Monday, May 23

Ford Performance NASCAR: Buescher Gives Ford and RFK Racing Duel Sweep

Duel #1 Ford Finishers

1st - Chris Buescher

2nd - Michael McDowell

3rd - Harrison Burton

9th - Joey Logano

10th - Kevin Harvick

16th - Cody Ware

17th - David Ragan

19th - Aric Almirola

20th - Timmy Hill

21st - Jacques Villeneuve

 

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang –  VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW - “This is awesome. What a great start for RFK and with all the hard work the guys have put in to get this thing going. Everybody back here has worked so hard in the off-season. For us to put it in victory lane is just an awesome start for the entire organization. We have good hot rods here. They are fast and they handle good. I knew we were in good shape that whole race and we were able to lead a lot early. McDowell stuck with us. All the Fords were doing a good job. We caught a lap car there and just wen to pull below. I hate to have any contact coming down to the end of the Duels but I am just so proud of everybody. It is a really neat way to start this thing off.”

 

WHAT WAS THE TAKEAWAY FOR SUNDAY? “We worked a lot on the handling of things. We probably sacrificed a little of single-car speed in qualifying. At the end of the day, that is one lap for just a really quick period of time and we have a lot of racing ahead of us and we are trying to set up for that. The cars behave a lot differently and we are learning each and every lap. We had a lot of double-file racing early on and not a whole lot of aggression at that point. It picked up there towards the time when everyone was trying to single-file out and get down to pit road strategy. It is a really cool start.”

 

YOU GUYS WENT FROM NOT MAKING THE FINAL AT THE CLASH TO SWEEPING THE WINS HERE TONIGHT. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE TEAM AND WHAT KIND OF STATMENT IS IT? “Well, before our race even started Brad put it over here and I was like, ‘Alright, that is a statemtent right there.’ The Clash did not go how we wanted. We learned a lot from it and went ahead and parked one in victory lane and to be able to do it twice and to be up front the entire race and have the speed, I think that was a good showing for us. It is going to be a strong 500. We have a lot of racing to do through the rest of the week and rest of the season but what a way to start off. What a way to fire it off.”



JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford MustangWHAT HAPPENED IN TURN TWO?  “Driver screwed up.  That’s really all there is to it.  I thought I was still clear and the run came a lot quicker than I thought it would.  I tried to block it a little bit and just got a tag in the left-rear and off it went.  It’s my fault.  It stinks because it tore up our car and kind of puts us in a spot as a race team.  It’s just a dumb mistake.”

 

WAS THIS INCIDENT SIMILAR TO THE END OF THE 500 LAST YEAR?  “They’re two different things, but this one was my fault.  I don’t think the 500 was my fault, but this one was.”


TAKE US THROUGH YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS?  “I knew as the leader I was a bit of a sitting duck, but at worst I was gonna finish fourth and was gonna try to let it kind of play out and didn’t think the 17 was gonna get a run that quick.  He didn’t fall back that far and it came to me so fast.  I reacted to try to block it and I should have just let it happen and tried to race from there.  I just messed up.  The worst part is I put our team in a bad spot trying to fix this thing or get another car.  I got the 21 too in it, so it’s a dumb mistake.  That’s all there is to it.  I’m not perfect.”

 

DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP CAR?  “Yeah.  We’ll have to use it obviously at this point.”


WHAT DOES THAT DO MOVING FORWARD?  “It doesn’t help, but we’ll try to make it as best we can.  We’ve got a couple days of practice to work on it and get it good and we’ll move on.  There’s nothing I can do now.  I wish I could reverse time, but I can’t.  Like I said, it was just a mistake.  We’ve got to move forward.”

 

YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO RACE THIS RACE LIKE THE 500.  WAS THAT THE THOUGHT PROCESS COMING OFF TURN TWO?  “Yeah, I was gonna try to win the race and, like I said, I missed it.  Bad timing.”

 

THIS WAS THE FIRST BIG CRASH WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR.  HOW DO YOU FEEL?  WAS IT SIMILAR TO PAST CRASHES?  “I feel OK.  I feel fine.  I got out and I feel fine.  That’s a good sign.  I hit the wall fairly hard and got out no problem.  That part is good if there’s a positive to it.  I don’t want to be the crash test dummy, but definitely was today.”



HARRISON BURTON, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang – “I felt like our team did a great job of putting ourselves in a position to be in a good spot at the end. It is frustrating how it ended. I feel like we shouldn’t be crashing each other on the last backstraighaway of the Duel. That is racing though. We are competitors who wan tto go out and win. I understand that, but I am frustrated that it hurt our car and we will have to work on it to get it better. I appreciate the effort of the Wood Brothers team. They built a really fast race car and it was an awesome Ford Mustang to drive, but we got damaged and that is unfortunate.”

 

WHAT DID THE LAST LAP CRASH LOOK LIKE FROM YOUR SEAT? “It is hard to see much. I couldn’t really see anything in front of the 34 and that is kind of why I think I got in it. Joey (Logano) hit the wall and I couldn’t miss it. I don't know. It looks like someone zigged when they should have zagged. It is just racing at these kind of race tracks and we will move on. We got a good finishing position, we just need to get our car fixed up.”



MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – “Way too eventful at the end there.  I mean, coming to the white I kind of knew Joey was gonna be aggressive.  He always is, which he’s consistent.  He always goes for it and I knew he would, but I thought, ‘Man, we’ve got four Fords up front here.  We don’t have to do anything too wild,’ but it got wild obviously.  Thankful to miss it there by just a matter of inches, but just great execution on the pit stop, great execution of working together and staying tight.  The pack started to catch us and we kind of had to readjust what we were doing to stay in front of them.  I’m proud of everybody on this Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang.  It’s a good way to start Speedweeks and we’ve got a fast Ford Mustang, so I’m excited about Sunday.”

 

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TONIGHT?  “It definitely drafts and sucked different than our old car, so that’s really why I wanted to go hard is just to see what you can learn.  When we got single filed out you kind of stopped learning, but all in all I feel good.  I want to make a few changes probably for Sunday, but pretty close.”

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