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Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mark my words: Austin Dillon will drive a black #3 car in Cup series -- soon

When Dale Earnhardt died, many people thought that the #3 would never ride on the track again in Cup.

Who could fill those shoes?, was the primary argument.

Well, the young man to do it has arrived, and his name is Austin Dillon.

Now a Nationwide winner, a Truck series champion last year, there is no doubt his next move -- likely by 2014 or so, will be Cup -- and he will bring that #3 with him.

Some will still complain if this happens, saying the number should be remembered only as Dale Sr.'s number and Dillon should pick a new one.

I say hogwash. People drove the No. 3 before Dale, and the kid who will likely drive it next is the grandson of the man who was Dale's best friend and team owner for years. He would have loved to see the little kid he knew grow and drive the #3 car.

So let me just say it again: The #3 car is coming back to Cup, starting at the 2014 Daytona 500; when Richard Childress Racing starts the year with a full-time driver named Austin Dillon.

It will be great to see a black #3 again (it has to be black, come on now); the fans will love it, he will get so much fan love it will be ridiculous. And it will be good for the sport as a whole, and serve as a kind of final healing for those people still hurt over Dale Sr.'s death. They will once again be able to root for the black #3 -- and it will be awesome.

Mark my words. It will happen. And I am looking forward to it, because Dillon has the talent to actually drive that car and not be intimidated by the number.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stenhouse speaks for first time about new 2013 Cup ride with Roush Racing

It's been quite a week for Ricky Stenhouse, who will be headed to the Cup series next year.

When you consider that not too long ago, he was almost booted from the Roush camp after a long string of bad finishes, his journey to becoming a Nationwide champ and now a Cup driver is quite amazing.

He spoke to the media about his promotion and more on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway:

TALK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PLANS WITH ROUSH FENWAY AND COMING HERE TO KENTUCKY TO RACE THIS NATIONWIDE RACE AS WELL. “It was a big week for us. I got the call last week about it and I guess I didn’t really realize it was going to be that big when they announced it. I thought that was pretty cool seeing everything on Twitter and everybody texting me. It was like I won a race again with people texting me and things like that. It is a great opportunity. I was kind of shocked when I heard the news. I thought for sure that we would be a fourth car and definitely didn’t see Matt (Kenseth) going anywhere but you have to take advantage of each situation that you are in and we have to go into next year ready to go and learn as much as we can and try to finish this year off on a strong note. We came in here this year wanting to win the 2012 Nationwide Championship and we want to stay focused on that. This week will be the toughest week getting all the questions about next week to stay focused on the race. Coming into Kentucky we have run very strong here. I won my first stock car race here in ARCA in 2008 and have had a strong run every since in the Nationwide car. Last year we were running third and had to pit for fuel late in the race and came home eighth. It is a race track that I think we can get the ball back rolling. We were off a couple weeks in a row and I think this is the place to turn it around and get it back going again.”

HAS IT SUNK IN YET? HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW? “It feels great. I rode up here with Mom and Dad in the motor home and Dad asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I try not to let it get too big right now. I want to stay focused and have to stay humbled and keep going. You can’t look to far ahead but I feel great about the opportunity.”

CAN YOU GO THROUGH THE TIMELINE OF HOW YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS AND IF YOU GET TO PICK THE CAR NUMBER AND IF YOU PLAN TO RUN MORE CUP RACES THIS YEAR TO PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR? “We’ve been talking about running Cup for a long time now. I think it started back in the offseason and Jack kind of wanted to run this year but I think the way sponsorship fell and things like that and me wanting to run another year in Nationwide got us that opportunity to run another year in Nationwide. Early in the year we were talking about running some Cup races toward the end of the year to get ready for next year. I think Jack had the mindset that we would do that no matter what. I am not sure what all happened. I just got the call Thursday that said we were going to run and Matt was not coming back. I have no idea how it went down. I just got a phone call and never would have expected that. As of right now, I don’t have a say in the car number. I am just excited to race. We have been the 6 for a long time with Jack, I say long time but a couple years, but I think that depends on sponsorships and things like that. I will let them figure that out.”

