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March 2, 2008
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
THE MODERATOR: We welcome to the infield media center today's third-place finisher in the UAW Dodge 400, Greg Biffle. Greg, tell us about your run.
GREG BIFFLE: Well, I'll argue that I had the fastest racecar today on the racetrack and the driver just screwed it up. I mean, you know, I got caught speeding on pit road. I had just run the leaders down, had just caught Carl from, you know, a long ways back, a long ways back. I had come up and caught Carl. Just slid onto pit road.
You know, that apron was dustier than I thought it was. I couldn't get stopped. I got caught for speeding there, went back to 15th. Drove all the way to the front under green. Was able to get all the way back. I think I was passing for fourth or third. Then got loose off of turn two and probably should have wrecked and don't really understand why I didn't yet. Lost all my track position again. Then we had a botched-up pit stop. We screwed up one stop in the pits, and that kind of hurt us a little bit. Just never did get the track position that I needed.
But spectacular run with the car. The car was perfect all day. Made some just tiny, minor changes, half pound, quarter pound of air. Had a lot of fun. I mean, this is the most fun I've had driving a racecar in probably a year or two. A lot of times these races are real stressful, a lot of pressure. I feel really good getting out of the car right now.
Just had a lot of fun today. Just wish there had been, you know, five more laps. I was outside of the 88 there down in one and two. He got pushed up the racetrack a little bit. Came over and talked to me when he got out of the car, like a real gentleman would, a racecar driver that drives like a man, and apologized that he slipped up a little bit. I knew he was tight coming up the racetrack. Got out of the throttle a little bit and off we went.
A lot of dust still down the backstretch, I think. A lot of grease sweep. I tried the top down there. I think I just had fuzz on my tires. You know, just didn't have the grip I needed down three and four. Had a really, really fast car. Super excited about that part of it.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by today's second-place finisher, driver of the No. 88 National Guard AMP Energy Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Dale, tell us about your run today.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Man, it's just a lot of work. Cars on top of the racetrack all day. Really couldn't get the front or the back to hook up real good. Just had to beat it down in the corner and take whatever it would give you and get the lap times you could get.
We got the car kind of good at parts of the race. Got away from that. Got worse in some parts. Started the race really loose. I was real, real happy with my car after 20 laps. I thought if I could get going there, I thought I was going to be in really good shape.
Trying to race Carl on the one restart, I spun my tires, and the 17, the 24 got around me. That was just my mistake. Then the red flag, we weren't as good on cold tires. So we were sliding around a little bit. Greg got on the outside of me and we pushed up. I seen him lift so we could get off the corner together. That was kind of cool of him, running me clean like that.
Carl wasn't going to get beat today. It's good to just put one in the bag after last week. I so desperately wanted to finish where I thought the car was capable of finishing, and we did today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Dale, even though you didn't get the win, do you feel fortunate? Even with the tire spin, you were able to avoid that crash over here and come in second?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Yeah, really fortunate. I would have talked myself into being satisfied with a top-five finish no matter where it was. After last week, I just needed to get that kind of a finish.
But, you know, we worked so hard to get into second, get by Matt. You get so mad. You know, I mean, I wanted a shot at Carl, but he was just so strong. And he kind of conceded that fact, you know, with 10 to go. You hate to see the cautions come out because you know guys are going to pull tricks out of their bags. Matt laid back a little bit on that restart when I spun my tires. I should have been laying back. I can't complain about him laying back. I was the one that should have been laying back.
Shoot, I had a shot to try to be Carl. We had some pretty good restarts during the race. I should have been paying a little more attention to what the 17 was doing, trying to lay back a little bit myself to get a better start. Carl sort of slowed down real quick before he went. When I jumped the gas, my car just spun like hell. Tire's so hard, hard to get hooked up on the restart.
Q. Biff, talk a little bit about Jack Roush. Last year he said he had gotten behind. Seems like you really have made gains in the Car of Tomorrow. What kind of driver does this car favor out on the racetrack?
GREG BIFFLE: Well, I mean, your car's got to be right. Nobody can drive it unless it's right. A person that's got a lot of car control I think today ended up, you know, in front. You know, a person, like Junior said, when he had a loose car, he just took it for what he could, you know.
