Eventual winner Denny Hamlin was leading at the time of the wreck, which occurred in the second segment.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “It looked like it might work out because Matt got down there and got turned, and I thought maybe he’ll stay low, but Tony got turned right and just clipped me and that was it. This race is about aggression, it’s about going out there and just keeping your foot down and racing hard and we all know that there is about a 50 percent chance that this could happen. It’s a shame to tear up a good race car, but I did have some fun and I learned a bunch for the 500, so we’ll just take this one and I guess we’ll run it in Talladega or something.”
WE SAW EVERYBODY ON TOP AND THEN ON THE BOTTOM. WHAT DICTATES THAT? “Everybody went to the top and the reason we do that is because it’s so chaotic that you don’t really know what can happen, so if you get a position and everybody gets in line then it’s like, ‘Well, that’s OK.’ Then Tony started working up to the front and I thought, ‘Heck, this is the Unlimited so let’s go for it,’ and then everybody started trying different things and then it became really fun, so it’s neat when these races have no points on the line because you can really try a lot of things. That’s a shame that Matt got into Joey there. That’s a rare mistake at one of these places for him. If it wasn’t for that, I think this thing could have been a lot of cars racing really hard for a long time. It was going really well.”
DID YOU LEARN SOMETHING FOR THE DUEL? “This whole thing leads up to the last lap of the Daytona 500. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to win the Daytona 500. Our whole Fastenal team built a plan and part of it was to just go all-out in this race and do everything we could and, I’m telling you, I learned some things that could apply for that last lap and now we’ve got to get there and win it.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion – “I didn’t see anything from the time it started to the time it ended. Talking to Danica when I got in there that I drilled her when she was pretty much sitting still. I couldn’t see, couldn’t turn and just really destroyed our Nationwide Insurance Ford.”
SO YOU WERE JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE ONCE THE INITIAL WRECK HAPPENED? “Yeah, once the initial one happened. I was up around the top and just tried to slow down as much as I could and then all of a sudden I saw the underneath body of the 41. He was pretty much on the roof and I couldn’t see, and after that the hood was up in the way and I couldn’t get out of gear and couldn’t steer. Everything was all bent up, so that’s not the way we wanted it to end, but I thought we learned a lot through the first 35 laps of it, but I definitely would have liked to finish it.”
WE SAW THE OUTSIDE LANE GO AND THEN THE INSIDE LANE, AND YOU SEEMED TO BE UP FRONT IN BOTH AT DIFFERENT TIMES. “Yeah, I think it just depended which car was in front of the lane. I thought we led the outside lane OK until the last segment when they hung us out there, but I thought it led OK.”