Homestead: Ford teams race notes and quotes

BIFFLE WINS FORD 400 FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR * Greg Biffle won for the sixth time this season and for the second straight year at Homestead-Miami. * Biffle now owns nine NNC wins (Daytona, Michigan twice, Homestead-Miami twice,...

BIFFLE WINS FORD 400 FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR

* Greg Biffle won for the sixth time this season and for the second straight year at Homestead-Miami.

* Biffle now owns nine NNC wins (Daytona, Michigan twice, Homestead-Miami twice, California, Texas, Darlington, and Dover).

* Roush Racing has had four drivers finish in the top 10 in five of the last seven Cup events.

* This marks the first Roush Racing has finished 1-2-3-4.

* The last time Ford swept the top four spots in a Nextel Cup race was May 26, 2002 when Mark Martin won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Matt Kenseth was second with Ricky Craven third and Ricky Rudd fourth.

* In its eight-year history racing in NASCAR's top division, Taurus ended up winning 100 points races and 108 overall when the Budweiser Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge are included. In addition, Taurus produced three driver's championships (1999, 2003, and 2004) and three manufacturer's championships (1999, 2000 and 2002).

* Dale Jarrett won the most races in a Taurus with 19 while Mark Martin was second with 16.

* Ford will be racing the all-new Fusion in 2006.

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Finished 4th)

"That's a pretty cool finish with Mark and Greg. We did almost everything. We elected for four tires on that last pit stop. The Office Depot Ford was awesome. I've got to say congratulations to Greg and Mark, and especially Tony Stewart. He's a true champion. I'll be really proud to go up there on stage in New York and get to congratulate him. This was a fun season."

TIED FOR 2ND WITH BIFFLE. WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHASE. "We just have an unbelievable team. We've been working really hard and Office Depot has put a lot of confidence in the team. My guys are unbelievable. Points or no points, whatever, those last 11 laps are what it's all about. I haven't driven like that very many times in my life. My mouth was dry and I was shaking and I was just driving as hard as I could. I'm having a good time and that's what it's all about and we'll be back next year."

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOU CAN CONTEND NEXT YEAR? "If we can maintain the same amount of luck, we'll be alright. We're gonna have a good time next year. I can't wait."

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Taurus (Finished 3rd)

KIND OF APPROPRIATE WITH ROUSH GOING 1-2-3-4. "Yeah, that's pretty cool for Jack. I was thinking about that and that's pretty cool. It was a great race today. We kind of stole a third-place run there. We didn't run very good all day. Robbie made a great call putting two tires on it and it worked out good."

EMOTIONAL DAY FOR THIS TEAM. "Yeah, it's a hard day. Without Johnny R. and Robbie I wouldn't even be here. They're the ones that gave me a chance to get in the Busch Series and he's a special, special man and he's gonna be missed a lot for sure."

WHAT ABOUT YOUR SEASON? "I feel pretty good about it. It's been an interesting year. We've had some turnover. We started the year 43rd in points and worked our way back up to make the chase. I'm real proud of the guys for that. We've got a really good group here. I just have a feeling for some reason that next year we're gonna have an even better group. We've had some turnover and sometimes that's healthy. I think we're gonna have some young guys in the there that want to do it worse than ever. We've got some hungry guys and I think they're gonna be ready for it next year."

MARK MARTIN -- No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd)

"That was a great race. The race track was just in perfect condition. I wanted to get a win for Viagra in their last race. I was so close. Congratulations to Greg Biffle. Congratulations to Tony Stewart. We had a great night. Man, it was close. I thought we were gonna be able to pull it off but we were just inches short. I guess maybe we needed another lap, or maybe I would have crashed trying. I raced Greg hard and I raced him clean and vice versa and he was in front when it was over."

YOU HAVE NEXT YEAR NOW. "I hope these guys stay with me. I hope we don't lose any of these guys. They're killer. I've had the time of my life in 2005. I want to thank the fans. I want to thank Ford, Pennzoil, Gatorade, Goodyear, Maxwell House and all the people that support us. Like I say, I hope we can keep these guys together for another year."

DID THE 01 HOLD YOU UP ON THE RESTART? "We just did the best we could there. Greg got to the front first. That's just how it works out. It's just how it fell. That's racin'."

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU TRIED TO MOVE HIM UP TO GET A HIGHER LINE ON THE LAST CORNER. "I did everything I could, man. I got beat. It was a great race. I'd love to win, but I reckon me and my teammate wouldn't have been any good. We also moved up to fourth in the points. If I would have wiped out in the last turn, we wouldn't have done that either. I tried to win. I thought we might. We had a great race. We came up short. That's racin'. Only one guy gets to win."

GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW

"I tell you what, racing Mark Martin like that -- a veteran guy. We're gonna miss Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd in this series. I tell you what, they're two icons -- and John Reiser. Robbie lost John this week, but I'm so excited to have National Guard, Post-It, 3M -- everybody on board all year. These guys did just a great job. This car just wasn't what it needed to be all night. I really want to congratulate the 20 team. They were troopers all year. I don't know if it would have come down to that loose wheel at Texas or not, but it was gonna be awful close."

YOU KNEW YOU HAD TO WIN AND LEAD LAPS TO HAVE A CHANCE. "It was unbelievable. I'm just so proud of the whole organization. These motors that Yates-Roush build, the engine department is unbelievable. It's just fantastic."

YOU FINISHED SECOND IN POINTS. "That's pretty neat. Thirty-five back, you have to say that if we would have got a top-five at Texas that would have clinched it for us, but we're excited to be here. We're thankful for every opportunity we've gotten so far and we're gonna make the best of next year as well."

LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR? "I can't wait for the chase next year. I don't want to race for 26 races, I want to race the chase again because it's so much fun. NASCAR has done a great job with the chase. I thought Carl was looking strong there for a long time. I kept asking where the 20 was and where Carl was, and then they took four on that stop. I'm just excited to get this National Guard car in Victory Lane again. Everybody is here, so it's pretty exciting to win this for them."

DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 17th)

"I thought we were going to be a lot better than that. Never could get the car turning in the middle of the corner, and that hurt us. We fought all day and got as much as we could."

ARE YOU PLEASED WITH THE WAY THE SEASON WENT? "Can't be pleased. We won a race, that was good, but we got to get this part of our program a little bit better."

ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 23rd)

"Tough season. I'm proud of the way my guys fight every race, they never give up. We struggled a lot there at the end. But, my guys stuck together, we had awesome pit stops during the race, they never hung their heads. We've got a championship-caliber team, we'll just come back next year and prove that to everybody, so we'll be okay."

KENNY WALLACE -- No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Taurus (Finished 21st)

"All in all, for what I got thrown into last week, you know, I'm holding my head high. I got these guys a 16th and a 21st. And I never said I was the greatest driver but I'd like to think I did these guys a good job for my circumstances. I kept the car ahead of my brother Rusty in car-owner points, and that was important for me to have these guys to keep that pride to go to Daytona. If I would've gotten this 97 and I'd a lost the car-owner points and the 2 car would've shown up in Daytona ahead of these guys, I'd have felt bad about my self. But, hey, a 16th and a 21st, for the champion car I wanted better but the guys are proud of me. Part of me is a little upset, but part of me, Jimmy Fennig, my crew chief, said the reason they hired me was all them drivers have respect for me. So, I've got to look at that on an even base."

FINISHES ASIDE, WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LAST WEEK BEEN LIKE? "Nerve-wracking, just knowing everybody's looking at me -- you know, how much talent do I have? Can I do it? I'll tell you what: This is just an incredible race team. I was racing some of the best in the business there the last two weeks, and it gave me a lot of confidence. The experience was just incredible, something I'll always remember the rest of my life. Now when I talk to this bunch, I can talk to them about chassis and not have them look down upon me, you know, because I raced hard."

WHAT DO THE LAST TWO WEEKS DO FOR YOU PERSONALLY FOR 2006? "Well, I ran so bad in my Busch Series car, it killed my confidence. Now, I'll go in to the winter with my head high and feel real good about myself. Don't let nobody kid you, the best in the business -- when Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte -- when they went in their streaks, there's nothing like a little picker-upper, and this just really saved my confidence. It's a wonderful experience. Wonderful."

RICKY RUDD -- No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Finished 37th)

"Just disappointed to end up this way. We had a really good car. We had come from 25th to 18th and we were going forward and got wrecked on pit road. It's a darn shame, things like that."

HOW BAD WAS THE CAR, AND WHAT WAS THE WORST ASPECT AFTER THAT? "It knocked the front end out of whack, and messed up the aerodynamics and this is a real aero track. If it wouldn't have been a points deal, we'd have probably just parked it, but we needed to go out there and run as fast for the fans."

A FEW YEARS AGO, WHEN YOU WERE IN THE 28, THERE WAS A SIMILAR SITUATION. DID THAT CROSS YOUR MIND AT ALL? "No, not really. I did what I was supposed to do, and a guy turned in a pit stall and knocked me into somebody. We were barely moving, we hadn't gotten going yet."

WHEN IS STEPPING AWAY GOING TO SET IN? "Probably about February, Daytona time."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Ricky Craven , Mark Martin , Johnny R