Kenseth maintains points lead with 3rd place finish at Michigan

Ford Racing

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd) “It was kind of a long day. We were pretty good in the beginning of the race and got shuffled back and it was tough to work traffic today. They got the setup good on the last two runs and had good pit stops and we were able to stand on the gas and work our way up there to third.”

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

YOU CAME AWAY WITH A REALLY GOOD FINISH AND YOU STILL HAVE THE POINTS LEAD. TALK ABOUT THAT. “Yeah, it was an up and down day for us. We were fortunate to qualify good and our first couple restarts weren’t great but we finally got our way to the front there and had a good fuel only stop there and led a few laps. We got behind in the pits for a little while, that one time taking more fuel and restarted seventh. It was hard for me to get going on the bottom. The next stop we caught a yellow and got a lap down. From there it was a battle but we got the car good at the end and we were able to make a pretty good charge so it was a pretty good day.”

CAN YOU SUM UP THE WEEKEND WITH THE TIRE AND RACING ON THE NEW REPAVED TRACK? “I did enjoy it. I was very difficult at times, especially when you had four new tires on and they were so hard and you had people to the outside and the groove was narrow and you didn’t have a lot of air. It was definitely a challenge, especially on short runs and restarts with cold tires. Overall they did a nice job with the track. I don’t know what they will do for next time with the tires. It would be nice to have a little more grip when it is cold but yet they did a great job to bring something in here that wouldn’t fall apart and that we could race on. Overall I really liked the track. Your hope is that it gets wider. Before we could run anywhere on the race track and I hope it gets back to that but overall I thought it was competitive racing and lots of action out there.”

YOU KNOW DALE JUNIOR REALLY WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS WIN MEANS TO HIM AND IS HE EMERGING AS A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER? “I don’t know what it means for him personally on it to get that win but I know that even if he acts like it isn’t it was probably a burden having all your fans talking about you and writing stuff about you not winning. This year you could see it was only a matter of time. That 88 has had a ton of speed and haven’t always got the finishes but they have been battling in the top five each week and you could just see they kept knocking on the door and today they were able to kick it down and dominated the race pretty good. They were really fast all weekend and I am happy for him to get that win. The championship part, I think they are definitely a contender. They have been in the mix each race no matter what size or shape of race track and I think they are, at this point in the season, one of the favorites.”

WAS THIS RACE AS HARD AS YOU ANTICIPATED IT WOULD BE? “Yeah, there were times it was harder than I thought and less times where it was a little better or easier. It was extremely difficult, especially for me on four new tires when they were cold and in traffic on the bottom and there was one lane you wanted to be in, especially the way my car drove. It was pretty difficult. As soon as they changed the tire I knew it was going to be a challenge. I think on the other tire it would have been easier to maneuver around the race track but that tire wasn’t going to hold up. I think everyone did really good to fix that situation, give us a little practice and go out there and put on a race.”

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion TOUGH DAY FOR YOU, WHAT HAPPENED? “I didn’t even get to break a sweat. It seems like nothing like this happens on a day you are running bad. As soon as you have a fast race car and feel like you are in the hunt, something comes up. I feel like we were okay and hanging in there and running top-10 so it is pretty disheartening. It is tough when you have a day like t his. I know these guys work so hard on the engine program at Ford and I don’t know what happened here. I know we put some extra miles and extra heat cycles on it yesterday. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. Maybe we would have just expired later in the race. It is tough. I hate it for my guys because it isn’t like we are here every weekend and we want to make the best of every weekend that we can. At least we were running top-10 when it happened. It is a tough day for us. I wish we were out there making laps and getting better and getting experience and running up front.”

JOSH WISE, No. 26 MDS Transport Ford Fusion WHAT HAPPENED “I have no idea what it was yet. Something went through the pan and that is all we know right now. It was a pretty big boom. It is a bummer. This motor we have run it quite a bit so it is not like it is a new motor that is blowing up or anything.”

DID THE EXTRA PRACTICE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT? “No, I don’t think so. Obviously we would have run a few more laps today if we hadn’t practiced yesterday but I don’t think that had much to do with it. I am sure they will get it apart and see what caused it.”

IS IT AS CRAZY OUT THERE AS GUYS THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE? “Yeah, there are just a lot of unknowns. A lot of the cars aren’t really balanced for this tire. We only got a pretty small amount of time yesterday to adjust our cars and then with the rain all morning there is no rubber on the track and it is really slick out there.”

MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion (Finished 9th) “We will take the top-10 but we had a great car today and we lost a little bit of track position and it hurt us there. I am proud of my Stanley team. We led some laps and looked good up there. It was a strong day for us, not quite what we wanted, but we will take it and move along to Sonoma.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Fastenal Ford (Finished 11th) “I am not very happy with the end result. I thought our Fastenal Fusion was one of the fastest cars here. We were just too loose all day. I am talking loose. That is as hard as I can drive and Bob and I just didn’t pick the right set up for the race. We didn’t expect it to be that loose. It wasn’t a terrible day for some of the fighting and wiggling we were doing out there. It was crazy and I am glad we finished in one piece and got a decent day.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M/Salute Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) “I am a little disappointed because we couldn’t run the car as hard as we needed to. The right rear kept coming apart on us. I could only run it as hard as I could. I am really excited for Junior. What a great day for him to win on. There has been a lot of pressure on him and I am glad he won.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags ambrose, bayne, biffle, ford, kenseth, roush, wise