MUSTANG REACHES VICTORY LANE FOR 11TH TIME THIS SEASON
Carl Edwards won his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. extended his points lead to 22 over Elliott Sadler with five races remaining.
The win was the 11th for Mustang and Ford, most among manufacturers.
Ford also took the manufacturer’s point lead with today’s win and now leads Toyota by four.
Ford Finishing Results
1st – Carl Edwards
5th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6th – Trevor Bayne
CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – “It’s great. I have to thank Fastenal, Bodyguard, all the folks that are on the car. I went to Fastenal this week and I bought a neat Milwaukee tool set and I did a little work around the house and it was a lot of fun, so I appreciate these guys being on board. I’ve got to thank Ford. This Mustang was great. We’ve got Nex-gen oil on this thing. I got something on the grille and the oil temp was 320 degrees or something and that’s recycled oil we won the race with, so that’s great. All of the fans, Aflac Insurance and Nationwide. This series is so much fun. This track is so much fun and everything went great, other than my backflip, which was terrible. I was nervous about doing it on the banking, but it was just an awesome day.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 6 Blackwell Angus/Cargill Ford Mustang – “It was pretty uneventful. We weren’t happy with our Blackwell Angus Beef and Cargill Mustang the whole time, but we were good enough to run near the top five. There at the end with the way the caution fell and what our guys did on pit road we got up there and was able to run in the top five. We’ll have to go to work on it. We weren’t happy with it, but it was a good points day for us. We ran strong all day and didn’t make any mistakes and that’s really what we need to do.”
YOU HAD A CLOSE CALL WITH THE 11 COMING ON TO PIT ROAD. WHAT HAPPENED? “I don’t know. I thought he was gonna pass me there down the back straightaway and then he kind of lifted and I was waving my hand. I think his crew chief probably told him that they were gonna pit too. I got to pit road really good and all of a sudden I kind of heard something on the outside of me and I looked just at the time he was hitting the barrels and I tried to ease over far enough left so that we didn’t get hit in the right rear. It was pretty crazy and a close call for sure.”
NOT A PERFECT DAY BUT A TOP FIVE. “The points lead is good, but we definitely weren’t as strong as we wanted to be. Our Blackwell Angus Beef and Cargill Mustang was pretty solid all day it just wasn’t great. We’ll go to work and make it better, but the guys on pit road and the guys back at the shop work really hard and it’s cool we can get another top five here this year.”
DID THE TRACK THROW YOU A CURVE? “It was cool weather the last time we were here and it seemed to free up for us, so we started that first run and were a little too tight. I thought maybe it was going to come to us and it never really did. We were just a little too tight all day from the center off the corner. We could run fast laps, but it was just tough to pass them. Overall, it was a good day for us.”
ARE YOU MORE HAPPY ABOUT BEATING THE 2 AND 32 OR DISAPPOINTED WITH HOW YOU RAN OVERALL? “I feel really good about it. I think we expected to be a little bit stronger than what we were, but you have to take it. Top fives are gonna win this championship. If we can run top five every week, that’s what we need to do.”
TREVOR BAYNE – No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang – “Man, I wanted a top five. You work hard for these things to get top fives and top threes and wins, but we were just trying to figure out how to get in there. We ran up front most of the day there, the last 150 laps, and then we had a bad caution and almost got a lap down there in the pits and we kept going instead of pitting. We lost a few spots of track position and never really got those back. It’s so hard to pass here, especially when you pull behind somebody. You lose the nose and you can’t pull under them and that’s what I was fighting at the end. I just got too tight behind other people when I tried to get by them, but, other than that, it was a pretty good day. A top six finish, it’s a solid finish for us after all our bad luck and bad things happening, so I’m pumped for my team and they did a really good job today.”
THREE ROUSH FENWAY MUSTANGS IN THE TOP SIX. A GOOD DAY FOR THE ORGANIZATION. “Yeah, not too bad at all. It’s always good when you can get all three cars up there and have a good day all the way across the board. It’s what we’re working towards and now we’ve got to get them all in the top three next time.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. PRESS CONFERENCE – “I wish it would have been a little bit better. Obviously, the finishing result was good for us from a points day, but we just never really had the car exactly the way we needed it. We were a little too tight and I thought it was gonna come to us. I thought the track would free up a little bit, but, really, it just lost overall grip and we stayed tight the whole day. We got a little bit better there on the last stop. The guys on pit road did an awesome job. We didn’t make any mistakes and really that’s what we need to do each and every week. We’re looking forward to Kansas and the race tracks we’ve got left. I wish we would have been a little bit better today, but a top five was definitely a good result for us.”
DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE IN CONTROL OF THE POINTS RACE BEING UP 22 NOW? “I think we’re in control for sure, but we’ve got to control what we do. We’ve got to not make mistakes. We’ve got to bring good, fast race cars to the race track and I’ve got to do a good job of keeping out of the fence and keeping the fenders on it. So far we’ve done that and I think we’ve got a really good shot at this thing. I feel more comfortable right now even before coming into today. I felt comfortable coming into the day and obviously I feel a lot more comfortable afterwards, but I think we’ve got a race team that’s pretty determined to win this thing.”
WERE YOU CONCERNED WITH ELLIOTT ON THE POLE? “No, I wasn’t concerned at all. Obviously, we figured he would lead a lap and get a point, but qualifying is not everything. We’ve qualified on the pole before and gone backwards, so I felt like overall we had a really good race car. We didn’t qualify as good as we wanted to, but if you look at it we were less than a tenth off the pole, so it’s not like they were that much faster, so we really weren’t concerned with him being on the pole.”
DID TRACK CONDITIONS HELP YOU AT ALL? “We definitely had more speed, but it didn’t really change what the car was doing. The car was tight at the beginning of the race and we were running a certain lap time and then at the end of the race it would still be tight, but we were running faster lap times. Really, the handling of the car and what you had to start with was kind of what you ended up with.”
CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE
CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “That was a great race. It all starts at the shop. These Ford Mustangs that they’ve been building are spectacular and Jack listened to us about two years ago, a year-and-a-half ago when we were telling him about all the different things we needed and he’s done a really good job and everybody has done a really good job of coming together and making these cars better. Today I had a very fast car. Anybody driving that car would have done really well. That was a lot of teamwork. The pit stops were great, the strategy was great and we hung on for the win. It was a lot of fun.”
MIKE BEAM, Crew Chief – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “Like Carl said, we really worked hard on the car and luckily we had a good place to start from the first race, but it was a lot different today than it was in the spring. Carl’s feedback was perfect and Scott, our engineer, he really works hard at this, so it worked out well. The guys did a great job on pit stops. We were on pit road when the caution came out, but, luckily, it worked out for us. Like Carl said, people have made a commitment to help us like Jack and Fastenal and Ford, and I’m glad we can produce for them.”
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – “And this is the one-year anniversary of Mike and Scott Graves and I working together. That’s 10 wins in a year, so I really appreciate everything Mike and Scott have done.”
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “Carl took my thunder. I was gonna congratulate the group, but it’s been a great team. We did look, there were some things obviously lacking in our program a year ago or a year-and-a-half ago. We were underachieving for the talent of everybody that was involved and we made some moves. The big thing was we put our Nationwide shop in the same location as the Cup shop so that the help Ford was giving us could come to bear and would reflect itself on all the cars that have an engineering impact. Mike has been able to use that to his advantage and Scott Graves has been a great help. Happily, Carl didn’t crack his noggin today on his backflip, so I think we’re still in pretty good shape for tomorrow.”
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – “If I win tomorrow I’m not doing a backflip. There’s too much banking. I don’t like it.”
WAS THIS RACE AS EASY AS IT LOOKED? “It was a lot less dramatic than the last one so that’s good. Early in the race it was easy. The car was really superior, but those guys worked on their cars and they got better and better. By the end of the race, that was all I had. Brad and Clint, I think if they had been out front it would have been very difficult to pass them, so I’m just grateful we were as good as we were and we had good enough pit stops and restarts and everything to stay in front.”
JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – RICKY IS UP 22 POINTS WITH FIVE TO GO. HOW DO YOU ASSESS HIS CHANCES FOR WINNING THE TITLE? “Ricky is not doing what he wants to do. He wants to rub fenders and try to win these races right now and if he made that effort every time, he would be wrecked one time in four and, of course, that would be the end of his championship run. But he’s doing a great job. He’s frustrated with the fact that he can’t beat the Sprint Cup regulars that are in there consistently. He has beaten them a couple of times, but he’s doing what he needs to be doing. It’s not much fun for him right now, but he’s maturing by leaps and bounds. Trevor is doing a real nice job, too. It’s unfortunate he had his health problem he had earlier in the year or there would be a competition between the two of them.”
