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Ford Takes Three Top-Five Spots in NASCAR Sprint Cup Race At Dover

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GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd) – “We were pretty good.  I don’t know what happened but the engine started missing there early in the race and the battery was going dead, so we switched batteries and it came back on line.  But we had to shut everything off and we were just a little bit too tight all day.  We couldn’t get it to rotate in the center of the corner and that’s probably what our biggest thing was – we just needed to turn a little bit more in the middle.  The lap traffic was really, really tough today.  We just had a really tough time with these cars.  You get about 20 car lengths behind a car and you can’t pass them even though you’re faster than them.  It was a real tough day for us.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) – “It was good.  We started off and were pretty fast on the long run and then we kind of got off to the loose side and we tightened it up and then the track tightened up on us and we just got too tight in the center.  It was a great run for us.  We’re definitely making progress.  We’re moving the right way here lately and have been getting some good runs put together, so it feels good to have the DeWalt car at least up in the top five.”  EVERYONE WAS CHASING THEIR CAR WITH ALL THE GREEN FLAG RUNS.  “Yeah, this place is tough.  You’ve got to have it all.  You’ve got to be able to get on and off pit road and have pit stops and have it handling good for those long runs because you typically don’t get a whole bunch of cautions here to work on it, so we were just a little bit off, but we were closer than we have been.”  DO YOU FEEL THE BAD LUCK IS GONE?  “I don’t know.  You can’t blame everything on bad luck.  We’ve all made mistakes as a group.  I’ve made mistakes driving.  We’ve just been off a little bit.  I don’t think you can blame everything on luck, but I feel like our performance is getting better and we’ve been operating more as a team unit and things seem to be on the upswing.”  BUT SIX WEEKS AGO YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THAT MULTI-CAR WRECK ON LAP 19 WITH THE WAY THINGS HAD BEEN GOING.  “Yeah, but some of that you can say is bad luck, but we got in that wreck at Richmond because we were running bad.  We were running 22nd or 20th and a wreck happened in 10th place.  If you run up front, you have a better chance of not being in the wreck, so a lot of it comes from performance.  I’ve got to try to qualify better and we’ve got to keep working on our performance and just get the whole deal going.”  A GOOD DAY FOR ROUSH FENWAY.  “Yeah, all of our cars were really fast.  All of the Roush and Yates cars were both really fast all weekend.  Everybody had their own things to do during the race and we were all a little bit different, but they were all quick when we got here and the engine department did a great job.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 28 Yates Racing Ford Fusion (Finished 11th) – “I’m pretty happy with it.  We stayed on the lead lap all the way until that last run.  My car was just too loose.  We were tight all day, but I could really hustle it and move around on the race track and we just got too loose that last run.  I was committed to the bottom and it just made it hard for me to pass.  That’s how we got a lap down, but I’m just proud of my team.  Obviously we’ve got an unsponsored car here.  We were running up front all day and I’m just really proud to be driving this Ford.”  WERE ALL THOSE GREEN FLAG RUNS WHAT YOU NEEDED?  “I think it really helped.  I’d like to have had a caution right before we went a lap down, obviously, but our car was good enough to hang with the leaders for the most part and run in the top 10 for the most part and we just got behind a little bit right at the end there, but, all in all, not bad.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 15th) – “It’s not a bad day, but it’s not a good day.  We just seemed to change a lot on the car and at times it was good and at times we were really off.  We just have to keep working on our package to make our cars fast on the short runs and on the long runs.  But we didn’t give up.  Our AAA pit crew did a good job on pit road and we just kept fighting.  It was a decent day.  We can take a 15th, but we need to keep working and get those top 10s.”  DID THE GREEN FLAG RUNS HURT YOU?  “Oh yeah, definitely.  If we could have had some more cautions or had some opportunities to work on our car, we would have been a lot better off.  We just felt like the last 10 or 15 laps of a green flag run we really struggled and that’s where they beat us.  We made it better throughout the day, but in a 400-lap race it went by quick and just didn’t get an opportunity to get as good as we needed to.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) – PRESS CONFERENCE – “That darned 18 car got us again.  I felt like we were at least as strong as anyone and probably the best car for a lot of the race.  On that last run we got off pit road just a little bit slow and then the car was just not quite as fast for the first half of that last run as it needed to be.  So it’s very frustrating to finish second with that good of a race car, but we battled all day and that’s what we ended up with.”  CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING THE ONLY DRIVER TO MAKE A GREEN FLAG PASS FOR THE LEAD.  “I feel like I passed a lot of damn cars today – a lot.”  KYLE SAID HE HAD THE THIRD-BEST CAR TODAY.  HOW DOES THAT CAR WIN BY FIVE SECONDS?  “I think Kyle is being modest.  That last run I believe his car was the best car.  I think over the day, I believe our car was the best on average, but we just didn’t put it all together.  We weren’t fast enough at the end.  One of the way a fast car can get slowed down is pit stops and that happened to us today.  I’m behind my guys 100 percent.  They work hard, but we’ve just got to get better there.  That’s our weakest point right now with our team and that’s really what we struggled with most of the day, but I don’t know if that was the deciding factor in us not winning the race.”

