PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 Sylvania/Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 35th) WHAT HAPPENED? "I'm not real sure. I'll have to see a replay. I got loose in one and two, back on the gas, and I was on the outside. I was a little bit free on the restarts...
PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 Sylvania/Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 35th)
WHAT HAPPENED? "I'm not real sure. I'll have to see a replay. I got loose in one and two, back on the gas, and I was on the outside. I was a little bit free on the restarts anyway, and I got shuffled to the outside trying to dig up top and got real loose going into three, got loose again, and coming off four the 88 and I just kind of got together and the tire exploded. I think the tire was going down before that and when we got together it probably just hooked it with his rear exhaust and blew it out. The guys had awesome pit stops. I don't think we lost any spots. We gained multiple spots on pit road and the car was fast. Once the sun went down it really came to life."
IS THIS A NIGHT WHERE DESPITE THE RESULTS YOU CAN HOLD YOUR CHIN UP AND BUILD ON THIS? "Yeah, it was a good run, for sure. I'm just disappointed that when we have good runs, we always have something that happens. We just don't have any luck. I don't believe in luck, but if we have bad luck, I mean, we've got it. But we need to keep building race cars like this. Stevie was keeping me pumped up, my spotter, and Larry and Max and all the guys back at the shop build good race cars and we were showing that tonight."
THE RACE GOT STRUNG OUT TONIGHT. IS IT AN AERO ISSUE? "It's just long green-flag runs. You saw it in the Nationwide race last night. I think we had two cautions in 200 laps. Tonight, there's a lot of room to race at Chicagoland and you're not all stacked on top of each other. Once you get strung out, you just kind of pick your line and go with it, so it's just a product of the race track."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 14th)
"It was frustrating. We were real good. I got tangled up with the 24 car there and that kind of put us back a little bit, but at the end it was really my decision not to pit that hurt us. I think if we would have pitted with those guys, we were as good as a lot of them all night but we just couldn't make it back up there. It wasn't a disaster, though."
A LOT OF GREEN FLAG RUNS TONIGHT. "Yeah, but it was fun. I like those green flag runs. I thought it was pretty good. It was a fun race. Man, that was exciting at the end. Holy smokes. The fans got their money's worth on that second or third-to-last restart."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Finished 29th)
"Man, I tell you what, we had a great car, but you're gonna have nights like that. We just had a bunch of miscues and then I spun the tires on that last restart, but I couldn't run like those guys could for three or four laps. I could if I had a little bit of track position, but that last deal I just couldn't hold on. There's no doubt we're making progress. To run like we ran before the first caution, we're good. We're getting there."
BOBBY LABONTE -- No. 96 Ask.com Ford Fusion (Finished 21st)
"After the weekend we had to finish where we finished is pretty good because in practice we fought so bad. We got lucky there a couple of times. We started off really good and then the car just got out of the race track and we could never get the balance back after that. You can see other guys fighting the same thing in our group, at least that's what it looked like to me."
WAS IT ENCOURAGING TO SEE PAUL RUN SO WELL? "Oh yeah. I was so excited and I couldn't wait to go see him after the race and tell him 'congratulations,' which I still will, because I think he did a great job. I don't know what happened, but I know he blew out a tire. It's just unfortunate that we didn't have a car to compete like we wanted to."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 25th)
"I felt like, at times, we had a top-15 car. Our UPS Ford was just real touchy on adjustments. We made small adjustments and our car went drastic and then we made drastic adjustments and it didn't do a lot, so definitely a learning experience for us tonight. With not having a lot of cautions the first half of the race, we were hesitant to try and stay out and gamble and some of those other guys got lucky and gambled. That makes me a little frustrated because we were trying to do what was right and be conservative and they snookered us. But, we made progress. We were good at times, but all in all, if you have one or two bad runs, it's just tough to pick up. But hopefully we can learn something and apply it to the other mile-and-a-half tracks that we go to."
-credit: ford racing