Thursday, Nov 30

Ford Performance NASCAR: Buescher and Logano Post Top 10 Runs in Atlanta Cup Race

Ford Finishing Results:

7th – Chris Buescher

9th – Joey Logano

12th – Brad Keselowski

15th – Chase Briscoe

17th – Ryan Blaney

18th – David Ragan

19th – BJ McLeod

21st – Kevin Harvick

22nd – Aric Almirola

24th – Michael McDowell

25th – Harrison Burton

26th – Cody Ware

27th – Todd Gilliland

32nd – Austin Cindric

34th – Cole Custer


CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 ITsavvy Ford Mustang – “The pylon looks better than our race, probably.  It was a hard-fought race.  We had a lot of balance gremlins that a lot of the field fought early on.  A lot of it was just not knowing what to expect.  It got better and were definitely a competitive car at the end.  We needed a little more raw speed and then going through one and two coming to the checkered I don’t know what happened there.  I haven’t seen all of that yet, but coming to the finish I had what I felt like was a decent run and went to pull down and go somewhere with it and I don’t think I realized the 31 was below me there.  That was the end of the day.  That wreck is probably on me, so frustrating to end that way but a decent finish for us still.  I’m missing the old Atlanta a lot right now.  To be fair, it was my favorite mile-and-a-half before, so it was gonna be hard for this one to compare and, to me, it doesn’t right now but we’ll keep working on it and see if we can get it better for next time.”


WITH ALL OF THE QUESTION MARKS BEFORE THE RACE.  WHAT IS YOUR IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK WITH ONE RACE BEHIND YOU?  “I’d say probably a good amount of drafting, a lot of momentum – no tandeming and a little bit of pushing and shoving, but I don’t think there’s the ability to get in the corner and really push like I think we thought about early on.  There are some big questions there if it’s really sustainable or if we can get to that.  Handling was a big thing, but you have to have some speed in the cars, too.  What we had to do to get the handling decent we probably cost a little bit of speed through the day, but now we have somewhere to work off of.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang – “A long day.  We spun out and then the engine wouldn’t start.  I don’t know why it wouldn’t start, but it wouldn’t start until I got pushed.  We lost a lap and then got our lap back.  We just battled and battled and finished ninth.  No stage points.”


WHAT DO YOU DO MOVING FORWARD AT THIS TRACK?  “It’s a regular superspeedway.  We just keep crashing.  What did you expect?  It’s the same stuff.  I guess it’s OK, I don’t know.  We survived, but a lot of cars crashed today for sure, just like we would expect.  I don’t know, you be the judge if it was entertaining or not.  I don’t know.  It’s a different type of racing.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Ford Mustang -- “There at the beginning I got a little bit of damage, but our car was honestly really good.  We could never lead, but I could shove people really realliy good and if I had somebody that was good in front of me I could just keep going and keep picking them off.  There at the end I felt like with how my car was, and I kept going to the bottom, the top was just so fast down the straightaway so I knew I probably wasn’t gonna win with the damage I had on the nose, so I was just trying to stay committed to running the top to keep our momentum up.  I thought we were gonna come out third or fourth and was trying to help the 12 and, honestly, to shove him to potentially the win and I went in there and I just got him loose into one and obviously we both hit the fence because of it.  It’s unfortunate.  We were both gonna have a really good day and I kind of shot ourselves in the foot there.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 BodyArmor Ford Mustang – “The 14 just shoved me into one when we were stacked up and you can’t do that.  You’ve got to get off people and we ended up just getting destroyed.  We were in a decent spot to win and have nothing to show for it.”


ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “Man we had such a fast Smithfield Ford all day. It handled great too. It was nice to run up front and get some stage points. We got spun by the No. 1 car there running up in fourth and I thought our car was fine, but we heard a rattle so we came to pit road and took tires to check on it and it looked fine. When we restarted we just didn’t have full power and some mechanical issues and just had to ride until the checkered flag waved. I think we would have had a good shot at it. This 10 team will continue to fight.”


TODD GILLILAND, No. 38 Georgia Peanuts Ford Mustang – “That was very unfortunate. I went high and we kind of split the field. Something for us to learn from and we didn’t want that to happen.  Our Georgia Peanuts Ford was loose to start and then we broke a toe link. We fixed it, but we were laps down. We were racing it out and then got into the fence.”

