Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/3/14

It was a disappointing night for the Ford Racing drivers at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500. The best finishing driver was Matt Kenseth, who came home in the 9th position. After him it was Greg Biffle in 15th, Trevor Bayne in 16th, and Marcos Ambrose in 17th. The biggest disappointment was Carl Edwards finishing 16th and effectively ending his bid to make the Chase after finishing second in points last year. Below are quotes from those drivers and a few more.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion – “This is not the interview I wanted to do after the race.  Our Subway Fusion was pretty good.  I was having a lot of fun driving.  I love this race track, but it looks like a piston or something.  It started making noise about 25-30 laps ago and it’s just hard to put into words.  That’s just how our season has been going and I don’t know what the reason is.  We treat these engines like gold and we hardly ever have engine troubles.  These guys do a great job – Doug Yates and everyone at Roush Yates Engines – but we’ll go to Richmond and go win that race and somehow maybe a miracle will happen.  We’ll make the Chase and go win this championship.  That’s our mission.”

WHAT CAN YOU SAY?  “I don’t even know what to say.  That’s so fitting for how our year has been going.  The car was running pretty well.  I was having a lot of fun.  We were tuning it in and it was getting better and better as the night went on.  The pit crew was almost flawless tonight . They did a really good job, but I heard the engine making a little bit of noise about 30-40 laps ago and was kind of in denial.  I thought, ‘No, it’s OK.  It’s alright,’ and then finally it looks like a piston broke or something like that.  I don’t know what to say.  Somebody is trying to teach me something here.  I hope we get all of this out of our system soon because it sure is fun to go win these races and be in the hunt.  This is not fun.”

WERE YOU AWARE STEWART WAS HAVING PROBLEMS AND YOU COULD HAVE BEEN WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE NEXT WEEK?  “Yeah, and I don’t know.  We could still be within distance.  Anything can happen.  I don’t ever quit and this team doesn’t ever quit, but, man, that’s getting kicked when you’re down right there.  That’s not what we needed, but we’ve got big shoulders.  If there’s anybody that can take it, we’ll take it and we’ll go out and do our very best.  Like they say, a bad day at the race is better than a good day doing almost anything else.  I really enjoyed the race tonight.  I had a good time and I’m just trying to come to grips with how pivotal this is for our season, how bad it is, but that’s just the way it is.”

YOU WERE COACHING THE TEAM FROM INSIDE THE CAR.  “Yeah, we don’t give up.  We won’t quit.  I told my wife today, ‘There’s something in Vegas I’m not supposed to go do.’  I mean, I just can’t believe this.  We’ve never had this bad of luck.  I’ve been trying to live right and do the right things, so I hope there’s a reason for all of this, but, man, it’s just so frustrating.  It’s so amazing how many things can compound and go bad, but we’re still standing up and everybody is alright.  We’ll go racing at Richmond for the win.  There’s no better place.  This is as good as it gets and Richmond is almost as good as this place for us.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion – “There were times when we found the right balance, but we were just slow.  We weren’t really very good at all, so we were slow pretty much all of practice.  We qualified well and raced about like we practiced.  We were just way off on speed compared to the good guys.  The last four out of six weeks have been disastrous.  Today, we got a good finish because we had really great pit stops.  That’s the only thing that saved us.  We didn’t have a good car.  We should have run back by Greg somewhere, but we just had good stops and hung onto the lead lap.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “We were just way off.  I don’t know why, really.  We’ve struggled the last few times here, but the car just won’t turn and then it’s loose when you want to give it gas.  This is a different kind of mile-and-a-half compared to what we normally race on.  It’s way different, so we’ll just have to try and figure out what we need to do to get better the next time we come here.”

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “We started off the night so good.  We ran fourth up to the first pit stop and then I don’t know what happened, but we just lost pace there and couldn’t keep up with it.  We were just fighting grip.  It’s a great race track and I love racing around there, it’s just a lot of work.”  THAT MAKES SATURDAY AT RICHMOND PRETTY OBVIOUS NOW.  YOU HAVE TO WIN TO MAKE THE CHASE.  “Yeah, that’s all we’ve got to do.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion – “We finished on the lead lap in 16th and almost finished 15th, but everyone was spinning their tires on that last restart because we didn’t have new tires and it was whoever could get hooked up the quickest.  We got hooked up, but I couldn’t switch lanes and pass the 9 before the start-finish, so Biffle got by me.  We ended up getting by the 9, but I just couldn’t catch Greg for a top 15, but after a day like today where you struggle and go two laps down, to fight back to the lead lap and finish 16th is respectable for us and we’ll take it.  It’s not exactly what you want, but you’ll take it on a rough day like this.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 AdvoCare Ford Fusion – “The worst about it was our car was actually pretty decent.  Looking at the lap times on the race track on comparable tires, we were probably a top-10 car and for sure a top-15 car, but I think we were a top-10 car.  We would obviously lay over on the restarts, so we had terrible track position all night after that incident, but our lap times were really good and we seemed to be good on the long runs.  It’s a shame to cut an oil line like that.  I guess that’s part of it.  We had a tie-wrap come loose on one of the oil lines and the oil line flopped over onto the power-steering pulley and cut the line.  It started spraying oil everywhere and we had to come in and fix it, so I’m ready for the bad luck to be over.  I think we’ve had three or four races where bad stuff has happened, so I’m ready for that to be over.”

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