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why did Kenseth leave Roush? Probably a bigger payday at Gibbs

One thing is crystal clear at Roush Fenway Racing next year; Matt Kenseth is leaving.
That means lots of changes at the organization via dominoes falling. The projected Cup series lineup includes Biffle in his 16 car; Edwards in his 99 car and Ricky Stenhouse (likely in the 6 car). The 17 car would be available as a fourth ride for possible occasional runs by Trevor Bayne if sponsorship was found.

Bayne, meanwhile, will inherit the full-time Nationwide ride of Stenhouse. This is good news for Bayne, who has had dirt luck trying to find any sort of ride this season. It’s really amazing to me that a kid this talented and media friendly does not have a ride.
Crew chief details still need to be sorted out, too.

Meanwhile, Kenseth is speaking out about the decision to leave, though he did confirm he is going to Gibbs, as has been widely reported.

He said the decision to leave was made last week after meeting with Jack Roush. "There's a lot of stuff through the season that's probably led us to this point," Kenseth said. "There isn't really a smoking gun, there really isn't an inside story about a firing or an argument or really any of that. At the end of the day, I had an opportunity to go try something else. The timing all worked out. I think everything happens for a reason. Things just kind of lined up to maybe try something else in 2013 and beyond that I'm kind of excited about.”

My guess. Joe Gibbs offered him a bigger paycheck than Roush could afford — Stenhouse will cost considerably less, and that will ease Jack’s pocketbook a bit as he searches for sponsors. I hate to say it, but money talks even after 15 years with the same team.

Roush team notes
— Kenseth leads the Sprint Cup standings over second-place Greg Biffle. Carl Edwards is 11th. Ricky Stenhouse is third in the NNS point standings trailing by 23 points.
— Carl Edwards will return to the ESPN booth commentating for the Nationwide race Friday evening.
— Roush Fenway Racing announced this week that Ricky Stenhouse will compete in the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2013.
— Roush Fenway Racing has started 48 NASCAR races at Kentucky Speedway, earning 21 top-10 finishes,11 top fives, three wins and two poles. Roush Fenway has led 523 laps of NASCAR action at Kentucky, while averaging a 13.4 finish in both the truck and NNS.

After 16 races in 2012, Clint Bowyer is seventh in the series point standings, trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 67 points … Denny Hamlin (eighth) and Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) also rank in the top-10 in the standings … With his start in the NSCS race at Sonoma last Sunday, Kyle Busch now has the most combined NASCAR starts for a Toyota driver across all three national touring series (345) … Through Oct. 1, the Kyle Busch Foundation will be raffling a custom motorcycle in conjunction with Deadwood Choppers at
— MWR team co-owner and driver Michael Waltrip returns to his home state of Kentucky for this weekend's NSCS race and will drive a Camry honoring the University of Kentucky's (UK) national championship-winning basketball team. The Owensboro, Ky.-native attended the NCAA championship game won by the Wildcats, and will drive the UK-themed No. 55 Camry in Saturday night's NSCS race at Kentucky Speedway. The race will mark the second start of the 2012 season for the team co-owner while running a part-time schedule.

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Cup drivers offer their views on Kentucky

Drivers' thoughts heading into Kentucky:

(Defending winner) KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Red-White-Blue Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
"Last year we were really fast at Kentucky. We unloaded really well and we were quick. We had that open test day and were fast. We were fastest in practice and then qualifying actually got rained out, so it gave us the automatic pole, but I still say we won the pole. It was a great race for us. We started up front, we led some laps and Kurt (Busch) led some laps. It was cool to battle with Kurt for a while. I remember Kurt was up there, (Brad) Keselowski was there, Jimmie Johnson got up there -- David Reutimann finished second there at the end. A lot of good cars and a lot of really fast guys that we had to deal with and race hard."

