Ford Charlotte Nationwide Quotes

ROUSH FENWAY AND FORD WIN STREAK CONTINUES

. Roush Fenway Racing has won the last six NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series combined, including wins by David Ragan (Sprint Showdown) and Carl Edwards (All-Star Race) last weekend.

. Carl Edwards began the streak with his Nationwide win at Dover while Matt Kenseth won the Cup race that same weekend. After Ragan and Edwards won last weekend in the non-points races, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won the Nationwide event at Iowa.

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. Today’s win was the fifth of the season for Mustang in 13 races this season and third straight.

Ford Finishing Order:

1st – Matt Kenseth

2nd – Carl Edwards

4th – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

19th – Danny Efland

23rd – Timmy Hill

31st – Jennifer Jo Cobb

38th – Tim Andrews

39th – Carl Long

42nd – Kelly Bires

MATT KENSETH – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW — “Every day when I come home I look forward to seeing my wife and girls and Ross, but Kaylin is just starting to get some vocabulary and there’s nothing better in the world, I don’t think, than coming home and getting out of your car in the garage and you see the door fly open and she yells, ‘Hi, dada!’ It’s pretty cool that she made it down here.”

YOUR CREW CHIEF LIKED FOUR TIRES ON A HOT DAY. DID YOU? “I did because the restart before that we got through there pretty good. We had to pit early because I had a tire shaking a little bit, so we had more laps on our tires than those other guys and we were short on fuel, so that many cars on the lead lap and to come in – we were the first one off pit road with four and lined up fifth, so I thought that would give us a shot at least.”

TREVOR WAS ON YOUR PIT BOX. THIS IS A GOOD GIFT FOR HIM. “Yeah, I’m happy Trevor is gonna be back next week. It was fun to fill in. It was a great day for Fastenal having all three cars here and it was an honor to drive this Mustang. This is the first Nationwide COT race I’ve run. I haven’t run in over a year, so it was nice to get in this car and come out here and have some fun on Saturday.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “That was a lot of fun. I hope the fans enjoyed that. That was hard racing. Matt there at the end, he was better and he had the kid gloves on with me there. He was taking it easy on me and when it was time to go he dispatched me pretty quick. It was a great day for Fastenal. I really appreciate the fans coming out here. I know it’s hot up there, but we appreciate you being here and we hope you guys will be here tomorrow. I think tomorrow’s race is gonna be a blast. A Fastenal Mustang got to Victory Lane and, hopefully, tomorrow is just as good. It was just a fun race. We’ve got to mention that Fastenal has automated supply technology, which is a vending machine. It can vend anything. It can vend drinks, hard hats, and it can probably vend Ford Mustangs if you want it to and it saves people a lot of money, so we appreciate Fastenal being here this week.”

YOU MUST FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN A PRETTY GOOD GROOVE. “It’s good and the great thing about what’s going on right now is our whole team is fast. I would have liked Matt to have been a little slower today, but he’s good and Ricky is good. All of our Cup cars are fast. I’m excited about tomorrow’s race. It’s just fun. You want to win those races so bad, but I’m trying not to lose sight of the fact that it was a fun race and that’s what this is all about is having some fun. It was hot and slick and that was a good time racing with Matt.”

RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – No. 6 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “Our Fastenal Mustang was pretty solid all day. It was a top-five car all day, just not good enough to win.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FOR TOMORROW? “I don’t know. I found a few lines that worked for us on the bottom of the race track just by doing things a little bit different. The Cup race starts a little bit later and it’s not gonna be as hot, but it’s twice the length. I think the key is going to be being hydrated.”

ALL THREE OF THE RFR MUSTANGS WERE FAST. WHERE WERE MATT AND CARL BETTER? “I just think they had their front end working a little bit better than ours. We were close. A top-five in this series is really good, but we want those few more spots. Normally, we’re getting really loose in these races and this week we were actually tight, so, hopefully, we found something where we can find a balance in between our setup here and our setup on the other mile-and-a-halfs and come home with a win next weekend in Chicago.”