I think that we had -- I know we had a faster car than he did, and he drove a great race and ends up finishing in front of us because he used his head and he drove his car as fast as he could get his car to go, kept his track position.
So, you know, that's the kind of people it takes to run well in these racecars. But you can get them off, like the 48 today. Man, it's just a miserable today. You know, it just gets worse as it goes.
And Robbie Reiser really made the biggest difference probably at our company, you know, getting us turned around and pointed in the right direction. The end of last year, you know, before he moved into this general manager or competition director, the end of last year, he kind of headed up the testing and got that start. Before the second Loudon race is when that thing really came to life. So he's been working in that position kind of since then. And it's the reflection of his hard work and, you know, all the engineering department, everybody, fab shop, just starting to pay off.
Q. Greg, you've been pretty vocal the last two years about some of the frustrations that you've had when the cars weren't running the way that you wanted to. I know three races in is kind of early to tell still, but you obviously, your team, has picked it up considerably this year. How much optimism does that give you for the rest of the season and the chances of getting back in the Chase and making a title run?
GREG BIFFLE: It's a bunch of confidence. You know, I'm unhappy that I didn't win today, but I'm super excited about how fast the car was. The car was drivable all day from the green flag to the checkered flag.
You know, 80% of the laps were as fast or faster than the leader. It's just I kept screwing up and never got my track position where I needed it. So that is a bunch of confidence, man. I mean, I'm so excited about it. I can't wait till next week, you know, these next couple weeks, to get to some more racetracks and give it another shot.
You know, I felt like we could have won today. I just got -- I was near the front and got loose coming off of two. Took me a long time to get my track position back after I lost all that. But a lot of confidence.
Q. Dale or Greg, can we finally stop talking about the Car of Tomorrow being so unknown? This was supposed to be the first race after the first two where we'd really get a feel for it. We had 11 cautions, a record for the track today. Are you comfortable with the Car of Tomorrow now?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Not really. It's just the third race man, this year. We ran it some last year, but all at short tracks. We need more time. I think you'll keep getting it better and better the more time you have with it. They need to explore softening the left side tire. Just a tiny bit of left side grip would help out a bunch and keep people from complaining so much.
But the car's coming around. I mean, it is what you make of it really. Take it and build it, do the best you can. But I struggled today really getting into the racetrack. I think that was not the Car of Tomorrow as much as it was how hard the tire is because they're real conservative on the tire.
Q. (No microphone.)
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Yeah, I feel like it's perception. I got to give credit where credit's due. The Roush cars are really doing a great job right now getting the speed out of their cars.
But I feel pretty confident in our program. I think it's just perception. This is only the third race, man. I don't think you can get a good gauge by that. We got to go to Bristol and Atlanta, a couple real racetracks, and, you know, have some finishes there. We'll see how we do.
Q. Dale Jr., when you get in that position where you've got to try to jump somebody on a restart and you know his car is stronger than you, are there games you can play that you run through in your mind or were you just trying to by that point -- you said something about you'd almost given and accepted second.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I've been out of the game so long. Hell, man, I ain't had a whole lot of practice at that stuff (laughter). So, yeah, I looked like a tool out there. I was running in the back of Carl. Should have been waiting and getting a run. I was running into the back of him, spinning tires. 17 and 24 got the run. I should have been doing what they did.
That's what you got to do. It's a fine line I'm sure with NASCAR what they perceive as a jump or laying back too much. But I wasn't -- I needed to be a little more aggressive trying to get into the gray area with that. I was staying caught up, being a little too nice about it.
Q. (No microphone.)
GREG BIFFLE: There shouldn't be any gaps anywhere. There should be SAFER barriers all the way around the inside and the outside of these racetracks. You got to remember, if you look at the percentage of crash es that happen at the inside wall versus the outside wall, you know, they're pretty dang close, you know, so why not have them on the inside, SAFER barriers? You know, it's not that hard to do. Can't say we don't have the time or the money to do it because we're coming back here next year and going to race again.
