Ford Texas Post-Race Quotes

Ford Finishing Order:

2nd – Carl Edwards

4th – Matt Kenseth


American Muscle

5th – Greg Biffle

10th – AJ Allmendinger

11th – Marcos Ambrose

12th – David Ragan

17th – Trevor Bayne

29th – Andy Lally

31st – Travis Kvapil

32nd – David Gilliland

34th – Mike Bliss

39th – Scott Speed

40th – Josh Wise

43rd – J.J. Yeley

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – WHAT DID YOU SAY TO TONY WHEN HE DROVE BY. “I just told him ‘good job.’ He did a great job today. Those guys stepped it up and I’m proud of my guys for hanging on and for still having the points lead. At the end of the day, we’re going to the final two races. Although we would have loved to have won today in our Aflac Fusion, to be three points ahead and then to have the third and fourth-place guys farther behind, it looks like it’s truly gonna come down to Tony and I and that’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

WHERE DID YOU COME UP SHORT TODAY? “I think Tony said it there. On that last restart, I think if I could have stayed in front of him, I’d have been able to get him. The restart before that he spun his tires and I felt really good about that one, and he timed it just right on that last restart and hung on my door. I give those guys credit, they’ve done a good job, but now we get to kind of pull out all the stops here. Our Aflac team, we’ve been hanging on. We’re leading these points. We get to pull out all the stops for these last two races and there couldn’t be a better place to finish it than Homestead. I think folks ought to stay tuned. It’s gonna get pretty exciting and I’m just glad Tony and I are out there and we can race for this thing.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “We had a pretty good car. I got the car off a little bit on Saturday, I have to admit. I probably didn’t have the right front swaybar in it, a few other things. The car was just real twitchy and hard to drive. I couldn’t drive it at all when the sun was out. When it cooled down and got dark, my car really took off. The last pit stop of the day when you’re trying to make up, that extra little inch made me slid through the box and that probably cost me a third-place finish or a couple of spots anyway. We fought hard and came back and that’s what a championship team is made of – not giving up and fighting back.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion – “It’s hard to be disappointed when you run in the top five. I was a little disappointed in our performance. We just dropped the green and we weren’t really that great. We led some in the beginning having the track position and clean air. We kept fighting it, but we just could never get enough rear grip in it off the corner all day and really kind of struggled. So I’m happy to get a top five. I wish we could have performed a little bit better, but that’s all we had. We had great pit stops. Jimmy made great adjustments. I thought we did everything we could possibly do, but we just weren’t fast enough.”

ROUSH FENWAY WAS STRONG TODAY. “This has always been a pretty good track for the organization. You always want to win. It’s fun to be disappointed to be fourth, but all of our stuff seemed to run okay.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion – “That was probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt on a mile-and-a-half, especially one like this. It was fun. From the start we were just passing cars and making good adjustments. The track was tough because the sun would keep popping out and the track would change a lot, but, overall, I felt like it was definitely the best I’ve ever felt in a car around one of these places. We just got a bad break there on the two tires. We didn’t need that extra caution. I got back into sixth on the restart and we were good, and then the yellow came out and we went backwards after that. It was a good fight to get back to 10th, but, overall and more importantly, that’s something to build on.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion – “We had to battle there all day long. We missed it to start the race because the track freed up a lot, but we didn’t really expect it to be that much freer. We knew it would free up a little bit, but we just didn’t adjust enough. And then every time we would make a change the track would change more and we never got ahead of it until the very end. Once it started cooling back off our car was really fast. We had one bad run after the 20 car blew up. I don’t know if we got his oil on our tires or just garbage or something was wrong, but that run we were 14th and I thought we were gonna be able to drive to the top 10 because our car was strong, but it was just slipping and sliding and it drove like a different animal and I fell back to twenty-something. At the end we had a good car again and I was able to rally back to 17th.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “I’m proud of our cars for turning what looked like was gonna be a bad night overall, or a disaster really in the points, to something that is real manageable and something we can move forward with. Obviously, we definitely wanted to beat Tony tonight and pad that lead a little bit, but at the end of the day we can walk out of here with our heads up. We’re still the points leaders and the third and fourth guys, I’m not sure how far back they are, but we had to open up a little bit of space on them, which is good. Man, we’re gonna hold Tony to it. They’re gonna have to run that well to beat us these next two races and I think, really, it’s gonna be a great battle. I’m really excited about it.”

WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE THROUGHOUT THE DAY? “We struggled a little bit with the balance. The car was kind of all over the place and I was really proud of the guys for getting it tuned back in at the end. I think if we would have had one more stop, we could have made another adjustment and made it a little better, but I’m sure everybody could say the same thing. We never got it quite right and, like I said in here on Friday, we gave the best performance we could and we lost a little bit of ground, but it could have been a lot worse, so I’m really proud of my guys and, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t do anything differently. That was a good, solid race for us.”

WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE AT PHOENIX? “I think that Phoenix is still a huge unknown. Tony was out there for that tire test with us and I got to see how good those guys were. I feel like we’re gonna be pretty good, and, really, I think the surprising thing for all of us today was how well Tony ran here. I didn’t expect him to run quite that well, so those guys did a really good job and it makes me think that Homestead could be a lot closer than I expected before this race. We’ll go to Homestead with the same package, the same ideas and, hopefully, have similar performance and it looks like Tony might be in the same boat. Their mile-and-a-half program is good, so we really think that next week at Phoenix has a larger opportunity by a landslide to change the outcome of this Chase. That one will be a very important race. If Tony and I go run one-two at Homestead, there’s not gonna be much of a points change if we run like we did tonight, but Phoenix has the potential to be huge.”

