Ryan Blaney won his second race of the season and ninth of his career today.
The win is Blaney’s 3rd career triumph at Talladega and automatically puts him in the Round of 8.
Ford has now won 10 playoff races at Talladega, most at any track.
Team Penske has now won 10 of the last 18 Talladega races.
Today’s win is Ford’s 727th all-time in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
Of Team Penske’s 92 NCS wins with Ford, 65 have come since 2013.
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Ford Mustang -- FINISH LINE INTERVIEW – HOW DID YOU DO THAT? “I don’t really know. It was a pretty wild restart, but let alone the last couple of laps losing momentum and getting it back, just getting clear to the bottom to get to the front row and drag race it out with Kevin. I’m just proud of the whole 12 group. Pennzoil, Menards, BodyArmor, Dex Imaging, Advance Auto Parts, Wurth, everybody who makes this possible. To win here three times at Talladega is super cool. I have to give a big thanks to Riley Herbst. He did a really good job there the last couple restarts. He doesn’t have a lot of Cup starts, but he did a great job and pushed me so thanks to him. This is so cool.”
WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN THE FINISH IS THAT CLOSE? “I’ve won it by more than I have the last couple years. That one might have been by four feet, the others were by two but you just don’t know. You just kind of drag race a line and hope you get help. William gave me a pretty good shove on the bottom. He was kind of forced to, but I wasn’t sure until Josh said something. Josh did a fantastic job on the roof like always. This is always such a special place to win at so I can’t wait to drive to Victory Lane.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Camo Ford Mustang -- “I knew we were in a great spot there with Riley behind us and I don’t know where he spun out, but he got spun out and I knew that if he was still there by the time we got to the end of the tri-oval we were gonna be in really good shape and then at that particular point it was just kind of where we were. I tried to put a donut on his door and slow him down just a little bit, but just a great effort and we came up a little short.”
TAKE US THROUGH THOSE LATE MOVES. “I just tried to block the lanes and then I was kind of late blocking the 12 there and he got to the outside of us, but it actually worked out OK because the 24 was a great pusher, and then it got shuffled again and I had Riley behind me. I thought I was in a really good spot headed down the back straightaway with everything that was happening because I knew I could get off the tri-oval with Riley right on my bumper I was still gonna be OK and then he got spun in the middle of the tri-oval, so I’ve just got to thank everybody on our Busch Light Ford. They did a great job. Right about there I said, ‘Man, we’re sailing. The spotter is yelling at me to side draft. I’m like, ‘We aren’t gonna need to sidedraft, and then Riley got loose and spun out and I’m like, ‘We’re all alone here with two of them below me.’ But it was a great day, a great way to end at Talladega. I always want to win, but it is what it is.”
COULD YOU IMAGINE IF THIS WAS THE WALK OFF WIN FOR YOU? “Yeah, they might have torn it down (laughing). That would have been great. Talladega has been so up-and-down through the years. We’ve had some great moments and some bad moments. The last superspeedway race and we went out with everything rolling, so that’s a good thing.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – “It’s certainly good to get a top 10 with the Discount Tire Ford. Who’d have thought that Talladega would be the first place we would get a finish in a month without any damage or hitting anything. I put us behind with a speeding penalty and was still able to recover at the end. I’m super happy for Ryan and everybody on the 12 team to be able to come out and knock off a win into the next round. It’s very well deserved. We brought some really fast cars at Team Penske, Ford Performance, Roush Yates Engines, everybody did a great job this weekend and it paid off.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 Solomon Plumbing Ford Mustang -- “It was just one of those Talladega pushing and shoving deals. I just gave a really light push to the 42 car and it turned around on him, so unfortunate for us. We were able to win the second stage and were in a pretty good position there. It sucks. It sucks for everybody. I hate it for him. I hate it for us, but it is what it is.”
WHAT HAPPENED? “I just feel bad for Carson. I gave him a little push and it just took off on him. It wadded up a bunch of cars and it’s unfortunate, but we were having a good day with our Solomon Plumbing Ford. We were leading laps and won the second stage. I got shuffled there a few laps earlier and were trying to claw back and it all just gathered up.
WHAT DID YOU SEE? “It was one of those Talladega deals. We had a really really good Ford Mustang and we were up front for a while. We led the second stage and won the second stage, so that felt good. We got shuffled there a few laps before the incident and was trying to claw our way back in the third lane. The 42 pulled up in front of me and I just gave him a push and it kind of instantly spun out on him. It’s unfortunate, but part of the deal.”
DID YOU FEEL YOUR CAR LIFT FROM THE REAR? “I did, yes.”
DID YOU FEEL YOU PUSHED HIM TOO HARD? “I don’t know about that. I guess anytime you spin somebody out you pushed him too hard, but you just don’t know until you push somebody how good their car is gonna be, compared to everybody else I was pushing I would say no.”
WHO DID YOU WORK WELL WITH TODAY? “I thought I worked well with Logano and we were able to get to the front there, and Aric Almirola was really good and Blaney, all those guys. We were in a good spot I just hate that it unraveled for us.”
THOUGHTS GOING TO THE ROVAL. “I don’t know. We’ll see how this thing cycles out through the finish and what our situation is then, but it’s certainly not ideal. I’m glad we were able to win the stage. That certainly helps our points at least a little, but not as much as if we were able to finish the race out.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES GETTING TO THE BUMPERS OF THE TOYOTAS? “Not that I can recall, no. It’s hard to say. I didn’t have a lot of time working with them to be honest.”
DO YOU THINK IT WAS GOING TO TAKE MORE AGGRESSIVE PUSHING TO GET WHERE YOU WANTED TO GO? “Not really, no. I felt like our pushes were pretty strong and the top lane just kept rolling back to the front and it’s just a matter of the cars you’re around and how well they handle.”
ARE YOU DEVASTATED? “It’s not ideal, but I’m not devastated. I’d be devastated if we ran terrible and wrecked, but we ran good and I’m proud of our team for putting the effort we need to run up front and lead laps and win the second stage. It just didn’t come together at the end.”
Ford Performance PR