Joey Logano Wins Fourth Straight Nationwide Series Race at Dover International Speedway

Joey Logano wins 2013 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race
Joey Logano wins 2013 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race

Dover, Delaware (September 28, 2013) – Joey Logano raced his way into the history books again on Saturday, winning his fourth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Dover International Speedway in the 5-Hour Energy 200. Joey Logano is now the only NASCAR Nationwide driver to ever win four times on the Monster Mile of Dover and the only driver to win four consecutive events in any racing series at the mile long superspeedway in Delaware.

When asked about his historic day, Joey answered. “This has been my favorite place ever since I started here. Even when I barrel-rolled down the straightaway, it’s still my favorite place.”

With four straight wins at the Monster Mile, it is not hard to see why this track is his favorite place to race. The race on Saturday at the old track was recorded as the fastest ever in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, beating the previous record of 130.152 set in 1998 by Dale Earnhardt. Jr. by 1.082 mph.

The fast race was really due to the 160 laps they raced under a green flag. Logano had the pole advantage and due to this was ahead for the first 18 laps, before Kyle Busch made his move. By the time they reached the 26th lap things became a lot tighter on the track, when the caution flag was raised due to a spin by Brian Scott. The caution flag was raised again during Lap 37, when Donnie Neuenberger ran into the wall. By this time in the race, the race car of Joey Logano was running noticeably slower on the track. This prompted Joey to come into the pits for a long stop, during which time he had this to say.

“[Busch was] really fast in the beginning of the race and we were really loose,” Logano said. “I even wanted to stop at the caution before that. But we decided to stay out a little bit longer and got that next caution. We took that hit on pit road making these big adjustments. “These Nationwide races are short and you have to make big swings early. [Crew chief] Jeremy [Bullins] made some big swings on this thing and got it close, and we just needed the one more stop to fine tune it. I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, and do the right things in the car.”

The extended pit stop worked wonders for the race car of Logano and Busch had elected to stay out on the track and gain ground, instead of pitting. When Busch eventually had to head into the pit during Lap 87, the rest of the field followed his example a few laps later, and this put Busch behind the rest of the racers on pit stops, and would mean he would need to stop one more time before the end of the race.

By this time the tires of Logano were 30 laps newer than the race tires of Busch and he started to rapidly gain ground on the leader. He caught Busch on Lap 141 and from that point on there was nothing but open race track between him and the finish line.

Logano “When your car drives good here and you have what you need, when you have lapped traffic it doesn’t even slow you down,” Logano said. “When you’re loose, you get stuck. In these Nationwide races, being able to get through the lapped traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”

At the press conference after the 5-Hour Energy 200 Joey Logano had a few things to say.

Joey Logano – No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang – We had a fast race car.  I don’t know what else I need to say.  This Hertz Ford was really good when we unloaded and then throughout practice the track changed on us a little bit and last night we made some good changes on the race car.  Jeremy and all the guys and girls on the team did a good job tuning the thing up for me.  We started the race too loose and they went for it.  These Nationwide races are short.  You’ve got to make big swings real early and I feel like Jeremy and I have worked enough together now that when I say loose and how loose he kind of knows how much it is and he made some big swings on this thing and got it pretty close.  Then we needed one more stop to just kind of fine-tune it.  After that second green-flag stop it was dialed in pretty good.  I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, make sure I was doing the right things in the car, and get another victory.  It’s just really cool to get four in a row here at Dover.  That’s pretty awesome.  It’s been my favorite race track ever since I started here, yes, even when I barrel-rolled down the back straightaway it’s still my favorite place, and I think we showed it today.  Hopefully, my Shell/Pennzoil Ford tomorrow is just as fast as this one.  If that’s the case, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

The No. 22 Hertz Ford
The No. 22 Hertz Ford

The crew chief for the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang, Jeremy Bullins, also had few comments on the race and car.

Jeremy Bullins – Crew Chief -No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang “It means a lot that we’re continuing to build good cars.  This is another brand new car that the guys at the shop built.  We just keep pushing forward and, like Joey said, the first race here we learned a lot about what the car needs for him.  I feel like we’ve learned a lot about, like what he says, when he says ‘loose’ we’re learning how to work on it and we’re getting closer with that.  We talked about it before the race, there were a lot of streaks to be kept alive today and I think we managed to pull that off, so it was just a great day on pit road.  The guys did a good job.  The whole team just did an excellent job today.”

When asked why it has been so hard for him to have success on the race track on Sunday at Dover International Speedway, Joey answered.

Joey Logano “I tell you what, on the Cup side I really do feel like I’ve had some strong cars here.  I’ve had a lot of misfortune in the Cup races, but I’ve had a lot of fast race cars here that are capable of running top five.  I’ve had loose wheels.  I’ve had flat tires.  I’ve had motors blowing up.  I’ve gone through a lot here at this race track and that’s why if you look at the stats like you did, you wouldn’t know that we ran as well as we did, but we have run really well at this race track on the Cup side.  I’m expecting tomorrow to be similar, I hope.  As far as the way the Chase has gone, Chicago, we were doing everything we were supposed to do.  We got the pole and we were leading laps, but unfortunately things break on race cars every now and again and that cost us a really good finish there and a lot of points, obviously.  Last week at Loudon, it’s probably my toughest race track that I go to.  I go from the place that I hate the most to the place I love the most this week and we came out of there with a 14th-place finish, which is not good, but, for me, is decent actually.  We come here this weekend and we know that we can still run up there.  We still have a lot of momentum on this team and we know what we did to get in the Chase and how good we are, and we’ve just got to keep pushing forward and keep fighting.  I always say that the 22 team over there never quits and they never die and that’s what we did to get here.  We’re not out of it yet.  We can still win it.  We’ve got a tough road ahead of us and we really can’t have a bad race in the next eight, but we can still do it.  We’re not out yet.  The fat lady is not singing yet.  She’s warming up her voice, but she’s not singing yet.”

