Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Monday, October 14, 2019
EVENT: 1000Bulbs.com 500, Talladega Superspeedway
RYAN BLANEY PUNCHES TICKET TO ROUND OF 8 WITH TALLADEGA WIN
· Ryan Blaney piloted his No. 12 Ford to victory today, his first win of the season.
· Today’s win is Ford’s 6th straight Talladega Playoff victory.
· Team Penske has now won 7-of-the-last-11 Cup races at Talladega.
· The victory is Blaney’s third career MENCS win.
· The win is Mustang’s ninth of the season.
· All three Team Penske drivers have now won this season.
· Today’s win is Ford’s 685th all-time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.
· Of Team Penske’s 71 MENCS wins with Ford, 44 have come since rejoining Ford in 2013.
Ford Finishing Order:
1st – Ryan Blaney
2nd – Ryan Newman
4th – Aric Almirola
5th – Michael McDowell
7th – Corey LaJoie
9th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11th – Joey Logano
13th – Matt Tifft
16th – Paul Menard
17th – Kevin Harvick
23rd – Clint Bowyer
25th – Brad Keselowski
29th – David Ragan
32nd – Daniel Suarez
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
WHAT AN EFFORT BY YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE TEAM TODAY: “Yeah, it was an amazing effort the last two days to be honest with you. We spun out early yesterday and missed some big ones today. We were able to weave our way through. I can’t thank Aric Almirola enough for helping me out there at the end. That big push that Newman and the 11 got I knew I wasn’t going to be able to block it. They were coming so fast and they wanted to split me. I wanted to stay to the bottom and kind of pulled the 11 off the 6 and then had a big enough run to get to the six. We kind of hit above the line and that pushed me below the line. That is a big judgement call. You never know. I definitely wasn’t going to go below the line before we made contact. I can’t say enough about this Dent Wizard team. It has been super fun the last couple of days. We are moving on! This is super cool.”
THIS PLACE, SO HISTORIC, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN HERE? “It means a ton. I have been coming here ever since I was really young and watched my dad run here a lot and watched him run pretty good here a lot. I got to drive for the Wood Brothers here. It is a cool feeling. This new infield in this new victory lane. I love coming here and I love it even more now.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 SunnyD Ford Mustang – “It’s nice being that close. We put ourselves in the right positions, got to control the race for a little while. I felt like my spotter and I did a really good job blocking the right lines at the right time and just trying to learn for the end of that race. That one restart we picked the bottom and I don’t know if that hurt us and it let the 1 get to the outside and the third lane formed, so, all in all, we had a really fast car. I’m bummed we couldn’t finish it off. There at the end I felt like we were still plenty fast enough to get the job done, but I just ran out of laps to get back up there.”
COREY LAJOIE, No. 32 VisoneRV.com Ford Mustang – “We call that stacking pennies. You take a 33rd-place car and finish seventh with it, so we’ll take it and run.” IS THERE SOMETHING THAT COMES OUT OF THIS? “Make a little more money. That always helps, so that’s good. Archie is happy I’m sure. The car is in one piece and we’ll go on to Kansas.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – DOES THIS GIVE YOU MOMENTUM FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? “Yeah, you’re always looking for anything to build momentum. Results always do that and that’s always part of it. Talladega and Daytona in particular are unique race tracks and a unique style of racing. I don’t know how much it helps you going into Kansas, but it’s always good to get a top-five and to have a strong day and be in position to push a Ford to Victory Lane. That’s good, too.”
YOU HAD THAT LINE OF FORDS ON THE LAST RESTART AND GOT ORGANIZED IN A HURRY. WERE YOU TOO FAR BACK TO DO MUCH MORE ONCE THE ENERGY BROKE UP? “The energy broke up once the 11 and the 6 hooked up. I was close to the 10’s bumper and he was on the 12’s bumper, and I was just hoping to stay attached to them so when they eventually came to the start-finish line side-by-side, because I figured the 10 was gonna make a move at some point coming to the line that I would have an opportunity to sneak my way in there, but when the 11 and the 6 got hooked up and got to my outside that really broke my momentum and detached me off of the 10 and it was survival from that point forward just trying to block all the runs coming. We salvaged a good finish.”
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT HIT AND WRECKED? “I haven’t seen it yet. It scared the crap out of me because it came out of nowhere. I was riding around and everything was good in second place and, ‘Boom.’ The next thing I know I’m sideways and up in the air. My team did an amazing job today because when we got done with the crash the hood was up and I couldn’t see. The thing was barely rolling with four flat tires and everything else, and they got it to where it would run and then got through another crash to get the lucky dog and finished 11th on the day. Two second places in the stages and an 11th-place finish with a crashed race car isn’t ideal, but it’s way better than it could have been, so I’m proud of that.”
