The Chase Racer Comments on Battle

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Seeded 7th) – CAN YOU COMMENT ON YOUR PROSPECTS AT WINNING THIS CHASE?  “Well I feel good about our chances this year. We have been running really well the last eight or nine weeks and got ourselves a good point margin, and it is a good thing we did because we didn’t run very well the last couple of weeks. Other than that, we have run really good as a company and I fell we are on the upswing of things. Like Tony (Stewart) said, you have to capitalize on the places you are good at and try to survive the other ones. We have probably seven or eight good race tracks in the Chase for us, so we will get a few that we have to keep our head above water on.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT WENT WRONG TONIGHT AND HOW YOU DON’T GET FRUSTRATED WITH WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT GOING INTO THE FINAL 10 RACES?  “Well, when we drive out of the driveway, we just start thinking about Loudon and not what happened tonight. That is how you do that.  Let’s see, what happened tonight? I was driving off of pit road and my helmet filled with smoke and something was on fire. So I shut my helmet blower off and proceeded to try to get some air inside the car. About halfway through the race they said ‘what’s the temperature?’ and I said it was about 165. That is when we realized there was a hole up underneath the front of the nose of the car that had some debris at some point that knocked a hole in it. The car was really tight. We kept freeing it up and freeing it up. I am telling them that I am sliding the nose and I can’t give it any gas because it was so lose, but we fixed that. We took the wave around, and then when I was coming around the back of the field the right front tire was flat. I had to pit when we were going to the green and then we got penalized because you can’t take the wave around and pit before you take the green on the track. So we got penalized for that. Other than that, nothing else happened. It was a pretty straight up night after that.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Seeded 9th)  – DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS YEAR YOU GUYS MIGHT HAVE A SHOT AT JIMMIE JOHNSON AND OVERTAKING HIM FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?  “Jimmie has had an unbelievable ability to perform in the Chase and win championships, but I think all of these guys and everyone would agree that it is anyone’s race more than ever this year. It looks like advantages are smaller and they last a shorter period of time. Over these 10 races I think it is anybody’s. To me it feels like that is truer than ever, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmie goes out there and wins the first three to prove us wrong, but I don’t believe he will do that.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Seeded 11th) – TELL US ABOUT WHAT IT IS GOING TO TAKE TO WIN YOUR SECOND NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP.  “You have to beat all those good guys up in the top five or six every week. I think you have to be consistently top-five or under and on your worst days finish in the top-10 and on your best days content for some wins. That is about it. You never know exactly what it is going to take until they get into it.” 

LOOKING AT THE WAY THINGS HAVE PANNED OUT THIS YEAR AND AS TIGHT AS EVERYBODY SEEMS TO BE GOING INTO THE CHASE, HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CHANCES ARE AT ACTUALLY HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO BEAT JIMMIE IN THE CHASE THIS YEAR?  “I think it depends how we start. Certainly if you look at the first 26 races, everybody is going to sit up here and tell you that all 12 have a chance for a championship and yes, mathematically that is true but not if we run like we did the first 26 races. We realize our performance needs to be better than it has been. We average like a 12th place finish and certainly that is not going to win the championship over 10 races. Our performance has been getting better lately and I am enthused by that and seeing how great Greg and Carl have been running and the 9 car. It feels like we are getting better, so if we can do all the right things at the track and get up there hopefully we can contend with those guys. It depends how they run as well and if they have trouble and all that. I think the main thing we are really focused on is trying to elevate our performance to where we can be a consistent front runner up there leading laps and be in contention to win.”

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