Was it surprising to see this race run 160 laps to the finish line without a caution and were you surprised how easily you caught up to Busch after the series of green flags evened out? 

Joey Logano “Yes and yes.  They were really fast in the beginning of the race.  We were really loose, so I even wanted to stop the caution before that because we were hanging on.  We were pretty loose, but we decided to stay out a little bit longer and then got that next caution.  We took our hit on pit road a little bit making these big adjustments that we were gonna lose a couple spots and some guys took two, and then we were able to drive our way close to the front and then, obviously, he didn’t pit so he has to pit earlier than us, and then at that point we have newer tires so we were able to kind of run him back down.  I don’t really know what happened after that.  I was just driving in circles as fast as I could.”

“That’s when we just came out on new tires and I radioed in to Jeremy and said, ‘This car is right on.  It’s right where I need it to be,’ and I was able to carry really fast lap times.  When your car drives good here and you have exactly what it needs, when you get to lap traffic it doesn’t even slow you down.  But if it’s loose like it was, you get to a lapped car and you’re just kind of stuck and you can’t go anywhere.  He had it right where I needed to be that I was able to pass cars when I got to them and really make up that gap a lot because in these Nationwide races having a fast car is one thing, but being able to get through the lap traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”

 

 

 

 

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Greg Biffle Talks About the Chase

Greg looked pretty good during the practice session
Greg looked pretty good during the practice session

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint series will be at Dover International Speedway. Ford racing fans are looking forward to another great run on this track for Greg Biffle, who always seems to run well at this venue.

Greg Biffle is currently fifty in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings as we head to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the AAA 400. We asked him if he would drop by the infield media center after his practice session to talk about his chances of driving his way to the Chase championship in the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion.

Greg looked pretty fast on the track during the practice session
Greg looked pretty fast on the track during the practice session

What are your thoughts on the race this weekend?”

Greg Biffle “It’s been a great track for us, although as of late we’ve struggled a little bit here as an organization.  We’re looking forward to turning that around like we’ve been able to do at Richmond and some of the short tracks we’ve been a lot better on as of late.  We targeted this place to be a place we need to improve at and I feel that so far we’ve been a little bit better than we had been in the spring time here.  That gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend and what we’re able to do with the car tomorrow.”

“Some think the Chase is really a three-man race this year. What are your thoughts on making it a four-man race? You always seem to have success during the Chase.”

Biffle “The Chase, from what I understand, is made up of 10 races and to be two races into the Chase and say it’s a three-man race already, to me, seems silly as to why somebody would want to put themselves in that position and say it’s a three-man race.  Obviously, you don’t have anything on the line.  It’s not like we’re making a wager in Vegas that it’s a three-man race.  It’s somebody’s opinion and everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I can’t imagine with eight races to go that somebody would be willing to say, ‘Oh, this is a three-man race.’  Take for instance last week, we finished third and moved up six spots in the points to fifth.  I don’t know how one would say it’s a three-man race.  Now, if Kenseth goes on and wins the title does that mean it’s a three-man race or does that mean it’s a one-man race?  I don’t know.  I just think there are more than three cars in this thing right now.  Now, if we get past Talladega and there are four races to go or three races to go, I could see that.  But they could break for three races in a row and maybe not even go to Vegas and not even be in the top 10.  So I’d say it’s a little early is all I was getting at.  I wouldn’t be the one putting my name on the line to say there are only three cars in this hunt right now.  I wasn’t necessarily saying that for the 16 team.  I wasn’t making the case that it’s not a three-man race because of us, I wouldn’t count out Carl Edwards or any of those other guys that are right there in the hunt.  Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, I wouldn’t be counting those guys out just yet is all I was saying.  I wasn’t saying it just because of our case of one race we finished third and moved to fifth in points, that wasn’t the point I was making.”

“Ford racing hasn’t won a Chase in quite awhile. Are there any common reasons you can think of that would have caused this during the last decade? Do you feel a lot of added pressure, because of this, to win the championship this year?”

Biffle “I can’t really answer why we haven’t won a title.  You look at Carl and Carl tied for the points championship.  It doesn’t get any close than that and in 2005 we finished under the old point system 35 points behind Tony with a  major hiccup with three races to go.  Potentially, with not much in history changed, we’ve got two championships right there.  Some teams have probably done a little better job than we have and you look at Matt Kenseth for example.  He’s got seven wins on the season.  That might indicate some of the reasons why they’ve got more championships than we’ve got.  We’ve still got a little bit more work to do.  We’ve come a tremendously long way and I think we’re fairly competitive right now.”

There have been people who have suggested you Ford racers haven’t always garnered the attention other drivers get, even though you have showed pretty good, finishing in the top five year after year. Do you feel these comments are warranted?

Biffle “I think that’s just historically the way it’s been.  You talk about the guys that are having success and how great it is.  That’s sort of been the way it is.  Am I surprised they’re not talking about Carl?  A little bit.  Am I surprised they’re not talking about the 16?  Not really because we tend to slide a little bit under the radar all the time anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.  It gives you motivation to do well and compete every week and try to get what you can.  Like I always said before, if you’re winning races or you win the championship, they have to talk about you so put yourself in that position – put yourself in the position Matt is and they’re gonna be talking about you.”

Would you rather be in the position Matt was in? Can you think of any particular reason Matt didn’t have consistent success during his run with Roush?

