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JOLIET -- Carl Edwards posted his top finish of the season, with a second place effort, pacing a trio of Fords in the top-10 at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd)
Second is bittersweet. You want to win, but we are obviously very happy with the result. If we run that well every week we will win plenty of races. The key is that we ran so well. If we can continue that every week we will be in good shape.
Q. HOW MANY MORE LAPS UNTIL YOU WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THE #00?
A. Three more laps and we would have been right there, but you never really know I guess because it depends on how hard he is running too, but I feel like with three more laps things would have gotten really interesting.
Q. IF YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE, REUTIMANN IS PROBABLY AN OKAY PILL TO SWALLOW ISN’T IT?
A. Yeah, he is just such a nice person. He is the first guy to congratulate me on something and the first guy to apologize if he feels he did something wrong. We all have to hang out with each other every week, but he is the guy you would hang out with if you had an off weekend. He is a good guy.
Q. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FINALLY BE UP AT THE FRONT WHERE YOU WERE SO USED TO RUNNING BEFORE?
A. It is nice. It is great to run up front. Guys are so nice and quiet up there in the front of the race. It is just fun. It is good to have a fast race car and it felt good to focus on little things like my line and how I was driving the car rather than how I was going to stay on the lead lap. Hopefully we can apply what we learned tonight and go forward and be faster more often because that is a lot more fun.
Q. IS THIS A QUANTUM LEAP TONIGHT OR STEADY EVOLUTION?
A. We are definitely on the horizon. We haven’t quite gone over, but I know we can run that well because we have done it and we did it tonight. We just have to figure out how to do it every week. I hope this is something we can go back on Monday and talk about why our car was so much different this week than it has been. We have some tracks like this coming up the rest of the season that will be really important tracks, so I hope we can apply this to those races.
Q. GREG HAD AN ENGINE PROBLEM, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?
A. Well, I am not sure what broke and what the differences were in our engines. Jack Roush did come by and tell me that Greg had a failure and that we would have to think about what we are doing going forward. The Yates guys are very smart guys and hopefully we can keep that to a minimum. I have been taking for granted that our engines run so well and we won’t have trouble. We can’t have that kind of trouble if we are going to make the Chase.
Q. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR SHARING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE #9 CAR AND HOW IT MAY HAVE HELPED YOU TONIGHT?
A. Well, Kasey is a hell of a guy. He is a very good race car driver and Kenny Francis is very good at what he does. That team has been helping us and this week they helped us quite a bit and it paid off. Right up until the driver intros I was talking to Kasey about his car. He is a very even keeled guy that has given me a lot of help. The parts and the help from Kenny Francis are probably what made the difference for us tonight.
Q. KNOWING THAT THIS CAN BE A TRACK THAT IS A PRE-CURSOR TO THE CHASE BECAUSE OF THE SIZE, CAN TOO MUCH BE MADE OF THAT OR DOES THIS MEAN THAT SOME GOOD TEAMS ARE NOT AS GOOD AS WE THOUGHT?
A. That is a good question, but it looks like their teammates ran well. Most likely they were trying some stuff. I wouldn’t count any of those guys out.
Q. ON JEFF GORDON’S THIRD PLACE FINISH ON THE NIGHT OF HIS 600TH CAREER START
A. I remember I was at the grocery store, probably in 1993, with my Mom and I picked up a racing magazine on the rack and remember thinking how this guy had it made. There you were on the cover of the magazine standing next to your race car. You had a cool race car, driver suit, mustache and mullet. I was thinking that I couldn’t even grow a mustache. It is so cool to be sitting up here with you and on the night of your 600th career start. Congrats man, it is a great milestone.
KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 6th)
It was a good team effort. We had good pit calls and good pit stops. We probably should have finished in fifth. It was a good effort. We got way too loose there at the center part of the race and it was tough to pass. The aero here is really difficult. All things considered I think it was a pretty good night. We probably could have finished a little higher, but I will take it.
PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Mendards Ford Fusion (Finished 10th)
It was solid. We were very close when we unloaded and did some little things all through practice that helped. We were able to run top-10 all night. It was pretty uneventful really but it was a good car and I am really happy with that.
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Finished 14th)
It wasn’t very good. I thought we would be better than that. This place usually loosens up. The last couple of years I have been here you get loose the beginning of the race and then as the night goes on it gets looser. We were just way too tight the whole time. I hit the wall there and got way tight off turn two and that hurt us for a little bit. The guys did a great job to get it back to pretty much where it was. We just were fighting tight all night and struggling with that. I was breathing in carbon monoxide which was tough too. Finishing 14th for not a very good day, I will take that. One of my goals the last 18 races is to be in the top-15 every race. If we do that I think we will keep making up points. We are going to have bad days, like this, but to get a 14th out if it is good. I am proud of the guys. We all deserve better and I feel like we should have been better, but we will keep working at it.
Q. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR TO BETTER DAYS?
A. We are getting there. We definitely have to keep learning. I wouldn’t say we are quite there yet to go steal a win. We need to consistently run in the top-10 more and once we do, we will have better races. To have a bad night and run 14th is a good indication to me that we are getting better.
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 12th)
Our UPS Freight Ford was pretty fast and I was pretty happy with it. We just ran and ran and ran and passed cars and passed cars and we were still 15th each time, so that was a little frustrating. We’ll have to work on our qualifying effort some. The last three or four weeks we’ve had a top-15 car and it was certainly good to see Carl up there trying to win the thing. Our cars were fast tonight, but we still have to get them better.
Q. IS THERE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE ROUSH TUNNEL?
A. Yes, we see it; I don’t know if everyone else sees it, but we do. Certainly our engineers and everybody back at the chassis shop and engine shop are working hard and we had the new Ford engine tonight. We’re making progress, but at the same time, everyone else is also making progress. It was good to see some Fords up there in the top 10. We’ll have the week off to think about this race and then we’ll head to Indy to try and get one.
BILL ELLIOTT – No. 21 Motorcraft/QuickLane Ford Fusion (Finished 37th)
Q. WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED THE WRECK?
A. I cut a tire and from there I was just along for the ride. I feel bad for the guys. We have worked hard but we have missed something, whether it is the spoiler or whatever, we just can’t get where we need to be. We are just okay out there. Everybody is really working hard and trying to help us out, then something like this happens and it is just really unfortunate.”
Q. THAT WAS A REALLY HARD HIT, ARE YOU GOOD?
A. It was no easy day, but it wasn’t that bad. I am okay.
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 35th)
Q. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ENGINE?
A. We blew the engine. That is what happens when you have a brand new product. There is a little trial and error. We don’t have a lot of miles on these engines. It seemed like we broke something in the valve train or something. It is unfortunate. That will hurt our chances in the Chase you know. We had a great car and coming into tonight I was really excited about it, so this is really disappointing. I guess tonight just wasn’t our night.