Ford Texas Post-Race Quotes

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
NRA 500 (Texas Motor Speedway)
Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ford Finishing Order:

3rd – Carl Edwards

American Muscle

4th – Greg Biffle

5th – Joey Logano

7th – Aric Almirola

9th – Brad Keselowski

18th – Trevor Bayne

19th – Marcos Ambrose

26th – David Ragan

30th – Josh Wise

31st – Casey Mears

32nd – David Gilliland

40th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

43rd – Michael McDowell

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It was a tough night.  Our car definitely wasn’t as good as it was last year here in the spring, but we battled back.  I got a pit road speeding penalty.  I don’t know what happened there.  I guess I must have looked up for a split-second or must have been so close to the number that I guess I just didn’t realize it.” 

DESCRIBE THIS RACE FOR YOU?  “I thought starting at the back was gonna be tough after qualifying 35th, but then I got a pit road penalty with 100 to go and had to start at the tail-end of the longest line behind the wavearounds, so that made it a tough night to get back to fourth, but my guys did a great job.  They got me back up there.  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing here.  We had a really tough car to drive.  It was very hard to drive.  We’ve just got to keep working on it.  We’re not quite as good as a few of those guys, but we definitely had a top-five car.  Maybe if we would have qualified up there and been up there all night we could have worked on it and got it a little better, but it was still a tough night.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – HOW HARD WAS IT TO GET READY WHEN YOU WERE GETTING PUSHED DOWN PIT ROAD AS ENGINES WERE FIRED?  “It was one of the toughest races I think we’ve ever dealt with and to come home with a top-five out of something like that, we couldn’t be more excited about that.  It was almost a third-place finish there if the last caution had come out, but these guys worked really hard on this Shell/Pennzoil Ford on getting us out at least to race.  We dug our way up there a little bit and had a bad stop and went down a lap.  We got our lucky dog and slowly and methodically worked our way up.  We just had no short run speed.  We had long run speed, but it took us 30 laps to get going and then we were as fast as the leaders, but it took us 30 laps to get where we needed to be.” 

DO YOU FEEL THIS TOP FIVE IS SUCCESSFUL FOR YOU THEN?  “Yeah.  I thought after practice that we might have an eighth to 10th-place car and that’s pretty much what we had, but it’s always better to finish better than what you think you had, so I’m very happy with the way the guys kept digging today.” 

WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL SWING OF HAVING TO START THE RACE LIKE THAT?  “I go minute by minute, so, for me, it’s not a big deal.  I just strap in and go.  Having to go to the rear was a little bit of a bummer, especially not knowing what your car is going to be like, but Todd Gordon and all these guys, they knew exactly what to do and to get us out there – barely in time – but to get us out there, make some laps, get a feel for it, good adjustments – we kept up with the race track when the sun went down – and then we started to shine there late.” 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS DAY?  “These guys dug really, really hard all day to get this Shell/Pennzoil Ford on the race track.  It was a little too close for my comfort, to be honest with you, and having to start from the back we worked our way up.  Todd Gordon did a great job keeping everyone under control and not getting overwhelmed by everything.  He focused in and made his adjustments and got our car a lot better than what it was.  We just weren’t fast on the short run.  We started fourth with 40-something to go and the top three guys were gone and then after 15-20 laps I could hang, and then eventually I started catching them a little bit.  We never had any short run speed in our car all weekend, even from practice we were slow on the short run but good on the long run.  We’ll have to figure out where that speed is, but if you would have told me I’d finish fifth today, I’d have given you a hug.  I’m pumped up about our finish and the way we got that.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford FusionPRESS CONFERENCE – “It was pretty eventful.  We had a very, very long night.  Early in the race the car was really good when the sun was still out and then it got really bad.  I almost pulled in because I was so wrecking loose that I thought it might be better to just pull in and lose a lap or two to get it fixed, but, fortunately, we stayed out and we stayed on the lead lap.  Then the tailpipes – something broke or cracked in the tailpipes.  I thought the engine was blowing up for the whole race.  That got worse, and then on one of the restarts I tightened my belts and I unhooked my whole seatbelt system coming to the green, so I haven’t had that happen since I was running my dirt car.  I told them out there, ‘I don’t know what the state laws are or whatever,’ but I went ahead and hooked them back up.  That was pretty crazy, and then we stayed on the lead lap and then Jimmy did a great job.  We adjusted more things tonight.  We pulled shims and put more rounds everywhere than I think I’ve ever done in a race and had a good pit strategy and, fortunately, we came home third.  That’s a gift for us.  I know Martin is not happy with second, but I’m real happy with third.” 