Biffle “That’s a hard one.  I couldn’t pinpoint any particular reason why, but the other thing is I don’t mind flying a little under the radar.  It’s a little less pressure sometimes.”

How does it feel to have a teammate in the Chase? What things do you share with each other? How do you compete against each other?

“Carl and I have a lot of respect for each other.  We had an incident earlier in the season at Michigan where the whole organization sat down and I think we understand each other and appreciate each other’s abilities a lot more since that meeting and we kind of do what we can to help one another that doesn’t hurt yourself and that’s what came out of that meeting in Sonoma after the Michigan race and that’s the way we’ve really handled it since then.  Carl and I are parked next to each other in the garage and we’re talking about our cars and competition and how our car is in race trim versus qualifying trim, so we share everything and try to help one another with what we can.”

Listen to What the Ford Drivers are Saying About the Pepsi MAX 400

 

As mentioned above, Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal
Black Ford Fusion, has the most Top 10 finishes among all drivers at
Auto Club Speedway with 12.  Kenseth, who also has three wins at the
track, spoke about his success here before today’s practice.

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion – DO YOU THINK
THERE IS SOME SORT OF ETIQUETTE BETWEEN CHASERS AND NON-CHASERS,
LOOKING BACK ON LAST WEEK’S BUSCH-REUTIMANN ISSUE?  “I didn’t really
see what went down last week, so I can’t comment on that, but, in my
opinion, I think you race the same all year.  I think you should race
everybody the same whether they’re in the chase or not in the chase.
I think you try to show people respect all year because everybody has
the same right to be out there, whether they’re first in points or
last in points.”  THAT BEING SAID, ARE THERE CERTAIN PEOPLE ON THE
TRACK THAT YOU’RE MORE AWARE OF AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM BECAUSE YOU
FEEL SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN?  “No.  I race the same all year,
honestly, no matter where you are in the points.  If it came down to
the last week or something like that and you’re the point leader by a
bunch, you’re probably gonna be a little bit more careful, but, other
than that, as competitive as it is I think you race as hard as you can
all year.  Everybody has the same right to be out there.  Everybody is
out there racing for wins and have their own particular
responsibilities.”  AS A CHASER DO YOU WORRY ABOUT SOMETIMES RUBBING
FENDERS WITH A NON-CHASER, KNOWING THEY COULD POSSIBLY RUIN YOUR
CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES?  “I don’t want to ruin any race.  No matter where
you are in the points they’re all big races.  I think you go out there
and you’re gonna race whatever your style is all the time.  I don’t
think that really changes.  You still have to race hard all the time
because it’s so competitive that you can’t just go out and think about
not knocking a fender off.  You go out there and think about trying to
get to the front.”  DO YOU CONSIDER THIS THE KIND OF TRACK THAT CAN
HELP YOU GET BACK UP IN THE POINTS?  “Where we are, we’ve got to gain
some significant points on the leader every week to get back in it and
have a realistic shot.  I think our performance has been picking up a
little bit lately, we just have to get a whole race put together.
We’ve been struggling with that a little bit.  There were times last
week where I thought we were very competitive but we didn’t finish it
off.  This has been a pretty good track for us in the past, so,
hopefully we can be competitive from the time we get on the track this
morning all the way through Sunday when we’re done and get a good
finish.  So that’s really what I’m more focused on is just trying to
get back up with the leaders and be competitive so we can get in a
really good position to win some races.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES    Pepsi MAX 400, Page 2
October 8, 2010 Auto Club Speedway

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED — IS THERE A SPECIFIC POINT IN THE RACE WHERE
YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO IMPROVE?  “Our adjustments have just not been
good enough to keep up with the track for whatever reason.  Last week,
the worst we ran the whole race was our last run and you can’t do that
because you’re not gonna get the finishes.  Lately, there have been a
lot of long, green-flag runs at the end and you’ve got to have your
car handling right and do the right things at the end of the race.  On
the last pit stop we came out ahead of Jimmie Johnson and he finished
second and we finished seventh without a caution, so we just haven’t
been doing the right things to keep up on whatever it is – track
conditions or adjustments.  That’s probably my fault for not knowing
what I need for adjustments.  I’m trying to give them the best
feedback I can and hope that we do the right things on the car in the
pits to get it running better.”  WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO WELL AT
CHARLOTTE?  “Track position has been really important there since the
introduction of this car with the spoiler and that pavement.  The
pavement has a lot of grip and even though the track gets pretty wide,
it’s a real fast track and kind of hard to pass so track position is
real important.  You’ve got to be in position the last couple of
stops.”  WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FALL AND SPRING
RACE THERE?  “I don’t think there’s much of a difference.”  WHAT IS IT
GOING TO TAKE FOR ANYBODY TO BEAT THE 48?  “You’ve got to prove you
can beat them.  I’ve said it for five years, they’re the best team out
there and somebody has to beat them and knock them down before you can
say they’re not the best team.  Everybody says, ‘Oh, they don’t have
momentum.  They’re not running as good.’  Well, as soon as somebody
shows they can beat them, I’ll believe it.”  WHAT TRACK ARE YOU
WORRIED ABOUT THE MOST OF THE TRACKS LEFT?  “Honestly, for me I worry
about all of them.  I’ve really just been focused on Fontana this
weekend and then trying to get back on track here and get a good
finish.”  IS THE FR9 ENGINE COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME?  “I think the
engine has been helping a little bit.  I think there’s still some room
for improvement and Doug knows that – everybody knows that – because
we’ve only been working on it for six months or a year, whereas we
worked on that old engine forever.  I think it’s certainly an
advantage and it’s better than what we had, plus they keep getting it
better.”  DO YOU THINK IT WILL RUN PARTICULARLY WELL HERE IN FONTANA?
“I hope so.  Fontana and Michigan are big horsepower race tracks, but
they’re also big handling race tracks as well.  It’s real similar to
Michigan, so if you perform well there, hopefully you’ll perform okay
here.”

