Ford Performance NASCAR: Cole Custer & Chase Briscoe Media Availability

by Official Release On Fri, Apr. 12, 2019

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)
Friday, April 12, 2019
EVENT: ToyotaCare 250 Media Availability

COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang —

“We are pretty close right now. We just need to figure out a way to be
a little better. I think that will come in time. I think our whole
team is kind of still figuring things out and sorting through things,
especially with Mike (Shiplett) being new to the team this year. Every
race we come back to a second time we will be better. We are figuring
things out. We have speed right now, it is just a matter of getting
better later in the year.”

ARE YOU RELIEVED TO HAVE A WIN ALREADY AND BE ABLE TO CONCENTRATE ON
OTHER THINGS? “Yeah, it gets rid of a lot of stress and
second-guessing yourself. Now we know that we can win and have the
capability to win and it is just a matter of putting it together every
weekend and having good notes when we come back to places for a second
time and hitting it right. I think we can do that, it is just a matter
of more time being able to help us.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TRACK THIS WEEKEND? “It won’t be much
different for our Xfinity cars. We have the same package and the tire
isn’t much different. Long run speed is so hard to get ahold of here.
It is like you are on ice after 10 laps. You are slipping and sliding
and trying to find any grip you can. Hitting your marks is really
important. It is a really technical track and hard to get the long run
speed right.”

DO YOU GET WORRIED ABOUT HOW HARD YOU SHOULD RACE SOMEBODY OR HOW
AGGRESSIVE YOU SHOULD BE? “You can definitely give somebody a bump and
run and beat and bang a little around here. The problem is you have to
pace yourself for a long run. You can’t be using up your tires because
you have to have them 70 laps into a run. The tires wear out here so
much. It is really about pacing. When it comes down to it at the end,
you can get pretty aggressive.”

WHAT DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT THIS TRACK? “The tires will wear out.
It is tough to keep them under you. It is about having long run speed
and making your tires last.”

HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE SEASON SO FAR FOR YOU GUYS? “It has been good so
far. It is a matter of hitting it right every single weekend. I think
we already have speed right now, it is just a matter of getting a
little bit better. I think when we go back to places for the second
time, as we go throughout the year it will help a lot. With my new
crew chief this year, when we go back to the same race track that will
help us.”

HOW HAS THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SHIPLETT GONE? “Really good. We get
along really well and he has so much experience at these tracks. He
knows what makes the car tick and what you want to do for the long run
and short run speed and what you need when you go to the race track.”

YOUR CAR HAS BEEN FAST, RIGHT? “Yeah, we have had good speed. We have
shown we can win, it is just a matter of knowing more the second time
around than we do this year. A lot of these teams have had the same
crew chiefs and same teams their entire time in the series and we are
kind of building our notebook a little because of Mike being the new
crew chief.”

SO ARE YOU BUILDING TOWARD PEAKING AT THE END OF THE SEASON? “I think
we will get better as we go because of all the new people on our team.
We are already good right now, but we are only going to get better.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang —

“I feel like I struggle here a little bit. We were second earlier in
practice but I think that was mainly because we went out so early. I
feel like right now we are a fifth to seventh place car and I just
have to do a better job of knowing what I need here. Last year in the
Roush car, I feel like I really tuned ourselves out of what I needed
for the race. This place changes more than any other pavement track we
go to, so it has been a challenge for me to know what I need.”

IS THIS PLACE LIKE IOWA? “I don’t know. I feel like yes and no. I
think how you drive into turn one doing a big arc is similar to Iowa
but I think Iowa is probably my best race track and I wouldn’t
consider Richmond one of my best race tracks. They don’t correlate a
ton but they are the same shape I guess you could say. It is like a
flat Iowa. That is what this place is kind of like. You can’t move
around as much but it is a fun place, I just have to get more laps at
it.”

