Edwards top Ford finisher in Dover 400

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CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “It was a decent finish. We didn’t deserve to finish that far forward, but we had some lucky breaks and my guys did a good job on pit road. Chad did a really good job with pit stall selection and that really helped us. We’ll go back and work on it and figure out what we were missing there because it seemed like all of us struggled a little bit.”

Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

SOME EARLY PIT STRATEGY CHANGED THE WHOLE RACE FOR YOU. “Yeah, Chad did a great job with pit stall selection and my pit crew did a great job. We wanted to get this Fastenal Ford Fusion to Victory Lane here. We’ve run so well at Dover on these concrete tracks in the past, but I’d say today we should be very happy with a fifth-place finish. It seemed like a lot of us from Roush Fenway struggled and we’ve got to go back and understand exactly what we’re missing, but this track is as good as it gets for us. I feel bad for Matt and Greg, 3M and all the guys at Ford, for them not having a good run, but it was a good day for us and, hopefully, we can build on this for next spring to come to Dover and win.”

WERE YOU ABLE TO TAKE MORE CHANCES WITH FUEL MILEAGE? “Yeah, I was not going to come and pit. We can take all the chances we want. We’ve got nothing to lose and it’s kind of fun to race like that. I’m curious to know how much fuel is in the tank because I think I could have run up there and raced with those guys, but we didn’t want to run out. I think we would have been greedy if we would have tried for more, so it was a good, solid day. I just can’t wait to get to Victory Lane for Fastenal.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Scotch-Brite Ford Fusion –

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE LOOSE TIRE? “It’s tough. It happened to us in 2005 right toward the end of the Chase though and it cost us the title, but I don’t think that loose wheel today is gonna cost us the championship. We were off a little bit, but we were definitely a top-10 car, probably top-eight, especially with the way it ended up. We were in great position, so to finish where we did and have that happen is pretty remarkable, but that really kind of takes us out of the title hunt. We really needed to finish in the top three here to really be a factor, but now we’ll just work on being in the top 10.”

SO YOU THINK IT’S OVER? “Well, it’s pretty much a stretch for us right now. We would have to have a lot of help at Talladega and a few other race tracks to try and leapfrog back in. The thing is there are so many guys ahead of us, it’s not like there are two or three that we need to catch up to, it’s a whole mess of them so it’s a pretty tall order to beat all of those guys by six positions seven races in a row. That’s gonna be hard.”

WHEN YOU GET THAT FRUSTRATED LIKE THAT ON THE RADIO HOW HARD IS IT TO REEL YOURSELF BACK IN? “All I can do is drive the car. The tire changer knew automatically. I saw him know the right-front was loose and that would have got us one lap back, which would have got us about, probably, standing here right now, 10 points or so. So we gave up an extra six, eight or 10 points maybe on losing one more lap to come around and change the lefts with nothing wrong with them. That’s frustrating inside the car when you know that happened. Everybody is trying hard. The wheel wouldn’t be loose if the guy wasn’t trying as hard as he could.”

IS IT FRUSTRATING TO TRY AND PLAY CATCH-UP ALL DAY? “There’s no catch-up in this game anymore. When you’re three laps down, there’s nothing we can do. We can’t take the wave-around because every time we looked at it we only had 15 laps of gas left, and there weren’t a lot of cautions, so our hands were tied. Once we got three down, there wasn’t a lot we could do. We tried everything we could. We weren’t faster than the leaders. We needed to pass the leaders to get those laps back, so we just tried as hard as we could the rest of the race.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 EcoBoost Ford Fusion – “In two out of three Chase races something either fell off or broke, so obviously that’s not good. Our performance hasn’t been very good either, so I don’t know. Today was a struggle. This is probably the worst we’ve run here for as long as I can remember. We just really missed it. From the first lap on the track to the last lap on the track we were pretty much junk. Everybody is trying hard, but we just missed it.”

THE CAUTION EARLY PUT YOU AND A LOT OF THE OTHERS BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL EARLY, SO THAT DIDN’T HELP. “You can look at it however you want, but the caution didn’t fall right for everybody except for about 10 cars. There were six on the lead lap and probably four or five more that got lapped under green and didn’t pit yet, so it fell wrong for everybody.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 6 Rancher’s Reserve/Safeway Ford Fusion – “We made almost all the laps, I guess. We stayed out there running and learned a lot. We didn’t really ever get the car exactly where we wanted, but we were able to just log laps and keep trying things. I got more used to this car. I think if I came back to practice here I think I would practice a little different than what we did, but, all in all, we finished 12th and that’s not terrible.”

DID YOU LEARN FROM ANYONE IN PARTICULAR? “No, not really. I was just running around trying to figure it out on my own. When you follow somebody you don’t know what they’re doing with their feet or with the throttle and brake, but we learned a lot. A top-15 is what I was kind of shooting for. I wanted it on the lead lap, but we’ll take it either way.”

WAS IT A BENEFIT FOR YOU TO RUN BOTH RACES THIS WEEKEND? “I think I learned quite a bit from yesterday’s race that we were able to use for today with different lines to run when the car is doing different things, so I definitely think it was a plus.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Super 8 Ford Fusion – “That caution really killed us and then we tried to use some strategy to get back on being one lap down to where we could race for the lucky dog, but when we hit pit road again the caution came out for debris. Luck was just not on our side today. We kept having to come back from crazy things like that, so that was disappointing. We had a really good car. I passed a lot of cars today, so Todd Parrott and all the guys on that Super 8 Ford Fusion brought me a really good car. I know it’s not gonna show up in the paper on Monday, but I was happy with my car. We needed to be a little bit better, but we weren’t a 19th-place car. We were probably closer to a top-10 car.”

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FACE SO MUCH ADVERSITY IN A RACE LIKE THIS? “We just keep fighting and trying to see if something happens to where we can use something to our advantage, but it didn’t work out that way.”

Source: Ford Racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race reports
Tags almirola, biffle, edwards, ford, kenseth, stenhouse