GREG BIFFLE PRESS CONFERENCE – “It was a pretty good run for us.  Early in the race we had an alternator issue and the voltage dropped and the car was missing at the end of the straightaway.  Carl started catching us and catching us and catching us and I wasn’t sure what the problem was.  I was switching boxes and doing all kinds of things and I thought it might have been the engine and then it started missing real bad.  I moved up because I thought it was gonna break and I didn’t want to screw Carl up because I knew he had a fast car, so I moved up and let Carl go by and shortly after that I figured out what it was and got it switched back and started going again.  It’s just that the guy out front has such an advantage.  I couldn’t run him down.  I could run the same lap times as him, in fact I caught him a little bit, but our cars were so equal.  I think it was really whoever was in front  of who seemed to be the difference.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – DID YOU GET TIGHT OR LOOSE WHEN KYLE GOT THE LEAD?  “We had our car on one run we were a little loose and then we’d be a little tight.  We were around a perfect race car most of the day, so there wasn’t one thing.  We weren’t struggling with just one thing.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED – WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOUR TEAM.  THAT’S ANOTHER TOP FIVE.  “Our team has been building really, really fast race cars – really good cars.  We’ve been super-fast about everywhere.  You look at Darlington.  At Darlington we were on the pole and at Darlington we led a tremendous amount of the race.  We had a really, really fast car at Darlington and then we came to Charlotte and had two good cars and come here and sit on the pole and had a great car for the whole race.  I really feel like we’ve sort of turned the corner and are super-competitive.  Now we just have to get all of the gremlins out of it that keep us from finishing good every week.  We were fortunate enough that the alternator didn’t cause us to lose any spots today.  We didn’t have to change a battery or anything like that.  We were able to switch to the second battery and finish the race with no problems.  Other than we had to shut fans off and stuff – that can make you a little tighter, not having a bead blower and some other things, but, overall, we’re just happy to get the finishes.  We’ve been running good and had fast cars, we just haven’t had the finishes.”  HOW DID THE HEAT AFFECT YOU?  “It was pretty difficult on me.  Thank God it wasn’t hotter than it was today, but I’ve got an awful pain in my stomach just from not having any oxygen inside the car.  I opened my visor.  I thought it wasn’t gonna be a problem, but I opened my visor and there’s dirt and dust and rubber flying around – stuff going in my eyes, so I shut my visor back down.  If anybody has ever had a helmet on with the visor down, and we’ve got a chin flap that seals it off, there’s just no air in there to breathe, so I panted inside that thing for 300 laps and it just wore me out.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – HOW DID THE LAST RUN SHAKE OUT WITH KYLE GETTING SUCH A BIG LEAD AFTER GREEN FLAG PIT STOPS?  “There’s a lot to it, but the bottom line is he picked up about, I don’t know, a couple seconds on us – got out there – and then the other thing is we made an adjustment and, for some reason, I’m not sure, I think my car has a bump stop that failed or something like that, but my car felt pretty terrible there for the first 30-40 laps of that last run and he got to build that big lead.  I don’t think he was saving it.  Everytime I passed him he was working as hard as a guy could work in that car.  I could see it, so I think it all just worked out the best case for him and the worst case for us.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED – WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE MECHANICAL ISSUES AND HOW DO YOU SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS?  “Carl and I both kind of had the same issue.  We had some difficulty with lap traffic and I was frustrated.  The thing is it’s a delicate situation.  It’s a really delicate situation to talk about because you can’t say, ‘Just get out of my way. You can’t race.’  Although that’s what Tony Stewart a lot of times does.  He doesn’t put up with the guys not getting out of his way when he’s got a faster race car and he’ll let you know it.  This car is so difficult.  When you get 10-15 car lengths away from a guy it just stops and you can’t get any closer.  It’s not like you can get up and push air on his bumper and try to get him out of the way, so Carl and I both spent about 10 laps, eight laps behind one of our teammate cars and lost a tremendous amount of track position.  That’s where he lost all of his track position to the 18 car.  I saw it happen and then the same thing happened to me.  I was on Carl’s bumper.  When I got by him, Carl was almost a straightway ahead of me and there a second-place finish is out the window.  