Ambrose only Ford driver in top-ten at Bristol

Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion - “I’m just trying hard. That’s two top-fives in two weeks for us. It’s been a great month. I’ve just got to thank Todd Parrott and everybody over at Richard Petty Motorsports for giving me great cars and giving me a good chance to run at the front. I’m just really proud to represent the King and be up there for DeWalt tonight. Some of our DeWalt races haven’t been the best this year, so it’s good to have a strong run for them and give them a shot to make the Chase.”

WHAT WAS THE KEY TO YOUR NIGHT? “We had a fast car and just had to play it out. We just had to keep track position. We stopped as early as anyone pretty much and got track position and helped us out, but the track went away from us a little bit late, so we couldn’t contend for the win, but we had a rocket about halfway through and I thought we had a real chance to win with about 200 to go.” HOW DID THE TRACK COMPARE TO THE SPRING RACE? “The race is completely different. It runs greedy for the middle. You end up blocking up on top against the fence it’s gonna be like Darlington in no time.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion -
WHAT HAPPENED WITH STEWART? “I’m a little confused. I was running the top leading and he got a run and he went into turn one like I wasn’t there and just went straight to the fence. If I wouldn’t have lifted, like he chose not to do the next corner, we would have wrecked, so I let him have it and I got a run back, drove all the way alongside of him and we just kept going. I mean, I lifted down there or else we would have wrecked and he chose not to lift and wrecked us both, so I don’t know. He’s already had two in this series he’s pretty much taken us out of and I told him after Indy I was gonna race him the way he raced me and I did the exact same thing down there that he did down there – the exact same thing, except he didn’t give it to me. I guess he just wanted to do all the taking, so that’s where we ended up.”

HE SAID HE’S GOING TO RUN THROUGH YOU EVERY CHANCE HE GETS. “Yeah, that’s fine. Look, Tony is probably the greatest race car driver in the garage. I don’t really have anything bad to say about Tony. On the race track for years and years and years we’ve had tons of respect for each other and, for whatever reason this year, he ran me off the track at Sears Point and said he was sorry. It cost me seven spots in the finishing order and at Indy he was mad because he said I blocked him and I asked for five minutes of his time to clear the air and he wouldn’t give it to me and pretty much just got cussed out and knocked my whole side off and put us in position to get wrecked, so I just said, ‘OK, that’s fine. I’m just gonna race you the same way you race me,’ and he showed me how he was gonna race me down there, so I just did the same thing on the other end. So I don’t know. If you look at it we did the exact same thing, it’s just that he didn’t lift so I don’t really see where that’s 100 percent my fault or problem.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU SAW THE HELMET COMING AT YOU? “I was expecting it. I’ve seen that for awhile. I was expecting it and it didn’t really bother me. It wasn’t gonna hurt it any worse.”

DID THE CHANGES TO THE TOP OF THE TRACK PLAY INTO WHAT HAPPENED OR WOULD YOU GUYS HAVE RACED LIKE THAT REGARDLESS? “I don’t know. I didn’t want to race him like that and I never like to really race people like that. If he would have just stayed around the bottom for two laps and passed me clean, I would have just probably lifted and let him up in line, but, like I said, the first shot he had he just went straight like I wasn’t even there and went straight to the top groove, and it was either lift or wreck him and I lifted, so he just chose to do the opposite at the other end. The top really came in for whatever reason. It’s so smooth up there that it built a lot of rubber and that was the only groove. It was pretty much a one-groove track because the top actually got really good at the end.”

YOU CLINCHED A CHASE SPOT. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? “Good, I guess. That’s one of your goals at the start of the season. You can’t win the championship without being in the Chase, so I’m happy to be there. It’s been a rough four out of five weeks, for sure, so I wish we had a better ending tonight but we performed OK. We had a lot of problems this weekend with the car and other things, and I felt like we were still gonna have a good shot at a top-10 there before we wrecked.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Bondo/3M Ford Fusion - “It feels really good to be locked in (to the Chase) with two races to go. It was a tough night here, but we did lock ourselves in and still have the point lead. This wasn’t the run we were looking for. We pitted at the end to try and make the car better and learn something, but it was probably the wrong thing to do because we lost about eight spots. We weren’t gonna win, so we thought we might as well try what we can.”

WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS? “We’re looking at Atlanta next week. We have a good mile-and-a- half program and I like that track, and then we go to Richmond and see what we can get.” HOW WAS THE TRACK? “The old Bristol we were all single-file on the bottom and you would bump the guy to get him out of the way. Now we’re all single-file a foot from the wall and you bump the guy and there’s nowhere for him to go. You can’t bump him out of the way because there’s a wall four feet from you and it won’t open up a lane. So from where I was sitting it didn’t look a lot different. Some guys were pushing and shoving a little more, but, there again, you’ve got to have a place to pass when you shove them out of the way.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion - “It’s all you can do is gamble like that. If we would have pitted when we should have pitted we were gonna run 10th or 15th anyway. We were just gonna get fuel and the tires were done at the end and that’s all we had. I made the decision to stay out, which in hindsight that was the wrong decision because we probably would have finished better than we are right now, but I wanted a chance to win the race. If we would have had one more caution or a couple cautions and short runs, we were up there in a position to win this thing. You don’t get those opportunities very often, so I had to take it.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED EVERYONE WAS UP TOP ALL NIGHT LONG? “It really surprised me that that groove came in. Now all they’ve got to do is grind that bottom groove like that and it’ll be bad to the bone. This place will be a solid two grooves – very top and very bottom – so I think they’re on their way to having a really good race track here and I hope it was an exciting race for everyone.”

WERE YOU ENCOURAGED BY HOW THE CAR WAS ALL NIGHT? “The car was OK and I was really encouraged at Chad’s strategy. He did a really good job and I’m ready for Atlanta. I’m excited about Atlanta, so we’ll go there and go for another one.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Glory Foods Ford Fusion - “The first incident I was right on the 22. He was loose and up and down the race track and I got into his right-rear quarter and kind of collected both of us into the wall, so we had a little bit of damage and was just trying to ride around and make it to the next caution so we could work on our Ford. I don’t know if an oil line broke or what, but something happened between three and four because I started to slide around in my own oil. That was kind of the end of our night. The engine was still running, so I don’t know if it’s something cosmetic that we can fix or not.”

KEN SCHRADER – No. 32 Federated Auto Parts Ford Fusion - “You can say whatever you want, but we just got run into. We’re back there in 38th or something and nobody is racing back there, you’re just trying to survive and we got run into.”

Source: Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Marcos Ambrose
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags ambrose, biffle, edwards, ford, kenseth, petty