So my opinion, they should be all the way around the tracks, inside and outside, and they got to quit this, you know, stepping the wall out. You know, they need to run the one wall way past the other wall, parallel, about a 12-foot alleyway where you can come out of so the walls are both flat. They always stop this wall and then make this wall come out. Well, it has a 90-degree -- you know, you can hit the thing head on from coming at a 30-degree angle off the track. You can run into the wall that's head on. They need to fix that.
Q. Did you see the contact between Jeff and Matt? If you did, what did you see?
GREG BIFFLE: I think we both saw the contact. It was hard for me because I had a big run, you know. So I had to try and slow down. I don't know why my car got loose, but when I started to come off the gas or started closing on them, my car started getting sideways before the 24 I think hit the 17. So I was, whew, trying not to be in that by a lot.
You know, it just got away from Jeff. You know, like Junior said, these cars are hard to drive. Tires are hard. You get in that position where it blocks the air off your racecar. He got up tight to the side of the 17. It's going to take the air off of your car, as well, being on the inside. He just lost it. It's uncharacteristic of Jeff, you know, to overdrive or make a mistake like that, but we all do, you know. And we hate it when it happens, but we're out there trying our hardest. You got to give and take still a little bit, you know.
Q. You guys are both in the top 12 right now, but there are a lot of big names like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, who aren't. A lot of people say Atlanta is an important point in the season, that if you're not in the top 12 or 15, you're going to be in a hole. Can you both talk about that? Are you pretty pleased going into Atlanta? Is Atlanta a big race to make sure you're safely in Chase territory?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Yeah, that's all really -- I'm going to run hard and try to win races, but I'm really watching that top 12 hard. I've waited and been lackadaisical, We'll get around to it, we'll put some runs together to get in there. I'm not going to do that this year. Concentrate on every lap.
GREG BIFFLE: I mean, same thing. You know, you're so nervous the whole entire weekend, getting in the car and everything, you know, about finishing the race. We finished 14th at California, and I was totally mad about it. But, you know, I knew that just those 14th-place runs will get us in.
I'm totally thinking about it, watching it. I was just frustrated at California because the night before, you know, felt like we had a car that we could gain a lot more points and kind of gave it up.
But, yeah, I mean, I'm thinking every race about it. I don't know about Atlanta or where the thing is. But I'm with him, I'm going to get the most points I can.
Q. Dale, were restarts a problem for you all day, more than just the ones in the closing laps?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: No, they weren't. I don't know whether the track cooled down quite a bit or I wasn't doing enough myself to keep my tires ready for those restarts. But I felt like I was. But it was the last three or four that we had the problem. I had a couple great ones the middle of the race. We were running near Matt for the lead, charged him real hard there, got on the outside of him going into one but couldn't hold it up there.
The car was able to get grip on restarts before. Seemed like the temperature went down a little bit, the track temp went down a little bit and it was a little tougher.
Q. If both of you could talk about this. Dale, like you said, the series is now going to a couple real racetracks, in your opinion. Atlanta is the fastest track out there. This car is going to be out there. How on edge is it going to be for you guys to try to get and understanding of what this car can do? Also the fact that everybody goes back to Bristol, which is where this car debuted last year.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, we tested a lot at Atlanta and it feels as good as it can for the fact that it's a COT. It feels -- you know, the tire is pretty good for that track. They've done a great job. We have pretty good grip there.
Bristol, you know, they redid the track, and everybody is still trying to pull some tricks there. We'll have to see how we end up when we get there. But I'm enjoying it. Pretty crucial, both them races, I think, to really set you up for the summer run.
Q. Junior, you used the word "frustrated" a couple times. You seem a little subdued. You just finished second. I would think that would be a big boost for you. When Tony kept you out on the racetrack about halfway or so, was that the right call?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Yeah, I mean, I back his play pretty much every time. We tell each other behind closed doors who's right or wrong. But I back his play pretty much all the time out there when we got the whole world listening to us.
I don't know, I'm happy. I'm sorry I'm not happier (laughter). Yeah, the damn red flag, that was -- anxiety just kills you sitting there and sitting there and sitting there. You don't see what's going on with how they're cleaning the track. You don't know how long it's going to take. Yeah, I mean, anxiety just kills you, kills you. You've been running all day, and to have to be parked for 20 minutes, it's all you can stand. It's all you can take.