IS THERE ANY PLAN TO GET RICKY IN A CUP CAR THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR OR DOES THE ECONOMY DICTATE THAT? “There’s no plan to get Ricky in a Cup car this year. There is certainly optimism that we’ll be able to do that next year, but we’re very much in negotiations with sponsors and next year is very fluid. I’m not gonna make a prediction on what’s gonna happen with regard to being able to get Ricky and Trevor more Cup time than they’ve had this year. We’re just glad we’ve got for Trevor what we have in the Wood Brothers car and hope we can get some time for Ricky next year, but it’s very much open based on the economy right now.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOU AND CLINT BATTLING? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THAT NEXT WEEK IN KANSAS? “That would be great. I know that race is really special for both of us. It was pretty neat. I was thinking about it while I was driving – for two modified racers from the Midwest to be out here running one and two racing at a place like Dover and driving for the car owners we’re driving for is pretty amazing. We’re very fortunate. That’s never more apparent to me than when I go to Kansas and I see a lot of the folks that I grew up with and a lot of folks I raced around for years. A win there would be huge. If we can pull off a win in the Nationwide car or the Cup car or both over there, that would be as big of a win as I’ve ever had.”
MIKE BEAM CONTINUED – WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE TO GET THOSE 10 WINS WITH CARL? “We started here a year ago and then really worked hard. At Texas we won the race and that was the first time we beat Kyle and those guys. That got our confidence back and then we won Phoenix for two in a row. We started the season, and like Jack said, when we moved to Concord and Robbie and his engineering group down there, and the tools we had to work with, it’s like a bunch of kids in a candy store. We just really went after it and we’re really living a dream here because we have everything we could possibly have to work with. With Robbie’s help and the engineering group there, that’s been one of the biggest things for us. Ford, with the wind tunnel and stuff like that, and working for Jack and Roush Fenway just sitting in the meetings to draw off the Cup guys certain things that we can apply to our car helps.”
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS ON CONCRETE TO? “Concrete demands a perfect car and a perfect setup and it lets you really tune things in to a very small window. I think the communication I have with Mike and Bob and the ability of the engineers to work with us is what makes us fast on concrete. It’s a very precise surface and I believe that communication is the key.”
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE STANDS WHEN YOU GO UP THERE? “I signed one Subway car up there. That was pretty cool. The neat thing is just to see the looks on people’s faces. There was one guy up there that I’ll think about the rest of tonight. He’s got all my gear on and he was just pumped. H was really, really excited, so it’s neat to be able to go up there. Like I’ve said before, I think other drivers should go up there and have some fun with it. That’s not my deal. It’s something that’s really neat that everybody should try.”
JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – WHAT’S A BETTER CAR, THE MUSTANG OR FUSION? “Well, it depends on how many people you want to carry. I don’t think we’ve got 40 mile per gallon Mustangs yet, but we’ve got 40 mile per gallon Fusions. I’ve got one of each with my coach that I take to the races. We’ve got a Roush Supercharged Mustang.”
CARL INTERJECTS – “They are the envy of the motorhome lot. It’s some pretty neat stuff.”
JACK CONTINUES – “And I’ve got a Fusion with 40,000 miles on it that if I ever got rid of it Brenda says that she’d leave me.”
WHAT ABOUT THE RACE CAR? “Oh, the race car. I’m more interested to see if I can help Ford Motor Company sell cars I can have more race cars, so that comes first. The Nationwide cars are really good right now and I think we’re enjoying, in comparison to the field, a better, I won’t say dominance, but I’ll say a better parity on all the race tracks, although at this point in the season we’ve got the best Chase cars that we’ve ever had across our entire group. The Fusion has come of age. There is no doubt that we’ve got equal aerodynamics and we’ve got equal engines and we’ve got equal kinematics in our suspension and those things, I think, gives me confidence to go to the race track and feel like I won’t be embarrassed and I think it helps Carl and the crew chiefs as well feel like if they cannot get out-crew chiefed and if Carl cannot get out-driven, then the cars will be enough to do the job.”