Food City 500 (Friday Advance)
March 16, 2012
Bristol Motor Speedway
FORD FAST FACTS
• Ford Racing has won 607 all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and of the active tracks currently on the schedule, Bristol Motor Speedway ranks as the manufacturer’s most successful track with 33 victories.
• Carl Edwards sat on pole for the 2011 Food City 500 race and is a two-time NSCS winner at Bristol.
• Matt Kenseth also owns two Bristol NSCS wins, taking the checkers in the 2005 and 2006 night races.
• The Ford driver with the most NSCS wins at Bristol is Rusty Wallace, who won five times with the Blue Oval from 1994-2000.
• Fred Lorenzen and Kurt Busch each won three consecutive Bristol races while driving for Ford. Lorenzen did it in 1963-64 while Busch achieved the feat in 2003-04.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion, enters Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway sitting fifth in points and has a pair of Bristol victories to his credit with back-to-back night race wins in 2005 and 2006. The reigning Daytona 500 champion met with media members Friday at Bristol.
Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion – TALK ABOUT COMING TO BRISTOL, THE FIRST SHORT TRACK ON THE SCHEDULE, AND A TRACK YOU HAVE HAD SUCCESS AT IN THE PAST. “Yeah, I think most people look forward to coming to Bristol so the first five weeks or so of the season has a good variety and mix of the tracks we will run at all season. It is fun to get through these first five or six weeks and see where everybody stacks up.”
LAST WEEK IN THE PUBLIC DRIVERS MEETING YOU TWEETED, “I REMEMBER WHEN WE USED TO HAVE ACTUAL DRIVERS MEETINGS.” WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE WAY THE MEETINGS ARE NOW. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ACTUAL DRIVER CREW CHIEF MEETINGS SOMETIME? “Well, I think it is fine. The more access you can give the fans is a good thing. It doesn’t bother you going to do it but it hasn’t been for a long time a true drivers meeting in the true sense of the word. Nobody is going to raise their hand and ask a question in that environment, not anybody these days anyway, maybe they used to. I think nowadays you are going to go find Mr. Helton or Darby or somebody and ask them a question during the weekend if you have a question about the race procedures. I would probably even wait until after the meeting and go find them in a truck and ask them if I really wanted to know something. It is different but it has been like that for a long time. They have been letting more and more people in and I remember when we used to do it my first couple years in the series we did it in the scoring stand at Charlotte and you could barely get the drivers and crew chiefs in there. That is all it was. It was never a media event or fan event. It was a drivers meeting where there was a forum with discussions and stuff like that. We haven’t had that in a long time. I think having everyone involved and seeing all the rules and procedures for the race, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
THEY HAVE ADDED SOME EXTRA PIT SPEED LINES TO SHORTEN UP THE ZONES. IS THAT A GOOD THING? “I think so. I think whenever you can keep the playing field even on pit road is a good thing especially at a track this small with a pit road speed that is slow. There is a big advantage to about eight cars or so with the lines you can pick depending where you qualified and you could speed as fast as you could in that line and be spinning the tires and all that. I think that it is probably a good thing to get it the same for everybody on pit road and keep the racing on the track.”
BRIAN VICKERS IS BACK THIS WEEK. WHERE DO THINGS STAND BETWEEN YOU TWO? “I think they are fine. I don’t foresee any trouble coming up but I didn’t foresee it the first time either. I think everything is fine and you put that in the rear view mirror and move on. Today is a new day.”
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN PENALIZED FOR ANYTHING AND HAD TO GO THROUGH THE APPEAL PROCESS AND ALL THAT? “Robbie (Reiser) has had some penalties in the past. I don’t know that we ever went through the appeals process or not. I honestly don’t know. You would have to ask Robbie or someone in Roush. It has been a long time thankfully and hopefully we don’t get ourselves in that position.”
HAVE YOU TALKED TO CARL (EDWARDS) ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE LAST WEEK AND DID YOUR VIEW CHANGE AFTER TALKING TO HIM? “No, I haven’t talked to him about it. I am responsible for my car and where it ends up and it ended up in the fence and I put it there. I will try to do a better job next time of making sure I take care of myself and not worry about the cars around me so much. I feel bad I wrecked that car and that Kasey (Kahne) got caught up in it. It couldn’t have been a worse situation where I got my car put in to with someone under me three-wide and Greg (Biffle), I don’t know if he didn’t know we were three-wide but he didn’t leave enough room for three cars so I had to lift and do the smart thing to not wreck either of them. When Carl stopped in front of me because he got loose I got into him and had to let off the gas again which makes your car unstable and Kasey went by about 200 mph and sucked my car around. It was just a bad spot; I couldn’t have been lined up much worse.”
WHAT ABOUT THE RESTART. DID YOU SPIN THE TIRES? “I didn’t spin the tires on the restart but obviously he got a much better restart than I did obviously. That is something I work really hard at and it doesn’t seem like I am very good at it. We weren’t very good at restarts last week and with all the cautions at the end it cost us. If we wouldn’t have had any cautions I think after that 60 to go run where we have seen a lot of races not have cautions with that much time to go, I thought we had a car that could have won the race. We chose not to adjust it and we were hoping for the long run and obviously didn’t get it.”