Daytona 500 2013: Ford drivers wish they had a Chevy DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — If there is one word to describe the new Fords at Daytona International Speedway, it is this — slow.
Greg Biffle said his Roush Fenway Racing Ford was too slow to make a bid for the win in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, and then only two Ford drivers qualified in the top 10 during Daytona 500 qualifying Sunday.
Greg Biffle (16) said he didn't have enough speed in the Sprint Unlimited. (AP Photo) MORE: Danica's pole-winning run | Qualifying speeds | Duel lineups | Stenhouse happy — for Danica
While Chevys swept the front row in qualifying, Ford had just four drivers in the top 15 and just seven in the top 25.
Kevin Harvick won the Sprint Unlimited in a Chevy, and then Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) swept the front row in Chevys. Five of the six fastest cars in qualifying were Stewart-Haas or Hendrick Chevys.
Toyota teams also were a bit off in qualifying, putting three in the top 10 but just four in the top 25.
But at the start of a season that is supposed to bring back the traditional manufacturer rivalries, the Ford camp clearly is starting out behind.
“Well, it is done. We haven’t quite had the speeds down here that the frontrunners have,” Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose said after struggling in the Unlimited and qualifying just 24th. “We will go back and think about it before the Duel and see if we can find some speed.”
Ambrose said he was “embarrassed” by the way his Ford ran in the Unlimited and Roush’s Greg Biffle said he did not have enough speed in either the race nor qualifying.
“We were just really slow out there,” said Biffle, who finished second in the Unlimited but qualified 27th. “We have been here for testing now and a week prior to this and that seems to be all we have. We are just a tad too slow.”
Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, whose Penske Racing team switched to Ford during the offseason, said at least all the Ford teams are running close to the same speed.
“I wish we had more speed but one of the benefits of switching to Ford was having car makes to compare off of with the Roush teams,” Keselowski said. “It looks like we are all pretty close to the same. We need two- to three-tenths to run with the Hendrick-powered cars.
“We will keep plugging along here. Qualifying is just one part of the weekend. You have the Duels and the race. Those are all different parts of the weekend but this part here is probably the least important. We will try to focus on what is the most important, which is Sunday.” Sporting News
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