Kenseth, Ford drivers on Talladega race

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Ford Racing

Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion WHAT HAPPENED? “It looked like guys were running out of fuel and going down in there in turn three the guys in front of me stopped and it was just over. We got wrecked. This is Talladega. You come here and you just hope you make it through all that stuff. We have done a really good job the last couple years. When people run out of fuel like that – I don’t know if they miscalculated their fuel mileage or if they were stretching it but that was really tough. I probably should have just pulled out of line and gotten back when I noted people were running out of fuel.”

PEOPLE ON THE RADIO WERE SAYING MAYBE THIS HAS TO DO WITH EFI. “Yeah, I mean the cars were running out of fuel and with the new fuel system I am sure everyone will look at it. I don’t think they expected to run out of fuel. It is just frustrating. Our Fastenal Fusion was good. The Fords were really good and I wish we had a chance to be out there racing for the win.”

HOW WERE YOUR TEMPS ALL DAY? “My temperatures were great all day. We didn’t have any trouble. That was a long wreck. It started, I hit the wall and thought we were done and then somebody hit me from the rear. People were definitely rushing to get to that wreck.”

IS THIS JUST ANOTHER DAY AT TALLADEGA CARL? “Yeah, we have had a lot better luck than this lately here. I was hoping it wouldn’t end up like this. It is too bad but we will just go race at Darlington.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 5rd) “It was tough. The car ran hot a lot of the day and we had to manage the water temperature and the fuel. It was close at the end but I just wish I could have stayed on Matt’s bumper. He pulled away from me a little bit. If we could have stayed locked together it would have come down to him and me at the end but we just couldn’t stay locked up with him there at the end.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 3th) “I just did a poor job of staying with Greg. We had a really fast car all day and nobody could really stay attached. That worked for us at Daytona and I think what happened here was a lot of the cars bailed out from behind Greg and he didn’t have anybody pushing him. We just didn’t have a strong enough row. I should have just drug the brake and kept him with me better than I did. By the time he was attached I had way too big a lead. I knew if I waited for him we weren’t going to win and I knew if I held it wide open we weren’t going to win so I just did the best I could.”

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion (Finished 8th) “We will take that especially after all that mayhem out there. We ran out of fuel once, spun out once after getting hit. I slowed way down and I don’t know what happened. It was a good caution for us because we needed fuel to make it to the end. I think that is a great finish for us. Two top-10’s on the year out of four starts is not terrible. We can keep working on it. They always give me good superspeedway cars and if I can make them last to the end I know we can get a top-10 out of it.”

WERE YOU HOLDING YOUR BREATH ON THE LAST RESTART? “Yeah, you know I figured the last one would be more calm than any of them because pretty much everybody was crashed out already. There were like 15 cars. I looked in my mirror and saw like five behind me and I was ninth or 10th. I was hoping we could push Junior up there because if we won, or he won because we pushed him it would be a good day for us. I think it was a good run for us and we ended up with a top-10 so that is good.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 VeriFone Sail Ford Fusion (Finished 12th) “I think our quarter panel hurt us a little bit. Our VeriFone Ford was fast all day. I put myself in different situations and tried to be really patient and I would stick it out on the bottom whether we went back to 17th or were up in the top-five I really stuck to my guns and wanted to stay on the bottom because I knew that would prevail. I thought we did a pretty good job being consistent right there. Our pit stops were really good today and all in all I thought it was a good day. I wish we wouldn’t have gotten that damage right there and we could have done something at the end. All in all it was a good day and we didn’t lose any points at Talladega which is important. It is easy to come here and finish 38th. To get out of there with a 12th place finish and go to Darlington – I will take that.”

HOW DID THE COMMUNICATION GO WITH MIKE FORD TODAY? “It was great. Mike is obviously a savvy veteran on the box and he runs the show and that is what I like. I like someone who runs the show and I just do what I am told.”

MIKE FORD, crew chief, No. 43 VeriFone Sail Ford Fusion WHAT IS IT LIKE SITTING UP THERE CALLING A RACE WHERE THERE IS SO MUCH MAYHEM? “You have a lot of unknowns coming in, down to the tools you are using to call the race. It was good though. I was impressed with the demeanor of the whole race team. We had good pit stops. It wasn’t a perfectly smooth day and we had to deal with damage but everyone did a really good job. I think we have a strong race team here. We will just bring it together and try to move this thing forward.”