CARL EDWARDS AND RICKY STENHOUSE JR. PRESS CONFERENCE

CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “It was a big day for Fastenal. I don’t know how Will Overton did it, but he picked the right race to sponsor all three cars, so it was a great race at the end for me. I just got too tight and Matt was able to get by me. He raced me really clean and he just wore me down there and I got tight. His car would turn and he got the victory, so congrats to him and his guys. Overall, it was just a really good day for our whole team and it was fun racing like that.”

RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – No. 6 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “We started off really good. We got the pole and we led the first few laps. I could tell it was gonna get tight on us and it finally did and we kind of backed up and just tried to maintain the rest of the race there in the top five and just have a good, solid points day and it worked out. We just never really could get the front grip that we needed, but, again, thanks for Fastenal. I missed the 1-2-3 finish like we were looking for, but it was still a good day for us.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – YOU PASSED MATT ONE TIME. WAS THERE A TIRE ISSUE THAT KEPT YOU FROM TAKING ANOTHER SHOT? “Yeah, I couldn’t get back to him. I was getting tighter and tighter and that was my big lunge for life there. He swept up in front of me and he was saying thank you out the window and I was like, ‘Hey, not so fast. I’m gonna slide this thing down in there and try to race a little longer.’ He raced me real clean. I believe he knew with his car he could get me. I was just trying to get everything I could, but it just kept getting tighter and tighter and, finally, with these cars when you get tight enough, you really have to slow down in the middle of the corner and it’s over. I just needed the race to be five laps shorter and it would have been pretty good.”

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BIGGEST PICKUP FROM LAST YEAR IN PERFORMANCE? “It is a big pickup and it’s not just one thing, it’s a number of things. I’m sure Ricky and the other guys would agree. The cars drive better and the engines run better, the pit stops are better and we’re working very well as a team between the cars. It’s not just one thing, it’s a lot. It’s been a lot of work for Robbie and all the guys on the engineering staff and Jack. They’ve done a really good job.”

KYLE SAID YOU GUYS CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. DID YOU GET BETTER DURING THE RACE OR DID HE FALL BACK? “I think our cars got just a little bit better. I don’t really know what he was struggling with with his car, but I think my car, right up until those last few laps, I’d kind of run the right-front tire off of it, our car just got better the whole day. That was a lot of good work by Mike Beam.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. CONTINUED – DID THE CUP PRACTICE HELP YOU TODAY? “I actually think that helped out a lot because you can’t drive those Cup cars in the corner as hard as these Nationwide cars and when we got tight out there, I was having to do the same thing I was doing in the Cup car, just lifting early and letting it roll through the center, so I think it definitely helped. Luckily, we’re not gonna be racing at this time of day tomorrow because the race track got really slick. It was a tough day for us, but I think all the laps are definitely helping.”

