CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 42nd) "It just felt good to be able to drive to the front that easy. We had that good of a race car. I appreciate all of my fans staying with me this week after that incident with our bolt...
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 42nd)
"It just felt good to be able to drive to the front that easy. We had that good of a race car. I appreciate all of my fans staying with me this week after that incident with our bolt coming loose. Man, that's a race winning car right there. That's easy. I was just cruising around, so we've got a lot of good things to look forward to. I want to thank Aflac for being on board. I'm sorry it didn't turn out better."
WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know what happened, but the oil tank lid was on. I just appreciate my fans for sticking with us this week. It's been a long week with a lot of stuff said, but I think we showed them here today, other than something coming apart in the engine, I believe we had the car that was the class of the field. I'm just really happy to be driving it. It's too bad we broke. It was so good there at the end, I was really just having a good time. It seems like when they run really well that's when they break."
HOW FRUSTATING IS IT? "It's real frustrating. To win three in a row in this series is real tough. To win three out of the first four, that would have been spectacular. But I think we showed today and we've showed the last couple of weeks that we've got a great team. Our whole team is working well together. I'm excited. It's gonna be another week just like last week where you just can't wait to race at Bristol. I cannot wait."
HOW DID IT FEEL TO RUN THAT WELL IN SPITE OF ALL THE CRITICISM? "I just go drive as hard as I can. I wanted to win this race just as bad as I win every race. It's just great to have cars that will go as fast as I want to go. I'm sure it's just a part failure or something, but I really wanted to win. We'll try just as hard next week."
HOW WAS IT WITH ROBBIE ON THE BOX? "Robbie was alright, except for he keeps calling me Matt. I called him Bob and he said he didn't like that, so he quit. But they did a great job. We've got a lot of depth in the organization and I think we showed it today by being able to go out there and run up to the front."
IT MUST BE HARD TO BACK IT DOWN WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING SO GOOD. "Yeah, but it is what it is. This is racing. Everybody has dealt with it. It's just like the stuff last week, it's just racing. The same things are going on at short tracks all over the country. We'll go next week and try to win. We won the last race there and our team is as solid as it's ever been, so I'm just happy to drive."
IS THIS THE MOST CONFIDENT YOU'VE FELT IN YOUR CAREER HERE? "Oh yeah. This is by far the best I've ever felt in this series -- by far. Two thousand five was great, but this is better."
WHAT ABOUT THE TIRES? "The tire is fine. Everybody has got the same tires. They're really, really hard to drive. They could make them a lot easier to drive, but they're not coming apart. It's the same for everyone. If I was running 20th, I'd be mad as hell about the tires, but as good as our car was running, I was fine."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE ENGINE? "These usually run better when you take them back to the shop. They usually run better at the end of the race. It's very, very rare for us to have a failure. It's too bad. That's a heck of a good race car to have that engine for."
WHAT BROKE? "I don't know."
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE POINTS? "I'm not worried a bit about the points. We're going out to haul ass every week and let the points take care of themselves."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion (Finished 4th)
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD SOMETHING FOR KYLE AT THE END? "I really did. Tony did a great job of protecting Kyle Busch. They're teammates and Tony ran me pretty hard there, but he's racing for position as well. Obviously, if I could have got by him right away I had a pretty good chance of catching Kyle, but I just burned my tires up racing Tony -- really stabbing the gas coming off the corner sideways. I used it all up right there. I should have known better. I'm more experienced than that, but that's what I did. It's unfortunate, but it's a great run for us, another top five, and that's really what we needed early in the season, to get that Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion up in the top five. Now we move to Bristol and it would be nice to start getting a points cushion on some of these guys as we get 10 races into this thing."
YOU WERE LIKE A HEAVYWEIGHT PRIZE FIGHTER TODAY. "To come back from where we did, Greg Erwin and all the guys did a great job working on this Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion to get it better and get it to where I could drive it. I love the pit crew. I've been beating those guys up and they just did a stellar job. I picked up three spots on pit road and came out third the last run and that's really what got us this top five finish is picking those spots up and getting some clean air on this thing. I was running him down at the end. I was three-tenths faster than the leader, but I just burned myself up trying to race Tony. Tony was holding me off probably protecting Kyle a little bit, but that's what teammates are for."