“Kentucky is kind of wide, but it’s difficult to pass. The second groove has some good grip, so it will be real hard to get underneath guys and get around them. It’s got a lot of bumps, too. I don’t mind the bumps that bad; they definitely add a new dimension in the corners.”

“Really how rough the track is. My first laps there from the test session last year when we went, I felt like the bumps were going to make the car lose grip and spin out and be out of control, but there is so much grip there that even with as rough and as bumpy as it is, you stand on the gas and carry a ton of speed and just bounce around. Those are the things I had to overcome when I got on the track last year.
“It’s the roughest and fastest track we go to; well, Atlanta is fast, but there are big swells and I still don’t feel like we’re driving as hard at Atlanta as we are at Kentucky. Kentucky, you’re driving it like a freshly repaved track. You have high frequency bumps and banking doing weird things. It’s a fun track for those reasons and it has a lot of character to it.”

“I guess the biggest thing about it is for those of us who haven’t run Nationwide or Truck races there, we still only have one race at that track. So, we’re still figuring out. It’s got a lot of bumps, so that makes it very challenging. Trying to figure out exactly where to be, where to try to get around some of the bumps, how to get through them better, how to get the car to go through them better – those are challenges that kind of make it fun, because it’s not just flat and easy to get around.”

"As a company we struggled there (Kentucky Speedway) last year. It was just a long weekend for us. We've obviously looked at this particular race for a while trying to figure out exactly what we needed to do differently from last year, so we've got a lot of different things to try and hopefully we'll run better this year."

“It’s got a lot of character because it’s pretty bumpy and I enjoy it. I enjoy the race there. It was interesting. That was kind of our first experience with going into a race track and getting more practice sessions and more time on the race track before we actually started our weekend. We learned a lot there about Kentucky, having not tested there for a while. I look forward to going back there; not just because we ran well there last year, but because it’s a fun race track.”

“It was pretty good. The bottom groove was the preferred line, but [the track] opened up quite a bit. The Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series have been running there for a long time so the track was well-seasoned. It’s got some bumps and some character. It’s a lot of fun to race there. It’s a little like Kansas (Speedway), just little bigger and a wider. Kentucky (Speedway) is unique though, because it’s not a new track. It’s an old track, just new to the Sprint Cup Series. We’ve all run thousands of miles there testing and in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, so it’s fun to actually get to race there now.”

“The No. 5 team has been at its best on the intermediate ovals. We had a streak of really strong races, and then caught some bad luck the last few weeks. I think we have a good chance to turn things around in Kentucky.”

"If you could have picked [the No. 24 car] up (from 20th-place in the running order) and placed it in the top seven or eight, we could have stayed there and maybe battled with the leaders. We just needed track position. The track is very challenging. It's the same thing that makes it difficult to pass any race weekend - usually because it's a one-groove race track. There are pretty severe bumps getting into turn three, so it's hard to run side-by-side because you get really loose underneath somebody. And the pace is pretty fast - you carry good speed through the corners here. It's just hard to get an edge on the competition.
"[Traffic] certainly dominated the conversation on Twitter. I think (Speedway Motorsports, Inc., chairman) Bruton (Smith) and that group have a lot of pressure on them this year to make sure that doesn't happen again. I don't know if you can fix it all at once, but I feel confident that they are going to make some huge strides. I think it is going to be a much better experience for all of the fans."

“It was better than I expected it to be. Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations going to Kentucky (Speedway) after testing there a few times. I didn’t think it was going to be a race track where I felt like we could put on a good show for the fans. The race proved me wrong and it was a good race. The surface is a little rougher than I would like. Sprint Cup Series cars seem to race better on smoother surfaces, but all-in-all I was pleasantly surprised.”

“I’m looking forward to heading back to Kentucky so we can get better results than last year. I raced at Kentucky a few times early in my career in the Truck Series and Nationwide, and really liked the track. Our first time there in the Sprint Cup Series last year was good until we lost an engine after halfway. We will look to have a strong weekend with our McDonald’s Chevrolet this time around. I know that the track took a lot of heat last year for traffic concerns; however I think that overshadowed the great turn out of fans from the area that are excited to have and support NASCAR racing at the track.”

