Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/18/14
Nascar_banking_500_f59b
Carl Edwards snapped his 70 race winless streak and won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from the Phoenix International Raceway. It was the first win for Ford with the new Generation 6 race cars. The next highest finishing Ford Racing driver was Brad Keselowski who came home in the fourth place. Below is post-race comments by both those drivers and a few other Ford Racing drivers. CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion IT’S BEEN 70 RACES SINCE YOU WON A CUP RACE. “Thank you and thank you to the fans, too. It’s so cool to see the grandstands packed here at this race track. I thought for the last few laps it was gonna be easy and then they had that caution. It was an awesome restart. Brad Keselowski pushed me and that meant a lot. He stayed in line there and he pushed and we got a Ford to Victory Lane, so I’ve got to thank Brad. I’ve got to thank my crew. These guys were unreal and Subway, this is the Subway Fresh Fit 500. We just won the race in the Subway Ford Fusion. This is insane, very cool.” THOUGHTS ON THE LAST CAUTION BEING CLOSE ON FUEL. “Fords get great fuel mileage, so I wasn’t too worried about that, but I was really worried about Jimmie Johnson and Brad and all those guys behind me. It’s just so cool to win this race. I can’t tell you how cool this is. I love Phoenix. This is a blast. I love it. I’m glad to be here.” BEFORE THE RACE YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD THE SECOND-BEST CAR HERE TO MARK MARTIN, BUT YOU WON. “I try to be real honest about how fast my car is, but sometimes I’m a little too optimistic, but today I felt really good about it. Jimmy and the guys did a great job. The pit crew is unreal. Every time we came on pit road we would pass a bunch of people and that’s what won this race. Track position was key.” BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE: “I just gave Carl a good push into turn one. I wish I would have used the run to try and make a pass, but I don’t think I could have pulled it off without wrecking Carl, and then I was running side-by-side with Jimmie and Denny it was a good battle to the end. Those guys fought hard and we fought hard and there was a lot of desire. It’s early in the season, but I feel like there’s a lot of passion and that’s a good thing.” A LOT OF BUMPING AND BANGING TO THE FINISH. “That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? That was cool. We had a really great Miller Lite Ford today. I thought we had the car to win, but I could just never get that track position towards the end that we needed. If you could get to the lead, it looked like you had it covered, but it just wasn’t meant to be.” HOW IMPORTANT IS CLEAN AIR WITH THIS NEW CAR? “I think it’s probably more important than ever. I think these cars probably drive easier than any race car I’ve ever driven in my life by themselves, and probably the hardest to drive of any race car I’ve ever driven in traffic. I think we can get that a little bit better and probably make them a little more difficult to drive by yourself, but a little easier to drive in traffic, we could have even better races than what we had today.” WAS YOUR BEST OPTION TO PUSH CARL ON THAT RESTART? “Yeah, I knew it would help him win and probably move my lane. It certainly didn’t hurt him.” RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE: “I think we’re still learning. I’m still learning on exactly what I need during practice to make it good for the race and tell them what we need to change between practice and the race. All in all, it was an OK day. When we were out front we could run really well and run some good lap times with those guys. On one pit stop we got boxed in leaving. We got kind of pinched and I had to lift or we were gonna crash and I lost all of our track position. We were sitting on two tires with a bunch of guys behind us on four and they ate us up. We were never able to get our track position back, but I felt like we had a top 15 car. We finished 16th and I think we passed six or seven cars on that green-white-checkered, so that was cool and that got us a decent finish. We still have a lot to improve on, but the guys worked very hard. We had a decent qualifying effort. You have to look at the positives and learn from the things we need to make better, but for the second weekend together I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction and I’m looking forward to Vegas.” ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Farmland Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE: “We had a solid top 10 car, but track position was so important. We know that, but it seemed like whatever you could get in the first three or four laps was really important because then it got so hard to pass. But we got track position early and ran up in the top two or three. That’s when we had a pretty good car, but when we lost our track position the handling just went away really bad and it was all we could do just to hang on. I’m proud of all the guys on this Farmland Fusion team. Everybody does a great job. Todd Parrott made some great calls to get us some track position early and if we could have kept that throughout the race, I think we would have had a solid top-five car.” IT WAS A TWO-TIRE VS. FOUR-TIRE DECISION ALL DAY WASN’T IT? “Yeah. Early we stayed out and got our track position, which was key for us. We took two tires and that was good because we were able to keep it up there, and then the one stop when we took four tires it seemed like a lot of people still took two tires and we came out twenty-something. We lost our track position there and kind of hung on after that.” CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE:“It was a good rebound. The guys worked really, really hard on Friday night and we definitely had a much better piece starting on Saturday. We chipped away at it and got it better, and then today we just really ground it out. We just stayed disciplined all day and tried not to make any mistakes and then at the end we had a car that was faster than a handful of them and we got five or six guys at the end. I’m real proud of them. We got a couple guys on that last restart as well, so our last run was really good.” DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE:“We made a lot of improvements to our Front Row Motorsports Ford during the race and we were probably the best it had been the whole race long. A lot of people were having tire issues. I saw the 10 blew the tire, and I never thought she’d come across the track that fast. Typically when you cut a tire you kind of ride the wall. Just unfortunate being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but nothing we could do.” DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion ON HIS RACE:“I don’t know if we ran something over or what, but we ended up blowing a right-front tire. We’ve seen a lot of that today. Our car was fine for over 200 laps, so I don’t really get it. Our brakes were good. Everything felt good, but it’s really disappointing because we were running really well. It’s probably the best we’ve run at this style of race track in a long, long time, so we’ll take the good out of that and go on and build on it. But this really puts us behind with two more torn-up race cars.”
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