CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (finished 14th) "We just fought track position, and Bob [Osborne, crew chief] gambled and we stayed out real long there, and the rain didn't come early enough for us. Still, this is fine. We were...
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (finished 14th)
"We just fought track position, and Bob [Osborne, crew chief] gambled and we stayed out real long there, and the rain didn't come early enough for us. Still, this is fine. We were probably about a fifth-place car, finished 14th, so that's not good, but it's not terrible."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (finished 9th)
"Our car's been okay. We don't run particularly well here, and we're okay. We were pretty much a top-10 car, a couple of guys are up there on fuel, but other than that we've done all right. We're doing a good job of calling the race, and everything's run okay."
IF THIS RACE CONTINUES, DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING MORE? "We certainly don't have a car that can win, probably not run in the top five, but we'll have something just a little better than what we have here -- might be able to get up to sixth or seventh, something like that. If everything goes right, maybe we could run in the top five, but those front cars are way better than we are."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (finished 26th)
"We moved up a little bit from our starting position, but just poor track position all day. It's really been a struggle. I've struggled on the re-starts, getting going, but once we've run a few laps we're not that bad, but we're so far behind that it just takes forever to catch back up. I think we've got a little better than where we're at now."
STARTING AT ABOUT LAP 90, WITH THE RAIN ON ITS WAY AND THE MIDWAY POINT CLOSING IN, THERE WAS PLENTY OF STRATEGY IN TERMS OF PIT STOPS. WERE YOU EVER IN A POSITION WHERE MAYBE YOU MIGHT GET A GOOD FINISH OUT OF THIS? "Certainly, I'm just out there driving hard as I can, trying to be fast, and Jimmy [Fennig, crew chief] and all the guys on the AAA team were certainly looking at the possibilities. You know, we can't afford to take a lot of risks -- we're right there on that bubble, being in the top 20, top 25 in points -- and the risk is greater than the reward right now. If we were back there in 35th in points, we could afford to take something like that. Now, we've got to be a little conservative. We could've just taken two tires or could've stayed out and hoped that the rain came."
SO, WHEN YOU'RE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT, YOU'RE BEING TOLD TO DRIVE LIKE A REGULAR RACE? "They're just telling me what to do, especially at a place like this, where I'm trying to work on my line and work on my driving, I don't have to be worrying about pit strategy, and the laps, and the caution numbers and where the rain's at. I leave that totally up to my AAA pit crew, and they tell me what to do and when to do it."
TOWARD THE END, WERE YOU ASKING ABOUT THE RAIN? OR, ARE YOU JUST THAT FOCUSED? "I try to be that focused. I try not to worry about it, although they keep me informed -- 'The rain is close,' or 'We're going to do this,' to get ready to think about what you want to change on the car to make it better. The longer we ran the better we were. We just needed some more laps."
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Jim Beam Ford Fusion (finished 41st)
THINGS LOOKED GOOD FOR YOU EARLY AS YOU GOT A GREAT START. "Wow. They looked really good early. Drove all the way inside the top 15, and got a flat left-front tire and there's nothing you can do about that. You saw it happen to Jimmie Johnson, too. It took us three laps to put a sway bar arm on it, and we find ourselves sitting here 41st, three laps down. It's a big disappointment."
THIS WEEKEND, YOU TALKED ABOUT CONFIDENCE LEADING TO MOMENTUM. CAN THIS TEAM TAKE SOME GOOD OUT OF WHAT HAPPENED EARLY? "Oh, yeah. I think we'll be able to take what we learned out of here, what we learned yesterday. We come back here in just a little more than a month, and we'll take what we learned out of here and we'll apply it next time we come back. The guys did a good job getting good pit stops, and like I said, we've got ourselves up there pretty good, and it's unfortunate that we got a flat tire."
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (finished 27th)
DURING THAT FLURRY OF PIT STOPS WITH THE MIDWAY POINT OF THE RACE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AND RAIN ON THE WAY, YOU WERE IN SECOND PLACE. "We got caught up in the pits. We've had good stops all year when we were running like a dog, and today we were running pretty good, and we just had some problems today. I guess the gas man slipped down on one of the stops, and then the lug nuts fell off the wheel, I guess, on one of the tire changes. We actually were second, but before the pit stop we were about 16th."
IS 16TH ABOUT WHERE YOU WOULD'VE FINISHED HAD IT GONE THE DISTANCE? "We were between a 13th- and a 16th-place car. Compared to the weeks we've had recently, that's pretty good. You know, we ended up 27th. We didn't get our run, but on the other side at least we ran well. It was a solid run. And this car, this is the way they figured it out. This is type of car we had at Charlotte and finished seventh, and qualified seventh. So, this car is not bad, it's just that car of tomorrow is giving us a fit."
-credit: ford racing