Ford Charlotte Post-Race

Ford Finishing Results:

1st – Matt Kenseth

3rd – Carl Edwards

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5th – Marcos Ambrose

7th – AJ Allmendinger

11th – David Ragan

15th – Greg Biffle

22nd – J.J. Yeley

30th – Mike Bliss

31st – Trevor Bayne

33rd – Hermie Sadler

36th – David Gilliland

40th – Travis Kvapil

42nd – Andy Lally

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – “I’ve just got to thank Bostitch for coming on board as a primary and Stanley and DeWalt and Ford and everybody else on this program. I just really appreciate that opportunity. I ran great. I just want to be so careful. I bumped Carl Edwards down pit lane and damaged his right-rear fender a little bit. I don’t want to mess with the championship fight, but at the same time you’ve got to try and win these races. I’m just really excited about our opportunities, so I thank Ford and everyone very much.”

HOW WAS YOUR NIGHT? “This tire wasn’t that hard in the spring, but it got really hard tonight. The bottom seemed to be the place to go and you just couldn’t get guys out of the way. It was a tough night. We were around the 29 a lot and around the 11 a lot, around Carl a lot and around the 18 and 17 as well, so we were up with the Chase guys. Next year, we want to be one of those guys that gets looked after.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – “It was a solid night for us and congrats to Matt. This is a big night for Ford. We have five times the points lead we had coming in. We went from one point to five points, so that’s something. We didn’t know what to expect coming in here, but our Aflac Fusion was fast. My pit crew did a good job. Bob made the right calls on the box and it ended up being a good night. I’m just glad we didn’t tear anything up. We dodged a bullet here. This has been a tough track for us. I’m excited, well, I’m stretching the truth there, I’m not too excited to go to Talladega because you never know what’s gonna happen there, but it will be fun one way or another.”

WHAT DOES A FIVE-POINT LEAD MEAN? “That’s five more spots. If we can slowly build a little bit of a lead, that’s the best thing we can do. It’s so competitive right now. Everybody is so fast that you just take everything you can get. I’m happy with this run. I’ll go to bed tonight and sleep well and I’m just glad we didn’t make any big mistakes. This is a really treacherous place.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion – “That’s a bad feeling to run out of gas, especially when you’re not expecting it. We weren’t even pushing it. It wasn’t time for that yet and I think that 21 was just fast. It must have been sucking up more fuel than we thought being that fast, but I think something just had to be funky in the fuel cell or something messed up on the can because it just wasn’t taking all the fuel we needed it to. We had an easy top five car tonight. I feel like this would have been another shot to win a race. That thing was just so fast. It was that way all weekend. On the long runs it was that good and the whole race we didn’t adjust one thing and we were really competitive. There aren’t many nights when you get to do that and be that fast. We didn’t get the finish we deserved, but it’s definitely a confidence-builder for the whole team to run that good all night. We want results, but they’ll come if we keep running that good.”

YOUR BEST RACE SINCE DAYTONA? “This is probably our most competitive night we’ve had. I’d definitely say that for sure. At Vegas early in the year we were this competitive. I was running eighth and I sped coming to pit road, so mistakes have taken us out of it. But the Fords are just so fast on these high-banked mile-and-a-halfs. At one point I looked up and I think all but one car in the top seven were Fords and that was just really cool to see them that dominant at a track. It’s cool that they got the win, but I wish it was the 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion in victory lane instead.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – WHAT HAPPENED IN THE WRECK WITH TONY? “I’d have to watch the replay, but it sure seemed to me that he ran me into the fence.”

IT LOOKED LIKE AFTER YOU HIT THE FENCE THE FIRST TIME YOU CAME DOWN ON HIM TO MAYBE RETALIATE, BUT WE COULDN’T TELL IF THAT WAS MOMENTUM OR ON PURPOSE AND HE WASN’T SURE EITHER. “I hit the fence and I came down and hit him in the left rear and then we were hooked together, but I wouldn’t have hit the fence if I had enough room. He ran me out of room. I had a run coming and there was nowhere for me to go. I either hook him in the right-rear and wreck him or I hit the fence, so I hit the fence. I could have just turned him into the fence the wrong way, which, in hindsight maybe that’s what I should have done, but I know he’s a Chase car and I’m trying to be a little courteous out there. He just didn’t quite leave me enough room. I’ll have to watch the replay before I really get the whole deal, but I was coming with a run on the top, which I had done on all restarts. I was killing them down there and he came up off the corner and the hole wasn’t big enough, so I stayed off of him but I hit the fence. There wasn’t anything there, but I’ll go back and watch it and see what it looks like.”

