KASEY KAHNE -- No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 34th) "I just didn't catch it. I got loose and I didn't catch it. I did a bad job. We had a pretty good car. You never really know where we would have finished because everybody was going back...
KASEY KAHNE -- No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 34th)
"I just didn't catch it. I got loose and I didn't catch it. I did a bad job. We had a pretty good car. You never really know where we would have finished because everybody was going back and forth in the top 10, so I think we had a great shot at running up front and I just made a mistake. Now we're in a big hole."
YOU TALKED ABOUT HAVING CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM AND YOU CAN GAIN GROUND QUICKLY AT THE START OF THE YEAR. "I think so. We just have to step up, and I need to step up and start doing a better job. I think we still have a pretty good opportunity to get back to where we need to be."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 10th)
"We had a really good car. We got a tough break on that last caution, which figures. It seems like we're always on the wrong side of it, but we had a good car. It was obvious I could run with the 48 and the other guys up front, but it's just unfortunate there at the end with that deal on pit road. We came back for a 10th-place finish, but that's the way it goes."
DO YOU FEEL YOU'RE COMPETITIVE WITH THESE GUYS FROM THE OFF-SEASON WORK? "Oh yeah. I think we've got a ways to go, but we're getting closer."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 7th)
"It was up and down. We didn't really run great. We actually ran about how I expected to run, honestly, which was pretty good. It was a lot better than we did here at California last time, and I feel like we made some improvement on our cars over the winter and got everything a little closer."
DO YOU FEEL GOOD GOING TO VEGAS AND ATLANTA? "I'm feeling great as far as the two finishes that we've had. It sounds dumb me saying that since we won the first two last year, but to get out of Daytona with all the troubles we had and finish eighth, and then to come here in Todd's first weekend and finish seventh is pretty good. We ran a little worse than some of our teammates at times and a little better at times, and it seemed like we ran as good as most of the Fords did. I still think we've got some work to do to get all of our cars better as a group, but I thought overall that our team did a good job."
TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief -- No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
"I was very, very happy. I would have liked to have gotten the car closer for Matt, but we just tweaked on it all day long. It wasn't too bad. We've got some work to do. Those guys up front, obviously, have some really fast race cars, but I think we made some huge gains from where we were over the winter, so I think we're heading in the right direction."
KEVIN CONWAY -- No. 37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion (Finished 31st) -- RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE
HOW WAS YOUR CUP DEBUT? "It was a really long day. We broke our splitter really early on and broke the whole center section out of the splitter, so it made the car incredibly tight and trying to adjust around an aero issue is really difficult to do with mechanical grip, but we stayed out of trouble and survived. We were running really, really hot and were about 280 degrees water temp and 300 oil temp the whole race because when we broke the splitter it knocked the duct work out. Our ExtenZe Ford Fusion lasted all 250 laps and we made it 500 miles, so, all in all, it was a successful debut. We wanted to stay out of trouble and stay in the top 35 and we were able to do that."
A TESTAMENT TO BE ONLY THREE LAPS DOWN WITH THOSE ISSUES? "Exactly. We only finished three laps down and we got a bad break on the one caution that came out at a bad time for us and trapped us, so our run wasn't as indicative of how good our car was at certain times throughout the day, but it's in one piece and now we can head to Vegas. It was a great points day for us today, for sure."
PAUL MENARD -- No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 18th)
"We just kept chipping away at it, really. We couldn't go on restarts and that hurt us at the end. We were really good on long runs and just kept working on it. We bounced between tight and loose and the car was close enough where we could take little changes and go either way, so it was real finicky, but we had really good speed on old tires."
DO YOU FEEL MORE COMPETITIVE RIGHT NOW COMPARED TO LAST YEAR? "Yeah. I think the cars are easier to drive than what I had last year and they're more adjustable. It seems like you can make an adjustment and it really shows up, so the guys have done their homework in the off-season."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 23rd)
"It just felt like we were chasing the car all day. Our UPS Ford was pretty balanced, but we fought loose conditions all day. I don't know if the track changed, but we had to make a lot of adjustments throughout the day. I thought we had a car good enough for a decent finish and could get inside of the top 15. On that last restart, the No. 82 squeezed us up high and we knocked our fender in, so that hurt our chances of getting a better finish there at the end."
-source: ford racing