Tuesday, Sep 27

Ford Performance NASCAR: Logano's Fourth Place Finish Paces Ford in Southern 500 (FULL PACKAGE)

FORD FINISHING RESULTS

4th – Joey Logano

6th – Michael McDowell

7th – Brad Keselowski

11th – Aric Almirola

13th – Ryan Blaney

14th – Cole Custer

16th – Austin Cindric

21st –Harrison Burton

26th – Chris Buescher

27th – Chase Briscoe

28th – Todd Gilliland

29th – BJ McLeod

32nd – Cody Ware

33rd – Kevin Harvick

34th – JJ Yeley

 

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – “It’s a solid day but a missed opportunity is probably where I would put it.  With so many others having trouble, every time you come to the Southern 500, especially in the playoffs, you’ve just got to survive and you get a solid finish.  That’s what we were able to do is finish fourth after so many teams had issues.  We had plenty of our own issues, too.  We gave up track position a couple times and then we got caught with that caution and lost track position fairly late in the race, and then we just battled hard.  It’s really hard to come up through the field here.  It’s really hard to pass and was able to kind of battle back and get a top five out of it, which is OK.  I mean, you’ve got to be happy about it because we scored a lot of points and that’s what it’s all about here in the first round, but also a missed opportunity to win the Southern 500 and I really want that one.  That one stings a little bit because I think we were better than the cars in front of us if we had the air.  If we were able to stay towards the front we could tune to cleaner air, instead of going in the back and trying to tune to dirty air.  We just set ourselves back too far.”


HARVICK HAD A PARTS ISSUE AND EVERYBODY HAS THE SAME PARTS.  DO YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT?  “Absolutely.  I mean, I worry about it for two reasons.  One, it took a lot of points away from him today and he’s racing for a championship – stuff that’s out of his control and out of his team’s control.  That’s concerning.  The second thing that’s concerning is his car’s on fire.  Maybe that’s the first thing that should be concerning is that cars are still catching on fire.  We’ve got to fix that.”


AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – “We didn’t take ourselves out of it tonight and that was certainly goal number one.  I just wish we would have made more progress in the car tonight.  We really struggled on the short runs and really got my lunch money taken on restarts and felt like we could hang with the rest of them on the long runs, but anytime we’d try to fix that we’d kind of just hurt the rest.  It’s certainly something to learn for tonight and those restarts and I lost track position really kept killing us, but we didn’t take ourselves out of it.  We were able to come away with more points than a lot of guys, so I’ll take it, but I’m certainly not satisfied with it.”

 

WAS THIS THE MOST CHALLENGING RACE OF YOUR CAREER LIKE YOU SAID EARLY THIS WEEK?  “Yeah, I just wish I would walk out feeling like I learned more, to be honest.  That’s the frustrating thing when you feel like you haven’t made enough gains throughout a race this long, so it’s certainly challenging.  The team kept me in the game and some days that’s all you can ask for.”


RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Moen Ford Mustang – “The caution hit us at the wrong time, but we were gonna be fine and then we had to re-pit for a wheel that was gonna be loose.  You can’t do that when there are 20 laps to go in the race.  It’s just unfortunate, but, like I said, we stayed in it all day and got some decent stage points and at least finished.”

 

WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT SOME OF THESE TOP GUYS HAVING ISSUES IN THE FIRST PLAYOFF RACE.  IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE.  “I think it always happens this way.  I don’t know, it’s the jitters of the first playoff race and running at Darlington.  It’s a tough spot and you see a lot of mistakes that are self-induced and some that are not self-induced, but there always seems to be problems.  It’s a good thing we didn’t have too bad of a problem.”


CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang – “We just really struggled with the balance.  At the beginning of the race we were starting off extremely tight and then we got to where we were extremely loose and then we had nowhere to go with the 9 car when he wrecked.  That kind of killed our day, but we were able to get lucky because a lot of those guys had issues, too.  It’s not the way we wanted to start the round by any means, but we’re gonna have to improve and we’re probably gonna have to win.  I don’t even know what the points look like, but we shouldn’t have been in that situation where we were struggling anyway.  We just couldn’t find the balance.  It’s unfortunate, but we know what we’ve got to do now and that’s what we’ll try to go do.”

 

DID YOU SEE THE 9 COMING BACK UP THE TRACK?  YOU OBVIOUSLY WOULD HAVE AVOIDED IT IF YOU COULD HAVE.  “When he went into one he just plugged the fence and then he started spinning and he went down, and I felt like if I stayed up on the bank I didn’t feel like he was gonna come up, and then right when he came up I saw him coming and I locked them up.  Once I locked them up I was just sliding with him.  I wish I could do it over again.  Obviously, it’s way easier in hindsight, but it was a split-second decision and I made the wrong decision.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang – THAT LOOKED LIKE A SCARY FIRE.  WHAT LED TO THAT?  “I’m sure it’s just crappy parts on the race car like we’ve seen so many times.  They haven’t fixed anything.  It’s kind of like the safety stuff.  We just let it keep going and keep going.  The car started burning and as it burned the flames started coming through the dash.  I ran a couple laps and then as the flame got bigger it started burning stuff up and I think right there you see all the brake fluid that was probably coming out the brakes and part of the brake line, but the fire was coming through the dash.  What a disaster for no reason.  We didn’t touch the wall.  We didn’t touch a car and here we are in the pits with a burned up car and we can’t finish the race during the playoffs because of crappy ass parts.”

SO IT WASN’T AN ENGINE ISSUE ORIGINALLY?  “No, I just stopped.  The rocker was on fire for a couple laps.  I just stopped because I couldn’t see anymore because the flames were coming through the dash and I couldn’t make myself sit in there and burn up.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 FR8 Auctions Ford Mustang – “We had a really fast FR8 Auctions Ford Mustang.  We were really good on the long run, but honestly we just needed to execute a little bit better on pit road.  We just lost a few spots each time and then had to pass those cars back and lose a little bit of momentum, but Darlington is a tough place.  Running 500 miles here is just tough and to run as competitive as we did all night and run up front I’m really proud of the effort, but I’m not surprised, either.  We’ve had speed.  We’ve been fast.  We’ve had a lot of top 10s this year.  That was probably one of our better performances on what I would call a mile-and-a-half style racetrack, so we’re making good gains.  Everything is good and in a positive direction, so I’m thankful to get out of here.  We had a couple close calls like you would image in a 500-mile race, but I’m proud of the effort.”

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