Monday, Sep 25

Ford Performance - NCS Watkins Glen Qualifying Quotes

Ford Qualifying Results:

3rd – Michael McDowell

11th – Joey Logano

13th – Chris Buescher

17th – Austin Cindric

23rd – Ryan Blaney

24th – Brad Keselowski

25th – Todd Gilliland

26th – Chase Briscoe

27th – Aric Almirola

29th – Andy Lally

30th – Ryan Preece

32nd – Harrison Burton

33rd – Kevin Harvick

34th – Cole Custer



MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – HOW DID YOU FEEL AFTER REACHING YOUR THE FINAL ROUND TODAY IN QUALIFYING? “I felt good in practice and qualifying. I would say, maybe a little bit less nerves than last week. I think just because, not so much the pressure, but just the anxiety of not making a mistake. When you’re pushing this hard to make it into that next round and to have a shot at the pole, you’re putting everything on the edge all the time. When you know that if you make a little bit of a mistake, it might hurt your starting position – but it’s not going to potentially ruin your season. Last weekend, I felt so much pressure of having a really good car and making the most of that opportunity… and I still feel that this weekend. I think we have a really fast Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang. I want to make the most of the opportunity we have, but that last lap: When I threw it into the bus stop, I wasn’t worried about if I was going to come out or not, because we are in a good position to where if I do make a mistake, it’s not going to end our season. A little less pressure, but you’re still going after it, for sure.”


DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A CAR THAT CAN COMPETE FOR THE VICTORY THIS WEEKEND? “Yeah, for sure. I think we’re just as good here as we were at Indy. It’s all about making those last few adjustments between now and the start of the race. You don’t know if those are going to be right until you get rolling in the race. But, we’re really close right now. So, I don’t think we have to do anything huge. There are a few areas where we need to get better. But we’ll go back, study data and look at all the stuff we can. Try to make one or two good decisions that hopefully put us in a position like we were in Indy. I don’t feel like we’ve really missed a beat this week. I feel just as good as we did last weekend.”


LAST LAP SCENARIO: WOULD YOU BE LESS PHYSICAL FOR THE LEAD THIS WEEKEND? “It just depends on who it is. I mean, it really does. You don’t know, and I don’t really think about all that stuff. You just kind of let your gut do it. But, if it’s a guy that has to win his way into the playoffs, moving him out of the way on the last lap with a dive-bomb move would be… I would go for it but I don’t think that I’d straight do that to somebody. In the position I’m in currently, right this second. If it was [Kyle] Larson or William Byron – the guys that have four or five wins – I don’t think I’d just move them out of the way, either. But, you’d race them with a little less worry that if you locked up the tires and slid wide and got into them, that you weren’t taking away their season. But, I don’t know. I haven’t been in that spot a lot to think about things like that. So, that was just my gut answer to it. We’ll see tomorrow if we’re in that position of when your natural instinct kicks in and takes over. But, that’s how I think that I’d think about it.”


CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “I’d say overall, we brought a stronger car this time. I’m pretty happy with it. It was really close during qualifying – a bunch of us in a really tight window. I felt like just on the money lap, missed Turn 6 a bit. The rest of the track: I think our esses are very strong, and we’ve worked hard to get the bumps there and get the bus stop better… and be clean about it. I think we’ve been able to do that. Like I said, I’m pretty happy with it. Hate that we missed that final round by just a couple hundredths of a second there.”


BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 Ford Mustang – “We need to put a whole race together. We don’t have phenomenal speed, so we need to put a whole race together and kind of not beat ourselves. When you come to Watkins Glen, strategy is always going to be important. So, I think we’re looking at this race as one we certainly want to optimize our strategy the best we can. But, you don’t want to dig yourself a hole, either. You want to get the best finish you can, and it’s going to be really difficult to pass.”


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