Ford Darlington Post-Race Quotes

Ford Finishing Order:

2nd – Carl Edwards

8th – Greg Biffle

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13th – Marcos Ambrose

20th – AJ Allmendinger

21st – David Ragan

25th – Matt Kenseth

26th – Travis Kvapil

28th – Ken Schrader

32nd – David Gilliland

36th – Tony Raines

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – “First of all, congratulations to Regan. He earned that. On the restart, he spun the tires a little bit and I thought, ‘Alright, I’m not gonna beat him to the line because I’ve got a good enough car with fresh tires. I can beat him here.’ And as soon as I started pedaling, Brad hooked on his rear bumper and they took off. I thought, ‘Oh, man. I’m in trouble now.’ I drove down into turn real hard and Brad did a good job not wrecking underneath me and then we raced hard and he won the race.”

YOU GAINED SOME POINTS ON YOUR LEAD. “I’m sure that will feel good tomorrow, but, right now, I wanted to win that race.”

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO REGAN WHEN YOU WENT UP TO HIS CAR? “I just told him that this is a really big deal and he knows that. He drove Mike Mittler’s truck at Phoenix one time and I got to work on it for him as a driver, so I’ve worked with him as a crew member – as low man on the totem pole. He’s a good person. I guess if I had to get beat, it’s all right to get beat by him. We’ll be back. Aflac is behind us 100 percent and we’re leading the points, so we’ll just go to the next one.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “On that restart I got a little tight and had to roll out of the throttle and Vickers was behind me. He had nowhere to go and he hit me, so we got some damage. We were fortunate to be able to finish the race. If it wasn’t for that last caution, I think we could have got a top 20, but our UPS team did a good job. We made some improvements from the start of the race and we just needed to have a little bit of luck. That’s the way Darlington goes, but I’m proud of the way our team rebounded and we didn’t get a DNF.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “We just fought all night. We were digging and gauging all night. We’re disappointed with 13th, so I guess that’s a good thing. I’m proud of my Stanley team and we’ll take our licks here and move on. We just kept digging and fighting all night. We tried not to damage the car, and most of what we got was on the last lap, so we had a good night. We’ll learn from it and come back next year and be better.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “We were really good. We got to 12th and we kind of had the wrong pit strategy. It was my fault. I should have stayed out and I pitted, so we started at the back and never got back again. We had a top-five car, but we just never got there. We’d run the lap times of the top-five, even the leader, but we just couldn’t get there. If it would have been a 600 or 700-mile race, maybe we would have finally got up there , but we did all we could (laughing). We got a top 10. We’re worried about the points right now and we’ll keep chipping away at it.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS WENT FOR YOU? “I definitely underestimated that restart a little bit. I saw Regan spin his tires and I heard him pedaling a little and I thought, ‘Man, don’t beat him to the start-finish line’ because we’ve got such an advantage with these tires that I didn’t want to lose that way. So as soon as I started pedaling to stay even with him, Brad and him hooked up and they were gone, and then I was chasing. Man, I really felt like that was our race to win. We had a great lead that we earned all night and it was unfortunate we had that yellow. Regan is a heck of a guy. That’s NASCAR racing and as upset as I am to have lost that race, I’m happy for Regan and his accomplishment, but I’ll run that one back a few times in my head.”

THIS IS THE SECOND SURPRISE WINNER THIS YEAR. HOW HAS NASCAR CHANGED TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR GUYS LIKE REGAN TO WIN? “I think that’s the wrong way to look at this. I think Regan is as good as any driver out there, so those guys have earned what they have. There’s a reason they’ve been out-qualifying everyone and it was just a matter of time before they put a whole race together. Myself included, I think all of us kind of underestimate them a little bit, but that will occur no longer. They got to Victory Lane and this is NASCAR. It’s equal opportunity. If you can do it, you earn it.”

DID YOU AND BOB THINK ABOUT STAYING ON WHEN BURTON BLEW UP, AND HOW SURPRISED ARE YOU REGAN BEAT YOU ON OLD TIRES? “I didn’t really contemplate staying out. I thought about it, but I thought new tires would be such an advantage with 20-25 laps. I thought what we did was the right call, and I think if it would have gone green, if we wouldn’t have had that caution, if I would have had more than a lap to work Regan over, I think we would have run right by him, but we didn’t get it. It turned into a green-white-checkered and I was surprised. When I drove down into turn three on the last lap, I sincerely planned on driving right by him and his car stuck a lot better than I thought it was going to, so it surprised me and I really thought it was gonna be a drag race to the start-finish line and he stayed out front.”

DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE RACES TO WIN ARE THE ONES YOU WANT THE MOST? “In the case of Darlington and me, yes, that seems to be true. From my first trip here, Bobby Hudson, Jeff Burton, Jack Roush – everyone over there that helped me get prepared for this race – just told me how much history there was here. I talked to everyone. I studied tape. I got help from all these guys and that first truck race we were running great, running down Ted Musgrave for the win and we had some trouble. And then one time we were running down Jeff and Greg for the lead in the 500 and we had oil pump belt or something come off, and then tonight I let myself, for a minute, imagine what it would be like to win this race and it felt really good there for a minute, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll keep trying, but it’s just sad we have to wait a whole year to come back here. I love racing here. This is as good as it gets for a driver.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BEING THAT CLOSE TO BRAD GIVEN YOUR HISTORY? ” Yeah, I told him after the race that I thought he did a really good job and he did. He gathered it up underneath me. I couldn’t see his elbows in there, but I could imagine they were flying all over the place. I was in between him and the wall, so I was kind of in a safer spot, I thought, if something did go wrong, but he did a good job.”

HOW MUCH MORE DID AERO PLAY IN TO THIS? DID THAT OVERCOME THE TIRE ADVANTAGE YOU HAD? “That’s a very good question. I think that was a big part of it. It seemed aero played a bigger role here than I think it ever has. It was a larger factor in how fast your car went than the difference between the cars, so even if you had a faster car, sometimes you’d catch a guy and you just couldn’t overcome that bad air you’d be running in trying to pass him. There at the end, I think that might have been part of it. Regan did a good job. He drove in and it looked like he was gonna drive in on the bottom into three and he kind of let it wash up in my path and he did a really good job of mirror driving there a little bit. I don’t know if he did it on purpose, but it kept my car from having the most grip that it could have.”

WHY WAS THERE A UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA DECAL ON YOUR CAR? “The folks from Aflac were here. Dan Amos was here and he brought Georgia football and basketball coaches with him. There was a lot of folks pulling from Georgia for that race car tonight, so I wish I could have got the win for them.”

CAN YOU EXPAND ON YOUR TIME WITH REGAN AT MIKE MITTLER’S? “I was driving Mike Mittler’s truck and I think I had run seven races, and I couldn’t run anymore and still hold the rookie eligibility for the next year, so Mike hired Regan to drive at Phoenix. I was kind of heartbroken. I’m a race car driver and I didn’t want to go work on that truck while somebody else was driving it, and I went there and I felt kind of honored after it was all over to have worked with him and to have met his family. They’re really good people. We changed the engine right there in the garage and I just decided I was gonna go ahead and work and swallow my pride here, and I’m glad I did because I got to know Regan a little bit better and he’s a good guy. He could have treated my any way and he treated me like gold then, so I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

WHY DO DRIVERS LIKE THIS TRACK SO MUCH AND HAVE YOU DONE ANY VIDEO STUFF LIKE IRACE? “I think the IRacing stuff can really help you here. I think the reason we race car drivers like this track is because it’s so difficult that the driver can make a difference in the outcome. It seems like it’s a real driver’s race track, and if you really dig down deep and do your best, you can make something happen here and that’s really fun. As a race car driver, that’s as good as it gets.”

YOU HAD A HISTORY WITH BRAD LAST YEAR. WE SAW MONTOYA AND NEWMAN LAST WEEK AND THEN WE HAVE HARVICK AND BUSCH TONIGHT. ARE YOU WORRIED THIS IS GETTING OUT OF HAND? “I haven’t really paid much attention to the details of everything going on, but that’s the passion of the sport. I’ve been involved in my fair share of that stuff, and I guess I’ll just sit back and watch like everybody else and see what happens.”

IS IT BETTER TO BE ON THE OUTSIDE RATHER THAN THE INSIDE? “It depends. It is nice to just go out and race and to be upset after the race for finishing second and not being in an altercation with someone. That’s kind of nice, but this is racing and you’re gonna have stuff like that. I think all of us out there know that can happen at any time and we’re prepared.”

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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