Biffle Wins First Chase Race Of 2008; Edwards Assumes Championship Lead
Greg Biffle won his 13th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and first at NHMS. Biffle becomes the first Ford driver other than Carl Edwards to win a Sprint Cup race in 2008.
Ford has now won seven races in 2008, equaling last year's total with nine races remaining. Ford has now won 588 all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – WERE YOU HOLDING BACK ON BRAKES AND FUEL? "Yeah, I was. This Turbo HD Ford really wanted to go, but I was holding back at the end there – at the middle part of that run – and then we got those cautions thankfully. That's what my plan was inside the car – close us up to Jimmie Johnson and get me a shot at him. I was a little better than him on that short run. He was a little bit loose and I knew it, but I just want to say we're thinking of all the fans going through Hurricane Ike. I just want to thank everybody – 3M and Dish Network – Jackson Hewitt supported us this year." KANSAS WAS A WHILE AGO. HOW DOES THIS FEEL? "I can't describe it. I needed a lot of help to get here and all these guys behind me and the engine department, everybody has just given me so much help and support. All of my friends and family at home just keep telling us we can do it. One other guy that's not here told me we can do it and I'm gonna try." NOT MANY PICKED YOU AS A CONTENDER. "The horse rode today, didn't it." DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Ford. Drive one. Ford Fusion (Finished 41st) – "Somebody wrecked in front of me and the track was blocked. I got into Matt, but the track was blocked. It's a bummer because the Drive one Fusion was not bad today. We were holding our own and was kind of moving up the longer the race went, but it was just unfortunate there. I don't know. I heard that Hornish maybe got on the inside and got into somebody, but I didn't see it. It's just a terrible way to end our day." MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 40th) – "I'm fine. That was a couple of hard hits there, the hardest I've hit in a while. That's not the way we wanted to go out with our Carhartt Fusion. All of the guys were doing a really good job. We had good pit stops, good strategy, good adjustments today. We didn't have much to work with. We were really slow today and overnight they made the car a lot better. We weren't gonna be a factor to win, but we were gonna get a decent finish out of it anyway and try to go onto next week. This isn't the time to have it happen, but those things happen." IT WAS FIVE WIDE. "Yeah, it was pretty crazy. Everybody makes mistakes. I know I've made my share and caused my share of wrecks, so you hate to ever point fingers at anybody, but, yeah, it was crazy. There were some of the lap cars that, instead of being in one line or instead of being three-wide, were trying to be three-wide with one of the lead lap cars outside of them. I saw somebody, I don't know if it was the 45 or who it was get into three pretty deep and pretty low on the track and get into the first car and that seemed to start it." HOW BIG OF A HOLE IS THIS WITH NINE TO GO? "You just kind of take it one week at a time. We've got to get running better. Today, we were gonna salvage something decent, I thought, after not much of a Friday and Saturday, so we've just got to keep working and get our performance better. We just really have to approach it one week at a time and work as hard as we can every week to get our cars better. If we can get our cars better and run up front, most of the time things like this won't happen. If we would have been up running where Greg and Carl were running, we wouldn't have got wrecked to start with, so I always feel it's partially your fault. Even though we got caught up in somebody else's mess, if we would have been running better, we would have been ahead of their mess."
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 28 Valvoline Ford Fusion (Finished 16th) – "We were just consistent. We really struggled here the last race, so to come back and work on our setup and make some big improvements from our last race is great. We had a decent run last week at Richmond. We applied some of that to here. We were just solid. We needed to be quite a bit looser. Our car was pretty tight, but we were just solid and steady and stayed on the lead lap and got a good result." ANY DIFFERENCE IN INTENSITY TODAY? "Not really. It's the same Cup racing that we know and love. There was a lot of beating and banging and just good short track racing. I'm just really happy with my Valvoline team."
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 28th) – "The 18 was kind of all over the place and just spun out. The spotter said that he was in the middle of the track and I just slowed down too quick. I locked up the brakes and I guess Jamie and some of those guys were coming hard from behind and just didn't have anywhere to go. If we could have dodged that one, I felt like we had a good car today to contend for a good run, but after that we just struggled getting fuel in it and had poor track position all day. When someone is spinning out and there's smoke everywhere, all you can do is just try to slow down and I just basically stopped and the 26 didn't have anywhere to go."
BILL ELLIOTT – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Finished 29th) – "We struggled with track position all day. We were tight in the middle and loose off. I fought that all day. Then we got the middle better, but would be loose up off. I just couldn't get going." YOU MET SENATOR MCCAIN BEFORE THE RACE. HOW WAS THAT? "That was a pretty neat deal. For what he stood up and did for our country, I don't think they give the man enough credit. Regardless of some of the other issues, the way I see this whole deal is we're either gonna be fighting them over there or over here and I'd rather be fighting them over there than in our country. There are a lot of things, but he's a neat guy and I wish him the best."
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd) – "My guys did awesome. Everything worked. The Vitamin Water even tastes good right now. It's cool to be leading the points. It's awesome for Greg Biffle and great for Office Depot, Ford, Aflac, everybody." WERE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW YOU RAN TODAY? "Yeah, that's why it sounds like I'm in Victory Lane here. I'm pumped. It just wasn't any good in practice. Bob Osborne, he did a great job coming up with a setup – four springs, shocks, track bar, all that stuff. He showed me the sheet this morning and I said, ‘Man, I hope it works,' and it did."
CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – "Man, I feel like we won that thing just because of how terrible we were in practice, and to finish this well and to be tied with Jimmie there in the points, that's a huge day for us. It was really cool that Greg got the win. That's awesome for him and the Dish Network team and it was really fun to watch Jimmie and him race. That was wild. They were fighting hard, so it was a good day for us."
DID YOU EXPECT GREG TO PASS JIMMIE? "No, I didn't expect it to happen. After hearing Jimmie was having trouble on the short runs, it makes more sense, but it was just so hard to pass, I mean, real hard to pass and I think it all just worked out perfect for Greg. I didn't expect it to happen, no. It was a surprise to me."
IS THIS A RELIEF TO HAVE THIS RACE OUT OF THE WAY WITH NO ISSUES? "That's a good question. I mean, for me, like I said, it's a huge relief. I mean, I was out there thanking everyone I wanted to thank. Last night, I didn't go to bed thinking that today was gonna end up like this, so it's a huge relief for me."