Ford Racers Talk About the Pepsi MAX 400

       Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, has a pair of wins
this season, including last week at Kansas Speedway.  The win allowed
Biffle to move within 85 points of leader Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series point standings.  He spoke with reporters after
Friday’s practice session.

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – HOW HAVE THINGS GONE SO FAR?
“I’m certainly really excited about coming off a good week last week
and the car is fast right off the truck again – good in race practice
and we switched to qualifying practice and I think we ended up in the
top five, so it looks the same as last weekend so far.  It looks like
we’re gonna have a decent qualifying run, although we’ve got to back
it up on the race track now.  We’ll see what happens here in a little
bit, but I feel really good about this race track.  I like it here.
We run well on this race track and I just can’t wait for Sunday and
can’t wait for qualifying, hopefully get a good lap and look forward
to the race.”  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING ONLY ONE CALIFORNIA
RACE NEXT YEAR?  “Obviously I’m not real excited about that.  This is
probably one of our best race tracks that we race at, so getting cut
down to one time – me personally – it’s gonna hurt.  I’ve got a lot of
family here and get back to the west coast a little bit.  I’ve got
friends and family who come from Washington and Oregon, where I grew
up.  I see a lot of people here I used to race with and fans, so it
gives all the west coasters a chance to come and visit this race
track.  So I think it has a pretty good draw from a lot of different
states.  As far as that goes, one is the personal side of it. I really
enjoy coming to Southern California and get to see everybody, but two,
I run really good here so that’s kind of a double thing for me.  I
guess the bright side of it is, if there’s a positive, is at least we
get to come here once a year.  Unfortunately, we’re not gonna get to
come twice.”  DO YOU THINK THE FR9 IS COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME AND
WHY OR WHY NOT?  “I was hoping that this was gonna happen.  It was
kind of ironic that the FR9 engine came in right as Ford had struggled
for so long.  We really struggled with our cars.  Our engines have
always been great and made great power and been reliable, so it was
like, ‘When are we ever gonna get our cars turned around and get our
cars running better and be more competitive?’  And right as we did
that, we were integrating the FR9 engine into the program, so it sort
of makes it look like the FR9 engine is really our saving grace in the
whole thing, and that’s part of the piece of the puzzle, but it’s not
as big as what some people from the outside would look at that don’t
know a lot about the sport.  They say, ‘Oh, they’ve got their new
engine.  Now they’re winning races and really competing well.’  So
really, where the turnaround was, if you look back at our stats, was
Chicago for all Roush Fenway cars.  The RPM cars had outrun us for the
better part of the season, so we kind of switched to more of their
suspension package in Chicago and I think Carl has three second-place
finishes then, I’ve got two wins and was running second when the
engine expired at Chicago that very race, so, really, that was kind of
our turnaround race.  We really turned our program around and the
engine came on board, so with the two combination, it certainly made
us a ton better.  Some of the things about the engine, it makes a
little bit better mid-range power, which the passing takes place from
the center of the corner to the corner exit.  When you put the gas
down, the guy whose car handles the best and puts the gas down the
earliest is normally the guy that will make the pass, but also that’s
where you need the engine to have its most power.  So this engine does
that a little bit better and then the cooling package, we’ve really
caught up to all the other manufacturers on our cooling package.  It’s
a little bit more efficient, so we’re able to match the tape on the
front of the car as the other guys, so those two things – and it’s got
the lower center of gravity.  It is a little heavier than the old
engine just because we had to make our engine a little bit longer to
match the other manufacturers, so it has plusses and minuses to it as
far as what it does.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — ARE YOU FEELING MORE COMFORTABLE WITH IT NOW
AND CAN PUSH THE LIMITS MORE?  “Yeah, I definitely do, especially
after last week because we definitely tested it last week.  The engine
was on the chip for three-quarters of that race from just past the
flag stand all the way to the corner.  The engine shop said, ‘Make
sure you don’t run this engine on the chip.  We don’t want it running
on the rev chip.  Run it right before it.’  When you start making it
miss on cylinders it gets angry inside with all the parts and pieces.
Of course, we listened to them and then ran it on the chip for
three-quarters of the day and the thing lived the whole time.  I got
preliminary reports back that everything looked good in the engine –
the valvetrain looked good, everything looked good – so maybe in the
future we can get another 100 RPM and get the blessing from the engine
guys to run the engine another 100 RPM.  It’s not that you can’t run
it another 100 RPM if you feel like it, it’s just particular tracks.
Like here, we’re turning 9400 RPM or so – 9350 or so, and then in the
race we’ll probably turn only 9100.  So that’s an extreme from last
week when it was turning 9600.  This week during the race it’s
probably turning 9100 or 9200, so it just depends on the race track
and the temperature of the day as far as how many RPM the engine
runs.”  IN THREE OF THE LAST FOUR RACES THERE HAVE BEEN FIVE OR FEWER
CAUTIONS.  AS A DRIVER, HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT  AND IT IS MORE
DIFFICULT TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS DURING THE RACE?  “Yeah, I can
definitely attest that there have been less cautions because we are
unfortunately sitting here eighth in points because we pitted at Dover
and the caution came out the next lap and caught us two laps down and
the caution came out only one more time.  So with a top 10 car we
finished 19th and here we sit 85 points out of the lead.
Respectfully, we should be about 40 points out of the lead or maybe 35
if we would have just got our laps back that we lost because of that
caution flag.  So, yes, I have seen more green flag running, although
last week it seemed like there were more cautions – a few more than
there were at Dover.  I think the trend is kind of up-and-down and as
we figure these cars out and we all get better at driving them and
more proficient, I think as drivers and teams we make less and less
mistakes, and, of course, that means the caution comes out less and
less as we go.  I think it’s just a product of everybody getting
better.  The engines getting better – if you remember, it wasn’t
uncommon to lose an engine and now it’s a lot more rare to see an
engine failure because technology has gotten better and the guys have
gotten better about building them.  And to be honest with you, these
cars are easier to drive than the old cars.  The old cars you really
had to be on your toes.  These cars are a lot easier to drive.
They’ve got a lot of sideforce, the sides are real big and tall,
they’ve got a huge spoiler on the back of them, so the cars are much
easier to drive and they wreck a lot less.”  IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO
MAKE CHANGES WITH MORE GREEN FLAG STOPS?  “Yeah.  You’re worried about
getting on and off pit road, which is okay, that’s really not the
biggest thing, the biggest thing is you don’t get a chance to
experiment.  If a race has a few more cautions or a normal amount of
cautions, then you won’t be afraid to put some wedge in it and change
the tire pressure.  Well, when it runs green for four cycles in a row,
if you’re off a little bit, you can get lapped or lose a lot of
positions in a hurry.  You have to be much more executed on the
decision you make because the chance to un-do it if it’s the wrong way
is normally about 70 laps later when you’re out of gas – then you get
to come back and try it again.  Under that scenario, it’s not as
easy.”

