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Stenhouse Races to Career-Best 3rd Place at Talladega

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Camping World RV Sales 500 (Talladega Superspeedway)
NSCS Post Race Quotes
Sunday, October 20, 2013FORD FINISHING ORDER
3rd       Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6th       David Ragan
7th       David Gilliland
11th     Greg Biffle
15th     Michael McDowell
16th     Joey Logano
17th     Carl Edwards
22nd     Aric Almirola
23rd     Trevor Bayne
27th     Casey Mears
29th     Brad Keselowski
39th     Marcos AmbroseCARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion – “I think that wreck at the end, there was a lot of stuff that was going to happen in the last half a lap but we didn’t see it because of that wreck. We should have been a little better. We were leading with 10 or 15 to go and I thought we were in a really good spot and it just did not work out. I tried my hardest and that is what we got.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 Scotch Blue Ford Fusion – “We made it through, that is half the battle at this place. It was typical Talladega, we were up and then in the back and up and then in the back. At the end of the day, we missed the wreck and that is all I really care about.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “It was one of those deals today. Nobody really wanted to race there at the end when we needed everybody to race. Any time you would go to make a move when it is all single file like that you just go right to the back and it just doesn’t work. That is what it was. I can only drive my car though. I tried really hard to work with Joey there at the end and went down to make some moves to try to get some kind of position on the track and all we did was go backwards. You are better off to just stay single file.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “That was a lot more conservative race than I think anyone ever thought. We all were racing pretty hard too. There were a few times when it looked like there was going to be a big crash and there never was. In the end though nobody wanted to go. I was back there trying to make a move to go forward again but once they all went single file up against the wall you are SOL back there. You try to do anything you can to move up and there were a few guys back there that wanted to go but the bottom lane doesn’t work because of these big shark fins on the side that doesn’t let any air on the spoiler so it hurts the bottom lane so much. You aren’t able to slow down the guy on the top because the fin blocks the air on the spoiler and you can’t slow them down. That is why the bottom lane doesn’t work and it is never going to work until they change that.”

DAVID RAGAN, No. 34 SaferCar.gov Ford Fusion — “It was a crazy last lap.  We set out what we wanted to do with our SaferCar.gov Ford.  We had a chance to win the race, took the white flag in seventh or eighth and kind of had a good plan.  But the caution came out. So, we got a top 10 finish and that’s a good thing for our Front Row Motorsports team.  Everybody go check SaferCar.gov to see how safe your car is.  Mine was pretty good today.”

DAVID GILLILAND, No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford — “Our Long John Silver’s team did a great job all weekend.  David (Ragan) and I worked together for a good part of the race and definitely toward the end there.  We were in position, we had a plan where we could make a move together, but then the caution came out on the last lap.  Thankfully, we weren’t a part of it and we were able to get a top 10 finish and a clean car to take home.  I’m just really proud of my team.  They’ve been working so hard and days like this show that it pays off.  I think we definitely could’ve had a chance a win.  We were definitely in the mix for the last 50, 60 laps of the race, we weren’t hanging back anymore.  But it just wasn’t meant to be this time.  Next time.”

 

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., TOP-ROOKIE FINISHER PRESS CONFERENCE

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion – You ran up front, certainly were in position there, had the caution flag not come out perhaps to really make something happen on that last lap.  Talk about your run and what you saw the last lap.  “Yeah, first off, I thought the racing was great all day.  We were two, three, four wide for a long time, and cars seemed to be able to make moves and get some momentum going. For our Nationwide Insurance team we were solid all day, in the top-10 a lot of the day, and led a few laps, which is good for us.  We’re trying to get the ball rolling here late in the season, and that last lap there I was trying to hang back, time it right where Paul (Menard) and I could either kind of get a run on the 14 and go to the inside and see if we could make something happen or get him to pull out and go low and us get back in line on the top and try to have a full head of steam for Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and Jamie (McMurray) there coming down to three and four.  I just didn’t time it quite right, and us and the 14 met right there in the middle and caused a crash. I am bummed that we caused that, but all in all, it was a good day for us.”

As you rode in line there those last 10 laps, were you kind of surprised that everybody kept waiting and waiting AND that you didn’t go any earlier?  “Yeah, I thought when they said the 22 was lining up on the bottom with about five to go, I knew they weren’t going to have near enough time to get it going and organized to get that momentum.  At that point I knew it was going to be just up to us top five, six cars there running the top.  It seems like throughout the race there was a lot of guys that were able to pull out and make a move and leave me hanging.  You know, I was going to be that guy to make the first move, and so we tried it.  It just didn’t play out.

What happened with Austin out there?  What exactly did you see from your vantage point?  “You know, I had been running half throttle there and timing my run off of 2.  We couldn’t seem to get a good run off of four, so I thought two, coming off of two was going to be my best place to get that done.  We hung back there a little bit, and we had a good run coming, and when I pulled out a little bit there to go to the bottom, he pulled down the block and I tried to get back to the top as quick as I could thinking the momentum was going to carry us around the outside there, and we just met right there in the middle.”

You’ve had some good runs here lately, some top 10s and stuff like that.  If you could talk about building off that, you mentioned finishing off the season and really seeing some results like that.  “Yeah, everybody is working real hard.  I think our cars are getting better, and everybody at the shop is all hands on, just trying to make our season the best it can be here at the end.  We struggled throughout the first half of the season, definitely more than I thought we should or definitely more than we wanted to.  We’ve learned a lot.  I think we’re getting better as a team, and I’m learning a little bit more about what we need to do from practice to the race to make our car still fast throughout the race.  It’s been fun the last month or so, and we just need to keep it going. Today was a great race for us, and we had a good one here last time, so we were looking forward to coming back to Talladega, and hopefully we can carry that on.”

I get the impression that Junior was going to wait until his moment to make the move, but for you guys is it kind of a risk versus reward scenario where you don’t want to be the guy to pull out and you’re waiting for the guys behind to make their move before you jump out in front of them?  “Well, I don’t know I haven’t been in that position very often.  I was just going off of what I saw throughout the race. It seemed like if you could get to the left rear quarter of the guy in front of you and get a run, you could definitely make the bottom work, especially through the corner and then drag race down the straightaway.  That’s what we were trying to do, or my plan was.  And then when he pulled down the block I kind of changed my game plan a little bit and tried to go back to the top to get a run around the outside. This is the first time I’ve really been in that position to do it.”

How long do you let your breath out that this weekend is over and that you’ve got great finishes before you turn your mind to Martinsville?  “Our mind has been on Martinsville because I’ve only been there once and we were terrible.  We went and tested three days there a couple weeks ago, and the crew chiefs and guys have been working real hard on our race cars to get them better on the short tracks. We’ve been thinking about that a long time.  The crew chiefs, I feel like they kind of take this weekend off and sit up on the pit box and tell us when to pit. We’ve been working towards Martinsville for a while now.”

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