“Kentucky is still a new track for us and we haven’t gotten it completely figured out but we were fast there last year. If I hadn’t gotten that pit road penalty in the closing laps we would of easily left there with a top-10 finish. I’m hoping for some better luck this time around. The Target team is really coming together. We haven’t had the results we want to have, but there have been a lot of really good changes and we’ve been putting people in the right place. Now we just need the results to show it.”

"Considering what we've been through the past few weeks, I am looking forward to getting back to a mile-and-a-half track. We haven't had the rhythm lately and that has cost us in both performance and points. We've also experienced late-race incidents that made things even worse. We need a lift and Kentucky could be the place. I've always enjoyed racing there. I recall being on the pole for a Nationwide race and had a shot at winning until a fuel issue halted our march to victory lane. We need to click for the entire race -- two weeks ago in Michigan it was a flat tire with fewer than 10 laps remaining and in Sonoma we got caught up in a final lap multicar wreck. Our Furniture Row Chevy at Kentucky will again include the "I Brake for Trains" bumper sticker, which is part of CSX Transportation Play it Safe campaign to encourage pedestrian and motorist safety around railroad crossings."

“It was almost a challenge to see who was able to adapt to the track the quickest and the best. My little brother (Kyle) did a great job. He ran up front through the whole race. I ran second early in the race last year but I faded at the end because our car was dragging the racetrack due to the temperature change and the cooling down. So that’s one of the things I’ll look forward to conquering this year. The track changes a good bit from the 6 o’clock start to the 10 o’clock finish.”

“Racing last year at Kentucky in the Cup Series was really good. The track is wide which makes for good racing. The track is a mile-and-a-half track, but it is quite a bit different than any other mile-and-a-half track. It is flatter, bumpier and a different shape than most. I’m really excited to watch Ryan get back to racing in the Nationwide Series this weekend.”

“I like mile and a half tracks. I ran well at Kentucky last year. I always liked the track even when I raced there in the Nationwide and Truck Series. It’s a cool racetrack and one where I have ran well. I am really looking forward to being back in the No. 10 car this weekend too.”

Tayler Malsam hopes for solid finish in Kentucky Nationwide race

In the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Tayler Malsam finished 13that Kentucky Speedway. He finished 35th after an accident in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Now in his first full season of NNS, Malsam arrives for his second NNS start at Kentucky Speedway ranked 11th in the NNS championship after fourteen races. Fans can tune into the Feed the Children 300 race on Friday, June 29 at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN2.

Tayler Comments:

On Road America

“We were disappointed with the way things turned out at Road America. We had the G-OIL Toyota Camry up to 13th in the early going, but ran into trouble and lost three laps. The TriStar team did a good job getting us back out there and we salvaged what we could.”

On Kentucky:
“The mile and a half tracks are a big part of the NNS championship. We need to run well and get good finishes if we are going to be in the top-10 at the end of the season. We had a nice run in the G-OIL Toyota at Las Vegas (started 17th, finished 16th) and had a good run going at Texas until we lost the right front tire. I think that we are ready to put a whole race together and get a good finish.”

Rick Carpenter comments:
“Tayler, Eddie Pardue and the G-OIL crew have been working really hard and we are starting to come up with a package that will help us take the next step. Kentucky could be the right place for that to happen.”

2012 NNS Recap—Tayler Malsam, #19 G-OIL Toyota Camry

Race #


Start Position

Finish Position

NNS Driver Standing


Daytona International Speedway





Phoenix International Raceway





Las Vegas Motor Speedway





Bristol Motor Speedway





Auto Club Speedway





Texas Motor Speedway





Richmond International Raceway





Talladega Superspeedway





Darlington Raceway





Iowa Raceway





Charlotte Motor Speedway





Dover International Speedway





Michigan International Speedway





Road America




Everything you need to know about Kentucky Speedway


· In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000.

· The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility.

· Since 2000, the track has hosted 11 NASCAR Nationwide Series (2001-2011) and 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races (2000-2011).

· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 2011.


· -- There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway (2011).

· -- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the NASCAR Rule Book.

· -- Kyle Busch won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race; he started from the first position.

-- Of the scheduled 267 laps, Kyle Busch led the most with 125, followed by Brad Keselowski with 79 laps led.

·23 cars of the 43-car field finished on the lead lap, with 34 cars running at the finish.

·The margin of victory for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky was 0.179 seconds.

·Youngest/Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kentucky Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011 – 26 years, 2 months, 7 days).

·Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers in wins at 1.5-mile race tracks (16 wins).

Kentucky Speedway Data

Race #: 17 of 36 (06-30-12)

Track Size: 1.5 miles

Race Length: 267 laps / 400.5 miles

Banking/Turns: 14 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 8 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 4 degrees

Frontstretch: 1,662 feet

Backstretch: 1,600 feet

Top 12 Driver Rating at Kentucky

Kyle Busch............................... 145.6

Jimmie Johnson........................ 119.8

Brad Keselowski....................... 118.6

Kurt Busch................................ 118.5

Carl Edwards............................ 108.2

David Reutimann....................... 105.8

Matt Kenseth............................. 103.1

Juan Pablo Montoya................. 100.7

Tony Stewart............................... 97.2

Kasey Kahne.............................. 94.6

David Ragan............................... 94.1

Kevin Harvick.............................. 85.8

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (one total) at Kentucky.

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: None due to weather

2011 race winner: Kyle Busch, (137.314 mph, 2:55:00, 07-09-11)

Track qualifying record: None due to weather

Track race record: Kyle Busch, (137.314 mph, 2:55:00, 07-09-11)

NASCAR in Kentucky

-- There have been two NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kentucky:

Track Name




Kentucky Speedway




Corbin Speedway




-- 41 drivers from NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Kentucky

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Roush bombshell: Matt Kenseth leaving team at end of season, headed to a Joe Gibbs Toyota; Stenhouse to No. 17 ride

Well, the unthinkable has happened.
Matt Kenseth is leaving Roush Fenway Racing, his home for his entire Cup career. (since 1999)

Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press is reporting that Kenseth is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing next year, and Ricky Stenhouse will drive RFR's 17 car next season.

Kenseth, meanwhile, will either drive the No. 20 car or a fourth Gibbs car if Joey Logano stays, Fryer reports.

Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, released the following statement about Kenseth leaving: "All of us at Ford are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs these past 16 years, both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his No. 17 Ford Fusion this season."

My initial reactions.

1. What exactly happened at Roush to make Matt want to leave -- or to make Jack want him gone if that is what happened? They are basically family. I'm very curious about this backstory. I though Kenseth would retire in the No. 17 car.
2. Is it even possible that a Cup champ like Kenseth can't get sponsors for the full season, but a kid like Stenhouse can? Something doesn't add up on the money end to me.
3. What happens at Gibbs now? Does Joey Logano stay or go? The drama meter/silly season is starting early this season.
4. Matt Kenseth teammates with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin? I can't believe it.
5. Matt Kenseth driving a Toyota? Again, I can't believe it.
6. Good for Stenhouse; the kid has talent and can win Cup races. I am convinced of this
7. Boy was I wrong, re: Kenseth staying. Hey, it happens to the best of us. :)

Lots more to come on this, but all I can say is I'm stunned. Especially considering that Matt has been at or near the top of the points this year all season. Rarely do drivers walk away from that situation.

Stay tuned for more information.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Kurt Busch’s wild month continues with emotional 3rd-place run at Sonoma

Does Kurt Busch get it now?

So far this year, up until last week in fact, Kurt has been known mostly as a guy full of temper tantrums who is out to fight with the media. But Kurt Busch showed a whole new side Sunday at Sonoma.

After the race, during which he did everything he could to win and almost got by eventual winner Clint Bowyer on a few occasions, Kurt was very emotional, on the verge of tears, after his strong run in a highly underfunded car. (about a third of the budget of big teams, he says.).