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED — MARTINSVILLE IS THE SMALLEST AND SLOWEST
TRACK.  WHY DOES IT CREATE SUCH A BIG CHALLENGE?  “I think that is the
challenge – the smallest race track is probably the biggest thing.
When you take 43 cars and there’s really one lane that makes the
fastest way around the route, it’s hard for everybody to get in that
same lane and make things happen.  That’s really the biggest thing
about it.  The bottom is the fastest way around it because it’s so
flat.  It doesn’t provide any banking, so you can’t really effectively
run the top much faster.  If it had a little bit of a progressive
bank, the top might be a little bit faster, where you could kind of
run up and down the race track, so that’s really the biggest thing is
you’re trying to put so many cars in a circle in one lane around the
bottom of the race track and that’s what makes it so hard – just makes
it really, really difficult.  You get bottled up from the guy in front
of you, the guy behind you can get the gas down and turn underneath
you, sticks you on the outside and even though you’ve got a good car,
you just got checked up a little bit because the guys up there are
playing bumper cars, and, all of a sudden, you get shuffled to the
outside and you can lose 15 spots before you can get back in line.
It’s kind of a gamble.”  HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOUR FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’VE
GOT TO DO EVERY RACE AND NOT LET  THE 48 BE A DISTRACTION WHEN IT
LOOKS LIKE THE SAME SCENARIO PLAYING OUT AGAIN?  “It’s pretty easy for
me because the way I look at it is I worry about the 16 car and get
the best finish I can here at California.  I’ve got to beat Tony
Stewart, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jimmie Johnson and all the rest and
it really makes no difference who I’m racing for the lead or who I’m
racing for fifth as far as what car it is.  What he does, I don’t have
any control over, so I focus on getting the best finish and not making
any mistakes.  Whether it’s sixth or third or a win this weekend, I
just do the best I can.  Last weekend, when I finished the race at
Kansas I had no idea, and I still don’t today, who finished third,
fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.  I guess that’s bad of me, but I’ve
been so busy this week I haven’t looked at the finishing order.  And I
didn’t know Jimmie finished second until I was in the media center and
somebody said, ‘Well, what do you think about the 48 getting second?’
I had no idea where he finished.  I didn’t see him all day.  I didn’t
see him one time.  The guys later told me he was running in the teens
with about 40 laps to go, or something like that, and they made some
adjustments and got better and whizzed their way up to second place.
That’s a perfect example of paying attention to what we’ve got to do
and do the best we can.  I can’t control what they do.  Unfortunately,
they got all the way back to second, but we’ll just see.  Hopefully,
they’re off one of these races and we can gain some points on them.”
WHICH TRACK IS MORE AGGRAVATING FOR YOU AS FAR AS TALLADEGA OR
MARTINSVILLE BECAUSE THEY’RE VIEWED AS THE TWO WILD CARD RACES?
“Probably Martinsville because there is so little room to race and so
little you can do on that race track.  We predominantly as a company
and as a team have not run as well at Martinsville as we would like
to, so, with that being said, my vote is Martinsville is probably the
nemesis more than Talladega.  We’ve run restrictor plate races and
you’ve got more room to try and get things done and draft and pick a
lane and do those kinds of things, although we did get 10th in the
spring at Martinsville.  We can go back there in the fall do that or
better that by a little bit I think we’ll be good.  And Talladega,
we’re just like everybody else.  I’m ready for it.  I don’t let it
affect me, that we could get caught up in wreck or that somebody else
could.  You just go in there and run the race, when they throw the
checkered flag you look where everybody finished and head to the next
one.”

       Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, finds himself
53 points out of the points lead thanks to fifth and sixth-place
finishes the last two weeks.  Edwards, who will be a guest on
tonight’s Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, spoke about his team’s
improvement after practice.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON
THIS WEEKEND?  “Our Aflac Fusion is pretty fast.  I believe that last
week was a good test for us.  That Kansas race track is a lot like the
Auto Club Speedway.  It’s going to be a really hot, slippery race on
Sunday.  It looks like the temperatures are gonna be pretty high.  The
track temp will be really hot, so, hopefully, we can get a good
qualifying effort in here in the next hour or so and start up front.
I feel like our team has been marching towards this points lead just
little bits at a time and I think this track is an opportunity for us
to do that again.”  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AS WE GET READY TO GO TO
MARTINSVILLE?  “The spring race, Matt Kenseth had a chance to win that
race and I think, if you ask Matt, that’s not a great race track for
Matt.  Our car was pretty fast.  We’ve had on and off days there, but
I look at that race track where if we can qualify well and can run
like we’ve been running, we’re gonna be good, but it’s a bottleneck.
It’s a spot in the chase that I’m a little bit nervous about, but
we’ve just got to qualify well there.  I think that’s the thing that’s
hurt us the most in the past.  Once we get out there running I always
feel like we run okay, but we’ve just got to make a good lap.”  TEXAS
IS SHORTLY AFTER THAT RACE.  WHAT CAN YOU DO IN A NATIONWIDE CAR THERE
THAT YOU CAN’T DO IN THE CUP CAR AND DO YOU PREFER ONE OR THE OTHER?
“Texas Motor Speedway is a lot of fun to drive in any car.  The
Nationwide car there is just so hammered down.  You’re on the throttle
so much that it’s a different kind of race than the Cup race, but I
like them both.  There is no carryover or transfer of information.
The Cup race there is spectacular.  The track is very well suited to
the Cup cars.  You can run different lines, the speeds are extremely
high, and the track has a little bit of character with the way the
transitions work and there are a couple of bumps that make it a fun
track to drive.  But for me, the biggest thing at Texas is just that
crowd.  Seeing that many people at a race track and that many real
race savvy fans, that’s a really special place to win.”  HOW DOES THIS
RACE BEING 400 MILES CHANGE THINGS FROM THE SPRING RACE?  “Oh, so this
is a 400-mile race?  I thought it was a 500-mile race all weekend.
Man, I’m glad we covered that.  That’s gonna go quick.  The thing is
it’s gonna be hot and starting at noon, a 400-mile race here should be
over at about 3 o’clock or 3:30 at the latest.  It’s such a fast race
track, so that will change things a little bit.  I was really looking
forward to the 500 miles.  I like the grueling aspect of this race
track and that long distance race, but I think for the fans things are
gonna shake out.  The fastest car will probably be leading by the
400th mile, so if that makes it a more exciting race, then that’s
good.”  YOU HAVE A BIG DEFICIT IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES, JUST LIKE
LAST YEAR.  IS IT THE SAME PHILOSOPHY OF TRYING TO GAMBLE A BIT TO
CATCH UP?  “Our Nationwide program, we’ve just got to go out there and
learn the most we can and take the most risk we can to try and win
races, but, really, it’s about building for next year.  I’ve committed
to running full-time next year.  I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to
race for the championship or not, but we’ll still keep our own score
if we can’t.  We just want to go out and be the best we can for next
season, so that’s what we’re really focusing on right now.  There are
a lot of changes coming to the Nationwide Series and I think that what
we do now is we just focus on building towards that.  Brad has been
doing a great job this year.  They’ve got a really big lead and
they’ve earned it and, unless something major happens, I think they’re
gonna be able to keep that lead.  So we’ve just got to go for it, I
guess.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED — WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT NATIONWIDE CHANGES
FOR NEXT YEAR?  “I don’t know how many guys from the Cup Series are
planning on running full-time.  I think it might just be me.
Hopefully, Brad will run again.  It would be great if Kyle would run.
It’s fun to be able to race with those guys for points.  That’s fun.
I think what NASCAR is trying to do is they’re trying to make an
opportunity for the Nationwide Series to be more of a development
series.  I think by eliminating the ability for a guy like myself to
run for the championship, I don’t think that changes the face of the
average Nationwide race.  Kyle Busch has won 11 races this year and
he’s not racing for the championship.  There’s nothing that would keep
him from doing the same thing again next year, or our team winning 11
races next year – whether or not I was racing for the championship.
The only thing it does hurt is team’s ability like ours to go out and
get sponsorship to run for the championship.  That’s an important
thing to Copart and Fastenal is for us to have an opportunity to do
that.  I know they’re looking at it from all different angles and I’m
glad they’re doing that and not making a rash choice and, hopefully,
they come up with the right decision.  But I don’t know what it is,
yet.  Nobody has told me.”  IS YOUR SETUP DIFFERENT FOR THIS RACE THAN
EARLIER?  “It is a little bit different because the track will be
slicker, the times will fall off more, it’ll be a different race, so,
yeah, the car has to be set up differently.”  DO YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF
CAR YOU’LL BE RACING AT THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS LATER THIS YEAR IN
GERMANY?  “No, Jim Hancock from the United States team is here and we
haven’t had a chance to talk about everything yet, but I know he’s
here and he can talk to you about that.  Travis Pastrana has committed
to going.  I’m committed to going.  It’s in that big soccer stadium,
but I haven’t seen what kind of cars we’re gonna race yet.  We’re
gonna go there and get all the practice we can and try to beat up on
those Germans (laughter) the best we can, but they’re pretty fast.”
WHY DOES A LONGER RACE WORK BETTER FOR YOU.  YOU SEEM DISPPOINTED THIS
IS A 400-MILE RACE?  “I work really hard to be as fit as I can be.  My
trainer, Dean, from Carmichael Training Systems, we work really hard
to be prepared for these long races.  I can’t believe I didn’t know
this was a 400-mile race.  This race track just seems like one of the
hottest race tracks we go to sometimes.  When the sun is out here
there is no escaping the heat, so I feel that those long races play
into my strengths physically, and then I feel that from a handling
standpoint and the way the car drives, I think the hotter and slicker
it is suits me and our team as well.  I grew up racing at dirt tracks
and I really like when the car moves around a lot.  I really enjoy
that.”

