Ford Friday Dover Advance (Kenseth and Biffle)

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, is 11th in
the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings after last week’s race at
New Hampshire Motor Speedway and trails leader Denny Hamlin by 136
points.  He spoke with members of the media after Friday’s Dover Cup
practice.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion – HOW WAS YOUR TRIP TO
WALTER REED YESTERDAY?  “It was fun.  It’s the second time I’ve been
there, but it’s always fun to go up there and see some of the troops
and hang out with them a little bit and talk to them.”  SHOULD WINS BE
TAKEN AWAY FROM TEAMS THAT ARE FOUND TO BE ILLEGAL AFTER THE RACE?  “I
just think they should be consistent, what that is.  I don’t know a
lot about what was wrong or the penalty, but I think as long as
they’re consistent everybody is happy with that.”  WHAT ARE YOUR
THOUGHTS ON DOVER THIS WEEKEND?  “I always look forward to coming here
to Dover, so we’ll look forward to trying to get qualified today and
try to get our car a little better for tomorrow.  We didn’t start off
good again off the truck, so hopefully we can get a good lap and learn
some things in practice to be decent for Sunday.  I always like coming
here.  I always look forward to it.  It’s one of the tracks I have a
lot of confidence at, but you still have to get your car to go fast.”
CLINT BOWYER SAID HE THOUGHT A LOT OF CARS WERE OVER THE EDGE AND HE
WAS MADE AN EXAMPLE OF.  DO YOU FEEL GUYS ARE OVER THE LINE WITH THEIR
CARS?  “I don’t know a lot about it.  NASCAR set the precedent early
that they’re gonna be real serious with this car and if anything is
out of tolerance, that’s what was gonna happen.  That’s why they give
you a little bit of tolerance.  Of course, with everybody being racers
and trying to get everything you can out of it, you’re gonna push as
close as you can to the tolerance.  Actually, I think if you look
through the last six or seven years, there has probably been less
people fined and fewer infractions and fines or penalities for things
being wrong with cars than there ever has been.  Like I said, I don’t
know a lot about it, but it seems like it happens less than it used
to.”  CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE CREW CHIEF CHANGE OF DREW TO THE 6 CAR AND
WHAT THAT MEANS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION?  “I don’t know much about
that either.  To be honest with you, I probably found out about the
same time you guys did.  I don’t know a lot about what’s going on
there.  Obviously, they’re trying to get David to run better and UPS
to run better I imagine.  I think Donnie is certainly one of the
better and more respected crew chiefs around the garage.  I don’t know
the whole idea for the change.  Drew is more than capable of doing the
job as well, so I guess sometimes you just mix things up and hope they
go a little smoother.”  CAN CLINT RECOVER FROM LOSING 150 POINTS AND
JUMPING 11 OTHER DRIVERS?  “It depends how you run.  If you run like
Clint ran last week and can run like that in the top three or four
every week, and be up there and lead laps and be in contention to win
– you can make up a lot of points fast, and there are some races where
people could lose a lot of points fast.  You never know.  Stranger
things have probably happened, but it puts you in a pretty big hole.
It’s tough to come out of that, but the I think the first thing you’ve
got to look at is their performance and see how they perform.”  KANSAS
IS NEXT WEEK.  WHAT IS SIMILAR AND DIFFERENT TO THAT TRACK AND
CHICAGO?  “They’re really similar from the time you drive in there.
Everywhere looks a lot like Chicago.  You can tell the same people
built them at the same time.  It’s a good race track, it’s just a
little flatter than Chicago.  I think that’s about it.  The pavement
is about the same age and it acts a lot like Chicago.  Some tracks are
real similar.  They’re both good tracks.”

WHAT DO YOU RECALL ABOUT YOUR CUP DEBUT HERE
AT DOVER WHEN YOU SUBBED FOR BILL ELLIOTT?  DID THAT GET YOU TO WHERE
YOU ARE TODAY?  “No, I think it’s more than one weekend, but that
weekend was obviously under unfortunate circumstances with Bill’s
father passing away.  Once I got to get in the car and work with Mike
Beam and Joe Garone and those guys it was one of the more fun days
I’ve ever had at a race track.  There was no pressure and no
expectations.  I wasn’t planning on doing that, so I had about a
half-hour to think about it.  It was a lot of fun.  It would be hard
to duplicate that and have that much fun.  I remember there was one
time we were running second to Mark and we were ahead of Rusty and
Gordon and Earnhardt and all those guys I used to watch.  Every other
week I was watching the race on TV on Sundays, and I got to race
against a lot of those guys.  Like I said, it was probably one of the
most fun times I’ve ever had in a race car, honestly.  We had a good
time.”  DID THEY RECRUIT YOU THAT DAY OR THE DAY BEFORE?  “No, it was
about an hour before practice on Friday.”

