GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “The same thing happened to us in the All-Star Race. It seemed like when the speeds picked up and it was cool out, our car just started sliding the tires a little bit. We were super-good early. I can’t believe how fast we were, but the guys did a great job. We gained a little in points, but we really wanted to win."
SO WHAT DO YOU WALK AWAY WITH FROM TONIGHT? “We have to go back to the drawing board a little bit. We need a little bit more grip, a little bit more turn when the sun goes down. That’s what we need."
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN? “The car was really, really good. I couldn’t do anything wrong, and I felt like we kept up with the track, but there at the end when the speeds picked up we would kind of slide across the track and couldn’t get a hold of it. I don’t know what we’ve got to do, but we’ve got to try and get better at night when the track is cooler."
WHAT DO YOU BRING BACK IN OCTOBER? “We just want to work on turning the front of the car a little bit. I’d go off in the corner and slide the nose and have to wait on it and that’s where the guys were beating me a little bit.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “That’s probably as hard as I’ve ever had to dig for a 10th-place finish. Our car was decent. I thought we could have ran in the top-five. I don’t think we could have won and probably had a third or fourth-place car, but we had a loose wheel and had to pit under green. And then we got all of those long green flag runs, so we stayed out that one time hoping for a yellow and lost some time, but then the next time we pitted early and made some time back up. But we could never get in the lucky dog spot until the last run and then we never got another caution.”
ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion – “I think this is still improvement. I was just talking to Mike and this is still my first year running full-time in the Cup Series. It’s my first-ever Coca-Cola 600. It’s hard to expect to come here and just whip up on Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne and those guys, so going into the race tonight I felt like we had a good car, I felt like we were capable of having a good night. We had two runs there where we got pretty loose and gave up a lot of time on the track, and with the way the race went with those long green flag runs, that was killer. But I think the guys on pit road did a great job. We’ll take it. It’s 16th. It’s not great, but it’s improvement and that’s the one thing we’ve been talking about and working on is we’ve normally been running 23rd, so now we’re running 16th, so that’s improvement. If we can just keep doing that all year and I think if we can start building a notebook, when we come back to this place, now I’ve got a whole race in a Cup car here under my belt. I’ve feel like I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it took to run good, so I can work better in practice on getting my car better. I practiced yesterday at 10 o’clock in the morning having no idea what to expect for the race tonight."
IS IT HARD TO REIGN IN EXPECTATIONS WHEN YOU START ON THE POLE FOR THIS RACE? “Yeah, it sure is. When you start on the front row or the pole you know you’ve got a fast car, so when you know you’ve got a fast car you expect to run really good. Like I said, this is tough. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it, but I can’t reiterate enough that we’re making improvement. We see light at the end of the tunnel and that’s what it’s all about. I’m proud of everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports. We had some strong runs tonight, qualified on the front row with Marcos, so we’re starting to see some positives. When you go through a year like we’re going through, when you start seeing positives week-in and week-out and start building on those and can build momentum, the guys’ spirits are up, that’s what it’s all about.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “We passed a lot of cars. I don’t know how many cars we passed, but we passed a bunch of them. I thought Greg was gonna get the win for Fastenal, that would have been really neat, but we struggled. We had that loose wheel. I think Matt had a loose well as well, so we’ll have to figure out what was going on there, and then at the end I got in a line of cars and everybody’s cars were pretty fast so it was hard to make up any ground. I thought we had a shot at winning early in the race because we were really fast. We had a lot of troops here and a lot of folks being honored and, hopefully, we put on a good show for them. Congrats to Kasey. I know he’s worked really hard this year and that whole team. They deserve that win because they’ve worked really hard for it."
WERE YOU PLEASE WITH HOW YOU RAN? “I was pleased with one or two runs in the middle of that race. I thought, ‘OK, this is it. We’re back to top form here,’ and then for some reason at the end the balance wasn’t as good, so I still think we have some things to work on. But our whole Roush Fenway team showed a lot of strength. I think the Fords taking the front row in qualifying was great. Greg led the most laps, it appeared to me. Every time I looked at the scoreboard I was jealous of him, but I hope we can go to Dover and get that win. There couldn’t be a better track coming up than Dover."
ALL OF THE RFR CARS FINISHED IN THE TOP 10. “We’re greedy right now. We want to win these races. We want to dominate. We know how fast these cars can be, especially on a night like tonight where Greg went up there with his Fastenal Fusion and showed us how fast we could be. That makes it hard to swallow a ninth-place finish when you see your teammate running that well. We’re grateful to have Greg and the way they’re running right now. We’ve just got to figure out how we can make that 99 car go that fast."
YOU MOVED THROUGH THE FIELD UNDER GREEN, SO THAT WAS GOOD. “Truly, I don’t think anyone passed more cars. We went from 28th to somewhere around 12th and then went all the way back to 32nd or 33rd, and then got all the way back up to ninth. People say we can’t pass, we can pass but we needed 700 miles or 800 miles.”
TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “We burned the left-front hub up. It’s a crazy thing. I guess a couple cars had issues burning hubs up, so we’ll just have to regroup. We had a fast car and I think we had a car capable of running in the top five pretty easy tonight, so we’ll just have to move on from here.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Al’s Liners/Scorpion Coatings Ford Fusion – “It’s an engine issue and don’t know exactly what it is, but they’ll diagnose it some more. We just lost a cylinder. If it was a short track, you could button it back up and go back out there on six or seven cylinders and try to make some progress, but on a mile-and-a-half like this you don’t stand a chance. It was a good effort. Our Scorpion Window Film Ford was pretty fast. I felt like we had a top-20 car. You never know what the last 100 miles would bring, and unfortunately we were the ones that the bad luck happened to, so we’ll have to pick it up and go get ‘em next week.”