There are four Ford drivers competing for spots in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Carl Edwards (2nd) has already clinched while Greg Biffle (6th) just has to start in order...
There are four Ford drivers competing for spots in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Carl Edwards (2nd) has already clinched while Greg Biffle (6th) just has to start in order to lock up his position. Matt Kenseth (9th) and David Ragan (13th) are also trying to secure a spot. All four drivers held Q&A sessions Friday at the speedway.
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO TOMORROW. "I'm pretty excited about it. It looks like all we have to do is take the green flag and we're locked into our second chase, so everybody on the 16 team was pretty pumped up this week after our run at California. Certainly we didn't end up off the truck here like we wanted to be. We were the slowest car for quite some time until we got into qualifying trim. We picked it up in race trim and got it in qualifying trim and got it going a lot better today, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow night. Certainly this race track isn't similar to Loudon, but hopefully we learned a little bit here that we can carry to Loudon and in the first chase race run decent because, of course, all of the points are gonna be re-set, so that's our opportunity to start gaining on those guys."
IS THERE ANYWAY A TEAM CAN LOOK PAST THIS RACE OR IS IT A TRAP YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO FALL INTO BECAUSE IT WILL BREAK YOUR MOMENTUM? "A little bit of both. I realized after the race in California, actually this week when I was thinking about coming here, that it truly doesn't matter where I finish tomorrow night. That's kind of an unusual situation. I think it's the first time ever in a points event for a NASCAR race that it doesn't matter where I finish tomorrow night, unless I win. That's the obvious thing, but unless I win tomorrow night, that's not really gonna change my outcome. One is, we can try some things to the car -- maybe on pit stops and stuff like that to try and gain track position -- do what we can do to try and win. We're gonna do that. We do that every week, so we're not gonna do anything different there, but we can take a little bit of a gamble. The other thing is with the limited amount of practice, we're already set to go for tomorrow night, so the car is already done and is set up and is about like we ran it in the spring, just a little bit different as far as bar and shock package. So there's nothing real off the wall we're gonna try as far as learning something, so we're just gonna go for it tomorrow night."
WHY HAS CARL WON SO MUCH AND THE OTHER ROUSH FENWAY DRIVERS HAVEN'T? "We often wonder about that. We attribute a lot of that to different crew chiefs approach things differently a little bit. The team assembles the car maybe a little bit differently. He finds something he likes a little bit better. The cars are never identical, it seems like and it seems like each car has its own personality. So even though our two cars have identical stuff in them, they still act a little bit different, there's still a little adjustment here and there, a little less wedge, a little more wedge. For the most part, he's been better than us this year, but, obviously, last week was a testament that we can end up better than the 99 and we were last week by quite a bit. If it wasn't for the 48, we would have looked like a hero because we had about a straightaway lead on third place the whole night. If we could have just got that blue car, the 48 car out of the way up front, we would have looked like heroes, but we're getting there. Our setup was a fair amount different than his at California. I just work on my car and work on my car and get it like I want it to drive. We pay attention to what they're doing, maybe try some stuff they're doing, but our cars were not that close at California and we ended up being better."
WHAT ASPECT OF THE COT HAS BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO AND HOW HAS ROUSH FENWAY ADAPTED? "We certainly have caught up, I would say. It was obvious when we started out that we were way behind the rest of the teams, and I would certainly say we've closed that gap. There are still a few that are a little better than we are. Our information or data acquisition and things to try and get ready for coming here off the seven-post or simulation models are still not perfect. We showed up off the truck and we're horrible, and the guys at the shop have been working on that setup for weeks, so it's not perfect yet, but we keep working on it and getting better and better."
WHY DID CARL START THE SEASON SO WELL AND SOME OF THE OTHERS DIDN'T? "I think that we ran decent at the beginning of the season, some of the problems we had were finishing the races. We were really fast, we just weren't getting the finishes at the beginning of the season and Carl was really getting those finishes. I think that's probably the main difference."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE NOTION OF LUCK IN THIS SPORT? "You think about that sometimes. This is the luckiest guy I've ever seen in my life sitting next to me (Kenseth). It might be a good question for him when I'm done. Why did the engine break at Darlington when we had a good opportunity to win? They even changed the engine prior to that race because they felt they were having issues with the belts. You often wonder, we joke about it and talk about it, nothing will ever go wrong when you're running 30th. That car will run forever. It will run all day and you'll never get a flat tire, but you start running the top-five or leading the race and something will happen every time. I think it is just coincidentally and I guess you could call that luck."
-credit: ford racing