CODY WARE, No. 51 Nurtec ODT Ford Mustang – “We were just riding around.  I had the 77 and a couple of guys beyhind me and a couple guys in front of me that we all just planned on riding around and we weren’t ready to race yet.  We were still just trying to figure it out to get to the end and go racing with maybe five or 10 laps to go but got that taken away from us today.  I’m just really disappointed because my team brought a great Nurtec ODT Ford Mustang to the track today and it’s just a real shame that this is how the day ended.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Menards/Knauf Ford Mustang – WHAT DID YOU SEE?  “It was something I’d been watching and waiting for the entire race, the leaders getting wrecked.  From my vantage point, just tried to slow down through the crash and got rear-ended by somebody.  It’s just how it goes when there’s not a lot of room.  This style of racing we’re all together and it’s a pretty large hit.  It’s a shame to be out of the race.  We were fighting close to the top 10 range most of the day, but just kind of a victim and it’s a bummer.”

HOW DID THIS RACE PLAY OUT BASED ON THE QUESTION MARKS GOING INTO IT?  “It played out probably similar to what I thought it would after watching the Xfinity race yesterday.  We stayed in a really large pack and handling seemed to matter a little bit, but track position seems to matter a lot.  To be honest, I still can’t quite figure out if there’s a trick to what we were doing today, but just a shame.  I wish we had gotten to the end and had a shot at it.”

HOW SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT WAS THIS FROM DAYTONA?  “I would say it’s quite a bit different.  In some ways leading into the weekend I think as an industry we probably didn’t think it was gonna be as much of a pack, but obviously the track had a lot of grip and it didn’t take long for it to widen out, so I think after watching yesterday we kind of knew it was gonna be a pack race.  At the same time, the track is one mile smaller, so the opportunity to build runs and to be able to carry them into the corner but also not be handling limited, I think that’s why we have the racing that we do at Talladega and Daytona.  I feel like today if you weren’t fifth on forward, you were limited by whatever was happening in the first two or three rows.  I never quite figured out a method to the madness today.  We kind of hung around 10th on the edge of stage points all the time.  It was interesting for sure, but narrow track and not a lot of room to have errors.”

WHAT NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT FOR NEXT TIME?  “It’s certainly hard to say.  From a close racing standpoint we have an entire pack, so I guess it depends on the formula you want.  Not to give you a non-comital answer, but I would say if you were 10th on back today you were kind of just as passenger.  You could take a run and go somewhere and then go back up and take a run and go somewhere, but you really wouldn’t make any progress unless you were putting somebody three-wide, which putting somebody three-wide was a pretty large risk and then usually lift anyway.  I took advantage of that a few times and it was kind of fun, but it’s a pretty rare opportunity that you would catch somebody sleeping.  Like I said, I never quite figured out a method to the madness and felt like the track was getting more grip throughout the race, so I think it’ll probably be racier with three lanes before the end.”

THE KNOCK ON THIS WAS TOO SHORT AND TOO NARROW TO AVOID WRECKS.  ACCURATE?  “I think our biggest concern coming into the race was green flag pit stops because of how narrow the track is.  I think that’s probably a conversation topic.  You look at what Indy Car does, they use the apron as their pit entry, so if that’s a move that could pit come in.  Obviously, we’ve had enough cautions today where that hasn’t come into play, but you would think in a 500-mile race statistically you would have a green flag stop, but maybe we won’t have to deal with that.  I would say from a narrow track standpoint and the style of racing I’d say that was probably my biggest concern and still is, and from that point it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not right or wrong.”


COLE CUSTER, No. 41 Dixie Vodka Ford Mustang – “The track is so narrow here that they got together up front and everybody stacked up with nowhere to go, so we hit the wall.  We didn’t really hit that hard, but it broke some of the right-rear suspension and put us out.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE TRACK AND STYLE OF RACING TODAY?  “I thought it was OK.  I thought the racing was solid.  We were side-by-side the whole time and that’s just part of it.  We’ve just got to move onto the next one.”

Ford Performance PR


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