I wish all you knew what that felt like. I'm sure you do, and I just don't know how to compare it to anything that each of us has done. But it's tough, man. And you hate it. You know, I would have been glad if we had just run second under green flag, no crash. We were in good shape. I was running good times. Red flags are no fun. I hate 'em. They're part of the sport. You got to man up when it comes time.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations. Thank you.
We're joined in the infield media center today by today's winning driver and winning crew chief of the UAW Dodge 400, driver of the 99 Dish Network Ford, Carl Edwards.
Carl, tell us about your run.
CARL EDWARDS: It was a great car. We just had a great, great Ford Fusion. I'm starting to agree with Jack. He told me this week he's going to start making Bob wear a helmet. I asked him why. He said, 'Cause the stuff that's going on between his two ears is really important and we need to protect it.
Bob's a smart guy and I'm just proud to be driving this racecar. We had a little bit of trouble on pit road. Got a penalty, you know, had to start at the end of the longest line. Then there at the end, I was extremely nervous. I thought we were going to receive another penalty for a tire that got away. But NASCAR made a judgment call in our favor that, after looking at the tape, I believe was the right one. I'm just very grateful for them looking at that and giving that to us.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's winning crew chief, Bob Osborne.
Bob, tell us about your day from on top of the box.
BOB OSBORNE: It was a little nerve-wracking. You know, it started out pretty good. But, like Carl spoke up, we had that pit road penalty that put us to the back. That really wasn't in our game plan. We planned on trying to stay in the top five, top 10, and ride around. We felt like we had a strong racecar. Didn't want to have to abuse it too early in the race.
But that changed our plan. Carl did a great job coming through traffic, as he normally does. And he got all those positions back for us. Lo and behold, the same thing, looked like it was going to happen to us, another tire rolled off of pit wall. But turned out it ran into one of the innocent bystanders that was standing next to our pit stall.
It was stressful (laughter). But, you know, the results are what we were looking for, and I'm happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's winning owner, Jack Roush.
Jack, your comments on today's race.
JACK ROUSH: I'm just glad that I have the opportunity to hang around with really fast people. I know Carl will give Bob a lot of credit. But Bob made a good decision today on when he could take two tires and when he had to have four, and of course the changes they made in the car were right on time.
I asked Bob this morning what he thought about the cooler temperature, what he thought about the wind. He said, Well, we had a little trouble in one of the corners yesterday, and he said the wind is going to help us with the corner. He said he thought the cooler temperature was going to work right into the balance he had in the car, front to rear, for traction. As it turned out, he was right. But Bob's been right a lot of the times, and that's really helping Carl. They work really well together and I'm just glad to be able to run with them.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions from the media.
Q. Bob, were you about to ring somebody's neck? Go through that. You saw the tire bounce across pit road, you have to be thinking, Not again. How did you discover what happened?
BOB OSBORNE: Right away I saw the tire rolling. I mean, where we were pitted on pit road, it was obvious it was ours. The crew member that was supposed to catch it right away ran up into the box and said what happened. I jumped down and spoke with the official about it.
In that situation, when you think that you didn't actually break a rule, you got to try to keep a level head. So I did my best to do that.
But, yeah, I wanted to go ballistic for sure, yell and scream, kick and punch, do whatever I had to do to get my way.
Kept a level head the best I could. The officials were very good in the situation also. They did what they had to do and reviewed the film and gave us a judgment call in our favor.
Q. Carl, with everything that went on in the race today, the first incident with the tire, falling to the back, then the second tire until you figured out you weren't going to get nailed for it, the red flag, how do you try to maintain your focus and your composure when you're kind of doing an emotional yo-yo?
CARL EDWARDS: You know, for me personally, there's nothing else I can do in my life that gives me that feeling of anticipation and anxiety and excitement. I just enjoy it. I mean, that's it. That's what we do this for, is for the challenge. Man, I just -- I really like it. It's fun for me. I like those moments when, you know, it's really cool to come off turn four, see all those fans standing up. You know you got the best drivers in the world behind you. That's when it's on the line, with two laps to go. I mean, I like it.