Its a Dog’s Day During the Dollar General 300

       CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2010) – She may not be able to wave the green
flag or give the command “Gentleman, Start your Engines,” but a 13-year-old
Labrador retriever named Sunshine will serve as the honorary grand marshal
for the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
       Sunshine earned the distinction by winning the ALPO Honorary Grand
Marshal contest, conducted by Performance Racing Network. To win the
contest, which included a trip for two to the Dollar General 300, Sunshine’s
owner, Christy Bradburn, of Massanutten, Va., submitted a short essay
written from Sunshine’s point of view describing her favorite “real dog”
behavior and why it’s time to let dogs be dogs again.
       “Sunshine is like any real dog in that she has a common sense
approach to life and enjoys simple pleasures like rolling in mud, swimming
in the pond and barking at the mailman,” said Bradburn. In her winning essay
Bradburn wrote about Sunshine’s “reckless abandon” and spirit of adventure.
       Bradburn learned about the ALPO Honorary Grand Marshal contest when
her husband Brian Koerner heard about it on PRN. She entered for two
reasons.
       “I’ll take advantage of any opportunity to talk about my dog,”
Bradburn said. “And I’ve always wanted to go to a NASCAR race. I’ve never
been to one. It’s been on my bucket list.”
       Bradburn and her husband admittedly spoil Sunshine, but life didn’t
start out so easy for the contest-winning pooch.
       “I got her from a pound when she was a year old,” said Bradburn.
“She was brought in as a cruelty case. I was so surprised though, because
she was never timid or fearful. She was a happy-go-lucky hyper dog from the
get go.”
       When it comes to NASCAR, Bradburn says that she considers herself a
casual fan. She doesn’t have a favorite driver, while her husband admits
that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Tony Stewart is his favorite. Regardless
of who they root for, they are both very excited about their trip to
Charlotte Motor Speedway, which will include garage passes, suite access,
and a ride in a pace car.
       “I’m most looking forward to the pace car ride,” Bradburn said.
“That’s something I never thought I’d be able to do and it’s so cool that
Sunshine gets to participate in it too.”
       Though Sunshine and her owners are not sure what to expect during
the Dollar General 300, the dog does have an advantage over the humans when
it comes to fitting in with the sometimes rowdy race crowd: she was named
after a beer.
       “I’m embarrassed to admit this but she’s named after Sunshine Wheat.
It’s a beer that my husband and I like,” said Bradburn.
       Representatives from the ALPO brand will also be in attendance with
Sunshine and her owners at the Dollar General 300. This is the first year
for the ALPO Honorary Grand Marshal Contest, which celebrates the ALPO “real
dog” movement.
       Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Bank of America Fan 4
Pack includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at just $39.75
per person or fans can get four nights of great racing with the Bank of
America 500 Week Super Ticket for just $99.
       For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or
become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.

Will Fords Roll to Victory in the Pepsi Max 400?

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion – DO YOU THINK
THERE IS SOME SORT OF ETIQUETTE BETWEEN CHASERS AND NON-CHASERS,
LOOKING BACK ON LAST WEEK’S BUSCH-REUTIMANN ISSUE?  “I didn’t really
see what went down last week, so I can’t comment on that, but, in my
opinion, I think you race the same all year.  I think you should race
everybody the same whether they’re in the chase or not in the chase.
I think you try to show people respect all year because everybody has
the same right to be out there, whether they’re first in points or
last in points.”  THAT BEING SAID, ARE THERE CERTAIN PEOPLE ON THE
TRACK THAT YOU’RE MORE AWARE OF AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM BECAUSE YOU
FEEL SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN?  “No.  I race the same all year,
honestly, no matter where you are in the points.  If it came down to
the last week or something like that and you’re the point leader by a
bunch, you’re probably gonna be a little bit more careful, but, other
than that, as competitive as it is I think you race as hard as you can
all year.  Everybody has the same right to be out there.  Everybody is
out there racing for wins and have their own particular
responsibilities.”  AS A CHASER DO YOU WORRY ABOUT SOMETIMES RUBBING
FENDERS WITH A NON-CHASER, KNOWING THEY COULD POSSIBLY RUIN YOUR
CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES?  “I don’t want to ruin any race.  No matter where
you are in the points they’re all big races.  I think you go out there
and you’re gonna race whatever your style is all the time.  I don’t
think that really changes.  You still have to race hard all the time
because it’s so competitive that you can’t just go out and think about
not knocking a fender off.  You go out there and think about trying to
get to the front.”  DO YOU CONSIDER THIS THE KIND OF TRACK THAT CAN
HELP YOU GET BACK UP IN THE POINTS?  “Where we are, we’ve got to gain
some significant points on the leader every week to get back in it and
have a realistic shot.  I think our performance has been picking up a
little bit lately, we just have to get a whole race put together.
We’ve been struggling with that a little bit.  There were times last
week where I thought we were very competitive but we didn’t finish it
off.  This has been a pretty good track for us in the past, so,
hopefully we can be competitive from the time we get on the track this
morning all the way through Sunday when we’re done and get a good
finish.  So that’s really what I’m more focused on is just trying to
get back up with the leaders and be competitive so we can get in a
really good position to win some races.”
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES    Pepsi MAX 400, Page 2
October 8, 2010 Auto Club Speedway