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE SEATBELT?  “I don’t know.  I think when I tightened the belts either one of the shoulder belts hooked the release or my finger hit it.  It surprised me.  I will not be adjusting my belts coming to the green again.  I haven’t had that happen.  In all the races I’ve run in NASCAR that has never happened, so that was just icing on the cake tonight.  I couldn’t believe it.” 

IS IT SOMETHING NASCAR SHOULD LOOK AT?  “No, I don’t know how many races I’ve run – 600 or something like that – I mean for it to only happen once I don’t think it’s an issue.  Each driver is different.  Each driver’s belts are a little bit different.  It’s my fault, so it’s something I just need to watch out for.” 

DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE MADE MAJOR GAINS WITH THIS CAR THIS WEEKEND ON THE INTERMEDIATE TRACKS OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STILL THROWING DARTS AT IT?  “We’re definitely in the dart throwing phase.  I think we might even have a blindfold on while we’re doing it.  We’re in a little bit of trouble, honestly.  We have to be better.  I think Greg was decent and we got it dialed in at the end, but that was a mad panic all night.  I think we just have some work to do.  I think the tire kind of threw us for a little bit of a loop tonight.  I think a lot of people struggled, but we definitely struggled as much as anyone.  But, no, I don’t feel ultra-confident if we had to come race here next week that we could pull off a third again.  We did test at Kansas and I felt pretty good about our test there, but this track here, this was a struggle.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Eckrich Ford Fusion – “I totally blew it on that first stop.  I slid through my box and made a stupid mistake that cost ourselves a lot of track position.  We had to battle back from that all night and we got back up in the top 10.  We had a great car.  Todd Parrott and these guys gave me a great Eckrich Ford Fusion and I felt really good about it.  We kept making adjustments on the car all night, getting it better and better, and then right there at the end when that caution came out that really hurt us.  I think we were running sixth and we had to take the wavearound and I think we restarted back in 14th or 15th, so it was good for us to drive back up through there.  I felt really good about our car.  I wish we could have kept our track position.  I think our night would have turned out a lot differently.  I felt like we were a solid top-five car at the end of the race, but we just didn’t make that happen.  Still, it was a great day, a great points day for us, and I feel really good about it.”

PAUL WOLFE, Crew Chief – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “Things didn’t obviously start off the way we wanted it to and we had some issues on pit road where we lost some spots.  Then we had a loose wheel and nothing was going our way, but nobody gave up and Brad kept driving his butt off and we slowly kept chipping away at it.  Before we knew it, we were in contention to get the free pass.  It was like we needed just one more run to really get up and contend for a nice top-five, but, overall, I’m real proud of the effort.  We continue to come out here each and every week and put ourselves toward the front, if not contend for wins.  Obviously, we feel like without some of the issues tonight we probably would have had a shot at that again, so we just have to keep working and doing what we’ve been doing and we’ll get our share of wins.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion – “I just cut a left-rear tire down and spun.  It’s kind of tough to go straight when you lose a left-rear tire.  I really would have liked to have seen how our car was gonna drive when the sun went all the way down.  I felt like it was pretty good where the sun was already down and the track was shaded.  I felt like our car was pretty good, but it’s just a tough break and we’ll get back out there and try to gain as many points as we can.” 

DID YOU RUN OVER SOMETHING?  “I’m guessing we had to right there on the restart.  They were brand new tires, so I guess we ran over something, but I don’t know yet.”

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