KENSETH WINS AUTO CLUB 500 TO OPEN SEASON WITH CONSECUTIVE WINS * Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag for the 18th time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with today's win at Auto Club Speedway. * It is Kenseth's third career Cup win at...
KENSETH WINS AUTO CLUB 500 TO OPEN SEASON WITH CONSECUTIVE WINS
* Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag for the 18th time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with today's win at Auto Club Speedway.
* It is Kenseth's third career Cup win at Fontana. He also won at the two-mile track in 2007 and '06.
* Kenseth is the first driver to start a season with back-to-back victories since 1997.
* Ford has now won 594 all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
* Ford now has 10 victories at Auto Club Speedway, more than any other manufacturer.
* Ford has won at least one race at Auto Club Speedway every year from 2003-2009.
* Jack Roush now has seven victories at Auto Club Speedway, tied for most among team owners.
* Jack Roush has won at least one race at Auto Club Speedway from 2005-2009.
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (finished 17th)
"I thought we had a top-10 car all night. We had a bad pit stop on the green flag stop and I got into the wall and we just had some bad circumstances tonight. We got a lap down and couldn't ever rebound. At times we had a top seven or eight car, but when you get that far behind and you don't have many cautions to catch back up, it just made for a tough night. But our UPS Ford team did a good job in the pits and if we just would have had a caution or something fall a littler earlier, we could have gotten the 'Lucky Dog'. I think we still could have finished 10th or 12th, but it was still a decent effort."
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (finished 7th)
"They made a good job of making it better from yesterday -- it was terrible, it was about 25th place, so that's a good finish for us. It's not what we wanted but it's okay."
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 Farmers Insurance Group Ford Fusion (finished 18th)
"I actually had a pretty good car this weekend. Obviously, we had a misfortune in qualifying with the splitter falling apart there. But, overall, the car was pretty good. One run throughout the race we got the car too loose, lost a bunch of spots and guys were able to get passed me, and that was the run we lost our lap, and we never could really make it up from there. We were a lap down from that point on, but overall we had a really good car, made the right adjustments throughout the day. It was pretty decent. We're happy with the finish, especially after not coming out of Daytona real well. So, I'm real proud of my team."
BOBBY LABONTE -- No. 96 ASK.com Ford Fusion (finished 20th)
"I learned a lot tonight. You know, we didn't come and test, we haven't been anywhere to test yet, so we weren't sure. I feel good about the room to improve, just because this was our first go at it. I improved as the night went on. This car just drives different, and I don't know what I want to call for when it comes time to make it feel a little bit better. I messed up yesterday, got back a little bit today. It's all improvements throughout the weekend. Without making a lap in it on the race track, I'm excited that we have some great people to rely on, good feedback, and I'm just excited about the changes we can make to make it better."
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (finished 4th)
"This was a pretty fast car. I just screwed it up. Trying to get greedy. You know, it was so hard to pass out here, and I was hoping to beat the 24 out and I was trying to give my guys every advantage I could. I stopped in the box, I wasn't out of the box, but the guy pulled the hose around, and we had this problem before. It's just me stopping too deep in the box and caught them off-guard and ran over the hose. And this box is super-long anyway. But they didn't do anything wrong, it was my fault."
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SAYS THAT THIS RACE IS THE BEST INDICATOR EARLY IN THE SEASON TO GIVE TEAMS AN IDEA OF WHAT THEY COULD HAVE FOR THE YEAR. THAT'S GOT TO BE A GOOD FEELING FOR YOU. "Yeah, they're [in trouble] if this is the kind of car I'm going to have all year. This thing was fast. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight. I'm just sick to my stomach, man, it almost brings tears to my eyes to know that I let the guys down like I did. When you you've got a car like that, it sucks to not win, and it sucks that it's your fault. If they'd have dropped a lugnut or something, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But, when it's your fault, it's really hard."
BUT YOUR TEAMMATES WERE QUICK TO TELL YOU HOW WELL YOU DROVE. "They were. The guys know I'm feeling bad, but they're trying to keep me cheered up for next week. They know we can win at Las Vegas. I'll keep working on it. I'm just mad because it always seems like I make a mistake, a little mistake here or there. I got in a little hot during qualifying and probably could've been on the pole -- maybe. Just little stuff. I'm too hard on myself, probably, I guess."
-credit: ford racing