HOW HARD WAS IT TO GET TO YOUR PIT STALL WITH THE HOOD UP? “Luckily, the hood flap blew out, so I was looking through the hood flap and was able to see good enough.”
RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford Mustang – “It’s disappointing to not win that one, to be so close. I’ve been that close here before. Quite a few years I’ve tried, but just crazy racing and proud to get our Wyndham Rewards Ford a good finish. I’m disappointed obviously we didn’t win – to be that close. It’s part of racing. I’ve always said you’ve got to lose some that way before you can win some that way, and I guess our wins are coming.” YOU WERE WATCHING THE REPLAY. WHAT DID YOU SEE? “I had no idea how close and how much room I had with the runs that people get and things like that. We still had a few good cars left there and really didn’t expect him to get as big of a run as he did all by himself back to me. Denny did a great job of pushing and got me up there to the lead and just circumstances. That’s drafting. That’s the way it works. If I would have blocked him down below the yellow line I would have got penalized, so it’s six and one-half dozen the other.”
NOTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE? “I think I could have gone down and taken his air and he probably would have worked to the outside of me and probably spun me as I tried to block him. You could replay it 30 days from now and come up with 27 different answers.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang – “You always want to do better. I would have loved to have scored stage points and finish better, but we didn’t. You can’t put much merit into this. It’s kind of like bumper cars with your friends that don’t know how to drive at the go-kart track.” HOW DO YOU LOOK AT KANSAS? “We just do what we do every week.”
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Racin’ for Bacon Ford Mustang – “Obviously, when you get that close to the end and you feel like you’re in position you want to win. Man, it’s hard. It’s hard to make the right move and do the right thing at the right time. It’s so situational. There’s maybe a couple of things, maybe one thing I could have tried to get up in front of the 6, but he was coming so fast. There was no way I was gonna block that run. He was just gonna get to my outside and then I was gonna be stuck in the middle three-wide. All in all, it was a good day. We needed a good run. We’ve had a string of just average finishes, so it’s nice to get a top-five and run up front, finish really well for the Fords, get a Ford Mustang to Victory Lane. I just wish it was my Ford Mustang.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang – “I brushed the wall. I got in the 8 and was just pushing like I was all day long. I don’t know. He ran up too high and when you push you’ve got to kind of be to the outside and run me into the wall. I was afraid it was gonna go flat, so I bailed out of there and, sure enough, it went flat. And then I just got stuck down there. I couldn’t get those guys to cooperate. They stared at me for a lap. I was like, ‘Boys, we’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got to push this thing off.’ I don’t know that they knew I was stuck. I shut it off and was trying to scream, but it is what it is.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – “I got wrecked, but I haven’t see the replay. We were about to take the lead. I was pushing Brendan Gaughan and was really excited about how it was looking there for a minute and it just didn’t work out.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang – “I don’t really know what to say. I don’t know what we could have done different. We were just racing hard and then went straight to the back. We were coming back to the front and then the whole mess started in front of me and I turned the wheel a little bit too hard to try to avoid the wreck and I ended up spinning out myself. It was either spinning out myself or wrecking, so nothing really I could have done there.”
DAVID RAGAN, No. 38 Envision Ford Mustang – “Everybody just got to pushing and shoving and that’s just a product of speedway racing. These guys race extremely hard. The cars are really safe. I don’t really think anyone is gonna get hurt, so that probably makes everyone drive a little bit more crazy than they should and when you’re pushing and shoving at 200 miles an hour eventually you’re gonna wreck people. I think most of the big wrecks today were because of that and that’s just the way it is, so you get out there and you tear all of these race cars up. I hate it for the car owners, but the fans saw a lot of great racing today. Our Envision USA Ford Mustang was fast. It was fun, but it just didn’t last to the end.”
YOU WERE IN POSITION RIGHT AT THE FRONT WITH JUST A FEW LAPS REMAINING. WERE YOU WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE? “Yeah. I pushed really well depending on who was around me and I felt like my car pushed a little bit better on the bottom lane. Me and Kurt were in the middle and everyone just pushing hard and, yeah, I was where I wanted to be. Those final 15 laps you want to be in the top five to six and we were there. I felt like we were controlling our own destiny. It would have been hard to win, but I felt like we had a shot that we could have if our cards could have been played right.”