YOU’VE WON A RACE, A POLE, QUALIFIED TOP-10 IN CUP AND A TOP-5 TODAY. CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW FAR YOU’VE COME? “We’re in a good spot right now, but it’s really nothing I can pinpoint that I’ve done myself other than be a little more patient, staying focused throughout these races and throughout practice, really trying to make our car drive good. It’s a testament to everybody at Roush Fenway. We were running good at the end of the year last year, got everything turned around and in the off-season they just worked their butts off getting these cars better and getting the engines better. I think that’s where I’ve come a long way. When we were struggling getting the cars to run, I’m trying to make them run up front and I just couldn’t do that as well as Carl and those guys, so I think it’s just everybody at the shop working hard.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – IS NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT THE TITLE MAKE IT MORE FUN IN ANY WAY? “That’s a good thought there. I really did have a lot of fun there. I don’t know if it’s because there’s not a driver’s championship on the line. We’re still racing for the owner’s championship. I think it comes more with having these fast race cars and having these successes this season, both for Matt and I and Ricky and everybody. I think there’s just a little more confidence and with that confidence makes it just a little more fun to go race. I wanted to win this thing more than anything. I did everything I could, but I’m still able to walk away with my head held high because I know tomorrow we’ve got a really fast race car for that race. You don’t feel like you have as much pressure on because the cars are fast almost every time we get in them and that’s what makes it fun for me.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. CONTINUED – CAN YOU TALK ABOUT TOMORROW’S OPPORTUNITY? “It’s a huge opportunity for myself, just to get my feet wet. I haven’t had a lot of testing in these Cup cars with the horsepower and the bump stops that they have, so it’s a huge opportunity for me and it’s a long race, so I can hopefully learn a lot, maybe more than I would in a 400-mile or 500-mile race. Hopefully, we can just be there all day and learn all day, but the Wood Brothers have done a great job bringing me in and making me feel like family. We don’t have any expectations, except for finishing this thing and getting the checkered flag and just seeing where we finish.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – DO YOU RECALL WHEN YOU SAW A TURNAROUND WITH RFR? “I remember when I first saw it and that was Daytona last summer. The first time I really believed we were back was about 50 laps or 40 laps into the Phoenix Cup race this year. Yes, we did crescendo with our performance all the way until Homestead last year and then I thought, ‘Man, I’m not gonna get too excited. I’ve got to go through a long winter here,’ and I was anxious to see how fast we would be when we got back to the race track in the spring and it’s picked up even better than it left off. I saw the glimpses of it at Daytona and then it took all the way until about Phoenix this year for me to really feel like, ‘Hey, we are back,’ and feel that confidence and that’s good. It feels like it’s here to stay. I hope it can last the rest of the season. That would be huge. Ten wins out of how many races, it can’t be too many, so that’s a very big percentage.”

RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. CONTINUED – WHAT DOES CONFIDENCE DO FOR YOU AND WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET A MINI-OUTLAW CAR? “The confidence is definitely high, but I think it’s because of Jack Roush and everybody at Roush Fenway and Ford Racing sticking behind me – and Carl Edwards. Confidence is huge for us. Like you said, we were lacking it last year. Obviously, when you crash 12 times in the first half of the season, nobody’s confidence is gonna be very high. We started questioning whether we could do this or not, but what I like about it is the great group of guys that are with me right now were with me all through last year. They went through it with us and stuck it out and nobody left or gave up and quit. Blackwell Angus Beef came on last year even when we were struggling and that kind of helped turn us around at Daytona. We got a third-place there and they came back this year, so it’s huge. I don’t know when I’m gonna get one. Jimmie’s trying to get me to get one.”

MATT KENSETH PRESS CONFERENCE

MATT KENSETH – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “That was fun. This is the first time I’ve gotten to drive the COT version of the Nationwide car. I haven’t been in one for testing or anything, so it’s been fun to get in there and drive it. It was a little bit different. It took me a few laps to get used to it, but we had a good time. The car handled really, really good and the motors run really good, and it was a fun race for us.”

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “I’m thinking about what a difference a year makes. Last year it seemed for a long time we couldn’t buy one and this year we moved Chris Andrews to be the crew chief on the 16 car and provide his vision of engineering leadership to the program. We got the FR9 engine going and got a new Mustang car, and what a difference a year makes. I’m really thankful to Chris for providing the leadership he has, not only to the 16 team, but to all of the Ford Nationwide teams for making this possible. Thanks, Chris.”

CHRIS ANDREWS, Crew Chief – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “We landed in Victory Lane, but we actually had some adversity today. We had a stumble on the left-rear on a pit stop once that put us back in the pack some. We pitted a couple of laps shorter than we wanted to and thought we were gonna be short on the fuel to the end, but the caution fell our way. We ended up with Matt Kenseth in fifth-place with four tires and that was it.”