“It’s an amazing day when you can do what we did today. I’m a little choked up,” he said. “I’m just glad we brought it home third. I just made that one mistake. If you’re not perfect in Sprint Cup, then it’s tough.”

Most people in the garage – even the media members he so regularly clashes with -- appeared genuinely happen for Kurt after the race, and his team members were all very emotional.

Busch gave credit to the valiant efforts of the Phoenix Racing staff.

When you show up and you're on a third of the budget and you almost bring it to victory lane, you can't say that one guy does it out here. It takes a full team effort. But I really want to deliver for my guys today.”

Kurt said in the media center afterward that: If I can get my head on straight here and after the race, then I'm able to race every weekend and go for victories.”

In fact, the media was so impressed with Kurt’s run and his newfound recognition of how a champion should act, they actually applauded after his press conference. Normally this is a no-no in the press area, but in this situation it was probably acceptable. t’s really an amazing turnaround from just last week, when he was feuding with yet another media member – (total is at least 3 if I recall correctly – Punch, Pockrass, Smith; and maybe I’m forgetting someone.)

So again I ask .. does Kurt Busch get it now?

Nothing is certain, and he could always return to his childish ways of the past, but It’s starting to look like it might actually be true.

No one ever doubted his ability to drive. But the temper tantrums can ruin your career.

Could this be the start of a new chapter in the 2004 Cup champ’s career? I certainly hope so.

Many have dubbed me a Kurt Busch hater due to my past blogs on his behavior. But know this, I never have had a problem with Kurt Busch personally, just with his actions. If he can act like a normal human being and not berate his team and the media everytime something happens that he doesn’t like, then I will not have a cross word to say about him.

After his run at Sonoma, maybe, just maybe, those types of actions are in the past and I can write a bunch of nice stuff about Kurt as the weeks go on.

I would like that to be the case, because if he can find success long-term with a team as unfunded as James Finch’s Phoenix Racing, it truly is a story that deserves positive coverage.

If fact, I am willing to bet that most media members covering the race were hoping he would actually win the race; That would have been the most amazing story of all.

Bad weekend for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last week he was the winner. This week, he wishes he could just forget. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was never fast, and to top it off he got wrecked late in the race. Despite the bad run, he remains 3rd in points, but he’s not happy with the weekend at all.

“I’m just mad because we didn’t run better. We were better than this. I’ve run better here. We weren’t good all weekend. We just I think, we’ve got to put a better car on the race track. I mean I ain’t the best road course racer out there, but I can damn sure do better than that. So we’ve got to pick up the race car a little bit. That’s on my shoulders and (crew chief) Steve’s (Letarte) shoulders and our engineers and our whole team and we’ve just got to do a better job.”

Ambrose not a factor
One surprise at Sonoma was the fact that Marcos Ambrose was not a factor at all.

“We really missed it. I just feel bad for my Stanley team,” Ambrose said. “We missed it bad and we did good to recover and get a top-10 out of it. We will take it and move on. We got the pole and had a lot of speed; we just missed it for the race. We were slow. It was just terrible. We had no speed in the car and we paid the price.”

Other drivers weigh in on their runs
GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 7th) –
“We had a decent day but we were just too loose all day. We didn’t have enough forward drive to turn the way we needed. We need to work on our road course program a little bit. Matt (Puccia) made a great call to salvage a good day for us. It is disappointing we can’t run any better than we are.”

CASEY MEARS, No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion (Finished 15th) – “I am real proud of everybody on our team. We had a good car all weekend but we were too loose in the high speed stuff which made it pretty difficult not to get passed in turn 10 and difficult to pass. Overall our speed was good and I was happy with the way the car drove. At the end we made a gutsy call running 16th and decided to stay out. That got us to seventh but the guys behind us lined up on tires we just were a sitting duck and couldn’t go anywhere. We fell back all the way to 20-something and then at the end we got a chance to get tires and drove back to 16th. It was a solid day for us. I am proud of what everybody did here and we will just keep improving.”

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