Monday, Nov 28

Ford Performance NASCAR: Logano, Blaney and Briscoe Advance to the Round of 8 (FULL PACKAGE)

FORD FINISHING RESULTS

2nd – Kevin Harvick

6th – Chris Buescher

9th – Chase Briscoe

14th – Brad Keselowski

15th – Aric Almirola

18th – Joey Logano

21st – Austin Cindric

24th – Cole Custer

26th – Ryan Blaney

27th – Michael McDowell

28th – Harrison Burton

30th – Todd Gilliland

31st – Josh Williams

32nd – JJ Yeley

33rd – Loris Hezemans

38th – Joey Hand

 

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – “I knew we were gonna have to have a perfect corner there with Christopher having such fresher tires.  He was able to get through traffic and was able to roll through a little bit more speed in turn one, turn two, turn three and turn four and just got in front of me, but we were able to hold Kyle off so it’s still a good day.  Our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang guys did a great job of putting us in position and having a chance.  We were half a lap there from being in the right spot.  It didn’t all work out, but still a good day.”

 

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FINAL RESTART?  “I knew we were in a bit of a pickle there with Christopher on new tires and I just didn’t want to blow the first corner, I wanted to give us a chance he was just able to roll more speed than we were and from there it was just kind of like damage control and make sure you bring the thing home and that’s what we did.  They did a good job.  They got us in position and that caution coming out killed us there.  We were half a lap from coming to the white and caution, so they did a good job.”

 

HOW CLOSE WAS IT FOR YOU ON FUEL?  “I never lost fuel pressure, so not as close – maybe they were counting on a couple green-white-checkers, I don’t know.  I never know what their strategy is until about Tuesday, so they’ll tell me why Tuesday and how close we were.  I just do what I’m told like a well-trained dog.”

 

REWARDING TO COME OUT WITH A DECENT FINISH?  “It is.  This is a tough racetrack just to get a good finish because of the fact that it turns into being rough at the end.  We were half a lap from getting to the white and probably winning the race, but just not quite as good on the restart compared to Christopher and his new tires, but still a great day.”



RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang –   “It was nice to come in here with decent points and do a good job in the stages.  It’s a shame because I thought our car was super fast, but when you’re stage points racing you just bury yourself and you’re just trying to stay out of everyone else’s junk there at the end.  We still ended up getting in other people’s junk because people are running you over and spinning you out, but luckily we had a good points cushion.  It seemed to be exciting on the cut line.  We’ll go on to next week and it’ll be good.”

 

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LAST RESTART?  “Get run over by people  just like Indy.  I don’t know who ran me over, but put them on the list I guess.”

 

YOU HAD A CUSHION.  HOW WAS IT TO HAVE THAT?  “It was a help.  It never hurts, but you come in and we did the stage game in the first stage and got our points, but then you just bury yourself the rest of the day and it was so hard to pass today.  You kind of bury yourself right at the beginning and it doesn’t matter how fast your car is, you can’t come from 25th and drive up through there.  We did a good job.  We had a plan coming into this weekend with where we were on points and stuck with that plan.  It’s a shame it has to be that way, but on the other side you just try to be as smart as you can.”

 

WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT ROUND?  “I’m looking forward to getting to Vegas.  I think we’ve come a long way on our mile-and-a-half program.  Between Vegas and Homestead and obviously Martinsville is a strong place for us in the spring, so I’m looking forward to it.  We’ve just got to put together good races with no mistakes and keep doing what we’ve been doing.  I’d really like to win and not have to worry about the next two weeks, but I think this team has been doing a great job.  They’re really focused right now.”



AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – “My guys did a great job all weekend.  We had a long shot, but had a shot at it and kept ourselves in the game.  Obviously, I had a great shot at the end.  That last caution really stung because we would have been in without that last caution.  Old tires against new tires.  I wish we would have had probably some better track position and probably do a few things right here and there, but, overall, great to have a shot, great to be in the playoff picture.  I learned a lot in my rookie season racing against a lot of the best.  I was a bit of a bonehead on the last couple restarts just trying to make something happen with 30-lap worse tires than everybody around me, but, overall, great experience but just a little bit short.”

