Biffle Leads Ford With Fifth-Place Run In Nexel Cup Race At Infineon Raceway
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Monster Energy Drink Ford Fusion (Finished 16th) -- HOW FRUSTRATING IS THIS STRATEGY KIND OF A RACE? “You look at the monitor and look at the guys who beat us and they were nowhere all day long. It’s just disappointing that fuel strategy makes a difference of a race win or not. I don’t know. With our rental program that we get, obviously we don’t get the same mileage that Biffle and Rudd do and we’re gonna have to discuss that because we weren’t gonna make it. I told Gene (Nead), ’I’d rather just run out of fuel than finish 16th. He said, ’There’s no way we’re gonna make it,’ and we barely made it the way we did it, so, obviously, we’ve got to get with the boys at Roush and Yates and figure out why we’re getting a quarter of a gallon less per lap than the other guys. It’s a big deal.” DO YOU NEED TO RE-THINK YOUR STRATEGY THE NEXT TIME AROUND BECAUSE GUYS WHO PITTED EARLIER MADE IT? “We did what normally happens, and I just can’t believe they made it from that caution all the way down. If we thought we could have made it, I’m sure Gene would have pitted me there, but we went to the number that we could make it from that lap number to the end. I don’t know, it’s disappointing but it’s a good run for us. I guess that moves us up to 24th in points, so we’re showing that a single-car team can compete. We do need a little bit of luck. We’ve got to dot our I’s and cross our T’s and do a little more research and figure out why we’re not getting the fuel mileage. I’ve got to be honest, you talked about driving the car hard, I cruised it all day long. Unfortunately, when you get back there after they all stayed out and got the jump on us, there was nothing we could do about it.” HOW SURPRISED ARE YOU THAT THE END OF THE RACE WENT CAUTION FREE? “It wasn’t that, it’s that we couldn’t pit when they pitted. Not to make excuses, but we were gonna run out of fuel. It’s disappointing that we had a car as fast as we had, started on the front row, and not just get beat but finish 16th. It’s just wrong. We’ve got to really look deep into this one and figure out how we can prevent it before we go to Watkins Glen.” SO EVEN IF YOU HAD A COUPLE OF CAUTION LAPS YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE IT? “I only stopped two times. The other guys only stopped two. They stopped seven laps before us under that caution. Tony stayed out, Junior stayed out and I stayed out, and we couldn’t make it. I don’t know how they made it, but they made it. Gene said they were running two seconds a lap slower than us, well, I was cruising saving fuel. I told Gene just a minute ago, I would have rather run out of fuel than finish 16th.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion (Finished 5th) -- “We had a really good car. Fuel mileage just became such a factor on that last run, actually the whole day. It’s pretty different when the crew chief, who is in the lounge before the race says, ‘You’ve got to save fuel all day. We’re gonna try to do it on two stops.’ So all day long I was thinking about it and saving fuel and on that last run there I probably never gave it more than half-throttle the last seven laps. I just kept it in high gear and kind of creeped along to try and make the end of the race. I made it and then I ran out on the cool down lap. Right about the time I got back to the pit lane it was out. I may have been able to make one more lap. I don’t know if I would have got to the start-finish line or not, but it was a good day for us. I wish that we could have really raced, instead of just kind of pedaling there for the remainder of the race.” HOW WAS THE CAR ASIDE FROM FUEL MILEAGE? “My car was really pretty good. My brakes weren’t as good as they needed to be and I’m not sure why. We’ve just got a little bit more work to do, I think, with trying to figure out these COT cars.” HOW WAS THIS COT CAR ON THE ROAD COURSE COMPARED TO THE OTHER ONE? “It was a lot different. The (COT) car is a lot more top heavy and it’s a little harder to get slowed down because it wants to pick the inside up all the time, whichever one it is depending on the way you’re turning, so you need to be real careful about not skidding the tire. It really, really looked like it was very hard to pass here today.”
BORIS SAID -- No. 60 Sobe No Fear Ford Fusion (Finished 9th) – “It wasn’t a bad day. We had one of the fastest cars today, so I feel proud about that, but I stalled it in the pits and couldn’t get it started. We lost 25 or 30 spots, but we wouldn’t have made it on fuel anyway, so I think we would have finished where we were gonna finish. We stopped with that yellow and we were two laps short, but it’s not a bad day considering. It’s disappointing because after two-thirds of the race, it looked like we had a car that maybe could have won.” EVERYONE KNEW FUEL MILEAGE WOULD BE A FACTOR FROM THE START. IS THAT RIGHT? “It’s the same for everybody, so I thought it added a new twist.”
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion (Finished 11th) -- “Our pit strategy kind of started a while back trying to get some mileage and trying to do this race in two stops. The guys really made a great call on that. We weren’t really good since we unloaded. We weren’t fast and couldn’t get through the corners like we needed. It didn’t handle, so we just played the strategy on the fuel and that’s what it took. I don’t think we got a mark on the car. It wasn’t real pretty, but we’ll take it.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 18th) -- “We had an awesome car and tried to stretch it on fuel and just didn’t make it. We had to try it. We thought we could make it based on our fuel mileage calculations, but just couldn’t do it. I guess I was pushing the gas too much on that last run, but I definitely had fun today.”
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