MATT KENSETH CONTINUED — IS THERE A SPECIFIC POINT IN THE RACE WHERE
YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO IMPROVE?  “Our adjustments have just not been
good enough to keep up with the track for whatever reason.  Last week,
the worst we ran the whole race was our last run and you can’t do that
because you’re not gonna get the finishes.  Lately, there have been a
lot of long, green-flag runs at the end and you’ve got to have your
car handling right and do the right things at the end of the race.  On
the last pit stop we came out ahead of Jimmie Johnson and he finished
second and we finished seventh without a caution, so we just haven’t
been doing the right things to keep up on whatever it is – track
conditions or adjustments.  That’s probably my fault for not knowing
what I need for adjustments.  I’m trying to give them the best
feedback I can and hope that we do the right things on the car in the
pits to get it running better.”  WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO WELL AT
CHARLOTTE?  “Track position has been really important there since the
introduction of this car with the spoiler and that pavement.  The
pavement has a lot of grip and even though the track gets pretty wide,
it’s a real fast track and kind of hard to pass so track position is
real important.  You’ve got to be in position the last couple of
stops.”  WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FALL AND SPRING
RACE THERE?  “I don’t think there’s much of a difference.”  WHAT IS IT
GOING TO TAKE FOR ANYBODY TO BEAT THE 48?  “You’ve got to prove you
can beat them.  I’ve said it for five years, they’re the best team out
there and somebody has to beat them and knock them down before you can
say they’re not the best team.  Everybody says, ‘Oh, they don’t have
momentum.  They’re not running as good.’  Well, as soon as somebody
shows they can beat them, I’ll believe it.”  WHAT TRACK ARE YOU
WORRIED ABOUT THE MOST OF THE TRACKS LEFT?  “Honestly, for me I worry
about all of them.  I’ve really just been focused on Fontana this
weekend and then trying to get back on track here and get a good
finish.”  IS THE FR9 ENGINE COMING ON AT THE RIGHT TIME?  “I think the
engine has been helping a little bit.  I think there’s still some room
for improvement and Doug knows that – everybody knows that – because
we’ve only been working on it for six months or a year, whereas we
worked on that old engine forever.  I think it’s certainly an
advantage and it’s better than what we had, plus they keep getting it
better.”  DO YOU THINK IT WILL RUN PARTICULARLY WELL HERE IN FONTANA?
“I hope so.  Fontana and Michigan are big horsepower race tracks, but
they’re also big handling race tracks as well.  It’s real similar to
Michigan, so if you perform well there, hopefully you’ll perform okay
here.”

Kurt Busch in Position to Score First Charlotte Motor Speedway Triple

       CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2010) – After winning the NASCAR Sprint
All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May,
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kurt Busch has a chance to make history.
       A victory in the Oct. 16 Bank of America 500 would make the Las
Vegas native the only driver to win all three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a single season.
       “That’d be really cool to make history like that,” Busch said. “We
struggled for so many years running under the lights at Charlotte and what a
great turnaround we had there back in May. Much of that credit is due to my
crew chief Steve Addington and all the great knowledge and ideas he has
infused into to our ‘blue deuce’ team.
       “The two consecutive winning weekends we had at Charlotte back in
May will always stand out as some of the most memorable weekends of my
career,” Busch continued. “Man, to make it a clean sweep at Charlotte in one
season would be something I’d be proud of the rest of my career. Heck, it’d
be something I could brag about to my children and grandchildren many years
from now…how cool!”
       This is only the seventh time since the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
debuted in 1985 that a driver has had the opportunity to score the unique
triple. Past attempts include:
– 1985: Darrell Waltrip was the first to strike out. After winning the
inaugural NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 on back-to-back
days, Waltrip finished 14th in the October race, three laps behind winner
Ken Schrader.
– 1991: Davey Allison ended up just one position short of winning all three
races. The second-generation sensation dominated the NASCAR Sprint All-Star
Race and led 264 of the 400 laps en route to victory in the Coca-Cola 600.
But his No. 28 Ford was in second place, 11.31 seconds behind Geoffrey
Bodine when the fall classic came to a close.
– 1993: NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was the next to take a shot. Earnhardt
swept around Mark Martin on a late-race restart to win the NASCAR Sprint
All-Star Race and then led 154 laps on his way to victory in the Coca-Cola
600. Driving Robert Yates’ No. 28 Ford, Ernie Irvan dominated the Bank of
America 500 with Earnhardt settling for third in Richard Childress’ No. 3
Chevrolet.
– 1997: Dale Jarrett spoiled Jeff Gordon’s only opportunity to score the
triple. Gordon drove the legendary No. 24 Chevrolet known as T-Rex to
victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and then edged Rusty Wallace to
claim the Coca-Cola 600 trophy. Gordon started fourth in the 500, but could
do not better than fifth as Jarrett and Bobby Labonte battled at the front
of the pack before Jarrett took the win.
– 2003: Jimmie Johnson became the first to earn more than $1 million for
winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and went on to earn his first of
three consecutive Coca-Cola 600s. In the Bank of America 500, however,
Johnson never led during the last half of the race and ended up third behind
Tony Stewart and second-place finisher Ryan Newman.
– 2008: Kasey Kahne was the most recent driver to have the chance at the
triple. After being voted in to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race by the fans,
Kahne won the event, followed by a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 when he took
over the race lead with just two laps to go. Kahne came close to securing
the unprecedented Charlotte Motor Speedway triple, but came up one position
short with a second-place finish to winner Jeff Burton in the Bank of
America 500 in October.
       Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Bank of America Fan 4
Pack includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at just $39.75
per person or fans can get four nights of great racing with the Bank of
America 500 Week Super Ticket for just $99.
       For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or
become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.