CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 8th) – “Our Aflac crew didn’t give up. We dropped like we had an anchor in the beginning and went to the back. Bob did a great job with pit strategy. That was pretty cool and then the guys did a good job on pit road. On that last run people were just falling left and right, so I started going easier because I figured they were melting the inside of the beads or something. It was just a really trying day for eveybody’s car and for all the drivers. I know for me personally I was worn out towards the end, but to come home eighth, I don’t know how we did in points, but it’s probably better than we started and that’s good.” IT SEEMED THE RACE WAS MORE INTENSE THAN USUAL? “It was a little more intense today. I think the points play a big part in that. The points are so close, not just among the leaders but the rest of us as well. It’s high stakes, high stress and a very, very small race track. It was just a good day. It was a good crowd and we’re happy. We’ll go home and get ready for Talladega.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 33rd) – “It was kind of unfortunate for us today. We had a right-front tire go down. I don’t know, but something happened to the car after that because it drug the suspension off or something trying to get to pit road. The good news is we qualified well and practiced well this weekend, but we still have to keep working on it.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 15th) – DID YOU HAVE A BETTER CAR THAN 15TH? “Honestly, no. I felt like we had a worse car than that if nobody would have had trouble, but I feel like we could have got a better finish. We sped on pit road somehow, which was weird because I wasn’t racing anybody. I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention on the last segment down there. They said I was speeding, but I was five car lengths from any car, so that kind of baffled me a little. I know it’s electronic and they have to right and I have to be wrong, but I don’t know how I managed that. That hurt us. If we wouldn’t have done that, we were probably gonna finish three to six spots better.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 12th) – “I’m happy, but I’m mad at myself because I messed up on that pit stop. We finally got some track position, and were finally getting to the front when we were up to seventh or eighth, but I messed up on our two-tire stop. I just tried to leave too quick and stalled it and that put us in the back, so we had to fight from there, so I wouldn’t say I’m happy, but I’m pleased with the finish. Anytime you get a top
12 at Martinsville, I think it’s the first time I’ve ever run all 500 laps here, too, so, all in all, it was a good day. I think we gained some points on a couple guys around us, but, more importantly, we got back to running well after the last couple of weeks. I’m happy for the guys and mad at myself a little bit, but it was a decent day.”
WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM THAT WITH ALL THE DISTRACTIONS THIS WEEK THEY HAD A SOLID PERFORMANCE TODAY? “We can’t change anything that’s going on behind the scenes and what’s gonna happen. We can’t change that. We can come here and, for me, no matter what happens I feel like I’ll figure something out. I’m more worried for my guys because they bust their butts to go out here and work this hard. They don’t get paid a lot of money and they spend their whole life doing this, so I just want to try to take care of them. After everything this week, I’m just proud of my guys, my pit crew, my road crew and everybody back at the shop for building a good race car and rallying – putting their heads down and just forgetting about everything going on around us.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 17th) – YOUR TEAM HAD TO OVERCOME AN EARLY PIT ROAD SPEEDING PENALTY “I thought we had a top-10 to a top-15 car just depending where we were as far as track position.
In the middle of the race we were fast, but on that last run, we were way too free. I’m proud of our UPS guys for bouncing back after that speeding penalty because I think at one point we were down in the mid-30s. All in all, it’s not what we wanted, but I think we gained some points on the guys we were racing around. It was just typical racing at Martinsville.”
KENNY FRANCIS, Crew Chief – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Almirola finished 21st) – “I thought Aric did real well today. We kind of struggled with the car all day and got it going pretty good at one point, but then about two-thirds of the way through the race we just kind of lost the handle on it. We couldn’t keep it turning good through the middle and never hit on any adjustments to help it, but Aric did a great job. He stayed out of trouble and stayed on the lead lap until we got a flat near the end, but I thought he ran a really good race. I’m really happy with that.”
FRANK STODDARD, Crew Chief – No. 26 Air National Guard Ford Fusion (Schrader finished 18th) – “It was a good finish. The car was extremely good on the long run, but wasn’t really good on the short runs because we were just a little too tight. That paid dividends at the end, unfortunately the race just didn’t get some long, green runs.
If you look back in the spring, I think we pitted under the green some and this time I think 70 laps was the longest run, so that didn’t play into our favor. We needed a long run. At the end, we were better than Harvick on the same set of tires, so I was pretty pleased with the day to get a top 20.”