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Kasey Kahne Tops Ford Drivers With Fourth-Place Finish In California

Kasey Kahne drove his No. 9 Ford Fusion to a fourth-place finish to top all Ford teams.

Kasey Kahne Tops Ford Drivers With Fourth-Place Finish In California

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 41st) – “We had a great car. We were just a little bit on top of the race track right there. The wind is playing havoc with us and the track is a little slick, but it’s a tough day for us because the engine expired. We felt like we had an opportunity to run up front, for sure.” WERE YOU TRYING ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH THE MOTOR? “No, same old thing with the engine, but this one just didn’t make it.” WHAT HAPPENED? “I really don’t know. I had no indication. The engine just let go at the end of the backstretch. I let up on the throttle going in the corner and it broke. It probably broke a rod. That’s typically what happens at the end of the backstretch when you lift on the throttle like that. It looked like maybe it windowed the block and the oil pan, so probably something in the lower unit.” DO YOU KNOW WHAT CAUSED THE PROBLEM? “I’m not sure. The guys have been working really hard on the durability and something broke in the bottom end of the engine. It came out the bottom, but there was no indication. I don’t really know what happened. We had good oil pressure, the temperature seemed to be good, it was just unexpected. It’s unfortunate for us. This was our opportunity to get back in the chase and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen.” HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS DISAPPOINTMENT? “It’s disappointing, but what can you do? It broke. Everybody is giving this program 110 percent, so you can’t blame anybody. We were trying hard to win the title and it isn’t gonna happen this year.”

KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) – “We had been loose all day, but we were just a little bit tight there right at the end and those guys were a little better. They turned a little better than I did getting to the center and could roll faster, but it was still a great day by the team. All of the guys on my Budweiser Ford Fusion did a nice job. We made some gains and it was actually nice. I felt like a driver again, so it was kind of cool.” YOUR CAR OBVIOUSLY GOT BETTER AS THE DAY WENT ON. “It definitely got better. It was a handful. It was tough and we had to work on it a little bit and lost some positions doing that, but once we got it where we knew we needed it, the car wasn’t too bad. We were pretty close.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 20th) – “It was up and down. I felt like we ran really good before the track got rubbered up and, kind of like Kansas, we lost the handle there in the middle pretty bad. Jimmy and Chip made some good adjustments and really brought the car to life two or three runs from the end, but on the second-to-last restart I could feel the engine wasn’t running right. I had something wounded that was getting ready to break, so I just held on to what we could.” DO YOU THINK THERE’S SOMETHING GOING ON WITH THE MOTORS OR IS IT JUST THIS TRACK? “Everybody’s got to race on the same track. We’re using the same gear now, so it’s something that we’ve got to look at. The 16 had a problem and we did too in 400 miles. They’ve been working really hard to give us more power to be competitive and there are always growing pains with that every once in a while getting that figured out, but Doug Yates and all those guys at the engine shop do a great job and I’m sure we’ll figure out what the problem is when the truck gets back in a couple of days.” DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS AT LEAST RUNNING BETTER NOW? “Yeah, we’ve been running better. That probably took all three of us out for a legitimate shot in one race, so that’s really disappointing, but I’ve already made my mistakes and had us in a hole anyway, so we certainly couldn’t afford any bad finishes. You know that you’re not gonna be able to win it now from where we’re at, barring a miracle, so we’ll just keep trying to build on it this year. We’ve been running better the last month or two and try to hopefully get a win or two before the end of the year and have some momentum going into next season.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 34th) – “That’s a really tough day, but you’re gonna have days like that. It’s racing. There are a lot of moving parts in the car. Our Aflac Fusion was really good. It felt like even there at the end we went out and ran a couple of runs hard to see how fast we could go, and we had a great car. It was something in the ignition – the rotor is what they said, in the distributor – and it was scattering the spark. I could tell it was going away and then finally it just quit. It didn’t blow up the engine, it ran well, we just had a part failure in there and that’s the way racing goes.” HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO HAVE A MECHANICAL ISSUE TAKE YOU OUT OF THIS CHASE? “It’s definitely out of my control, but my guys build great engines. Like I said, there are so many moving parts in a race car. You’ve got to run well enough to absorb these kind of days. We’ve run really well. We’ve got six races left and we’re 162 points back, so over six races that’s not a lot of points per race, so I think we can do it. We just have to keep digging.” DID YOU FLASH BACK TO CHARLOTTE A COUPLE YEARS AGO WHEN THE POWER FAILED? “Yeah, I thought of that, but that’s racing. You can’t get mad about that because there’s nothing you can do.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Finished 20th) – “I’m excited. We weren’t very good all weekend in practice and yesterday after practice the guys changed the spindles and everything else on the car – front and rear swaybars, spindles, four springs – to something we hadn’t run all weekend. This is what we ran in Kansas and we just had confidence that it would be better and it was better all day. We just worked on it and Peter and the guys did a good job trying to keep up with the track. There at the end, we were able to come in and put tires on and make up a bunch of spots. It was a great day for us and a great points day for Front Row Motorsports, and it gives us a chance to talk about our Ford Fusion. We’re excited. A 20th-place finish might not be big to some people, but for Front Row Motorsports it’s a good day.” YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO RUN WELL HERE IN YOUR HOME AREA. WHY? “Yeah, it’s really good. We’ve got more friends and family at this track than anywhere else and when they introduce you at the start of the race you just feel the support, so it’s good to feel that support. It’s good to be back home and have a good run.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 32nd) – “I felt like we had a good run going in our UPS Freight Ford. We kind of went to the front and went to the back depending on our pit strategy. Some guys were taking two tires throughout the day, so I felt like we were always a little better than where we were running. Late in the race, I was just going as hard as I could and not cutting anyone any slack and just misjudged by a foot or two and it cost us. Fifty laps into the race I wouldn’t have made that decision, but the last run of the day and with less than 10 laps to go, the little bit of give-and-take goes out the window.”
TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief – No. 19 Reynolds Wrap Ford Fusion (Sadler finished 13th) – “It wasn’t bad. We lost some track position early in the race and got behind, but we kept working on the car all day and got it back to the front. The restarts were so crazy and whichever line you were in seemed to kill your momentum. It was kind of a crazy race, but the guys did a great job to come home 13th. I think we were running 11th coming off turn two coming to the checkered and I think the 20 and 78 may have snuck by us, but everybody hung in there all day and did a great job on this Reynolds Wrap Ford Fusion to come home with a top 15.”