Carl Edwards struggled all day, but still managed & hellip;

Carl Edwards struggled all day, but still managed a ninth-place finish Sunday at Martinsville Speedway to maintain his lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with only three races remaining.


Ford Finishing Order:
9th – Carl Edwards
11th – AJ Allmendinger
15th – Greg Biffle
16th – Travis Kvapil
21st – Ken Schrader
26th – Hermie Sadler
29th – Marcos Ambrose
31st – Matt Kenseth
33rd – David Ragan
34th – David Gilliland
37th – Scott Speed
40th – J.J. Yeley
43rd – Mike Skinner
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion – WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE 18 CAR? “I don’t know what happened with the 18. I’d honestly have to see it on TV. I felt like I left him some room on the outside, but everybody was kind of slow and checked up. I had a run under him and I was almost to his door and all of a sudden we just got together. I honestly don’t know if it was my fault, if I squeezed him or if he came down because there were some slow cars on the straightaway, but I almost think he must have came down because we hit really hard and then I must have had a flat tire and didn’t know it. I went into three and couldn’t steer or couldn’t stop it and wrecked all those guys. I feel bad about that. I had no idea what happened off of three, really.” 
TALK ABOUT THE TEAM REPAIRING THE CAR AND GETTING YOU BACK OUT THERE? “It’s disappointing. I obviously did a poor job today. We were really bad on used tires if we had a restart like we were in practice and we kept getting the outside every time and that’s such a disadvantage on the outside, unless you have a real fast car, which we really didn’t. It was a struggle all day. Obviously, I didn’t make good decisions and we ended up in a bad spot. I wish I could do some things over and try again, but we can’t do that. We raced hard all day. I thought we had pretty good track position at times and just couldn’t capitalize on it.” 
WHAT GOT IT STARTED WITH VICKERS? “With Brian he just kept hitting me in the door. I mean, we’re at Martinsville and I gave him the bottom. Obviously, I’m not gonna roll over and let him go with 40 to go or whatever it was and he just kept driving in harder and harder and he slammed me in the door at least five times and just ran me up in the marbles and I was just tired of it, so I spun him out. I don’t know how you can’t pass somebody here without running into him every single time when he gives you the bottom and the fastest lane, but obviously he couldn’t and I was trying to get every position I could at the end of the race.” 
YOU WERE RUNNING IN THE TOP 10 MUCH OF THE DAY. DID THE VICKERS INCIDENT RUIN YOUR DAY? “Well, that didn’t help anything, but that didn’t really do it. We kept getting restarts on the outside and on used tires our car would not restart fast. I really don’t know why, we would just be extremely loose and I just couldn’t get going. We were really falling back in that run. After that I thought maybe we were gonna be okay and when I got under the 18 there, like I said, I honestly don’t know what happened. I thought I left him enough room, so I don’t know if I slid up into him or what happened, but somehow we hit off of two and it cut my tire.   Of course, that ruined my day, along with his and whoever else got unfortunately collected in that mess.” 
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR MIDWAY THROUGH? “On the longer run we were pretty good once we got past halfway through the race and then that particular run when we had all of that stuff happen we just got real loose and I couldn’t keep up and I couldn’t get off the corner and kept falling backwards.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “It was crazy. We just got back to 15th and I’m so thankful. I got it backed into the fence on my own, the brakes just didn’t work. People were just rooting and gauging and everybody knows it’s late in the year and we’ve got to go. That’s why they’re driving like that. I didn’t put a scratch on my car, except for myself when I backed it into the fence. We finished 15th, so I’m pretty happy.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scotts Ford FusionPRESS CONFERENCE – “That’s just a gift to have finished in ninth and have the day we had. Did Tony have to come in and pit?   I saw on a replay it’s like he cut a tire or something and had to pit and came back through the field somehow. That was our strategy. We were gonna do the same thing we did last week and just cruise around the back and wait for everything to work out. It was a lot of work. We did not deserve to finish ninth. I’m just proud of my guys for sticking with it. Bob did a good job of keeping me calm and now we go to Texas. I’m really excited about Texas.” 