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED – WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES TO THE OLD CAR? “I don’t know if I can compare it to the old car, but it’s almost just like the Cup car. You’re sitting there and you pretty much think you’re in a Cup car until you step on the gas. The engines, with the spacers and everything, they’ve got them limited on horsepower a lot, so you have to drive them a little different because the horsepower is different, so the setup is different. They’re really a lot like a Cup car. To me, it doesn’t feel a lot different. There are some little differences here and there. Without the bump stops they ride different and stuff like that, but they feel a lot like the new Cup car.”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – CAN THINGS BE GAINED FROM THE CARS IN BOTH SERIES BECAUSE THEY’RE SIMILAR? “There are synergies. In addition to moving Chris from being engineering manager of all we had going on to being crew chief for one of the Nationwide cars and also provide engineering leadership on the Nationwide side, we moved the team. We moved our Nationwide operation from the Mooresville shop on Knob Hill down to the campus that we’ve got at the Concord Airport, so they’re under closes proximity there to all the engineers working on the Cup stuff. You’ve got immediate access to the seven-poster and the K&C machines and the engineers are able to attend more meetings with the other engineers than they were able to before, so it’s synergism of people working together, it’s the new Mustang car, it’s the engine and it’s all come together this year.”

HOW GLAD WILL YOU BE TO HAVE TREVOR BACK IN THE CAR? “We’re gonna be very anxious to have Trevor back. One of the things I worried about when he had his problem was that the team would go stale, where we would have a scenario where we would not be able to have the team functioning at its peak level, based on the fact they were missing races. We did miss one race, but we’ve managed to keep the team going and I’m sure Chris is anxious to have Trevor back so he can have the same driver to work with, but it’s been fun to move things around and give a rookie a chance to look at it and, at the same time, to give Matt and opening at the seat as well. Now, Trevor won’t feel generous or magnanimous about that, but, for my part, it’s the best save we could have given the problem that we had with Trevor.”

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED – “I think that’s the first race we’ve won in the 16. Ricky won last week in the 6, but when you take over for somebody, no matter what the thing is, I’ve done that a few other times, part of you feels bad because it’s their ride. But I was real excited about the opportunity because he cars have been so fast. I know they’ve won the last few straight at Dover and Iowa, so I knew the equipment was fast and whenever you can see a car is fast, it’s always fun to get back in it. I was curious how they would drive and I knew working with Chris was gonna be fun, so I was looking forward to driving it. I’m glad for the team that they won. I think that will build more morale and give them all a spring in their step. They had to miss last week and then to get Trevor back next week coming off a win is great for the team and I think it’s great for Trevor, too. He’s probably looking forward to getting in the car next week even more now.”

WOULD YOU RATHER DRIVE WITHOUT BUMP STOPS? “It doesn’t really matter to me as long as it’s the same for everybody. The cars ride a little smoother with bump stops, just because you can control some of the rate, where everybody is stopping their car out here on a solid spring, so it’s gonna ride a little rougher, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s the same for everybody.”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – HAVE WE REACHED A POINT WHERE THERE’S A DEEPER CONCERN FOR A DRIVER’S HEALTH THAN THERE IS FOR THE RELATIVE SUCCESS FOR A RACE TEAM? “I can’t say how that historically worked out, but in Trevor’s case he had a problem that was not easily diagnosed with the medical support that was in the Charlotte area. We took him to the Mayo Clinic and they had the same problem, so they just wound up treating the symptoms and one of the things that had to do with his recovery was that the people at the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Petty all agreed that they thought the heat we were gonna have at Charlotte this weekend would be a risk to his recovery. So based on that and having the best medical attention in the country brought to his matter, his father wanted him to stay out and I did, but I think any of us by ourselves – the father, myself, and maybe even Dr. Petty may have been bent toward Trevor’s interest in getting back in the car, but we did enough due diligence on it that we were sure that we were all doing the right thing, it would be the right thing for Trevor’s future to go on and get him fully recovered before he was faced with the environmental extremes of the hot temperature that he was going to see in the race car this weekend.”

