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Ford Media Center
FORD DRIVERS COMPETING IN SATURDAY’S SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Team Penske)
Greg Biffle – No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion (Roush Fenway Racing)
Joey Logano – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Team Penske)
Aric Almirola – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion (Richard Petty Motorsports)
SEGMENT 1 POST-RACE WINNER’S INTERVIEW
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion – POST-RACE GARAGE INTERVIEW – “I’m really excited. We’ve worked really hard and we had good track position. We qualified well. It seems like we’re getting our cars a little bit better. We know we still have work to do, but when it got out in clean air it was pretty fast and we were able to hold off Clint and have a pretty good lead. I definitely didn’t want to see a caution flag. I wasn’t ready for a restart and mix it up again, but we’re pretty happy with the car.” ANY STRATEGY GOING INTO A RACE LIKE THIS? “We knew guns were blazing. We had the thing in a halfway modified qualifying trim because we knew it was a short run, so we just ran as hard as we could the entire 20 laps.” YOU SAID YOUR CAR IS GETTING BETTER, SO DOES THIS GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE FOR TOMORROW AND NEXT WEEKEND? “It gives us a bunch of confidence. We know we still have a lot of other cars to compete against, but it felt good to win half a race, so we’ll see what happens.” HOW KEY WAS GETTING THE LEAD AT THE START OF THE RACE? “The start was the race and I knew that. That’s it. I just knew the start was the race. Whoever got out front was gonna win and I told Matt (Puccia) that. I had my tires warmed up and I pushed the gas down as easy as I could and I started spinning and he started spinning also. I thought, ‘Oh, he’s gonna get me,’ but I modulated the gas and started pushing it back down and I got some grip, and then he got a little sideways and came down and actually got into us. I haven’t looked at the side yet, but he was spinning also. Then my car took off and I got that jump and that was the end of it.”
SPRINT SHOWDOWN PRESS CONFERENCE
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion – “I knew the start was gonna be really important. We got lucky and qualified second, so we got the opportunity to start up front. I just concentrated on not spinning the tires and trying to get a good run and try to beat him in turn one. I pushed the gas down and started to spin a little bit and then kind of held the gas pedal and then looked over and he started spinning. He got sideways and got into me a little bit. It didn’t break my momentum. It didn’t break me loose and I was able to stay in the gas and beat him to turn one and that was kind of it for me. Clint made me nervous. It’s been a while since we’ve been out front leading, so I was paying attention to those guys and trying to run as hard as I could and try to figure out my car for tomorrow night. I searched around a little bit on the race track when I got about three quarters of the way into that run and was just hoping the caution wasn’t going to come out. I didn’t want to restart with Clint. I knew he was gonna be hard to beat and I was pretty happy for the guys. Everybody at Roush Fenway has worked really hard. It’s kind of nice to win. I was joking with them I said, ‘I’ve never been so excited to win half a race in my life,’ so I guess I won half the race tonight and maybe I can win the other part of one tomorrow night.”
WHAT DOES THE WIN DO FOR YOU? “It’s been a couple years for me, but it means a lot to us even though qualifying was good for us as well. To come here and qualify second and run the laps we ran and feel like we’ve got a little bit of speed in our car and we know tomorrow night is gonna be a huge challenge for us because there are gonna be a lot faster cars that we have to deal with all the same speed basically. The top 20 are really fast cars, but tonight is certainly a confidence-builder. It’s gonna be tough for Clint and I to qualify tomorrow night. We didn’t make any runs at pit road, so we have no clue of what we’re doing. You go off the track at 150 and take a guess to try and stop at a pit box. Hopefully, we get to go at the end. Anyway, it’s gonna be tough but we do get a chance to qualify, so track position may be a factor or could help us get up in there a little bit.”
WHAT MEANS MORE THE WIN TONIGHT OR THE CHANCE TO GET 110 LAPS TOMORROW NIGHT? “It was a big win for us. We haven’t been up front. I haven’t led a lot of laps and to win a segment, to get in, all the guys that have been working on that car for the last two years are grinning ear to ear. They’re excited. We won’t learn a tremendous amount tomorrow night in 110 laps that’s really gonna be beneficial probably for the 600, but we did learn something this whole weekend. Everybody got to run that whole 40 laps and get to work on their car in practice, so all of that was gonna help for next week, but I don’t think tomorrow night will.”
WAS THE INSIDE BETTER THAN THE OUTSIDE TONIGHT? “Typically the outside has a little bit better momentum and the inside guy can’t arc it out as far as he wants to because there’s a car beside him and then the same thing coming off the corner, he’s got to hold it down a lane for that guy. So you handicap the bottom guy by so much being side-by-side the outside lane ends up being better. But once you get free or clear the bottom is faster typically. But it could go either way. The very last lap I ran the middle in one and two and I wasn’t as good in the middle. In practice it was pretty good for me, but at the end there it wasn’t any more speed for me, but tomorrow night could possibly be different.”
PROBABLY THE OUTSIDE? “Probably the outside people are going to take just because you can roll the corner faster and the bottom guy has a disadvantage.”
WHERE WOULD AN ALL-STAR RACE WIN RANK FOR YOU? “It really depends on the circumstance more than anything. You talk about it as a big win. Like if we were to win tomorrow night, I would probably have to label that as probably one of the biggest wins because we haven’t won in a year-and-a-half or two years. I think in the context of that it would be a huge deal for us, but certainly the Daytona 500 or a points race like the Brickyard or the 600 or something like that, those are pretty big wins as well.”
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