Doug Hervey - Ford interview 2008-09-02

This Week in Ford Racing With just one race remaining before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship, four Ford Racing drivers - Carl Edwards (second), Greg Biffle (sixth), Matt Kenseth (ninth) and David Ragan (13th) - are in ...

This Week in Ford Racing

With just one race remaining before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship, four Ford Racing drivers - Carl Edwards (second), Greg Biffle (sixth), Matt Kenseth (ninth) and David Ragan (13th) - are in the top 13 in the points standings. Doug Hervey, Manager of Ford Racing's North American Operations, talks about the season those four have had so far, and their chances in the upcoming Chase.

DOUG HERVEY - Manager of North American Racing Operations

THERE IS ONE RACE BEFORE THE START OF THE CHASE. FORD RACING WILL PROBABLY HAVE THREE IN AND HEADING INTO SATURDAY NIGHT'S RACE AT RICHMOND, ONE DRIVER THAT IS 17 POINTS OUT. CAN YOU SPEAK TO WHAT IT WOULD MEAN FOR THE PROGRAM TO HAVE FOUR DRIVERS, HALF OF YOUR CUP TEAMS, POTENTIALLY BE IN THE CHASE? "It would be a great thing. To put half of our teams in the Chase would mean that we have got a pretty successful program as shown in the results of the teams. The results speak for themselves. If David [Ragan] is unsuccessful, it's not the end of the world, but it would certainly be nice to see him in the Chase."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GROWTH OF DAVID RAGAN? "I'm a huge supporter of David Ragan. Last year when things weren't always going well for him on track, we stood by him. I really have to commend not only Jimmy Fennig, but his whole team in making that program successful. On track, David has done an extremely good job. Last year, as you know, he was in his freshman year, if you will, and showed some signs of brilliance but also showed that he was still a rookie and made some mistakes. This year is proving that he's learned from some of those mistakes. In talking with Jimmy earlier in the year, he indicated that last year he held back a few things for his rookie driver to make sure things were good and this year he said he was going let him go a little more. And David has responded very well. He's an extremely talented driver and we look forward to hopefully seeing him in the Chase."

YOU ALSO HAVE ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL DRIVERS IN THE SERIES, CARL EDWARDS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RUN HE HAS HAD? "There's no doubt his team is clicking on all cylinders. Bob Osborne has done a fantastic job. The crew and the pit changes have been second to none. A lot of times, those are the intangibles that help you get the win. Carl, as a driver, he's up on the wheel. Right now, between him and Kyle Busch, you'd say those two guys are the ones to look at as we wind down the season. Carl is an extremely fierce competitor. He loves to compete, loves to drive and does very well at it."

OF THE OTHER TWO DRIVERS, MATT KENSETH AND GREG BIFFLE, ONE HAS A CHAMPIONSHIP ALREADY AND ONE HAS JUST MISSED. YOU'VE GOT SOME DRIVERS WHERE THIS ISN'T NEW TO THEM. "Both Greg [Biffle] and Matt [Kenseth] have done an extremely good job. Matt's year, with the change of the crew chief and Chip [Bolin] has done a real good job with his team. But there's a learning curve there when you change up. Robbie [Reiser] had been with Matt for a number of years. You make a crew chief change like that, there's going to be an adjustment period. And Chip, as the car engineer moving into the crew chief role, he has had a learning curve himself and he's doing well. You're looking at the results in the latter half of the year and Matt had a top- five finish this past weekend in California. There's no way you can count out Matt Kenseth. With regard to Greg Biffle, Greg has had a real good year. All of our Ford drivers in the Chase have a chance at the championship. There's not one that got lucky to get in. Greg is an extremely good driver; he's won a championship in the Truck series and the Nationwide series. You can tell he's hungry for one in the Cup series and he had a really good race last weekend, too. He had a second-place finish in California, which hopefully is just the tip of what's more to come as we go into the Chase."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Kyle Busch