Fontana: Winning team interview, part 1

JACK ROUSH , Car Owner -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion "I thought you've got to be careful when you go to these celebrations one time after another. It's just awful hard to keep in your mind who really has it in for you and today it all just came...

JACK ROUSH , Car Owner -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

"I thought you've got to be careful when you go to these celebrations one time after another. It's just awful hard to keep in your mind who really has it in for you and today it all just came together. First I got it from Robbie and then I got it a little later from Matt. It's just such a pleasure to come to California. The idea of being able to win all three of these races with three different drivers has just been fantastic. I'm gonna put some of this in the bank. I'm not gonna use all of this equity up tonight and celebrate with it, hopefully help us keep going whenever we have more broken engines. We did break one engine today. I'm sure it was some part that couldn't be avoided, but Daytona was such a hard race for us. We had such great expectations. They had worked so hard. There was nothing we could do to get better or more ready than we were at Daytona and it just turned to junk, but today the stars lined up and here we are."

MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

"We had a pretty decent, really, all weekend except for qualifying. We started the race pretty good. I think we drove up to 15th or something like that and then the track started tightening up, which isn't usually normal for us at this place. So we just had to keep adjusting on it all day and we had some great pit stops. Of course with Greg's problem and a great pit stop the last time down pit road kind of opened the door for us to have a shot at the win. Those guys on pit road are so awesome with a 12-second pit stop or whatever it was at the end. Those couple of positions made all the difference for us at the end of the race."

ROBBIE REISER , Crew Chief -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion

"We had a really good run last week and I was pretty excited with the way we ran at Daytona. The outcome wasn't what I expected, but we ran really well there for the time we had a chance to run. For us to come back and have momentum coming into this race, the guys have worked really hard. After last year's struggle for the first half of the season and the things that we went through to get ourselves in the chase and to come out of the box this year and run real well at Daytona and come back and win today, I can't say enough for all the guys that work on our cars and work on our team and put all the effort towards it."


MATT KENSETH: "I got to fly through the infield again, but it was after the race this week (laughter). Sometimes it feels like there is justice in the world, so that feels good because I felt last week we had a car that could have won. Usually I go away from the plate stuff and don't feel like I'm very good at it and usually aren't in position to win and we had a real fast car and felt like we did all the right things last week and I thought we were gonna be in position to win, so it was disappointing although we still got a good finish -- better than it could have been. We could have finished last and somebody could have hit me. Last week was last week. Our Vegas test went good. Everybody has worked really hard on these cars this winter. Robbie has done a great job on the body stuff and our engineers have been working hard on making this stuff better and everybody has been working really well together. Our pit stop stuff has been going good, so it just feels incredibly good to come to the track and have everything kind of go right and all the stars align for us and to be here in Victory Lane. We haven't won a ton of races the last three years -- one or two a year -- and whenever you can win it feels good. Hopefully this will carry some momentum and we'll be able to get to Victory Lane a few more times this year."


JACK ROUSH: "I can't remember when we've had a sweep like this before. My people told me yesterday when I looked toward the prospect that maybe we could win on Sunday -- as improbable as that was -- and they said 'we've done that before,' but they're going to have to remind me when because I don't remember. This is really a great weekend to be able to have three of our different drivers win all three races, especially that truck race on Friday night. That's the one that we couldn't get close to last year based on where our truck was, but Ford gave us a new F-150 package and Mark Martin is leading the charge on that deal."


MATT KENSETH: "That's always real concerning. NASCAR, you can't blame the guy in second for doing it, but they try to make a rule on you're not supposed to lay back more than a car length, but it's real inviting to do so. If you can get a run on the leader. If he would have gotten up along side me he very well could have beat me. It's hard to get anything done in two laps, so I saw him holding back and I saw him getting a run on me and I actually waited until I was 10 or 15 feet past the restart point until he slowed his momentum up before I got in the gas. I just tried to watch him to make sure we sort of took off at the same time. If I would have taken off right at the point he had a run on me, he was probably already going three or four or five miles an hour faster than me and that would have put him up alongside of me getting into one. That certainly is something you've got to watch and also all day we've been restarting on new tires, so restarting on used tires it's easy to spin the tires and we did spin the tires just a little bit. So that's the most nerve-wracking part. If you can get through one and two and you're still a full car ahead, you feel a little bit better about it."


