Ford Bristol Post-Race Cup Quotes

Ford Finishing Order:

2nd – Carl Edwards

4th – Matt Kenseth

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8th – Greg Biffle

15th – Marcos Ambrose

16th – David Ragan

26th – Travis Kvapil

27th – David Gilliland

28th – Tony Raines

31st – AJ Allmendinger

34th – Trevor Bayne

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scotts EZ Seed Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) – “It was exciting. I thought I could get to him at the end and rough him up a little bit and maybe get by him, but his car took off. I just told them I should have hit him harder when I got to his bumper the first time, but we were racing really hard. His car was better there at the end. I didn’t know how fast Jimmie was, so I thought, ‘Man, if we starting roughing each other up, it might end up worse for us in general.’ But it was a good race at Bristol. Kyle did a good job. Our team did a good job. We’ve got to thank all the fans and we appreciate them coming out and supporting us.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) – “We had a lot of fun out there racing today and got lucky and got the right lane on the restarts a few times. We were able to make up some positions. It took all day, but we finally were able to make some adjustments that had the Crown Royal Black Fusion pretty decent.” HOW WAS YOUR DAY? “It was a struggle all day. I’m thrilled with our finish. It’s the highest up we ran all day. We struggled between about a seventh or eighth place car in a best-case scenario to about a 20th-place car at times. They made some great adjustments on that last stop and got real lucky getting in the right row on the restarts and we were able to make some ground up there at the end when we needed to.”

WHAT EFFECT DID THE TIRE HAVE TODAY? “It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. We got to use the same date code the whole day. They changed that right before the race and I think that made a big difference. Actually, all of my tires that were on the car were really consistent and we didn’t have any issues.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 15th) – “We had a good day considering it was rough. We fought hard to stay on the lead lap and got some damage late, which hurt the handling of the car, but I’ll take it. If we have a difficult day and finish 15th, that’s not too bad. We just kept digging all day and did the best we could. I like this track. I’m disappointed with 15th, but when you have a difficult day like that, you’ve just got to walk away saying I’ve got a straight car and decent points.”

GREG ERWIN, Crew Chief – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Biffle finished 8th) – “I was worried at the halfway mark. I think we wound up with a little bit of what we saw in practice and probably just had the air pressures down a little bit too low for this tire combination and this bump stop combination that we had. It looks like as soon as we put a little air in it we got it freed up a little bit and it looked like it came alive. I’d say we were a better long run car than a short run car, and I think we proved that on that 100-lap run and that 75-lap run. We were able to pass cars on the tail end of those runs, but the restarts at the end just really kind of hurt us.”

DID HAVING ONLY ONE SET OF TIRES YESTERDAY PUT YOU BEHIND TODAY AS FAR AS HAVING THE CAR DIALED IN? “We had one set of tires and ran 60 laps on them, and then popped a hole in the right-rear when we ran over something on the race track. That actually cut our practice about 10 minutes short, but you’ve got to look at it and say it might be equal for everybody. If we all had more tires, everybody else would have probably gotten a little better as well. The way the car drove the first 250 laps of the race wasn’t really in the direction we thought it was gonna be, so that kind of threw us a curveball.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 16th) — “We were just a little bit off at the beginning of the race with those new tires. We just didn’t make enough of an adjustment as we needed, and it took until the second or third run for it to start changing the car a little bit. I can’t say enough about our UPS team. They never gave up and we could have easily finished 25th, but we made a lot of adjustments there at the end to race back up on the lead lap. We had a fast car and got a 16th-place finish. It’s not a win, but we’ve got to look at the positive and get better.” 

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Finished 34th) – “This race was totally different than the Nationwide race. Everybody always talks about how tough the (races) are here in Bristol. And I’m like, yeah, yeah, yeah…But this is totally different. You’re beside somebody the entire time. It never singles out. You never just ride. With that said, also, it’s 200 more laps. You get to 300 when you’d normally be done, you know, that’s when you finally get a little fatigued – around 300. But then you have 200 left. You’re counting down every lap. It’s a tough race. Mentally, physically – everything.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Finished 27th) – “Today just wasn’t our day. We got ourselves up front early in the race by staying out under the caution, but then we got bit by running out of fuel. It was still early enough in the race for us to battle our way back, but then we cut a couple of tires. After that, we actually didn’t have our TMone/Taco Bell Ford running too bad. I think we ran our fastest lap toward the end of the race, but we were just too far back at that point to gain too much. We’ll look for a comeback in California.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Finished 26th) – “It wasn’t a horrible run, and not what we had hoped for coming into the weekend. We struggled with the handling of our car all weekend, so we made a lot of big changes to it throughout the race, and we actually made some decent progress with it. But this is Bristol, you know. It doesn’t take long to get lapped if you’re struggling, even a little bit, from the start. But, we did OK and got a decent finish and it should help us out in points a little bit.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “I thought we’d be better matched with him. I thought I’d be able to race with him harder for those last 15-20 laps, but he took off and I was a little loose off and I just couldn’t get back to him to race, but while we were racing for the first couple of laps after the restart it was a blast. If I would have known that was the only shot I was gonna have, I might have raced a little harder, but that’s a good race at Bristol. It was fun and I’m just ready to go to California and hopefully we’ll have strong cars there.”