 

THOUGHTS ON THE LAST LAPS.  “Very, very crazy.  I would not recommend doing restarts with 30-lap older tires compared to everybody else that have less grip.  It was just crazy and being only a couple spots ahead I was fighting for everything I had.  My driving standards were probably a little bit lower than I usually like keeping them, but just desperate at that point.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We were in a really great position before that first green-white-checkered.  We had a few spot margin and had a decent gap behind.  The caution came out and I felt like that sealed our fate in some ways.  Even then, I was one point out and needed the spot and tried to get it.  I didn’t get myself clear and it was just a mess on the back chicane, so, overall, definitely some things I feel like we could have done better to execute today, but I definitely feel like we could have some more progress with the car, but, otherwise, great to be part of it and have a shot.  We’re still coming to the final race, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t finish.”

 

WHAT WAS DONE IT MEAN MAKING IT THIS FAR IN YOUR ROOKIE SEASON?  “I would have like to make it further.  That’s the way I look at it.  I don’t look at this as an opportunity that everyone is gonna have every year.  If you’re in a good car with a good team it’s still not guaranteed.  We had one guy make it in on points this year and that’s it.  There’s past champions that missed out on the playoffs.  I’ve got a guy standing next to me right here (Larson) that I think is one of the best drivers, if not the best driver in the field, and he’s not advancing on.  This is not an easy format.  It’s not a forgiving format and there are guys who have had worse luck than I have.  If we have Texas go how it should have and not have to pull off a miracle and miss the 47 spinning, we finish in the top three and we probably pit and put on tires and have a simple end to our race today, but, either way, that’s not how this sport works.  It’s not that easy and it’s not an opportunity that’s guaranteed every year and I want to make the most of it.”

 

WHEN IT’S HARD TO PASS, RESTARTS BECOME EVEN MORE IMPORTANT?  “Yeah, restarts were definitely everything.  Like stage two, I got hosed.  We just had a slow car get caught in the middle of me and the 11 and I went from maybe gaining one or two spots on the restart to losing six and you spend the entire stint trying to pick that six back up.”



CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Ford MustangHOW MUCH WERE THEY UPDATING YOU AT THE END?  “That was a rollercoaster of emotions.  To be easily in and then that caution came out and the 3 just dumped me.  Thinking we were out again.  I knew at the end there it was gonna be chaos.  I feel like all respect goes out the window every time we have a caution at the end of one of these things.  Johnny just did a really good job of giving me the ball there at the end and letting me have tires and just trying to go for it.  I’m sure I made a couple people mad there at the end, but I had no idea – they just kept telling me every point is gonna matter here, so I just kept trying to pass everybody I could and got lucky that a couple of those holes opening up, but I’m just proud of my team.  Nobody believed we were gonna get past the Round of 16 and here we are in the Round of 8 and three really, really good racetracks for me coming up, so I’m looking forward to them.”

 

DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD TO MAKE THAT LAST MOVE TO GAIN POINTS?  “Yeah, I was making good ground.  I knew the 3 had literally wrecked me two laps before and I was wanting to give it back to him because I was so mad and then I just knew I had to go.  It’s a tough spot for the non-playoff guys.  The 43, I kind of put him in a really bad spot and put myself in a bad spot too, but I was just shoving him because I had to get going knowing that every spot was gonna make the difference.  My team came over the radio and told me I was one point out and that was the 43 car that I needed to pass, so I kind of shoved him out of the way and then the 3 got by both of us and then I had the back straightaway to do a Hail Mary and luckily somebody caught it and I was able to move on.”


EMOTIONS COMING OUT OF THE CAR?  “I feel happier than I ever have when I’ve won a race before, truthfully.  I know what this team is capable of, especially in this next round.  Homestead, I feel like, is by far my best racetrack.  Vegas, I’ve been able to have a lot of success there and Martinsville we were really fast.  If we can get to Phoenix, we know we have a good car there, too.  To have a one in eight chance to win a NASCAR championship is an unbelievable feeling and I think that’s why it feels even bigger than a win.”



JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHEN IT’S HARD TO PASS IS THAT WHY WE SEE WHAT WE DO AT THE END?  “You’ve got guys that were onesies, twosies that were gonna barely make it and when you have desperate situations like that, people just send it and it ends up to be a mess.  I’m sure there are a lot of scorecards that everybody kept today and I didn’t dump anybody, so that was great.  No one’s mad at me (laughing).”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEXT ROUND?  “I feel good.  I like Vegas.  We had a pretty good test at Miami and Martinsville has been one of Penske’s best racetracks as of late, so I feel pretty good about it.”

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