IS THIS A BIGGER MIRACLE THAN KANSAS OR EQUAL? “It’s unreal. We were so bad. With about 200 laps to go I was thinking, ‘Okay. The Cardinals didn’t give up the other night.’ That was a little motivation. ‘The Missouri Tigers didn’t give up the other night.’ That was more motivation. I had become okay with the fact that we were probably gonna finish 20th or 25th. I was thinking already about Texas and how we were gonna have to go there and everything we were gonna do, but my guys stuck with it and we got very, very fortunate. I’m just glad we can move on.” 
THOUGHTS ON TONY FIGHTING HARD TO STAY ON THE LEAD LAP EARLIER IN THE RACE. “I think credit needs to be given to his crew chief because I raced around Tony for the first 100-150 laps and I thought his car was as slow as mine was at that point, so they did a really good job of turning the balance of that car around overall. It looked like he was struggling a lot.” 
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHAT WENT RIGHT, AND IN VICTORY LANE TONY SAID YOU BETTER BE WORRIED AND YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE AN EASY THREE WEEKS. DO YOU HAVE A REBUTTAL? “He’s wound up. He won the race. We’ll see what happens at Texas. I feel like we’re gonna go there and we’re gonna have as good a shot to win as anyone. This track has just been really, really tough for me, so I think this is one of those days where everything went wrong and everything went right as well, and, fortunately, the timing of all those things worked out so we finished ninth. I think Tony and those guys, they’ve obviously won three Chase races so when I sat in here on Friday I told you guys I thought he was one of the guys that could win this race and be a guy that you’d have to beat for the championship and I think he’s proving that right now. But, yeah, we’ll have fun. We’ll go race hard. They’re gonna have to race us, too, so I’m excited about the next three races.” 
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN THE BLACK FLAG CAME OUT AND WAS THEN RESCINDED? “I had forgotten about that. My spotter, Jason (Hedlesky), NASCAR was telling him for me to pass the 31, so Jason was yelling at me, ‘You’ve got to pass the 31,’ so I drove around the outside of Burton right as the green was coming out. I’ve got to give credit to Burton because he probably had no clue what was going on. I could tell by the way he was driving me that he thought about turning me around down there in turn one, so I’m grateful that he didn’t do that and I’m grateful – whether or not there was a communication error or what was going on – I appreciate NASCAR looking at it and realizing they told me to do what they were black-flagging me for. It’s not very often they rescind the black flag like that.” 
A LUGNUT ISSUE, YOU WERE LAPPED TWICE AND YOU FINISHED NINTH. IS THIS LIKE A VICTORY? “Yes. We talked about it beforehand. If we could just come out of here with a top 10 and the points lead, that’s like a win, so I’m very happy with the result.   I’m not happy with the performance. We struggled in a bunch of different ways today, so we’ve got to work on this. We’ve got to figure out exactly what causes us to struggle here. It looks like a couple of our teammates figured it out and we’ve got some homework to do before we come back next time.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 AdvoCare Ford Fusion – “That’s Martinsville. It was a really good car. I think we just needed something small to win the race, but the car was so good.  It was really good. I was proud of all the guys. We’ve got to work on our pit stops a little bit because we kept losing a couple of spots, but what really hurt us was I got put three-wide on the outside and got into one and that shoved the fender over the tire and we got a yellow, and from there on back we were at the back of the pack and everybody is just gauging back there. Doug gave me a great motor and everybody at the engine shop. The car was good and that’s all you can say.” A VERY PHYSICAL RACE TODAY. WHY? “It was unbelievable. It was insane. That’s the way NASCAR is now. Everybody is desperate. We’ve got to fight for everything we can get out there. Sponsors, points, money, etc., so everybody is trying to get everything. It’s the end of the year. It just seems like if it’s just me, but it just seems like this year is tiring. Everybody is tired and you put that combination together at a place like Martinsville and things are gonna happen.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – “It was just a real crazy race. I felt like we had a top 10 car. We were able to pass some cars from the get-go and made good adjustments from our practice on Friday, but just didn’t have the luck. We were just cruising around there and someone wrecked someone on the front straightaway and bumper-tagged and we had a small piece of sheetmetal go through our radiator and we had to go behind the wall and change it. But, other than that, our car was fast. Our team did a good job. We just didn’t have luck today.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion – “We were in good shape. We didn’t have a scratch on it. We were just trying to keep the fenders on and blew a right-rear tire. We had to pit. We tried to stay out and do the wave around, got our lap back, we had to pit under green but it looked like it was going to make the cycle. We were making up a lot of track position there, but we just blew a tire and our day is done.”