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LOUDON -- The flat one-mile track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is this weekend’s stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour and Ford Racing talked with drivers Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth about the track and keys to success.
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Q. MICHIGAN TOOK ON SIGNIFICANCE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO BECAUSE IT’S THE HOME OF THE MANUFACTURERS. THIS WEEK, LOUDON IS THE HOME OF THE FENWAY SPORTS GROUP. DOES THIS RACE TAKE ON ADDED SIGNIFICANCE BECAUSE OF THAT?
A. Yeah, I think so. Our association with the Fenway Sports Group has helped us gain a tremendous amount of fans in that area. We love going up there because we normally get to go to a baseball game, but I don’t think they’re in town this time around, so we’re gonna miss out on that. We sure enjoy that race track. I’ve got a win there and we run pretty decent there. It’s not our best race track, but we’re hit and miss and, hopefully, we’re hit this time.
Q. DO YOU LIKE FLAT TRACKS OR ARE YOU MORE A BANKED KIND OF GUY?
A. I like some of the flat tracks that have enough speed and you can move around on them, and that race track qualifies for that. You can kind of do the slide job and run the bottom or the top. Martinsville is a flat track, but there’s one way around the place and that’s it. One way around it is really slow, but I tend to like the flat places. They’re a lot of fun.
Q. HOW DOES LOUDON STACK UP FROM A CHASE STANDPOINT. IS IT A PLACE WHERE YOU FEEL YOU CAN SOLIDIFY YOUR SPOT?
A. Yeah, I think it’s a good race track and we’re capable of finishing in the top 10 there or repeating our win from a few years ago. That definitely could be in the cards.
KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Q. WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO RUNNING A GOOD RACE AT THAT TRACK?
A. Loudon is pretty neat. I enjoy going there. It always has a really cool fan following. People get excited for it and it’s just a different track than what we go to being a flat one-mile track with a lot of braking. I enjoy that race track. It’s rough getting into three, so there are some things you work on there, and then just being able to get off the corner and get down the straightaway, it’s a pretty neat track. It’s a lot of fun.
Q. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK ON THERE TO GET SOME BETTER RESULTS?
A. I don’t know. We run pretty decent there. The first couple of years we were always top 10 and then we had a couple where we weren’t, so it’s just up and down. We just need to figure out how to get the right balance. If we do that, I think we’ll have a shot to run in the top 10.
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Q. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL THERE?
A. You probably need to go ask somebody who has been successful there (laughing). Really, at Loudon, the biggest thing has always been, like most race tracks and especially short tracks, is being able to get your car to turn really well in the middle and still be able to step on the gas off the corner decent. It’s a track that’s always been kind of hard to pass at, and kind of hard to get your front end to turn without just making your back end unhook, so you really need to get the front tires to work good there. If you can get that handled, usually the rest of it is easy.
Q. DO YOU LIKE IT OR NOT?
A. I don’t mind it. There have been a few times I’ve had really fast cars and I’ve had a lot of fun there, and then there have been other times we’ve struggled. Like any other track, the better your car runs, the more competitive you are, and the farther you run more toward the front, the more fun it is.
Q. DO YOU PLAN ON DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT AT LOUDON NEXT WEEK SINCE IT’S THE FIRST RACE IN THE CHASE?
A. No. To be honest with you, the way we’ve been running lately and the way we’ve been finishing, I’m more worried about making the chase a lot more than I’m worried about what we’re gonna do if we get in it. We’ve got a lot of racing left to do before we get back there, and we’ve got to get running better than we’ve been running to make sure we have a spot in it.
Q. ARE YOU REALLY WORRIED? YOU HAVE A LITTLE CUSHION.
A. I’m always worried until you have 190 points or whatever it is, going into Richmond and then I’m not worried. I’m always worried until that point. We started off real strong. We had all those top 10s and everything was going good, but lately we haven’t really been doing it like we need to be to be in that spot, and we’re slowly backpedaling. So we need to get some good finishes and get some momentum back and I’d probably feel better about it.