MATT KENSETH: "Yeah. In the middle of this race we kind of got running anywhere from third to sixth and that's about what we had. Then we made the right adjustments to get it better, but, yeah, we've had those days and it feels good to pop out and win this one when we maybe didn't have the most dominant car. When we came here our rookie year we had the dominant car and led almost all day and at the end got beat on two tires, so we've had those days where we've dominated. Chicago last year we ran good and got beat at the end, so you never know. Anything can happen. There can be that caution at any time where maybe you get beat on a restart or pit strategy or whatever it could be. You'll have more days where you don't have the outcome that you want than you do the ones that pop up and surprise you and you have it. So when you have a chance to win at the end it definitely feels good no matter how it comes."


JACK ROUSH: "When NASCAR changed the rules last year and cut an inch off the spoiler, they played right into Matt Kenseth's hands and Mark Martin's and Carl Edwards' and Kurt Busch at the time and Greg Biffle's. They all like to drive real loose race cars. They're not intimidated by it. They've got enough experience on enough different race tracks and race cars getting here that it's not uneasy for them. From what I see, a lot of the drivers just don't like to drive the cars as loose as they have to be and that's really made it good for us. On the matter of the race track size, we decided a long time ago that we really need to be good on mile-and-a-half and two-mile race tracks. That's where the heart of the schedule is. That's where if you're not good at those race tracks you're just really not going to have much of a chance to do all of your business on real short track or on the restricted tracks. We've seen teams that were dominant at Martinsville and Richmond and Bristol and couldn't really get out of their own way on mile-and-a-half tracks, but the engineering and the focus that we put on testing and the things that we try to remember and focus mostly on our cars is to make them good for these big wide-open race tracks. The other thing is you go to Martinsville and you've got one level of mania that comes on and the drivers basically, a lot of times, can't do anything about the situation that he finds himself in. Certainly at Daytona and Talladega it's that way, but big wide race tracks -- Michigan and Fontana being the absolute best -- you can run three-wide and if a driver winds up in the fence -- and I don't think any of them got in the fence today -- it's probably their own fault. It's not the fact that they got caught in somebody else's problem. To be able to go to a race track and, like Robbie says, you've worked hard on your cars and you've got them right and Matt feels like he's got himself ready to go do his business and then to be able to hold it in your own hand and control the outcome is a really wonderful thing and we like racing those tracks."


MATT KENSETH: "I think Greg's smart enough to know that. Greg was a threat to win more times than not last year. I think he won five or six races and probably could have won 10. I today have no doubt that Greg's gonna make the chase. There is a lot of racing to do. He dominated the race today and just had something break. That's just part of it. If he had a 300-point lead two months from now and broke, nobody would think anything of it. Every race pays the same amount of points and there is a lot of racing to go and he's gonna be just fine. He's gonna be one of the guys to beat all year again."

JACK ROUSH: "Greg is a real pro. Like Matt, Matt and Greg have in common the fact that they were both 28 years old when they got started here with Roush, but Matt had already been with Robbie and he'd been back east racing these stock cars. For Greg, he was 28 when he got a chance to start, so he's been really impatient to get caught up on his income, to get caught up on success and recognition and all the rest of it. This will be a setback for him, but the big picture is that our engines have been reliable and our cars have been good. Everything we pull out of the truck runs really good and he'll have a chance to recover from that. I've got to go back to the shop and be sure that this risk reward or risk opportunity thing that we stay on the conservative side of it for him. We just can't take a chance on breaking another part for doing some risk, so we'll put some margin back in his program -- a little less ignition timing, maybe a little richer on the carburetor, maybe less rocker arm or something in order to be able to make certain that his is not the next one that breaks if there is some part in there that we don't know about. I'm sure the thing that broke was just some vendored part the was a manufacturing variability thing that wouldn't break in the next 10 that we'd run just like it."


MATT KENSETH: "Heck no. Are you crazy? (laughing). No points for poles. I loved the impound thing. I thought that was a great thing, even though in the big scheme of things it probably didn't save a lot of money, but it still probably had to save a little bit of money in tires and whatever. I like coming to the race track and working on race setup. I think today is the day that pays all the money. They're 500-mile races and if you have the best car, you should be able to start anywhere in the field and get to the front in 500 miles. If you can't, then there either have been no cautions or you've probably done something wrong. I don't like to handicap us and qualify that bad, and our qualifying has been a lot better except for Friday, but we just totally missed it. We worked on our race setup most of the time and tried to do a bunch of stuff to qualify and I gave them the wrong feedback and loosened the car up way too much and couldn't go anywhere. But even on the non-impounds last year our qualifying has been a little bit better with this rules package and we certainly try hard to qualify, but with the new testing policy and stuff we try harder to race. When we go to the race track every week, we're gonna go to the race track every week in race trim and make the car drive good for Sunday before we worry about our starting position."

Continued in part 2

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Mark Martin