GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 19th) – “It looked like my teammate just skidded his tires trying to get on pit road. Everybody does it, but that blew the left-front out and caught us two laps down because we had just pitted. We were running on the lead lap and I thought we were a top-10 car. It’s unfortunate. That probably right there was kind of our chase hopes. We’re not out of it, but those two finishes are not a way to start the chase off.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 18th) – “I just missed pit road. I got balled up off of two. I was racing Denny and they told me to pit that lap. He gave me the outside and at the same time I was going to the bottom. I don’t know if I got all that stuff on the tires or what, but I stopped at the same point I did the other time and just couldn’t quite get stopped. I should have just bailed for pit road and hoped I made it, but it’s 100 percent my fault. I just got in there too hard and it locked the left-front up.
I tried to go around and the tire blew out.” YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING A PROBLEM THE SECOND RACE IN THE CHASE? “To be honest with you, there was a lot of pressure here. This is the only track we’ve run worth a darn at in about four or five months probably, so there was a lot of pressure to try to get a good finish out of here and we couldn’t get it. The conditions out there were absolutely terrible with this tire.
It’s hard for anybody to make a lap around there, really. I thought we were gonna have a top five to seventh-place car if I didn’t mess it up, and I messed it up.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 5th) – “It’s so grueling. That’s a long one and when they say halfway, you’re like, ‘Man, it can’t be.’ I can’t imagine what it was like to race 500 laps here, but my Aflac crew did a good job. I just wasn’t good enough on that last restart when Jimmie spun the tires a little bit. He was able to stay in front of us, and I think that was the restart that made the difference. I just really appreciate all the fans coming out here and all the folks from the Armed Services that were here with us today. We appreciate it. It was a solid day for us. It’s nice to be disappointed with fifth. I thought we had a better car than that, I’m pretty sure we did. Two runs from the end we got real tight and I went back to sixth and then we just couldn’t make it back up. I felt like we had a car that could win if we were out front, so that’s all I can ask for is cars like that. We’ve got eight races left and closed some points on the leader. That’s all we can do every week.” KANSAS IS NEXT WEEK. “Yeah, it’s gonna be fun. Kansas is great. We ran so well at Chicago that it would be a heck of a place to go get a win.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL TWO RACES INTO THE CHASE? “I feel like we’ve performed really solidly. We obviously haven’t gone out and won anything yet, but we’re something like 73 points back and closed it by
20-25 points on the leader today. If we do that every week, we’ll be alright. If we can just get that one little bit better, but I feel comfortable with where we’re at.”
PAUL M ENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 7th) – “Our Menards Ford Fusion was pretty good all weekend. We struggled a bit with a tight condition today, but it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t work through it. Getting a good finish at Dover is a big deal because it’s a tough track and I’m really proud of this team. Slugger really only made minor adjustments all day and we were pretty good at times. All in all, it was a decent weekend for us.”
RICHARD “SLUGGER” LABBE, Crew Chief – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion – “That was good. It’s probably the best we’ve been all year from the time we unloaded to the time they threw the checkered. We had good practices, good qualifying runs and a good race run, so that’s promising. No one is giving up. We’re trying hard and it’s good when the whole team gels. The last couple of weeks have been pretty brutal and to come back and run competitive means a lot.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 10th) – YOU HAVE FINISHED BETTER BUT YOU HAVE NEVER RUN AS WELL AS TODAY.
WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE TODAY? “A fast race car and starting up front. It was fun to lead. No wonder Jimmie is smiling so much.
It’s actually a lot of fun to lead. Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports is building great race cars and Doug Yates and all those guys are bringing a lot of horsepower. The car was dialed in and just a stupid five-cent washer got inside the tire. I’m not sure when. It must have been right when we pitted and left the pits. As the run went on the car started freeing up and then I asked how long it was before I was supposed to pit and he said, ‘Twenty laps,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna make it.’ I knew something was wrong. I knew the right-rear was going down and after that you’re just fighting back the rest of the day. We’re getting really good at fighting back and making good finishes out of a problem that happens. I would like to have a consistent race one of these days, but we’ve got fast race cars and we’re getting there. They saw us lead. They saw that we had the speed there. They saw the Insignia/Best Buy Ford just out there flying. It was a good day, but it could have been a great day.” WERE YOU TWO LAPS DOWN? “I don’t know. I just know that once the tire was flat I had to drive my butt off. That’s all I know.” ARE YOU GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE GUYS THAT ISN’T NECESSARILY GOING TO BE HAPPY TO SEE THE SEASON END BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE SAVING YOUR BEST FOR LAST. “I love racing, so I always hate when the season ends. I’m not looking at that. We’ve got eight more races to go, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. I still feel like we can get to the top 16 or 17 in points and if we keep running like this, maybe we can sneak a win in there. We still have two months before I’ve got to worry about the season ending.” DID YOU WANT THAT RACE TO GO LONGER SO YOU COULD MAKE UP SOME MORE SPOTS? “It’s tough. I felt like my car was really fast for 25 laps, but once the tires kind of leveled off it was really hard to pass. My car was really good on restarts, so we got a yellow out there and got another set of tires and tried it again. I thought we had a chance, but the thing was that under yellow we’d pull all the rubber up off the track and then we’d go green and my car would be really fast. But once we laid the rubber back down, it felt like we were getting way too tight – almost like the splitter was hitting the rubber and making the car too tight. I felt if we could have cleaned the race track off and then went at it hard for 25 laps we had something.” DO YOU THINK YOU’RE INCHING CLOSER TO FINDING THAT CONSISTENCY? “I think we’re getting there. To say, can we go out and win one? We’ve got to keep getting better. We’ve got to be consistent inside the top 10. Today was a big day for that. To be able to lead so many laps. I think that was quadruple the laps I’ve ever led, combined in Cup. We’ve just got to keep getting there. Of course, winning is the ultimate goal and that’s what we want to do, but we have to go baby steps here. We have to be one of those cars that are inside the top 10 every weekend and then we’ll get there.”
NOTE: Allmendinger led 143 laps today. Prior to the race, he led only 43 laps in his Cup career.
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 24th) – “I felt like this was the best car we’ve had in a race here in a couple years, but we made two mistakes this weekend. First, we didn’t qualify our UPS Ford as well as we should have and second, we had that one mistake on pit road (loose wheel). When you get behind like that, you then have to race a different kind of race. You’re just trying everything you can to get back up on the lead lap. We took some chances and did get the wave around, but the cautions didn’t fall how we needed them to fall. For the first weekend with Drew [Blickensderfer], I think it was a good weekend for speed, we just have to do something to change our luck a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to Kansas.”