WILL YOU ENGAGE TONY VERBALLY? “I don’t plan on it. I go out and compete as hard as I can and it is fun to joke around a little bit, but, at the end of the day, any extra energy I spend thinking about other stuff or worrying about other things is not spent in the right place. I’m focusing on what I’m doing and it would be really fun to be standing up there the last one on stage at the banquet, and I might have a couple of jokes then. That would be a good time for them, but I learned early in life that you’ve got to be careful about throwing the jabs out there because somebody might get you.”

WHY WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH TONY’S EFFORT TODAY AND THEY HAVE GAINED POINTS ON YOU THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS. HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THAT WITH YOUR TEAM? “I think we’re very fortunate to have led the points for as long as we have this season. I think the guys, I know myself, have a certain comfort level with it. We’ve watched guys make runs at us and fall away, and make runs and fall away. At the end of the day, it truly doesn’t matter what the 14 team does or what Tony does or what anyone else does, all we can do is just go do the best that we can do. It might feel comfortable to them to be in the position they’re in, to be gaining points, but, truly, the past is history. We’ve got to go out and run these next two races and, yeah, I don’t underestimate them for a second. I know how good they are, but we’re gonna be good as well.”

WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THEM TODAY? “I was just surprised they were able to put together two weeks like that that were so good. That was really good work on their part and there’s nothing saying that will play into another solid two weeks after that, but it very well could, so we’re just gonna go home and work hard and put all our notes together from our test at Phoenix and do the best we can. But I figured from the way practice went and everything, I thought we would have a little bit more of an advantage, or I thought we’d have a little advantage tonight. They did all their jobs very well.”

HOW DO YOU THINK THE EXPERIENCE CHASING NNS TITLES THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS HAS AFFECTED WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH NOW? “I forget about those things, but I guess you keep the lessons with you. I think, at least to this point, the story of our season and the story of this Chase for us has been just never quitting, never giving up. No matter how well someone runs, we’re always gonna be right there racing them every lap, racing them hard and I think having those championship battles in the Nationwide Series and a couple in the Cup Series lately, I think they’ve made us tougher in general and a little wiser. I guess the best way to sum it up is I feel more comfortable right now in this points battle than in any other points battle I can remember. I feel like we really only have to worry about one other guy. We still have the advantage in the points. I’ve raced Tony long enough. I feel comfortable with him. He’s not gonna surprise me with anything, and I’m grateful for all that experience. I hope I can turn that into a championship.”

DID FRIDAY NIGHT’S INCIDENT CALM THINGS DOWN TODAY WITH THE DRIVERS? “This track lends itself to clean racing. It’s so fast and it’s easy to drive a little bit sideways – you don’t lose control as quickly. It’s a fun race track. There might have been a little more restraint on the part of all the drivers just because of what happened. I can say for myself I didn’t really think about that much during the night tonight. I think Phoenix will be the test. Everybody is gonna be fighting for a place in line on the bottom and you’ll see a test of how big a message NASCAR got across there at Phoenix.”

WERE YOU AWARE AT BURTON’S FUEL SITUATION? “Yeah, I never cheered so hard for Jeff Burton in my life (laughter). If I could have loaned him some fuel I would have, but that’s what they had to do. I thought that was a good move. They had to do that. I’m sure Bob thought about doing that, but as early as he ran out I’m glad we didn’t. I think we did the right thing to stay out there. I’m really proud of Bob. I think, on a side note, he’s been a really good leader throughout this whole thing. He’s not letting me lose my head. He’s not flailed and tried for something crazy, and he’s a huge part, if not the most important part, of why we’re leading the points right now.”

DO YOU STILL THINK TONY WAS STILL ALL WORKED UP FROM WINNING THE RACE? “I think he was. I think he’s calmed down a little bit this week, but it didn’t slow him down any. I’ll have to maybe bring him some lunch over before Phoenix. Maybe that will help. I hope this roll doesn’t last much longer, otherwise this is gonna be really tough.”

WHAT DIDN’T GO RIGHT TODAY. THIS SOUNDS LIKE A PATTERN. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? “We haven’t had a dominant car since Dover. That’s been the last time we really had a dominant car. For us to finish the way we’ve been finishing without those dominant cars, I think, says a lot about our team. I’m still waiting. Once we get that dominant car again, I hope we can use it and make the most of it. Tonight, really, as frustrating as it is to see Tony go out there and win that race and close in on us, the biggest thing that I’m gonna go back and talk to my guys about and think about when I leave here is, ‘Hey, take a breath. We’re leading the points. We’re fighting hard, and two races is a long time. We can’t look in that mirror. We have to keep moving forward’ and hopefully all of these experiences of making the most out of something, hopefully we won’t have to do that the last two races. Hopefully, we’re just a little bit faster.”

IT LOOKS LIKE JIMMIE IS OUT OF IT. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW THERE WILL BE A DIFFERENT CHAMPION? “I still refuse to count anyone out. I think from what you saw go on this weekend with everything, including the Truck race and NASCAR making rulings, literally anything can happen in this sport, so until somebody is mathematically out of it, I can’t let myself count them out.”

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TIRES TODAY? “It kind of surprised me as loose as were at the beginning that Bob said we had a little problem with the right-front, so for a few runs there I was kind of babying the tires and just being real careful. I knew how much we had to lose if we had a tire failure, but I’m assuming it was something we did with the setup because I don’t think a lot of people had trouble with tires. Did anyone pop a tire or blow a tire? I imagine we were a little aggressive on something and we might have missed something there, but that’s not a good feeling after the first stop, ‘Hey, you’ve got to be easy on the right-front tire,’ because I felt like I already was being easy on the right-front tire.”


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