Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/28/14
TALK ABOUT YOUR FIRST OFFICIAL RACE IN THE NEW SHELL PENNZOIL FORD AND HOW THINGS WENT TONIGHT. “I thought it went pretty smooth. This Sprint Unlimited race was huge for our team to get a race under our belts. I had a new spotter up there and for me and Todd Gordon to work together a lot of big things can come out of this race. I think of it as a pre-season football game or a pre-season race where you can figure things out. We did that. I would second what Greg (Biffle) said. I feel like our cars were pretty equal and we really couldn’t make the move to do anything because I didn’t feel like our car was fast enough but there were a select few cars that could do some things. I did make a move there at the end and did have enough speed that I went from seventh or so and had a good run. I went to the bottom and was able to get third but the time we got to the checkered flag. Once I got to the bottom I knew I didn’t have enough speed to get the lead and I was just hoping they would wreck each other. Overall it was a good solid finish and a good way to start my career with the Shell Pennzoil guys and I feel like we have a good list of things we can go over to help our 500 car. I think our car has good speed in qualifying and a good shot at the pole. We have momentum on our side and we are going to ride it out.” YOU DID GET OUT FROM FOR A LITTLE BIT. COULD YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL THEN? “I never quite got there because the one time I did make a move early in the race and I had a run and I drove with momentum and not with my brain. I went to make the move to take the lead while everyone was freight training up against the wall. I went for it and almost got there but didn’t get there and went all the way to the back. I was able to get back to third and that whole second segment we rode third place and I just wanted to keep the track position to try to do something at the end. I feel like we did what we could do with the car we had. I think we can make things a lot better and we will work on that. Our car handled decent and you could see some guys were having a handful but we made some adjustments to make our better but it wasn’t that big of a handful out there. Just like Greg said, it was hard to get the huge run and enough to get buy everybody. That was the real tricky part.” DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT DRAFTING YET CONSIDERING THERE WERE ONLY 12 CARS OUT THERE FOR MOST OF THIS RACE? “I could tell in the beginning of the race that we all started off fairly conservative and we were running two-wide and you couldn’t make any ground up. You need to get it three-wide to make some moves. About toward the end of that run everyone’s tires were wearing a bit and I think guys got bored and wanted to start making things happen. You could see it coming for sure. You could see both Gibbs cars were starting to go down the center and I thought, ‘alright, here we go.’ I thought it was going to happen on the front straightaway and it happened on turn one. It is just all of us finding our limit of how close we can get to each other and how hard we can drive these things before we lose control of them. Tonight really is the most grip we are going to have. It was the most we are going to get. It is really cool out and anything from there is going to get warmer and we will be racing in the day time. Grip will go away and handling will be more of a factor which I think is a good thing. We will see what happens. I had to catch it a few times and I am sure a lot of guys did too.” YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAR? YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW GUYS THAT THOUGHT THERE STILL MIGHT BE SOME TANDEM. HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR OPINION? “I pushed on the back straightaway a few times. I was doing it for different reasons than what I used to do it for. I used to try to stay with them to go to the front, now I am trying to shove someone out and move up in the freight train. Everyone was doing the same thing. It is just different. I think we have to figure it out. It is like Greg said. I didn’t feel like my car was fast enough to go make those moves so when I got to someone I would just push them instead of making the move. I thought that overall the cars were good. I think they are cool and they look good and they put on a pretty good race and I think there might be some adjustments to be made to them to always make it better. You never stop improving. You can always work on some things. We got what we’ve got and I think we will put on a good 500 for you.” BOTH OF THE WRECKS (YESTERDAY AND TODAY) SEEMED TO BE GUYS THAT MISJUDGED HOW FAST SOMEONE WAS COMING UP. IS THERE A CERTAIN TIME WHERE PEOPLE ARE JUST GETTING A GOOD PUSH OR ARE GUYS NOT EXPECTING PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE MOVE SO THEY THINK THEY HAVE TIME? “I think we are aggressive with the block because we know if we get shoved out of line it will be really hard to get back up there. We will do everything we can do to protect what we’ve got. I think everyone is getting back into the rhythm of it too. I think it is a product of us racing close and being aggressive and protecting what we’ve got and making sure we don’t get shuffled out.” -Ford Racing PR
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