Monday, Nov 28

Ford Performance NASCAR: Homestead Miami Speedway

FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS

8th - Chris Buescher

9th - Brad Keselowski

13th - Ryan Blaney

16th - Kevin Harvick

17th - Joey Logano

18th - Michael McDowell

19th - Chase Briscoe

21st - Harrison Burton

25th - Cole Custer

26th - Austin Cindric

29th - Todd Gilliland

34th - JJ Yeley

35th - BJ McLeod

36th - Cody Ware

 

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- Media Availability

 

DID YOU TALK TO BUBBA WALLACE AT ALL THIS WEEK AND WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO HIS SUSPENSION FROM NASCAR? “Yeah, I spoke to him. I didn’t speak about that, but it is NASCAR’s decision. Whatever they thought was the right thing to do in that case. I don't really speak on too many instances I am not involved in. That is a NASCAR judgment call and they did what they thought was fit for it.”

 

WITH THE COLE CUSTER PENALTY A WEEK BEFORE AND NOW THIS PENALTY FOR BUBBA, HAS THAT SENT A MESSAGE TO YOU DRIVERS? HAS IT CHANGED YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT YOU MIGHT DO IN THOSE SITUATIONS? “No really. I personally think it is good that NASCAR is putting the law down, the hammer down on things that they think are wrong and that they want to act. That is the only way you can kind of police it. You have to do those things. At the end of the day, it is their call. If they see something that they don't like, I expect them to act on it and they have the last couple of weeks. It doesn't change the approach of the way I do anything. In my mind, you never think about if I do something malicious with intent or something like that that you can get away with it. You always think there will be law and order. I personally like that they are enforcing things and that is the way it should be. That is why they are the sanctioning body.”

 

WHAT HAS THE WEEK BEEN LIKE FOR YOU MOVING ON PAST LAS VEGAS? “It was good. I went grocery shopping and watched dad test at the dirt track at Charlotte. That was fun. Then I got ready for here. You talk to everybody when you go in the race shop on Monday and Tuesday when you see your guys and we get over things pretty quick. That was a single incident that was my bad last week. I just tried too hard and ended up wrecking. You apologize for that. We are one big group so they understand when I mess up and I understand when they mess up and we move forward. We had that deal and then we quickly turned to Homestead and what we need to do to run well and win the race and try to put ourselves in a good spot going to Martinsville next week.”

 

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN A MUST-WIN SCENARIO? “I don't think we are in a must-win. After I wrecked last week I thought I was going to be way more points out than I actually am. The stages we ran really good, so luckily we had those. You never know what can happen. I think you can make up those points in the next two races but I would sure like to win this weekend but I don't think we are in a must-win situation.”

 

WHAT HAS STOOD OUT TO YOU ABOUT JOEY LOGANO AND THE 22 TEAM THIS YEAR AND WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO? “I think they have just been really consistent. Winning as much as they have and showing up with good speed, I think it is something that he and Paul Wolfe do a really good job at is working through the race. Especially from practice to the race. I sit in all the meetings, obviously, and sometimes they are way off in practice and not happy with their stuff but they do a really good job of talking through it and getting better in the race and predicting what the track will do. You try to learn from that, obviously, as much as you can. They just do a great job of getting to where they need to be, even if they aren’t in the best spot the day before or even at the start of the race they do a great job of getting better. I commend them for that. They have really shown strength this year and a lot of strength last week to earn a spot at Phoenix. It would be really nice to join them.”

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO IMPROVE ON? WHAT ARE YOUR STRONG POINTS AND WEAK POINTS IN THE CAR? “Joey and Paul are very well-seasoned veterans of the sport. They have been around a long time and do a great job looking at the bigger picture of things. That is something that I try to do better, that exact same thing, look ahead to the bigger picture more than right in front of me in the moment. They do a really good job of that. That is something that myself and Jonathan, who has been on vacation the last few weeks, but Miles has done a great job stepping in. I think when Jonathan comes back that is something we can improve on. It is his first full year crew chiefing and that is something we can really work on, planning ahead better. I think we do a good job at it now but I can definitely do a better job at that, for sure. You try to learn from people who are really good and surround yourself with good people. We have that, we just have to apply all those things.”

 

FOR NEXT WEEK WITH MARTINSVILLE, DO YOU SEE THAT RACE AS CALM OR CHAOTIC NEXT WEEK? “I feel like that race always gets pretty wild. I hope the racing there is better than in the spring. I don't know how it is going to be any better or different than the spring with no changes really. I think it will be wild. You are going to have, let's say a playoff guy wins tomorrow, you are going to have six guys trying for two spots. So it can definitely be chaotic. I think you have to prepare yourself for anything. That race is a long one. You have to be there at the end of that thing and be aggressive to position yourself towards the front. Qualifying there was really important. Joey and I qualified really bad there in the spring. Our race runs were great but we got to third and fourth and you were a lot better than first or second but you can’t pass them. You can’t even get to them to lay the bumper to them. We will see but I think it will be pretty aggressive next week per usual.”

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE THE AGGRESSION HAS BEEN MORE THIS SEASON THAN IN THE PAST? “A little bit. I feel like that has been kind of the story all year. I feel like we have talked about it all year of the racing being more aggressive than it has in the past. I just think there is an emphasis on winning. It is weird because winning means the same now as it did in years prior where if you win you are in. It is the same deal but I just think it is so hard to win and these cars are so sturdy that you can be more aggressive with these cars as far as laying the bumper to somebody or dooring somebody. You aren’t going to get tire rubs or things like that. I think that plays into it a little bit. I feel like restarts have been super aggressive because track position is so important. I feel like track position now is probably the most important than it has ever been because it is so hard to make it back through the field. A, because the cars are so close and it is hard to get around guys. B, because the cars can be put into situations where in traffic they are kind of a nightmare. It has definitely put a bigger emphasis on being aggressive. In the playoffs, I don't think the playoffs have been any more aggressive than the regular season, any different than the regular season to post-season jump that we see any other year and that spike in aggression levels. I don't think it has been any more aggressive than I expected. It has been fine in my book.”

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