By admin | April 7, 2009
By Richard Allen
After two weeks of short track racing Ford teams had to be glad to see the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway. Jamie McMurrayâ€™s 10th in Martinsville was the only Top 10 managed by all Ford teams combined in both Bristol and Martinsville.
Three Fords came to the checkered flag in the Top 10 at TMS. That was good, and certainly better than the past two races. However, the results in Fort Worth could have been better.
Greg Biffleâ€™s 3rd place in the Samsung 500 completed a solid run for the #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. But, Matt Kensethâ€™s 5th and Carl Edwardsâ€™ 10th could have been a bit higher.
After a lap 250 caution, Kensethâ€™s #17 team made an uncharacteristic mistake. During a four tire stop they left a lug nut off the right rear wheel. The mistake was noticed by a NASCAR official and had to be corrected. The miscue and the time taken to rectify it placed Kenseth at the back of the lead lap cars.
The #17 team made up for their snafu on their last stop by gaining back some of the spots they had previously lost. However, any chance at victory, or a Top 3, was lost with when the lug nut spun off.
Edwards also suffered from a pit road foul up. On the last pit stop of the day, the #99 team was slow.
A lap 303 caution brought the cars to pit road for the final time. Edwards had been running at the front of the field prior to the yellow flag. His teamâ€™s poor stop left the driver in 11th place as the cars rolled back onto the race track.
“A win’s a win, and you just can’t give ‘em away like that — it’s just not good,” Edwards said. “I can’t sit here and say we would have won — but damn, we wouldn’t have finished 10th.”
And was he upset with his crew?
“The way this works is that I don’t need anybody to tell me when I’ve done something wrong,” Edwards explained. “They don’t need anybody to tell them. Those guys want to win this race just as bad as I do. We’re all in this together — we’re a family. They don’t come yell at me when I hit the wall, so it’s not my position to be mad at them — we just have to do whatever we can to fix it.â€
For Ford teams, no one has to tell any of them their day was good, but it could have been much better.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
*Click below to watch my animated short film, “Racing Re-Cap: Texas” as racing reporter Mark Mustang attempts to recap the racing action in Texas but his co-host, Daisy Dreamboat, had too good of a weekend and is anxious to tell him about it.
The characters do not represent any real people.
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