YOU HAD ONE OF THE BEST CARS AND IT MUST HAVE FELT LIKE YOU COULD PUT IT WHERE YOU WANTED. “Oh, you can. I could drive anywhere, but he didn’t expect me to be coming on the top, I’m sure. He felt like he drove by me. I’m sure he did. I’m sure he never planned on me to be there because the top was so effective for me down here. It’s funny, I could pass on new tires on the top down there, but not on old tires. New tires it would just stick and go around the corner like crazy. It just wasn’t enough room, but that’s racing with 40 or 30 to go. And then that momentum carried me down into him and we were kind of hooked together. I was turning to the right and I don’t know if my splitter was hooked in his quarterpanel or what. I don’t know what happened. I kept turning to the right and finally came off of him, and then when we went down into the corner the left-front was flat.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion – “It’s not what I wanted, but the end result is good. I’m happy there were so many Fords in the top 10. I’m just a little confused on what we need from practice to the race because we’ve had a few races where we’re really quick in practice, but I was complaining running inside the top 10, so it’s getting better than usual. I’m just a little disappointed that we weren’t quite there. I’m not sure where we’re missing it from practice to the race. I don’t know if it’s me and what I need to feel better. The car was decent all night. We’ve got to work on our pit stops on these track position gains. You can’t lose that much time, but the guys fought hard. Greg made a good call at the end for four tires. It was a good result. I’m happy for Ford. There were a ton of Fords in the top 10. I’m not sure we were the seventh-best car, we might have been the ninth or 10th, but we’d get to about seventh or eighth and be really tight – the back end would be wiggling a little bit. It just wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. The result was good. It was a good night for points. To win these things we’ve just got to be a little bit better.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “It’s huge for us. We’ve had this one circled on our schedule as one that our whole Aflac team was nervous about. We qualified well. We weren’t that fast at the beginning of the race and Bob did a really good job dialing it in. The car and the track kind of came to us, so, overall, it was a really good night for Roush Fenway. It’s great to see Matt get a win. Those guys, I guess it’s great as teammate, it’s not great because now he’s only seven points behind us in the Chase, but it was just a good race. It’s a lot better finish than I thought we were gonna have, so I’m happy with it.”

SHOULDN’T THE GUYS RACING FOR SECOND AND THIRD BE RACING HARD? “Yeah, we should definitely be racing each other hard, it’s just that there’s a difference between racing hard and just cutting across the guy’s nose. What I told Kyle is I just wondered why coming off of turn two, when I got underneath him, he drove down instead of going up to the wall like we’d normally do. I just let him know that the next time that happens, I’ll just stay where I’m at and he can drive across my hood and wreck himself. It just surprised me. He told me that he didn’t mean to do it, so I’ve got to believe that, but I don’t know what else there is to say about it. It’s just racing and we didn’t wreck. We’re gonna race hard like that and that’s just how I saw it.”

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD JIMMIE WRECKED AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? “It can happen to any of us. Obviously, the more points we can get on the guys in the Chase the better, but it’s obvious that could happen to anyone. He could go on a tear and be leading the points in three or four weeks, so that could happen too, so I will never count him out.”

MATT SEEMS TO BE OVERLOOKED FOR THE TITLE. IS HE A THREAT? “He’s the only one of the three of us with a championship. He’s doing really well and tonight that car was really fast and he drove it really well. I spent a little time behind him and he was wheeling it, so I don’t think you can count him out at all.”

WAS THERE ANY KEY ADJUSTMENT YOU MADE TO THE CAR AND HOW WAS IT THIS WEEK? “The car was a lot better this week than it was last week, but we were still off a little bit. We weren’t as fast as Kyle or Matt. We’ve got to go back and look at it. Greg was really fast and Trevor was screaming fast at one point in the race. He was really good. I don’t know what happened to him, but I thought he was gonna be the guy to beat, so we’ll just go back and look at it and figure out what we’re missing. It might be something I’m doing driving that’s not correct here and there might be some setup stuff, but we’re slowly working on it. I feel better after this run. The All-Star Race, Coke 600 and this race were all decent for us, so that’s three in a row and that’s the best we’ve ever been here.”

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THE CHASE AFTER FIVE RACES WITH ONLY ONE WIN THIS YEAR? “The wins matter, obviously. It’s great to win, but our goal is to win the championship. We’ve won nine races in a season and not won the championship and I’d definitely trade that for a zero or one-win season with a championship. Our goal is to win this championship. We’re leading the points now, which really doesn’t amount to much with five races left, but we’re on track. We’re doing well. There are some tough races coming up for us. Talladega is not my best track. Martinsville is not my best track, but after those I feel pretty good.”

THIS IS THE LATEST YOU’VE BEEN THE POINTS LEADER. WILL THAT CHANGE YOUR STYLE AT ALL? “I don’t know. I think right now you still have to get everything you can. I raced really hard tonight, not quite as hard as you. I’m racing as hard as I can trying to get every point I can. That’s how we’ve raced all season. It hasn’t worked out for some wins, but that’s mostly been strategy and stuff like that. I’ve found a balance where I’ve wrecked enough and made enough stupid decisions early on that I’m trying to be better at not giving them away. We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing and if it works out, it works out. But the season isn’t like others. I think it’s gonna literally come down to the last few laps at Homestead. If you watched what happened tonight, anything can happen and it can turn quickly.”

IT’S SO HARD TO PASS. SHOULD THEY MAKE SOME CHANGES? “It would be fine with me if they took the spoilers off and the splitters off and we didn’t have any downforce. The cars are so close that the difference between them is smaller than the difference when you’re following somebody. NASCAR has done a really, really good job of making sure that the rules are close and we’re all about the same speed, but then when you’re going that fast and relying on downforce, it makes it really tough. This track is probably one of the toughest ones to pass on, but it’s overall tough almost everywhere we go.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion – “It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t really get to race after we suffered the damage on that restart. The 5 car checked up and everyone behind him just wound up in a pile-up. There was nothing we could do. We were just starting to get the Tastykake Ford where we needed it, and then that happened. Peter (crew chief Peter Sospenzo) and the guys did a good job making our car better all weekend. It’s too bad we didn’t have the chance to do more with it.”

J.J. YELEY – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “It was a pretty good night for the Long John Silver’s Ford team. We had a lot of things go right for us with some cautions coming at the right times and a Lucky Dog, and we had a chance to lead some laps. I just wish we had a little bit more for them at the end. Jay Guy and the team did a good job adjusting as the track conditions changed, and the guys did a great job in the pits, too. It was a good points day for us, which is what this 38 team is really working for 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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