WHAT ABOUT DRIVING THIS CAR TODAY? "I don't know. We can soften the tire up a bunch and just race out here in this grass. There would be a lot more grip than what we've got right now. Goodyear is nervous about this tire with this new car coming to a track like this. In practice last year we were seeing cords in 25 laps and they took the conservative route, but it is what it is. It was pretty hard to race each other, but that's what we've got to race with and the good drivers will end up at the top in the end."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR TEAM'S MOMENTUM? "I'm really excited for all the fans watching the 16 team and cheering for us. We've got a great run going. We're in the top five in points and moved up a little bit, but it's just a good top five run. Early in the race I didn't think we were gonna be in the top 10, but the car came on at the end."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 8th)
"The end result was great. We didn't run good at all and we were able to overcome almost being two laps down to finish eighth. Overall, I'm happy with the result. It was really a struggle. We ran really bad and got a good finish, so I'm happy with that."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 23rd)
YOU GOT DOWN A LAP EARLY. "Yeah, that hurt. We got it decent there about the midway part of the race, but, for the most part, it was just a struggle. We tried everything with our AAA Ford. One bright point of the day is that we didn't put a scratch on it and the pit crew did an awesome job. It was just a real long day. We fought no grip. I was real free all day, but to salvage a top 25, we didn't lose a lot of points. We didn't gain a lot, so it was just kind of a cross off race. I'm just looking forward to Bristol next week."
WAS IT A HANDFUL TO DRIVE TODAY? "Yeah. I've driven some dirt cars before that had more grip than that, but I think it's all about who can hang on for the longest. Our car had a decent balance at times, but we were either really loose or not much rear grip and I was just hanging on for all I could do."
ARE YOU STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT ADJUSTMENTS TO MAKE WITH THIS CAR? "I think the biggest thing is we can't get our front ends to turn like we need to, so we do everything to get the rear to rotate around. There's a fine line between being too free and free enough to go fast. For us, we could start out pretty good and then the longer we ran, the freer it got. With nobody really dropping out, with 100 laps to go all 43 cars were still running, so the last thing you want to do is take a chance and tear something up because you're gonna have a horrible finish."
ROBBIE REISER, General Manager, Roush Fenway Racing
YOU KEPT CALLING CARL, MATT? "I think I called him Matt three times. You can't work with somebody for 12 years and not call him something."
HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE BACK UP THERE? "I don't know. I've been doing it so long, it's probably normal. I haven't been gone that long -- a couple of weeks. It's different working with somebody else. I've worked with Matt for so many years that it's a little different. It's a little tough coming in on the weekend and just doing this. It's a tribute to all the guys that work on this 99 car and the group that Bob has put together and the effort they've put together because it's a heck of a race car."
HAD YOU EVER LISTENED TO CARL ON THE RADIO TO KNOW WHAT HE MEANS? "I've worked with Matt. Since Daytona, I listened a little bit, but I haven't been to many of the races. They've been keeping me at the shop working. This is the first day I've been at the race track doing something, so it was kind of fun."
DID YOUR EYES LIGHT UP WHEN THE CARS IN FRONT OF YOU STAYED OUT AND YOU PITTED ON THAT ONE CAUTION? "Yeah, I was surprised at that. For the veteran guys that went back on the race track I was surprised. I hadn't been here all weekend, so I thought maybe I was going to get an education, but I just made the call with what I've seen over the years and it worked out."
JACK SAID HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH THIS. "I've heard it from everybody else, it's just that everybody has to understand that I've been in racing my whole life. I always went to the race track with my father and my own racing stuff through the Busch years and then the Cup years with Roush. It's a way different program. I don't know what to tell you. I'm not an office-type guy and I've just got to learn the role."
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR TODAY? "We had a small parts failure somewhere in there. We'll tear it down when we get home and take a look at it."
WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE THE PENALTY AND ALL THIS WEEK? "I've been in this sport a long time and dealt with a lot of things and it's just one of those deals. They had something break on the car and it fell off and they've got to pay the price. That's the way it is. They've got a set of rules here and you can make up all the stories you want, you can talk about all the things that you want, but that's what it is and I'm not getting caught up in all that crap."
WHAT ABOUT THIS 99 TEAM? "Carl and the 99 group with Bob Osborne, they've got a fast operation here and it's too bad this happened. But they've got a heck of a race team and a heck of a car. They've got it going on right now. When the 48, 24, 17 win a bunch of races, you get that stuff and use it up as long as you can use it up."
-credit: ford racing