Q. Carl, what were your feelings during that period when the tire got away? You sounded pretty calm on the radio, but were you? Bob, what happened on the first penalty? Was it the same thing?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I try really hard to stay calm. I'm not the best at it sometimes, we all know that. But I try really hard. There's not much you can do to fix that stuff. You know, I can hear the jeopardy song just playing, just waiting for Bob to tell me everything's going to be all right. This time it worked out.
Q. Carl or Jack, talk about the Car of Tomorrow program, where you were last year, where you are now. You now seem to be setting the pace. Jack, you might be more qualified to talk about that since you discussed other problems with the program.
JACK ROUSH: I'm sure everybody's tired of hearing me talk about testing. But we got behind on testing last year because I misjudged what NASCAR was going to do with regard to the stated test policy. They indicated they were going to start us off with the Car of Tomorrow, which of course is the car of today today, with four or five tests. And everybody was going to have the same opportunity and it was going to be a level playing field.
Well, a number of the teams went off and got tires that were sometimes non-Goodyear tires, went to tracks that were not NASCAR tracks. When we went to Bristol, it was real clear we were way behind, yet we'd done the testing according to the plan. When I went to ask the guys, you know, how did that happen, they said, these other folks have been testing for thousands of miles and we haven't been there yet.
So starting right after Bristol, we designated a tractor-trailer unit. We hired people. We had a test team. We went to Iowa. We went to Wisconsin. We went to Nashville. We went to Virginia. We put the first focus on the road races. When we got to Sears Point, we weren't as far as behind as we were at Bristol. By the time we finished up, you know, in the Chase, I felt and the guys felt that we pretty much caught up.
But the year was behind us. I had wasted it because I misjudged what I needed to do. So I listened more carefully and I watched more carefully over the winter. I think that we're caught up. I certainly don't feel that we have an advantage. I think on any given Sunday, you know, there's probably 20 cars that could win the race. Four or five of them are our cars. I'm real proud of that.
Q. Could you have foreseen this kind of success right now, especially today, with four cars in the top 10?
JACK ROUSH: Boy, it will be real interesting to sit down and read everything that everybody is going to write about domination, what the state of competition is in Sprint Cup racing. I'll do my very best not to read that (laughter).
We need to just maintain focus. We aren't as good as it would appear to be for having won the last two races, and we weren't as bad as it looked like we were when we couldn't win a race for part of last year.
Q. (No microphone.)
BOB OSBORNE: What had happened on the left rear tire, when he pulled the tire off, normally it would roll back to the wall. One of the behind-the-wall crew would grab it, pull it over. This time it came over, hit a hose, changed directions, rolled away from pit wall. I really can't blame -- obviously it's the tire changer's responsibility that it goes to the wall. But it was a freak incident in that case.
I don't know if it's public knowledge, but the 99 crew has been going through a lot of injuries here recently and our starting tire changer is our car chief. He just had knee surgery right at the beginning of the season. Jason Meyers is our car chief. Carl is helping me out. He just had knee surgery. Houston is standing in for him. He's an up-and-coming tire changer. He's a little light on experience.
With the 26 being in the position they were in, we swapped the two guys out. We put Houston on the 26 and brought in Kyle Lewis to change rear tires.
It was not because of the tire incident; it was because of experience levels and what we're trying to accomplish here as a total unit at Roush Fenway Racing.
THE MODERATOR: We'll cut you loose, Bob, and you can get back to teardown.
BOB OSBORNE: Thanks a lot.
Q. Would you clear up one thing for us? Is it true or not true that you simply did not believe the Car of Tomorrow would ever become a reality and that you slowly began to move into it once you were persuaded it would be a reality, or was it simply just a testing question?
JACK ROUSH: No. The answer to your question is I believed that there was going to be a Car of Tomorrow and I believed that NASCAR would have their way, as they always do.
I was not in favor of obsoleting. We obsoleted 20 cars per team and about 15 show cars per team. They all had to be replaced at one time. Okay, so we replaced our 20 cars, four of which were beset with demons that the guys didn't want to drive, with 16 cars that are now all the same. We didn't have to replace one for one. We replaced 80% of what we obsoleted.
