MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (finished 39th) "I think it's not all the way blown up yet, but it's getting set to, so we just quit before we killed the whole thing. Yeah, it's disappointing. We had a really good run going and did the...
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (finished 39th)
"I think it's not all the way blown up yet, but it's getting set to, so we just quit before we killed the whole thing. Yeah, it's disappointing. We had a really good run going and did the right there and got caught by the yellow flag and lost all of our track position. I thought we had a really good competitive car today."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (finished 10th)
WAS THERE A TIME WHEN IT SEEMED THAT A TOP-10 WAS NOT AT ALL POSSIBLE? "No, it didn't seem like it was going to happen at all. It's good that we made it back up, but it's still a frustrating day. I thought Greg was going to win it; it's too bad that he didn't, but we did run better and that was good. That was good."
DID YOU KNOW YOUR TEAMMATE, MATT KENSETH HAD ENGINE PROBLEMS, AND WAS THAT A CONCERN FOR YOU? "No, I didn't know that. It's probably better that I didn't know."
AS THE CHASE WINDS DOWN, YOU HAD TROUBLES, BUT, IT WASN'T A DISASTER, EITHER. "Right. We're being real solid here, we have just got to be a little faster, a little better. With Greg running as good as he did, our car being as fast as it was, there's a lot to look forward to. We can go to California and build on that, for sure."
ERIK DARNELL - No. 96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford Fusion (finished 29th)
THIS WAS YOUR THIRD CAREER CUP START. HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO BE RUNNING AT THE END, AND GETTING IN ALL OF THOSE LAPS? ARE THOSE THE GOOD THINGS THAT YOU TAKE OUT OF A DAY LIKE TODAY? "Yeah, experience and getting laps under my belt in one of these cars. They're a lot different than the Nationwide Series cars and the Trucks that I'm used to driving, and the big thing for me is getting laps and getting used to how these things drive. I really feel like our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford was a lot better than where we finished today. Ben [Leslie, crew chief] and everybody on the team did a good job of making adjustments from practice yesterday to the race today. Track position was important, and we started in the back and then lost a lap early and then fought it from there. We ran around a bunch of guys that finished 15th through 20th, which would've been better than where we were at - it's not great, but it would've been a better result than where we finished."
WHAT ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE RACES IN THIS SERIES? WAS THAT A FACTOR FOR YOU? DID 400 MILES MAKE FOR A LONG DAY? "Today's race was only 67 laps longer than the Nationwide race yesterday. So, depending on where we are at, they really haven't been that bad, yet. The only one that I thought was long Atlanta, where I ran earlier. But, it's just a couple of more laps. It's not really that big of a deal, to be honest with you."
BEN LESLIE - crew chief, No. 96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford Fusion
HOW DID ERIK DARNELL DO IN HIS THIRD CUP RACE? "He did great. Erik continues to impress me with his motivation and drive, and just never giving up working on the car. No matter how bad it seems or how big of a hill there is in front of us, it seems - at one point we had a pretty big task in front of us. We had some splitter damage that we had to repair, and we took a long time on pit road, and just continues to dig in with the guys and just keep moving forward. That is one of his biggest assets - he doesn't give up and he keeps pulling in the same direction as the team. And, he really, really tries and gives you everything that's he's got every lap."
DAVID RAGAN - No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (finished 35th)
IT SEEMED THE DAY ENDED BEFORE IT EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO BEGIN. "We about got caught up when the 20 spun out right away, but we were lucky that we were enough distance behind them to slow down in time. When the 98 spun out, I just couldn't get stopped. We didn't have much damage when we hit him, but when everybody else came around and ran into me, that was it. For being that many laps down, knocking the fenders off and trying to get it straightened back up, the car didn't run that bad being how tore up it was. Once you get that many laps down in a 400-mile race, you just can't do anything. Our UPS Freight team was quick on pit road today, which was good so that we went down the least amount of laps as possible with the damage. It was a good effort to finish, but we were in a hole before the real race even started."
-credit: ford racing