CarParts.com
American Muscle

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES        AAA 400 Advance, Page 5                       
September 24, 2010        Dover International Speedway               

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is eighth in the
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings after one Chase race.  Biffle, who
won this race in 2008, met with reporters in the Dover International
Speedway infield media center before qualifying.

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – YOU’VE HAD GOOD SUCCESS HERE AT
DOVER.  “Yeah, it really is.  We were pretty good in practice and in
practice qualifying the car is driving the way we like it to be.
We’re still thinking about Loudon and Richmond, why we’re not running
as good as we want to be there, so it gives us a little concern for
Phoenix and Martinsville, possibly, but as far as this race track goes
we’re running good and think we have a decent car and a chance for a
top-five starting spot.  We’re ready to go get a good run under our
belt here.”  THERE WAS SOME SUGGESTION THAT IT’S BEEN KNOWN IN THE
GARAGE FOR A WHILE THAT THE 33 HAD BEEN MANIPULATING THE CHASSIS AFTER
CERTIFICATION.  HAD YOU HEARD THAT BEFORE?  “I haven’t heard
absolutely anything about that.  I never even heard about the Richmond
deal and them being warned or if they were on the edge.  The last
thing I remember is the 48 and the 5 controversy, where they ended up
not fining them and they were within, I think they called it a piece
of paper of stepping over the line and it was getting so close that it
was hard to regulate or hard to make the decision if they were legal
or illegal.  That’s the last on the body stuff and rules that I’ve
heard.”  CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHY ROUSH AND FORD HAVE BEEN SO GOOD AT
THIS TRACK?  “It’s odd why.   We wonder that as well.  Why do we run
good at certain places?  Why do we run good at Michigan?  Why do we
run good here?  We do we run well at Darlington, Homestead?  I think
it’s one of those race tracks that suits your driving style, suits
your cars, and maybe something that we’re missing on all those other
tracks don’t make that much of a difference here, aren’t as much of an
emphasis.  Whether it’s front suspension or bump stops or who knows
what?  The deal is why it doesn’t make as big of a difference here as
it does at some other tracks, so maybe that’s a reason why.  But we
often try to isolate why we run better here than there or wherever.
We’re trying to figure it out just as much because we’d like to run
this good everywhere, and it’s just not that easy for us.  It’s a
tough race track and the driver’s ability makes up a little bit more
of it, and then the car has to make up the rest.”  ARE YOU CONFIDENT
YOU’RE COMPETING ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?  “Whoever cheats the best
wins, that’s the old say, right?  That’s an old joke and an old saying
that’s been around forever.  That probably has something to do with
it.  I mean, it’s not cheating until you get caught and whoever cheats
the best wins.  Those are all the sayings that are around.  I know one
thing.  When we merged our organization, the Petty cars had better
downforce on the back of their cars and we knew that because we blew
ours in the windtunnel and saw a difference.  I won’t talk about how
much the difference was, but we went to Phoenix and tested and,
artificially not legally, added the downforce to make it like the
other car and it was about a tenth of a second per lap faster
consistently throughout.  It just gave it a bunch more grip.  I was
like, ‘Wow.’  If you could have that all the time, it made the car
drive a lot better and gave it a lot more grip off the corner.  If you
multiplied that by two or three, that would be a big difference
between one car and the next in the body work.  I feel like we’re
playing on a fairly level playing field, I really do.  The 9 cars were
legal.  The moral of the story is they were legal and we were legal,
there was just a little different build or maybe closer to the rule.
I don’t know how to say what was different about it, but all I know is
the number was different.  We matched the number and the car picked up
speed, so if there’s more out there than that, yeah, it makes a
difference.  I don’t even know what was wrong with the 33 car.  I
heard the body didn’t meet specifications and things like that.
Normally when that happens, it makes more downforce or makes more
sideforce or makes more something.”

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES        AAA 400 Advance, Page 6                       
September 24, 2010        Dover International Speedway               