THE BIG DEBATE, IS IOWA A SHORT TRACK? “It races like a short track. I
know it isn’t a half-mile by any means but I think Iowa is one of the
best race tracks to go to. You can run all the way from the wall to
the bottom line. To me, Iowa is by far the best race track we go to.
It is rough and has character and is just fun from a driver
standpoint. You can take a ninth place car and run fourth or fifth
with it. A lot of the time in these races, if you have a ninth place
car and run seventh with it, that is a good day. There is a lot the
driver can do at Iowa. There are a lot of places we go where that
isn’t the case.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR CAR IS RIGHT NOW? “I feel like we are not very
good on the short run. I feel like our long run speed is pretty good.
The 20 and the 9 are probably the two best cars. I feel like we are in
the fifth to seventh place range. I feel like from a driving
standpoint it didn’t drive that great. To have speed is encouraging.
We have made quite a bit of changes that will correlate well for the
race tonight. We will find out here when we go out to qualifying if we
made the right decision or not. The problem is, it is an impound race,
so you have to live with it whether it was a good call or not.”

HOW HAS RACING FULL TIME WITH ONE TEAM HELPED YOU AS A DRIVER? “It is
huge. Getting to drive the same race car is big. Every organization
works different. At Roush, I ran a different style of seat than I run
at SHR, so being in the same comfort zone every week has been a big
help. Knowing how the car is going to drive and handle has been a big
help. I feel like me and my crew chief continue to build a bigger and
bigger notebook. We aren’t necessarily where we need to be but I think
we have a couple changes we have figured out that I have really
responded well to. I think as the season goes on I feel like we will
continue to do that and it has been a benefit running full time.”

HOW HAS YOUR TEAMMATE COLE CUSTER HELPED YOU? “Cole has been awesome.
He is honestly probably the biggest reason I won the Roval last year.
He helped me more than anybody. We have a really good relationship. I
drove for Cole at the Chili Bowl three or four years ago. Cole was one
of my first friends when I moved to North Carolina. We work really
well together. I am excited to get further into the year so that I can
help him more and equal it out so that he can benefit. Right now, I am
definitely more on the receiving end than he is. It has been great
having Cole. He doesn’t have near as much dirt experience as I do but
I still has some and that correlates well. It has been fun.”

HOW DID HE HELP YOU AT THE ROVAL? “I was struggling bad. I was two or
three-seconds off in practice. He had an on-board camera and we would
go through it and he would write down notes for me to go try to work
on. We literally looked at video for an hour and watch DartFish
together and he would explain what he was doing in certain areas. He
was a huge help to win that race for sure.”

ARE YOU STILL LEARNING PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO THIS
SERIES? “Yeah, I don’t have near the experience a lot of these guys
have. This is my 64th pavement race ever this weekend. I don’t have a
ton of experience in general. I feel like I learn so much every race I
run. Getting laps, seat time, is so big. I was getting seat time last
year but it was a month apart and that made it hard to get in a rhythm
and learn things and be able to apply them the next time I came. This
year, each and every week I can apply something. Being in different
race cars last year, what worked in a Roush car doesn’t work in a SHR
car and vice-versa. We can really build a notebook now of what I like
in this syle of car and how it drives. I feel like there is one change
we do almost every single week that instantly picks up speed. Finding
little things like that have been a big help for me this year.”

ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH HOW THE SEASON HAS STARTED THEN? “I feel like
we have had speed but not speed like I would expect to have. I feel
like we should be top-five each and every week in practice and
qualifying and we haven’t necessarily had that speed. We have had that
the last couple weeks and good speed in the race, but not at the
beginning of the race. We need to put a whole weekend together. Going
into last week we have like 4 stage points, the second or third best
average finish, but we were 11th in points. We have to put the whole
weekend together. When we can practice in the top-five range, it helps
us build towards a winning race car. Where before we were a 10th-15th
place race car in practice and trying to make it a fifth place race
car. Obviously you have to be running up front with this new format to
get points. We are there at the end but we need to be there at the
beginning as well.”

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