So that’s our goal, to be smart. Obviously we have fast race cars we’ve just got to capitalize a little better at the end and keep our nose clean.”
Menard said that he believes that, unlike some of his past rides, he is getting equal equipment as his more well-known teammates, which is helping him succeed more this year than in the past.

“I’ve got all confidence that Richard (Childress) is going to give me what I need. I’ve never seen anything different from Richard. In the past without getting into details yes we’ve had issues with that. We’ve brought it to the attention to the people that mattered and it kind of seemed like it fell on deaf ears sometimes, other times it seemed like they cared. Richard cares. Richard wants the No. 27 team to succeed. He’s very personally invested in it and it’s cool to be a part of.”
One thing’s for sure. If Menard continue to finish strong like he has so far this year, he won’t ever have to worry about getting that equal equipment, or the respect of his peers.

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