Edward, Kenseth, Biffle - Ford interview 2009-08-18

This week in Ford Racing August 18, 2009 Ford carries quite a winning streak into Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway: Ford has reached Victory Lane at Bristol at least once each year between 1996-2008. Carl Edwards, who finished ...

This week in Ford Racing
August 18, 2009

Ford carries quite a winning streak into Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway: Ford has reached Victory Lane at Bristol at least once each year between 1996-2008. Carl Edwards, who finished fourth last week at Michigan to improve to fourth place in the standings, won at Bristol in 2008 and '07, and one of his teammates, Matt Kenseth, won there in '06 and '05. Edwards and Kenseth, along with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle, talk about racing at the high-banked short track in northeastern Tennessee with just three races remaining before the Chase.

CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion

CAN YOU PUT INTO WORDS THE ELECTRICITY OF BRISTOL? AND, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THE NEW DOUBLE-FILE RE- START RULE THERE? "I have no clue what's going to happen with the double- file re-starts at Bristol. That's crazy. The new Bristol, that surface, I think, that's going to be one of the most exciting places to see the re- starts. I think for the fans, they're going to get their money's worth, because the outside line can go the same speed as the inside line, and you're essentially going to have parade laps after every re-start at race speed. It's going to be pretty interesting. Bristol the night race there is wild. They always equate it to the Coliseum in Rome. You ride around there in the truck before the race and you're right there and the fans are all on the fence and the bleachers look like they go a couple of hundred feet in the air and they're full of people - that's a cool feeling. And to win there, to win that race is exciting. I've been very fortunate, we've got a great record going there right now. So, I'm excited about that one. That's a fun race."

BRISTOL IS NOW A SELLOUT, BUT WAS ADVERTISING EARLIER IN THE YEAR. WAS THAT A RED-FLAG FOR YOU THAT IT WOULD BE A TOUGH YEAR IN TERMS OF ATTENDANCE, AND DOES IT REALLY MATTER TO YOU WHETHER FANS ARE IN THE SEATS? "Yeah, it matters if there are fans in the seats. The fans are what makes this sport work. That's the bottom line; we're all sitting here because the fans really enjoy it. I got a text message earlier in the week, I guess it's the 55th consecutive sellout. That was good. That's good news. And that spread pretty fast through the garage, I'm sure. We all are aware of the economy. I talked to Jim Rome about it the other day, on his show, and the thing that I always try to remember or try to relate to people when they ask me about the economy is that advertisers and companies have to decide at these times at how to get the most efficient use of their dollar. And I think the reason we are doing well, still, relative to a lot of advertising venues is that we deliver so much in terms of exposure per dollar. So, I feel very confident about it, and I hope the fans, if they can't come to two or three races, I hope they come to one, and I hope they enjoy it. That's all we can do is do our best."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RACING AT BRISTOL? THE RACING APPEARS TO BE BETTER, BUT THAT FANS COMPLAIN THAT THERE AREN'T ENOUGH WRECKS. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? "In general, these cars wreck less, and when they do wreck they don't get wrecked as bad and they continue and almost run the same speed, so I think it has a lot more to do with the cars, necessarily, than the race track. The old cars were real, real edgy, and if someone barely bumped into you they'd spin out, and on the old track it was harder to pass, and that kind of created people pushing each other out of the way and that type of thing, where this track is a lot more friendly to the race cars. I think we've seen some great races there, but, in general, this car just doesn't wreck as often as the other car."

IS IT DIFFERENT FOR THE NATIONWIDE SERIES? "You know, the first couple of races, I can't remember every race, but I do remember right after they re- configured the track, and they were three-wide going for the lead in the Nationwide race, it was so exciting, and the Truck race was the same way. So, I think the track, they've improved it, as far as side-by-side and being able to pass and to pick another grove, for sure."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 3M Ford Fusion

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT BRISTOL, AND HAS THAT CHANGED SINCE THEY'VE RE-DONE THE TRACK? "It's certainly changed, Bristol has, a lot. I am going to say that Bristol is not easy, for sure. It never has been. But, Bristol seems to be, like, easier now that it was before. You know, you'd drop down in that corner and jump back up on the straightaway, and now the corner is a little smoother and a little more laid out. Cars can run side-by-side a little bit better. But, it's still a challenging place. It's still really tough. I love Bristol, it's one of my favorite places. It's the same old thing: avoid the accidents, keep your car in control, watch behind you and hope not to get involved in anything. And if you can do that, we'd run in the top-10 there most all of the time. There, again, that was a frustrating race. We ran, I think, 10th there in the spring, or close to it, and then we were just never better than that. Normally, we can get up there in that top five, but we just certainly couldn't at all. We're hoping that when we go back, we've learned a little bit since then and we can be a little bit better. But, I'm looking forward to Bristol."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Carl Edwards
Teams Roush Fenway Racing