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — THERE HAVE BEEN THREE OR FOUR CREW CHIEF
SWAPS WITHING ROUSH FENWAY THIS YEAR.  WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF ALL THAT
DEPTH AND DO YOU WORRY THEY MIGHT TAKE ERWIN AWAY FROM YOU?  “Yeah,
they’ve been trying but I’ve got handcuffs on him.  They’ve talked
about trying to make some changes in engineering and things like that,
and shifting guys around because  a lot of times you find success in
that by kind of freshening up the pot.  There’s been a lot of success
in our sport switching around guys and teams, not only with Roush
Fenway but there has been a lot of success in our sport from that.  So
I think they’re looking for the chemistry between the team and the
driver and the crew guys.  Erwin and I get along well.  We understand
each other and I think I have a good engineer in Ben and a good crew
chief in Erwin.  We work well together right now.”  WHY KEEP ALL OF
THOSE GUYS IN THE SHOP ALL THE TIME AND NOT LOOK OUTSIDE THE
ORGANIZATION WHO COULD BRING SOME FRESH IDEAS?  “That’s a good
question.  I don’t make all those decisions.  We have brought in guys
from outside before and possibly we bring somebody in from outside in
the future, but I don’t really make those decisions.  I think Jack is
trying to do it within the organization right now.”  WOULD YOU LIKE TO
SEE NASCAR LOOK AT ALL THE CARS?  “I’d be all for it because the way I
understand the system works is we take the chassis and the body over
to the R&D Center and get it certified.  So if you bring it home and
change it, then it’s not legal anymore.  But keep in mind that if you
bring it home and you scrape it up and put a new panel on here or
there, I don’t think it goes back and gets re-certified for every
single change that is made.  But if you’re bringing it home and
cutting it apart, then it’s not gonna be legal anymore.  Could they
take every car?  That’s why they have top 10 and a random and they
take them to the R&D Center.”  SHOULD THEY TAKE ALL OF THEM DURING THE
CHASE?  “This discussion came up last year, I remember it.  The
randoms come from the chase drivers.  I remember that discussion and
it’s not a bad idea, but you don’t want to turn your head to the guys
13th on back that they have free reign – ‘we’re not gonna get checked
so we’re just gonna build whatever we can to try and win races right
now.’  So you’ve got to still keep it within reason.  We often sit
back and look at, ‘Are we doing enough?  Are we close enough to the
edge of the rule?  Can we get our cars better and faster by pushing
the envelope a little bit?  Everybody wonders that same thing, but I
wouldn’t be opposed to them taking everybody.  I was the same with the
drug testing.  Just line them all up after the driver’s meeting or
before – just check it like that.”  WILL THERE EVER BE A SITUATION
THAT ONCE THE CAR LEAVES THE R&D CENTER IT HASN’T BEEN ALTERED?
“Idon’t know, but I’m gonna defend NASCAR on this point.  They do give
tolerance, so if you take something to the R&D Center and it checks,
and then you go out and race it and bring it back and it doesn’t
check, they know these cars hit the race track, hit the walls – had to
put a right-rear quarterpanel on it.  But when both quarterpanels
don’t match and both roof heights don’t match – when multiple things
aren’t adding up it’s just plain and simple.  I think they’ve been
pretty tolerant of making sure it’s not a racing incident or you
legitimately put on a right quarterpanel and it’s not perfect.  I feel
like they understand that and they’re pretty fair about that.”  WHAT
ABOUT THE TOW TRUCK SCENARIO?  “Let’s cut to the chase.  If your
bumper corners are off.  The decklid structure where the spoiler is
mounted, that stuff is not gonna move unless it’s really wrecked.  And
then up where the trunk lid hinges are, all that stuff is not gonna
move by getting pushed by a tow truck, and the roof corners and up
where the oil tank is mounted.  If it is, there’s gonna be buckles in
the metal.  If you look at a car and it got hit at Daytona or
Talladega restrictor plate racing and the tin is buckled on the
inside.  That’s what we look at.  When we hit the wall out here, we
look inside to see if we see any wrinkles in the tin.  That tells us
it’s moved, so I would have to say they looked in there and said, ‘We
don’t see where the tow truck bent it down.’  I don’t know what the
claims are, but that’s what they would do and see that it clearly
hasn’t been moved by that.  I don’t know.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES        AAA 400 Advance, Page 7                       
September 24, 2010        Dover International Speedway               

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — DO YOU THINK NASCAR SHOULD HAVE TOUGHER
INSPECTION PROCEDURES AT THE TRACK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT THREE
DAYS TO FIND OUT IF A GUY IS LEGAL OR NOT?  “I agree with you that
they should be able to have some kind of test rig here that maybe they
could check the chassis alignment here.  Maybe they could build
something to be portable more than stationary back at the shop, but
the thing about that is it’s a cumbersome piece of equipment or
chassis plate that they use to check, and they probably have roamers
or more sophisticated tooling there that they can check it with, but
that’s the other reason why NASCAR does not take the win away.  We
have the same winner and he still has the trophy and his name is in
the book that they’re gonna print for the rest of our lives.  That’s
the way NASCAR has done this.  There is an argument there as well is
do they lose the win and the trophy?  You get to keep the win and the
trophy, but they take the points and the money back.  I agree with
you.  If they brought that equipment to the race track – I don’t say
never, you guys know more than I do, whether they’ve ever disqualified
the winner and said the number two guy gets the trophy and the money.
That’s basically what you’re getting at is, Let’s test it here before
we shut the lights out and determine whether he gets the trophy, the
money, the points and the whole deal – not fine him, just kick him out
completely and start with the number two guy – put him up there and
check him at the track.  There could be a case made for that.  That’s
not a bad idea.  Whether it’s logistically possible, I don’t know
that.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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