But that's a huge, huge cost. And, you know, I'm a farm boy from Southern Ohio and I just hate wasting things that have got use left in them. I straighten nails in order to be able to use them again. So that was against my upbringing. It was fundamentally against my business principles to have to do that.
But I believed it would happen. And the reason we didn't go testing wasn't because I was reluctant, it was because NASCAR had indicated that they were going to organize a test. You couldn't have tires. You could not own your tires. So you couldn't take the current tire and make plans to go test it someplace. You had to have obsolete tires from the year before or tires from other manufacturers.
Well, the other manufacturers, two other manufacturers, made tires that were okay for testing. And tracks like the track in Nashville and the track in Iowa and other tracks around the country, you know, opened up their gates and says, Y'all come, we'll rent you time.
By the time we got to Bristol, we were thousands of miles behind the information that a number of other teams had on the car. It was my fault for not hoarding tires. It was my fault for not testing NASCAR. If I had been the first team to go test, been the only team out there, I'm sure I would have been penalized for it. I expected other teams to be penalized. NASCAR didn't do that and we got behind.
Q. What are you most proud of today with this win? You would appreciate having that belt as a trophy.
CARL EDWARDS: What did you say? The thing I'm most proud of?
CARL EDWARDS: Just the way we've been running, you know, the hard work that Bob's put in, you know, everything that Jack's put into it, stuff he was talking about there. You know, the idea that we are, I think, close to the form that we were in 2005, you know, where it just seemed like a Roush Fenway car would win every week. That's what I'm really excited about.
And, yeah, the belt's going to be cool. John Cena (phonetic), my buddy, is going to be a little jealous I got that one. It might let him wear it sometime. But this one's going to Joe. We call him Hoss. He's a really good guy. He's our gas man. He's not going to be with us for a couple weeks. He's getting some medical stuff done. The whole team is behind him a hundred percent. It's really cool. This is his last race he's going to be with us for a little while. While he's resting up, this will be his. So it's cool to be able to do this today. Joe is a big enough guy. He can win one of these belts legitimately. They don't call him Hoss for nothing.
Q. You're going to go to the fastest track in the series, Atlanta, then after that the new Bristol. Kind of forecast about the struggle to run this car there, the things that you might have to do differently or anything like that.
CARL EDWARDS: Well, I think Atlanta's going to be a little bit different than California and Vegas. Obviously it's a different racetrack. But the pavement is a little different. The bumps there, the things that make it so much fun, make it Atlanta, are going to be hard. I think it's going to be difficult for all of us to get ahold of. I know when they were there for the test, we were not very fast last time we were there. So I'm hoping we're a little bit faster. I'm really looking forward to Bristol. We had a great race there last time. That place is really neat now that you can run three-wide. That's going to be a lot of fun.
A little bit nervous about how fast we're going to be at Atlanta. I think, you know, I mean, you guys are aware, everyone is aware, anyone in the sport can go there and be dominant. There's just no telling. But I think we'll be all right. That's just an unknown right now.
Q. Only three races in, but you have two victories, you're leading the points. Talk about the start to your season. What does it really mean, or nothing at all?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I mean, we do this to win. I mean, that's the thing, you know. Winning these races is the greatest part of this whole thing for me. You know, winning a championship would be the ultimate. What we're trying to do is, you know, to win the championship this year. That's our No. 1 goal. The greatest part about winning these races is that we get the 10 points per race that will help us out if we make the Chase.
That's really good, but, I mean, really, truly, it's just the feeling of winning. That's an amazing feeling.
Q. Jack, you kind of got your butt kicked last year. You vowed you were going to come back, get your revenge. Who has helped you the most back at the shop to do this? Robbie Reiser move, adding Chris Andrews? A whole group of people?
JACK ROUSH: Well, you know, we've added, in anticipation of the additional manufacturer coming into the sport, what their reputation has been, I'm not going to name the manufacturer, but there's expectations they would smother us, they would drown us with engineering, they would drown us with technology, they would come and recruit our best people, that they would leave us in the backwater. I was determined not to let that happen.