DO YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE DONE THE BUMP AND RUN WHEN YOU HAD THE CHANCE? “Yeah, I should have (laughing). It was a little early. I told him after Phoenix that I still owe him one, but I’ll save it up. But, you know, I was talking to Jimmie on the way over here. We were running so hard at that point in the run, I don’t know that you could really bump a guy and just move him. You might cause a big wreck, you might wreck yourself. Jimmie was right behind us. I thought maybe it would give him the win, so I figured we’d let it calm down and we’d just race. It ended up the fastest car at the end won the race. Hindsight is 20/20, but that’s the way it panned out.”

IT’S EARLY IN THE SEASON, BUT IS IT DOWN TO THE 48-99-18 THIS YEAR? YOU SEEM MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. “Are you seriously asking that question right now (laughing). I hope. That would be nice to just have two guys to race. That would be great.”

WAS THE NEW TIRE AN ISSUE FOR YOU? IT SEEMED LIKE YOU STRUGGLED AND THEN CAM E ON. “We never ran the old tire in that second practice, so I think that’s why we were 33rd or 34th on the board, so it looked bad, but I thought we were pretty good. Once we made two or three runs on that tire, I felt like we were pretty competitive. At the beginning of the race we weren’t very good, though. We went backwards pretty quick and Bob made some pretty large changes with the car. We didn’t think we were gonna be struggling as much as we did when the race started and it was a little bit more of a curveball than we thought.” 

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – DID YOU THINK YOU COULD GET HIM ON A RESTART OR IS HE JUST THAT GOOD? “I think the last two, if I’m not mistaken, I had to lift out of the gas. I got a pretty good jump on him, so I kind of figured out what he was doing, but he does do a really good job on restarts. I think that outside lane, you have a little more of a hill to come down or something, so you have a little advantage on the outside. I was doing everything I could to take away that advantage, but I needed a few restarts just to figure out how to keep up with him because he was doing a really good job.”

DID HE BREAKAWAY BECAUSE JIMMIE PUT SOME HEAT ON YOU OR WAS HE STRONGER? “He was just better off of the corner. I think I worked my tires a little too hard there on the bottom racing really hard with him, and my car had been loose all day. That was the tightest it had been, but coming off the corner I’d push the throttle down and I was sideways all the way to the flag stand. Once Kyle got far enough out there, all I was doing was trying to keep Jimmie behind me and I think he was struggling with the same thing, so, at the end, Kyle, I think, definitely had more drive off the corner.”

HOW BIG IS BRAKE AND ENGINE COOLING ON SHORT TRACKS? “I was a little nervous about my brakes today because I was riding them a long way through the corner. I kept asking Bob about our wheel temps and stuff, and he said they were fine. We didn’t have any trouble today, but I was nervous about it.”

YOU THREE HAVE WON ALL THE SHORT TRACK RACES THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS. WHY IS IT THE SAME GUYS WINNING? AND IS THE GAP CLOSING OR WIDENING WITH YOU AND KYLE HERE AT BRISTOL? “I didn’t know I’d won that many short track races, but these guys have been doing a good job. I don’t know. I think these races are pretty grueling. They’re tough for the whole team, driver, pit crew, crew chief, engineers – everyone. I think I look at some of the best teams in the garage and it’s Jimmie and Kyle’s teams and, from my perspective, that’s why they do well here because they have good, well-rounded teams and they’re great drivers.”

IS THE ONLY WAY HE COULD HAVE BEEN BEATEN IS IF YOU PASSED HIM QUICK AFTER A RESTART? “Looking back on it, I think that was the only way, but, at the time, I thought our 99 car was gonna be better after 10-15 laps, so I wasn’t too concerned with it, and I really thought we were gonna get another caution or two. My gut told me there was gonna be another caution, but you never know how those runs are gonna go. You don’t know the adjustments the guys make on the last pit stop, you just don’t know.”

HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU THE LAST 50 LAPS AND ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED WITH 2ND? “It’s no fun to run second, but when I look at the big picture, the fact that I’m sitting here frustrated about a second-place run, being I think one or two points out of the point lead, that’s a huge jump from a year ago. When you’re running poorly, you’ll take anything you can get. I guess we’re just so greedy that when you’re running well, you want to win every race, you want to lead the most laps, you want to sit on every pole, but our performance has been great. It’s just been amazing. It’s been a huge turnaround, so I’ve got to keep this in perspective. By the time Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolls around, we’re gearing up to go to California I have a feeling I’ll be alright.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE WHEN YOU HAVE THE TALENT AND AREN’T COMPETITIVE? “It’s very difficult. I think all of us got here by performing well and getting great results. We’re used to running well. We’re used to getting the result we want. The problem is when you start to not get the results, you have to make sure that you still give your best performance. They’re two completely different things, so it’s very difficult for me – I don’t know about other guys – but it’s difficult for me to do a worse job because I’m trying too hard, I guess. It is tough and, looking back, if I could write a letter to myself and send it back eight months, I’d say, ‘Man, just keep doing what you’re doing. Everything is fine.’ But, at the time, you just want to explode you’re just so frustrated.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SWEEP A WEEKEND LIKE KYLE HERE? “That’s a pretty big feat. That’s a good weekend right there and to put two back-to-back like that is pretty amazing.”

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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