Ford Performance NASCAR: Five Fords Post Top-10 Finishes in Richmond Playoff Race

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, September 20, 2019
EVENT: Federated Auto Parts 400, Richmond Raceway

Ford Finishing Results
5th – Brad Keselowski
6th – Ryan Newman
8th – Kevin Harvick
9th – Clint Bowyer
10th – Daniel Suarez
12th – Joey Logano
16th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17th – Aric Almirola
18th – Ryan Blaney
20th – David Ragan
21st – Matt Tifft
22nd – Michael McDowell
28th – Paul Menard
30th – Corey LaJoie

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – IS IT CONCERNING GOING FORWARD TO SEE HOW GOOD JGR IS RIGHT NOW? “It’s definitely not good news. We’ve got work to do. They’re really strong and we’re not where we need to be to be able to beat them heads-up, but we threw everything we had at them. We put down a great qualifying lap, got the first pit stall, had great pit stops and got to the lead, but just didn’t have the raw speed to keep it.”

IS IT TOO SOON TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO DO? “No, honestly I don’t know. The team, they’ve got all the secrets, so we need to find some more secrets.”

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YOU LED THE FIRST 53 LAPS AND AGAIN LATER IN THE NIGHT, BUT JUST WASN’T ENOUGH. “We led eighty-some laps, so it’s not a bad day but just not nearly fast enough to dominate the race and win.”

YOU GO TO THE ROVAL IN GOOD SHAPE, SO YOU ACCOMPLISHED AT LEAST ONE GOAL THIS WEEKEND. “Yeah, we’re locked into the next round. That feels good. I’m proud of that effort.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – WORRY-FREE FOR THE ROVAL? “It’ll be a nice week at home. I think it allows everybody to really go and the biggest thing is you want to go try and learn what you need to do to run fast there, so this week we’ll go to the simulator and try to transfer that to the race track and see how practice goes and then we’ll see how the weekend goes. You definitely still want to go there and get a race win or something that will go forward with you and also learn something for the future.”

RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford Mustang – “It was just a good team effort, good pit stops. The strategy wasn’t a whole lot to it, just put four tires on, but had a good short-run car. One time we had a good long-run car, but we could never get both. I think that if we would have had both we could have ran with those guys, but we were at our best probably when we were just hold good bias to a long-run car, but who would have known there were gonna be that many green flag runs.”

A GOOD POINTS NIGHT. “Yeah, but I would have much rather won.”

BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR? “Yeah, without a doubt. The best team performance all-around throughout the entire weekend. We failed at qualifying. We got the car too tight, but, overall, just a great team effort to get the Roush Performance Ford a good run. What meant to me the most probably was just being better than we were the first race. We ran ninth in the first race and qualified 30th or something like that and we came back and showed that we were learning and we’ll keep learning.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ROVAL? “I don’t know that I’m looking forward to the Roval, I don’t really know anybody that actually is, except for maybe Truex.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “I thought our car was pretty good in practice and then tonight we were just off. We just struggled all night to get our car in the race track, really up on top of the race track not making any grip and then made too many mistakes. I sped on pit road and then we had a miscommunication on our green flag stop on when we were coming, and just too many issues. We need a cleaner race. We’re gonna have to be perfect next week at the Roval to get through.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – “Overall, I though it was a better night than what we had here, for sure. Sometimes we were running kind of close to the 15th area and that’s about where we were gonna finish and we had to come back in for a loose wheel there, it was going to be loose that last pit stop, so that kind of stinks to have to start behind everybody like that. By the time you get to the cars you’re racing your tires are wore out and it’s kind of like, ‘Dang it.’ We kind of salvaged a decent run at it here. At least we’re a little bit to the good, so hopefully we can have a solid race next week.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ROVAL NEXT WEEK? “Everyone else has the same goal, so we’ll just try to do our jobs and not have any issues and see what happens.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 CSU/One Cure Ford Mustang – “It was solid. I was hoping for more, for sure. I was expecting a little bit more to be honest with you, but we did what we had to do. We gave ourselves a fighting chance going into Charlotte. I knew Richmond was gonna be an opportunity. We semi-capitalized on that opportunity, but looking forward to Charlotte. It’s gonna be fun for everybody involved. It’s do-or-die time. It’s the Playoffs. You watch these football teams go through these playoffs and how exciting it is and it’s our turn to have that nerve-racking moments and do-or-die moments for your race team and your season, but I’m looking forward to it.

YOU RACED YOUR TEAMMATES CLEAN AND HARD. “Well, about as hard as you can run. We have to figure something out with this track and our package. I’m not sold that this is the best product we can do here. I love this place. I love the race track. I love this fan base, this area and everything ever since I started in this sport this has always been an action track and it’s lacking a little bit of that. I think we could do some things with maybe some PJ1 or sealer or tires – something. We need to try to make an adjustment, I really believe that.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – “I made a huge mistake there after we pitted under green. I drove it down into turn three and I thought he was gonna give me the top and then he went to the top, so I dove back to the bottom and when I did it got on the splitter and pushed up into him and spun him. All I was hoping for after that point was he’d come back and win, but our Fastenal Mustang was a top 10 car. We were running there and just a bummer two weeks in a row that I’ve cost us a good finish.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – “It was a rough night. It was tough. We missed it at the start. I don’t know where, why how yet. It’s pretty confusing. We were decent in practice and on the long run I thought we were pretty good and we go to qualify and we were really tight, and then we start the race and we’re really tight. So many rounds and air-pressure and we hit everything we could hit to try to get the tight out of it. We got better and we went from not being able to stay on the lead lap and getting a couple lucky dogs and then towards the end we got semi-competitive. I wouldn’t say we were good, but a little closer to where we need to be. Overall, I think we had a 50-point cushion, I believe, over the cutline, so that’s a nice feeling going into the Roval. Maybe we can be a little more aggressive and try to get something there.”

WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU STACK UP NOW? “Fifty points above the cutline. This track is confusing sometimes. I don’t know. We either run really good and capable of winning or we run like butt, and that’s kind of what happened today. I don’t know, but, like I said at least we swung at it and got something out of it.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang – “I feel like it was a clean day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the speed that we wish we had, but we worked very hard. We made good adjustments. The pit crew did a pretty decent job. They got better as the night went and we just had a top 10 car and finished in the top 10. We’re still working extremely hard to get that first win and hopefully we can make it happen soon.”

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