Ford Michigan Cup Post Race Quotes

Ford Racing Finishing Order:

2nd Matt Kenseth

5th Carl Edwards

CarParts.com
American Muscle

13th AJ Allmendinger

15th Greg Biffle

16th Trevor Bayne

20th David Ragan

23rd Marcos Ambrose

29th David Gilliland

31st Travis Kvapil

32nd Mike Bliss

36th Andy Lally

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 5th) “I was going to go all the way to the top of the grandstands today. I just appreciate all the fans coming out here. This is a great race track and track position is so important. Sadly, down force is such a big factor in these cars and I am really hoping that NASCAR will take the opportunity in 2013 to take down force away so the fans can see the guys race race cars and not race down force. That would be cool.”

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE IN LAYMAN’S TERMS? “All the cars are very close. So let’s say all of the cars are a tenth apart and you are behind two or three cars, your car is two-tenths of a second slow. You can’t make up. I am not whining. Denny earned this win and those are the rules we are under. Track position was huge and I just wish it wasn’t like that.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) “I just couldn’t quite get Denny. After restarts we were kind of slow and tight in the middle which isn’t a good thing to be in a short shootout. We had a great car in the long run though. I tried what I could to get around him but I slipped on the restart. I just needed more laps to get it going.”

LOOKED LIKE YOU GUYS HAD THE RIGHT SETUP ALL DAY, HOW DID THE TRACK CHANGE TODAY? “We had a great race car. The Crown Royal Ford was really fast. We got behind a couple of times and when we were going to be short on fuel I had to slow way down to save fuel. When you have to do that it is hard to figure out the balance of your car because you change your driving style so much and what the car feels like. I didn’t know what to do for adjustments at the end. So we just left it, threw a couple tires on it and tried it.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 15th) “The car drove great. The pit stops were great. Everybody did a great job. Everything is perfect.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 13th) “That run was a credit to the Ford team in general. We struggled really bad. We were okay Friday and started struggling at the end of the day and we were really bad in qualifying. We looked at some notes and went off the other Ford cars, a different direction than we had been before and the car was great all day. I am going to blame Dale Inman, I think he did something in his past life to give us all this bad luck on this team (laughter).”

DOES LOSING A CHANCE TO GAIN POINTS THIS WEEK MAKE NEXT WEEK MORE CRITICAL FOR YOU? “No. Points don’t matter right now. We have to get better. We aren’t a Chase team right now. Points to me, obviously you want to score every point you can but we need to be better before we worry about making the Chase. Today was a big step. We were never really good here and we were a top-five car all day. Thirteenth sucks in the end compared to what we had, but I am proud of what we did today instead of the points.”

DAVID RAGAN, No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 20th) – “Right from the get-go, nothing was really going our way. Our UPS Ford was a top-10 car, but after our first trip into the pits, the No. 88 and No. 51 got together and ran us up the race track and we had to come back in and fix our fender. We went back out on track in the high 30s and drove back towards the front and we had the speed, but we didn’t catch the cautions right. We tried short pitting to get back on the lead lap and it just didn’t work out. I think we had a top 10 or top-five car; we could just never seem to get up there. It’s just very disappointing. Everything that could go wrong did and we’ll just have to regroup.”

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion (Finished 16th) – SO IT’S A 16TH-PLACE FINISH FOR YOUR FIRST RACE BACK IN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES. HOW DID THE 200 LAPS FEEL FOR YOU? “Good. I feel fine, so I’m ready and I’m back and it was good to finally get back in this Cup car. It wasn’t too bad for our first run back there, 16th-place finish. This team is doing a really great job this year. We struggled on pit road there for a little while, but we finally got that figured out at the end of the race, so that helped us. Then, the car was really tight into the center and loose off, so we fought that all day long up until the very last lap.”

WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU LEARNED TODAY THAT YOU’LL APPLY? “I learned a lot about just applying, how to apply the brakes to keep the car turning all the way through the center of the corner and I think that’ll transfer to everywhere, every race track we go to. So I’m going to keep trying to use that. I’ve got to get better at figuring out what this thing needs in practice, and telling exactly what it needs so we can get better in the race. But we’ll keep working on that as well. It was a pretty hard-fought 16th. We got a couple of them there at the end. At least we were moving forward there at the end of the race. The No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion still looks good. There are not too many bumps and bruises on it, so we can keep running this thing.”

THIS WAS A HOMETOWN RACE FOR YOUR SPONSORS, MOTORCRAFT AND QUICK LANE, AND FORD. HOW DO YOU BALANCE PLAYING HOST AND DRIVING? “It’s good. I love the Ford people being here in Michigan (including Frederiek Toney, Vice President of Ford Customer Service Division and Brett Wheatley, Director, Marketing, Ford Customer Service Division). That’s the easy part, is balancing that. Because once I get in the race car, it’s all what I do anyway. I don’t really have to think about it.”

 

MATT KENSETH PRESS CONFERENCE

TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN TODAY. “It was nice to be able to race but I didn’t do a great job in the restart and I spun my tires. Denny saw me hanging back a little bit and took off. Once he was clear it was really hard to pass, especially on a short run like that. The track gets all black and slimy from this new tire. My car wasn’t real good on a short run anyway. I didn’t have enough to get around him once he cleared us there.”

CARL SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE 2013 AND TAKING AWAY DOWN FORCE. WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? “I have no idea. I honestly know nothing about the 2013 car. That is not a lie. I know nothing about it.”

HOW FRUSTRATED WERE YOU TODAY? IT LOOKED LIKE FUEL WAS GOING TO BITE YOU. “Yeah, you try to not get too frustrated because it is a team effort and I made tons of mistakes so you try not to get too frustrated but it is at least the third time we haven’t gotten full of fuel, or the fourth time or something like that. We recovered at Texas but not at Charlotte which cost us a win. We did it again here today and got lucky to get a caution so it didn’t cost us but it could have. We had a slow pit stop that put us behind. That was hard to overcome. I am happy we got second.”

TO CLARIFY ON THE DOWN FORCE QUESTION, CARL WAS SAYING THIS RACE WAS TOO MUCH ABOUT TRACK POSITION AND NASCAR SHOULD LOOK AT TAKING DOWN FORCE OFF FOR THE 2013 CAR. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON THAT? “I don’t have any suggestions for what NASCAR should do, but it has been more difficult to pass I think lately. I like this new nose on this car a little better but it seems like it is a little harder to pass. I honestly think that is the tire more than anything else. It seems like the tires we have been running this year lay down a lot of rubber, which is nice, but on that restart it was slime from bottom to top and you are up there sliding. That is how it feels to me. I don’t know. I just race what they give you and do the best you can. It is definitely an advantage to be in front because it is hard to pass that is for sure.”

IF THAT LAST CAUTION HADN’T COME OUT, WHAT WHERE THE SCENARIOS YOU WERE CONTEMPLATING? “I thought I was going to run out of gas, so I was running around half throttle which isn’t fun because you don’t feel like you are racing. I was just riding around real slow because they said we were two laps short, and I didn’t think I would save that, but I sure as heck wasn’t going to pit either. I was trying to save gas, running slow and hoping for a caution.”

YOU HAD FUEL ISSUES, DO YOU HAVE A SOLUTION FOR THE FUEL SITUATION YET AND WHAT IS THE STATUS OF CROWN ROYAL FOR NEXT YEAR? “The fuel thing, the rules are the same for everybody on pit road. They all have the same piece of equipment to work with. I think we have a problem getting it plugged in right away and making the exchange fast enough. Our tire change is much faster than the fuel and everybody else on pit road doesn’t seem to be waiting for fuel and we drop the jack before it is full. I think that is a problem we have to keep working on internally. I don’t think that is a NASCAR problem. Everyone has the same rules and same pieces. It is up to us to figure out how to do that as good or better than everybody else. The status for Crown Royal, I am not really sure what it is right now.”

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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