FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards Talk Charlotte Win

Dwight DrumCorrespondent IIIOctober 16, 2011

Matt Kenseth makes a point before driver introductions
Matt Kenseth makes a point before driver introductions

NASCAR hosted the fifth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina—the hometown setting for most NSCS teams, and as expected triumph and anguish resulted.

Roush-Fenway’s Matt Kenseth took Ford to victory lane with teammate Carl Edwards following in third. Kyle Busch from Joe Gibbs Racing maneuvered well during the 500-mile event, from last place to second. Hendrick Motorsports faces dimming hopes in their championship quest brought on from crashes by Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Comparing comments by Kenseth, Busch and Edwards before the green flag and after the checkered flag might be revealing as Edwards stretched his point lead while both Kenseth and Busch moved up among the top-five trophy contenders.

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Ford) Finished first. (Started second)

Before the green flag:

“Track position is important every race, but it seems to be even more important at Charlotte over the past couple of years with this new style of car,” Kenseth said. “The pavement has a lot of grip, and even though the track gets pretty wide, it’s a real fast track that can be difficult to pass at, so track position turns out to be very important there.”

After the checkered flag:

"I knew we had a shot to win the race if we could get in front of Kyle," Kenseth said. “I ran him down the last long run we had. I knew our car was a little bit superior to his, and I was gonna feel pretty bad if I was the weak link and cost these guys a race again.

“I’m always thankful to get to victory lane. You never know if you’re ever gonna win another race or when your last win is, and I’m certainly thankful for them all, and I greatly appreciate being in a position to be able to win races and these guys giving me the cars and the crew and the opportunity to do that.”

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) Finished second. (Started 43rd)

Before the green flag:

“Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks, so we’re always excited about being able to get back here,” Busch said. “It’s kind of the ‘home race feel’ with everybody being from the area and being able to sleep in their own beds and come to the race track. So, it’s a good opportunity for us to have a good weekend this weekend. The M&M’s Camry has been really good here in the past, and I look forward to that again this weekend and being able to get back in the Nationwide car as well, too. So, it will be a good weekend for us.”

After the checkered flag:

“That 17 (Matt Kenseth)—he found something that none of us could find tonight and made something out of nothing,” Busch said. “He just out drove me. Best run we’ve had here in a while. Still coming up short.

“We have to keep finishing like this—it’s all it takes. It’s not that hard. We finally finished where we ran except we didn’t. We still lost a position, which is four points essentially because you get three for bonus points of winning a race. Again, it’s frustrating, but we’ll take it, and if we can finish second from here on out then we might win this deal.”

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford) Finished third. (Started third)

Before the green flag:

“Charlotte has been a little difficult for us,” Edwards said. “We have been very hit and miss there. We have a baseline strategy with the setup, and we will go use that and hopefully it will work out better. I’m very grateful to be going into Charlotte as the points leader after our run in Kansas last weekend.”

After the checkered flag:

“It was a solid night for us and congrats to Matt. This is a big night for Ford,” Edwards said. “That’s five more spots. If we can slowly build a little bit of a lead, that’s the best thing we can do. It’s so competitive right now. Everybody is so fast that you just take everything you can get. I’m happy with this run.

“I’m just glad we didn’t make any big mistakes. This is a really treacherous place. We’ve had this one circled on our schedule as one that our whole Aflac team was nervous about.

“Our goal is to win this championship. We’re leading the points now, which really doesn’t amount to much with five races left, but we’re on track. We’re doing well. There are some tough races coming up for us. Talladega is not my best track. Martinsville is not my best track, but after those I feel pretty good.”

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Unless otherwise noted, quotes and information were obtained from official release materials provided by NASCAR and team representatives.

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