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion (Finished 18th) “We kind of just tried to stay out of trouble all day and then after that last pit stop we were well inside the top-15 there so we decided to go ahead and see what we had. We were able to go to the front and lead some laps. I can’t remember what lap it was, it was probably with 15 or 18 to go and we were running in the middle. The 17 had a run but there wasn’t enough room and I got tagged in the left rear and eventually six or eight laps after that we got a left rear flat and spun out and got in the wall. That kind of ended our day. The guys did a really good job. Our plan was working. The only problem is there are a lot of other people out there with plans.”

MATT KENSETH POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

TAKE US THROUGH THE FINAL FEW LAPS. “I think we had the winning car we just didn’t have the winning driver. That last restart Greg and I got together like we did at Daytona and of all the cars I raced around all day Greg was really pushing me fast. We got in front of the 2 and Kyle and as soon as we became clear it wasn’t long after that that I looked back and we were separated and those guys were outside of him. With nobody behind him he lost his speed and with me not paying enough attention during that to keep us hooked up it cost us a shot at the win, it cost Greg a shot at the win. I didn’t do a good job of managing that they way he was.”

WHEN THE SUN CAME OUT IN THE AFTERNOON HOW DID THE TRACK CONDITIONS CHANGE? “It didn’t really change much for me. Maybe lost a little grip but I think that depended where you were. It didn’t change a lot for me.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ENGINES AND THAT? DO THEY NEED TO HELP YOU COOL THE ENGINES? “I will say that it is hard to lobby for something because they have all the information. NASCAR will sit down and they can look at every single cars water and oil temp and RPM’s and all that stuff. I think NASCAR probably has a better idea of how everybody ran. We know where our own car ran and those in our organization. It gets hot in the back when you start pushing. I was back there a couple times and it was hard to push. I think that is kind of what they were looking for. We could push a couple laps and that was about it.”

WERE YOU WORRIED ON THAT RESTART? WERE YOU WORRIED SOMETHING LIKE THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? “I am always worried on a restart. In a plate race you can only see a couple cars behind you. I don’t know about Kyle, his is better probably at doing that stuff than me but I worry about all kinds of stuff because I can only see the first couple cars behind me. If you get in front of a bad lane, even if you have one of the fastest cars like I feel we did, you can still get beat pretty easy. You can see at the end that with better management and keeping Greg locked to me that I don’t think those guys would have beat us. I think that if I could have stayed on his front bumper we would have been first and second. You are always worried at these places because you only have so much control.”

YOU SAID YOU NEEDED TO SLOW DOWN FOR A CHANCE AT THE WIN. WERE YOU TOO FAST? “I wasn’t too fast, I was just too stupid I guess at the end to keep him with me. I think there was a lot of stuff that happened there at Daytona in the 150’s and the 500 where I didn’t worry about if the guy behind me was detached because he had two or three guys behind him in his lane and we were still fast enough that he could push me out far enough where a tandem couldn’t beat us. I had that same strategy today. I thought we would be okay and I think that if they would have stayed behind him until we got to turn three we still would have been okay. When they bailed out it made Greg’s car go slower and he lost his momentum and couldn’t stay sealed up to me. I should have watched him and drug the break a little better. Earlier in the race when Greg was behind me he could push me so hard that he almost spun me out. I didn’t think we would lose our seal until we got to turn four. Typically in the restart everybody pushes each other and stays in line for awhile. I was hoping all four of us would be locked together until we got to max speed but that just didn’t happen.”

WHEN YOU BECAME DETACHED, IT WAS JUST A SECOND OR TWO, IT HAPPENED THAT QUICK? “Yeah, it is harder on the restart at least for me because people are pushing and you switch gears and you can feel it get light. A lot of times when it gets light you are still attached. As soon as I realized I was detached we already had two or three car lengths of separation.”

DO YOU THINK YOU WERE A VICTIM OF YOUR OWN CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PLATE RACING GOING BACK TO DAYTONA? “Not confidence, no not that. What happened in Daytona and what happened here today, I never drug the brake and he could shove me so hard. Once we were attached I made sure we were attached I made sure we were attached getting into one and we pulled out of the bottom lane in front of those guys and I didn’t think there was a chance I drove off. We were going and he was pushing so hard that I didn’t think we could become separated.”

YOUR CAR HAD SOME DAMAGE, ALMOST LIKE A HOLE, WHERE DID THAT DAMAGE OCCUR AND HOW DID IT AFFECT THE CAR? “Any damage doesn’t help when you are the lead car and the first car to see the air. I had a big run on the 13 and they were in the middle groove and I had room to get going and made the move and I think he went to block as soon as he saw that I had such a big run he kind of got me in the right front. That is what happened to the fender there. The B post fell off, I don’t know why. It pretty much fell off.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags almirola, bayne, biffle, edwards, ford, kenseth, mears