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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and more offer thoughts ahead of today's race at Michigan Speedway

AUSTIN DILLON (starting 8th):
IS IT EYE POPPING JUST TO SEE 206 GO UP ON THE BOARD LIKE THAT?  CAN YOU REALLY TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOW MUCH FASTER THIS PLACE IS NOW THAN IT WAS SEVERAL WEEKS AGO? “Yeah it’s just cooler.  The grip level is there.  As soon as I hit the track this morning unlocking the locker was not really an issue.  You could run pretty close to wide open for a Cup car which is crazy because we have so much horsepower.  It doesn’t seem to lose speed and the craziest thing was that a lot of people complained about vibrations.  I just think it was such a high speed that the only way you could really make them go away is to life a little bit on entry to make the car kind of give it some help there. I started doing that in qualifying it seemed to help.”
Yes for sure.  It’s nice to be able to come back to these places and improve each time.  It seems like the second time around everywhere we have gone we have improved.  Some of those places that we had good finishes this year it will be tough to improve on, but we can.  I really feel like it’s just like Nationwide and Truck when we have come around the second time we have been able to really improve.  For me just to this point in the season it’s like an eye opener to know what it really takes to go through a full Cup season.  I’m already realizing that and wish you could start over tomorrow and just start from the beginning and be more prepared.  I think you would put our team at a different level at this point. We are going to finish these last four races strong and see what it gives us, but I know going forward these places the next few times are going to be good for us.”  
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55, Michael Waltrip Racing
Starting Position:  4th

How was qualifying?
"The guys on this Aaron's Dream Machine brought a great race car here.  Man, it's hairy out there running -- so close to wide-open. We have a good Camry for Sunday.  We have a great starting spot.  I'd love to be on the pole, but it wasn't meant to be.  I couldn't be more proud of these guys.  The car is just so fast.  I'm almost wide-open."
Why did you describe qualifying as 'hairy'?
"You're just on the edge -- so close to wide-open.  You have less inputs -- if that makes sense -- when you're almost wide-open.  When you're lifting and braking and steering you have three inputs.  When you're holding it wide-open, there's just one input -- the steering wheel.  There are less options to manage a tight or loose car.  If you have less inputs -- you have less control.  I find that any time you're almost wide-open you have less inputs, which makes it more difficult." 
TALK ABOUT YOUR STARTING POSITION FOR SUNDAY. “Close but didn’t quite make it. Once again. That is our seventh front row start this year, which we are very proud of don’t get me wrong. It takes a lot of effort to do that but we only have one pole. That is frustrating. That means that is a lot of second place starting positions. We were close again and just weren’t able to do it. I have a really fast Shell Pennzoil Ford this weekend and we have been able to keep showing Penske is very strong in qualifying. We are making all the sessions besides the superspeedways and we are proud to have done that this deep in the season. I have a good car in race trim too. I feel like I have something similar to what I had in this race last year that we won the pole and race with. We are going to come up a little short on the pole but hopefully we can do it in the race.” 
WHAT IS THE SPEED SENSATION LIKE? “You get used to it. When things go bad that is when you feel like you are going really fast because you don’t slow down very quick when you are going however fast we were going. It is fast I know that much. You actually get used to it. It is such a smooth racetrack and if your car drives as good as mine did here today you get used to that. In the race when you get dirty air and restarts and you are fighting for any kind of air you can get, any gap you can see you are shooting for that in the corner to get something on your car because you are going that fast and relying on air that much. The faster you go the more you rely on air. When you have a car in front of you the bigger affect there is. It is challenging but a lot of fun having that much speed out there and setting these track records and all that is pretty cool.”
TALK ABOUT QUALIFYING HERE AND THE SPEEDS AND YOUR STARTING POSITION FOR SUNDAY. “It is fast. That is the simplest way to describe it. It is fast. I wish you guys could ride in that car with me. That is screamin’. If I had to do over again I think I could do better but I am sure everyone could say that. There is so much speed out there you have to do everything perfectly. We almost did. I thought we had a shot at the pole there – we did have a shot at the pole. It is like Jimmy Fennig said, ‘It is nice to be disappointed with third.’ I think we were 23rd the last time we were here. It was definitely a fun day and just what we needed, something positive like that.”
HOW NICE IS IT TO HAVE THE TEST HERE IN JULY COME TO FRUITION? “I believe that at this point it looks like we did the right thing. I feel like we have a very fast car here. It shows us that we are doing the right things. We are working on things and it is paying off. The race is another story but we will enjoy this today. It has been a lot of work for a lot of people. Hopefully we just keep moving forward. We have been making progress and this is a good step.”


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