There was no way I was gonna catch Carl, but, at the same time, that guy is racing for his sponsor, his team, his guys, Ford, and deserves every right to be out on the race track and run as hard as he can as well as everybody else, but there are certain circumstances that we look at.  There are no cars around him.  He’s not racing side-by-side – like the 26 and 31 were racing for the lucky dog.  They were going at it balls out, racing each other hard.  I don’t expect them to move over, but when there’s a guy by himself running along and holds you up for 10 laps, that’s unacceptable.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED – SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH USING THE CHROME HORN?  “You can’t get there.  You can’t catch him.  You can’t get close enough to put the bumper on him because the car is so aero-tight, it’s so big, it punches such a big hole in the air that you just can’t get to the guys bumper or I’d have jacked his tires off the ground and sent him in the fence backwards.  I would have done it in a second, but I just couldn’t get there, and then when I did get there he just moved over.  But it’s tough.  I would have, there’s no doubt.  I would have used it – all of it – but that’s the frustrating thing.  These guys, they may not know it or they may know it, they’re catching other cars, but when you catch a car and he’s four car lengths ahead of you, you’re just parked.  Your car just stops like something is broken and you can’t get any closer.  You try the high line, the low line.  You try and diamond the corner and get a run at him.  You try anything you can do to get within a car length of him to say, ‘Hey, I’m here.  Give me a break,’ and then they normally will, but sometimes you get stalled out that four car lengths back.  I was behind the 21 car and there were cars in front of him.  I didn’t expect him to move out of the way, but I was behind him for 15-17 laps and couldn’t pass him.  I couldn’t pass him and the guys in front of him.  That’s how NASCAR – everybody wanted these cars to be really close together.  Everybody’s got the same car.  When everybody has the same car, you can’t pass.”  IS IT YOU CAN’T MAKE ANY HEADWAY OR DOES THE FRONT END GO AWAY OR A COMBINATION OF BOTH?  “Both.  The car just slides.  You do down in the corner and the front end just slides up the race track and won’t grab hold.  You go to the gas, it’ll either be like a little loose or start sliding the nose and you’ve got to come off the gas up off the corner because it’s gonna hit the fence and then they drive away from you.  And then you spend two more laps getting back as close as you can to him.  It’s just really tough.  That’s all it is.  Everybody’s got the same problems, there’s no doubt, but when they’re your teammates, we need to work closer together on issues like that.”  IS THIS WHY WE SEE RACES WHERE THE GUY WITH THE LEAD JUST DRIVES AWAY IN CLEAN AIR?  “Yes.  Clean air is king.  When I was in front of Carl, I saw Carl five lengths back and Kyle Busch – I’ll save that story for another day – but they can’t get any closer.  They’re three, four car lengths back and they cannot get any closer.  They can’t get any closer and I slowed down a little bit off of one of those starts to try and let Kyle Busch get a little closer to my car and he stayed three car lengths back.  He just couldn’t drive up on me.”  WHEN YOU SEE KYLE THAT FAR IN FRONT DO YOU KIND OF ADMIRE HIM?  “Yeah.  I mean, it’s probably the same thing he was thinking at the beginning of the race when he couldn’t see me anymore is the car’s right right now.  He kept adjusting on his car, adjusting on his car and at the end he got his car right and was able to drive off and manipulate traffic better than us.  That’s really the key.  Whoever could get through traffic could just murder you and at the beginning of the race I could just mow traffic down.  I could get through them – my car would cut to the bottom and I’d get through them really fast and I could tell other guys had problems with that.  Then from about two-thirds of the race on I had trouble with traffic and Carl could get by the guys and then I was stuck or Kyle or whatever.  I was kind of racing Carl first and then Kyle second.  But they were able to get by the traffic much faster than I was.  I was just too tight.  I was too loose on one run and I tightened it up and that just killed me for the end.  I should have known the track was tightening and putting more rubber down.  It was just a mistake on my part.”

·        The last time Roush Fenway had four drivers finish in the top 10 of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event was July 7, 2007 when Jamie McMurray won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.  Carl Edwards was 4th, Greg Biffle 6th and Matt Kenseth 8th.

·        The last time Roush Fenway had three drivers finish in the top five of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event was July 16, 2006 when Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin ran second, third and fourth, respectively, in the Lenox 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

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Ford Takes Three Top-Five Spots in NASCAR Sprint Cup Race At Dover
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