I had contact with my friends at Ford, Edsel Ford, and of course Dan Davis, and Doug (indiscernible), about what the challenges were. And Ford Motor Company has put into our program at least 30% more in 2008 than they did in 2007. I'm sorry, 2007 they put in more than they did in 2006. That allowed us to get the tire engineer we needed. It allowed us to get the staff behind the seven-post. It allowed us to more effectively utilize our K and C machines. It allowed us to make the preparations internally.
The guy who is right on top of that of course is Chris Andrews. And Robbie Reiser on the heels of Max Jones is doing a great job in the shop organizing it. But we've got the resources now for the level of commitment that I'm aware of that the other manufacturers have made. We've got the resources to be competitive. Without Ford's support, we couldn't have done that.
Q. Carl, last year you had to ask on the radio at Michigan if you had won. Were you saying the same thing this time around after all that went down today?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah. I mean, I make sure to stay up there, make sure it's a checkered flag, and I always ask, Are you sure it's over? 'Cause, I mean, I was running at Capitol Speedway one night and I swore the race was over. I pulled over, it was not over. That's about the dumbest you can feel as a racecar driver. You know, so I always ask.
You know, there's a lot of emotion going on there, you know what I mean? You don't want to miss something.
Q. Seeing the belt there in front of you, did it feel like a heavyweight fight?
CARL EDWARDS: No, it didn't feel quite like a heavyweight fight. I wouldn't know what a heavyweight fight feels like other than a little bit of training I did with the mixed martial artist guys. I didn't mind the wrestling part too much, but when they started hitting me in the head, I was not for it. I don't know if I could do the boxing thing. This is probably a much simpler, less painful way to win a belt.
Q. We haven't asked you about the final two restarts yet. You got one. Junior comes behind you. He spins his tires. Two cars are splitting. The whole world wrecks behind you. Talk about the last two restarts. Were you confident? Were you worried about anything?
CARL EDWARDS: I was real worried. If it wasn't enough, Bob and Jason, my spotter, both reminded me how good he was on restarts all day. That didn't help. I felt like we got a gift with that one restart where it looked like Dale spun the tires. But I knew it was going to be pretty tough, the second one. I felt like I got a perfect restart and he got one that was just as good. I mean, he was right there.
Definitely, that's a high-pressure situation. Doesn't get any tougher than that. But, you know, it was fun. It worked out.
JACK ROUSH: Bob and I were real nervous about the restart because we thought we didn't maybe have enough fuel in the tank to be able to have fuel in the pickup when it restarted. We know how dumb it looks to start off into turn one and have your engine quit because you don't have fuel in the pickup. So I gave Bob the choice. I says, You got the choice here between running around the middle of the racetrack and having your tires in good shape or running around the apron and maybe picking up trash, but knowing you're going to have fuel in your tank.
So they had a discussion about it and agonized over it, as I was. Carl did a nice job of scrubbing the tires and throwing the fuel to the right side of the pickup. I think if he hadn't have done that, he might have had trouble on that restart. Anybody could have had trouble. But we were certainly nervous about the fuel.
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't know how nervous you were about it. That's good (laughter).
Q. Carl, Greg Biffle said this was like the best car he had had in maybe two years. Do you kind of feel the same way? What kind of driver, what type of driver favors the Car of Tomorrow?
CARL EDWARDS: Boy, I don't know. Yeah, Greg's car was really, really good. It was amazing at one point in the race. There's nobody out there that can drive a car as out of control -- nobody can do it better than Greg Biffle. So today I felt like the way the cars drove, as slippery as the track was, the wind blowing, I mean, this was a pretty good battle inside the cockpit, you know, to try to keep the car going fast in the right direction.
For me, I really enjoy that kind of racing. I think all the drivers do because it gives us -- you know, I was surprised by it, I still am. But it's a pleasant surprise, because it gives us the ability to do things in the car, you know, and move the car around, pitch it a little bit sideways or, you know, do things with the throttle and make it faster. So it leaves it a little bit more in our hands, and that's fun.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations. Thank you.
End of FastScripts