Ford Teams at Martinsville

JAMIE MCMURRAY – No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Finished 10th) – “We started so far in the back and typically I run well here, but I always qualify well and it makes it so much easier when you’re up front. Our car had a tremendous amount of speed in it, but I just could not pass. I could catch guys pretty easy and I just couldn’t pass them, so we struggled just to get track position, but we had really good pit stops and that helped us out a lot.”

IT SEEMED YOU WERE RUNNING 11TH THE WHOLE RACE. IS IT JUST A CASE OF EVERYONE RUNNING THE SAME SPEED SO IT’S HARD TO PASS? “Yeah. They brought this tire and it was supposed to give up more, and it did give up more, but it just seemed like it was harder to pass.”

ANYTHING YOU CAN SAY ABOUT THE SHORT TRACKS AND WHY IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE THE LAST TWO WEEKS? “It’s just racing. Carl had a good car today and I guess he cut a tire down, but that’s why they let you come back each week.”

BOBBY LABONTE – No. 96 Ford Fusion (Finished 16th) – DID THAT SPIN COST YOU ANYTHING? “It did just because I lost some track position and only passed one car back, but I was just kind of loose there and I don’t know why. We were fighting tight all day. It was still tight, but the rear end is loose. I’ve got too much rear brake in it, but I don’t know. I’m just not balanced on my brakes right, but our car felt kind of the same way as last week – tight.”GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 28th) – “This track is just not my track. We’ve run as good as we can here, but it’s tough for us. We could never get the thing to turn and get good grip off. Every once in a while we run good, but we’re just missing that little bit of something. We’ll keep working on it and we’ll get it one of these days.”

ANYTHING YOU CAN POINT TO ABOUT THE FORDS THE LAST TWO WEEKS? “When you say Fords that’s our whole team and we’re running all the same thing, so you don’t have any variety. That’s part of the issue so when we’re good, we’re all good, and when we’re bad, we’re all bad.”DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 27th) – “Another good car for us today, I feel like. We were able to pass at the beginning and we had a lot better racecar than we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. We were just not in a good position when Robby Gordon had his tire go down, we had a tire going down. It seemed like a lot of people today were having tire issues. We had a puncture in ours and had to bring our UPS Fusion into the pits. When you have to make and unscheduled pit stop, you get off sequence. It’s just really tough. I felt like once we got the car with four fresh tires, we could run in the top 10. We just need to get ourselves in better position. We had a good car all day, but it was a disappointing finish. We’ve got to get ourselves back up into the top 10 with our UPS race team.”DREW BLICKENSDERFER, Crew Chief – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Matt Kenseth finished 23rd) –

THE CALL ON THAT LOOSE TIRE WAS THE KEY DECISION TO YOUR DAY AND YOU COULD NEVER GET THAT LAP BACK. “That really set the tone for our race. It put us in a position early in the race like that where we had to start in the back and we were a lap down. We never could get to the point where the leader would lap one person and then they’d throw the caution, so we were just on the bad side of that pretty much most of the day. I thought we ran around in the lucky dog spot for probably 200 laps for sure and we never could get lucky enough to get it. That’s something we need to take care of and we need to get our tires back to the stall. The unfortunate thing is I wasn’t clear the official said we had to come in. I thought he was telling us, ‘It was close. Make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ type of thing and it wasn’t. It was, ‘You messed up the rule,’ so we’ve got to make sure we get our tires back. We can’t have mistakes like that. Our car ran competitive, but it wasn’t good enough to overcome something like that, so when you have a car like we had, you need all the breaks to go your way to finish in the top 10 and we, unfortunately, didn’t have one.”

SO YOU WEREN’T ARGUING THE CALL ITSELF. “I told the head official when he came down there that he never told me I have to pit. He told, ‘Control your tires.’ Those were the exact words he said to me and I thought, ok, that meant we needed to be a little better at what we’re doing so I kind of went about my business. The next thing I know we’re five laps into the next run and they tell us we have to pit under green. That was disheartening to me, but, at the same time, the rules are the rules and we have to follow them.”

ORDINARILY YOU WOULD RE-START AT THE TAIL END OF THE LONGEST LINE, RIGHT? “Ordinarily, you would come in and serve your pass through under caution, so then you would just start at the tail end, but we didn’t get it relayed to us and we didn’t realize it quick enough, and we didn’t get told until five laps in that we needed to pit. At a track like this, you’ll lose multiple laps. We were lucky to only be one down, but that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.”

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