WHEN DID YOU THINK YOUR TEAM TURNED THE CORNER? “We’ve had a great start to the season, but I’ve given this rendition until I’m almost sick of it. We had a problem with our simulations in the 2009/2010 winter. We undertook, we had help and advice undertaking to put our aero maps and our simulation and it didn’t work out. The third-party vendor that we had missed the mark and it was beyond the capability of anybody on the team or anybody who was directly involved with Ford to have made those decisions on that implementation, so we missed it. So we had to step back. Starting at Bristol last year we realized we missed it, that things weren’t correlating correctly between the changes you’d make in the setup and what the simulation said it would do at the track. So we had to step back and make our changes one at a time. That meant that the crew chiefs didn’t have enough time with the drivers to get through all the setup scenarios that they needed to. By Chicago, by the middle of last year, we had reverted back to what we had in 2009. We had taken the aero map data out of the simulation and everything worked. From that point on, it was just a matter of us being as good as we were in 2009. It was just a matter of the guys getting confidence in it and the confidence to start with the setups that they had, at the beginning of the second half of last year were all over the place, but the guys that were sticking close to the things that were predicted by the simulation got it right, and as we finished the year, everybody realized that we were really on track. We went back and got our simulations back on track. We didn’t misstep over the winter this year and we stepped forward with the momentum we had last year. But we really understood what we lacked by Bristol spring of last year. We had it fixed by mid-year and it’s been all downhill since then.”

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO SEE OUT OF RICKY TOMORROW? “I’m looking for 600 miles. I told him before the race started today, after he had won the race at Iowa last weekend that he was full grown. I normally try not to have eye contact so much with the senior guys because they’ll stare me down, but I don’t have that problem with the rookies. I had eye contact with Ricky and I told him he was full-bodied, he was his own man today and he should go out and have some fun and do what he thought was right. I’m not gonna give him that consideration tomorrow in the Wood Brothers car. I’m gonna look him in the eye and tell him I’m looking for 600 miles and we’ll take what we get at the end of that.”

DOES THIS WINNING WITH MUSTANG GIVE YOU ANYMORE PLEASURE CONSIDERING YOUR PREVIOUS SUCCESS IN SPORTS CAR RACING WITH THE MODEL? “In 1964 I graduated from college after working myself through with enough money to buy a brand new Mustang within 30 days of the time they came into existence. I use Mustang powertrains, drivetrains to build modified cars and other things as I drag raced. I road raced with Mustangs and had great success with those for 16 years. To have Mustang in the Nationwide Series is really special for me. It’s a river that runs through. The Mustang and the energy and emotion that has been associated with a low-cost, performance-based car that was available to the masses, that has been behind and spurred my motorsports career all the way. To have the success that we’re having with the Mustang now just makes me feel fulfilled.”

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED – WITH THE CARS RUNNING SO WELL ARE YOU AS A DRIVER AND YOU AS A TEAM LESS LIKELY TO MAKE MISTAKES? “I know what you’re asking. When you try too hard, no matter how your car is, I think that’s when you make mistakes. If you’re back there and you’re running 17th and that’s all you can get and you try to finish 12th or 15th with it and you’re over your head, you can make a mistake just as easily as if you have a real good car and you have a third-place car and you get caught up racing somebody that’s maybe a little faster than you and you start getting over your head. You can make it at anytime. I don’t know if it helps the mistakes that much, but I think it certainly builds morale and it builds confidence in all of us, and I think that goes from top to bottom. From the guys that start building the cars to the guys pitting the cars to the guys putting them together, I think it gives everybody confidence and boosts morale. I don’t think it necessarily makes them want to work harder, but when they’re putting their cars together over at the airport they’re thinking, ‘Man, one of these cars might win the race if we get all the stuff right.’ I think everybody is feeling more like a contender, which is contagious and I think good for the whole team.”

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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