Ford Performance NASCAR: Mustang Sweeps Top 3 Spots As Logano Wins at Watkins Glen

Ford Performance NXS Notes and Quotes
Zippo 200 at the Glen – Watkins Glen International
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ford Finishing Results:
1st – Joey Logano
2nd – Brad Keselowski
3rd – Chris Buescher
8th – Elliott Sadler
16th – Darrell Wallace Jr.
23rd – Dakoda Armstrong
30th – Ryan Reed

RYAN REED – No. 16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang – “When he spun I don’t know if he was spinning to try to stay off the outside wall, but it filled the whole track up with smoke and I couldn’t see anything. You just kind of guess where to go and I guessed high because he had kind of spun down to the bottom and he must have throttled back up the race track trying to keep it going and just kind of drove straight into the fence. I guessed wrong there and just kind of ran out of room. I’ve got to thank Lilly Diabetes and American Diabetes Association, XFINITY, and everyone who helps us get here and do this. I felt like it was a long weekend. I had a lot to learn and we started to put it together there at the end. I actually ran my fastest lap right there before we wrecked, so as a driver this place it either comes naturally to you or you have to work hard at it, so I was really glad I was able to start running some more competitive lap times and start to get the hang of this place. I was looking forward to the end of the race and see if we could get a nice, decent finish. I’m not sure where we were running when we got caught up there, but it was better than we had been running all weekend.”


American Muscle

ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang – “I messed up and got a penalty. I just drove through too many pits coming in and put my guys in a hole. They made some good adjustments there and we were able to fight back there at the end. Our car needed three or four laps to get going and that red flag hurt us there a little bit, but I’m just proud of my guys. We had great pit stops, good, hard work all weekend and we’ll improve on it and go to Mid-Ohio.”

 

POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCES

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – “It was kind of an up-and-down day. Joey was really, really fast and we knew that. He had a little bit of trouble himself on pit road and drove through the field so quickly that he was running lap times I think three or four tenths faster than I was when we were leading and it was just all I could do to really keep up with him there at the end. But I fought through some issues there. I made a mistake on pit road and I finally figured something out and just over-figured it out, but I’m excited about that for tomorrow, but all-in-all I think I was probably a tad bit slower than Joey was and made a few too many mistakes, but mistakes are part of these XFINITY races, at least for us because we’re pushing, trying to grow and be better race car drivers, better race teams and that’s not easy to do. You’ve got to really hang it out to do that and I probably hung it out a little too far there and cost ourselves probably a better opportunity to win. I’m not sure I would have been able to beat Joey, but I was just digging real hard and learning and growing and trying to be better and probably pushed a little too hard to be able to beat Joey. He did a great job as well and I think all-in-all it was just a really good race.”

CHRIS BUESCHER – No. 60 Ford EcoBoost Ford Mustang – “It’s a good day for us. We kind of knew that we had to bounce back a little bit from our last several weeks, so it was a really solid day. We’ve been top-5 all weekend, right around fifth, and we were able to get a couple more there at the end and come home third. It’s a really good points day for us. It’s tough because we needed quite a bit more to contend for a win, but overall I’m really proud of the guys. They did a nice job. The car was in one piece the whole time and never had any issues. We’ve got some momentum going into Mid-Ohio and Road America, so we feel like our Mid-Ohio car is pretty stout. We’re going off a lot of notes we had from last year and feel like we’ll be pretty stout, so we’ve just got to keep doing it. It was a good points day for us. As much as I hate to say it like that, but we ran top-5 pretty much all day and were able to get a couple more there at the end. It was a pretty good day for us. I’m proud of my guys.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED – FORD WAS STRONG TODAY, BUT WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO CATCH UP TO THE OTHER MANUFACTURERS ON THE CUP SIDE? “A lot. There’s no secret. We’re not where we want to be at the Cup level. I think there’s a lot of reasons for that and those reasons would probably last a lot longer than this press conference, but it’s gonna require a lot of work and we’re trying to get there. I think we can get there, but there’s no doubt to me that the Toyotas and Chevrolet camp are a little bit ahead of where we are at the Cup level. Over here at the XFINITY level it’s maybe not the fairest of reads. The team quality over here and the driver quality today was perhaps a little bit biased to the Ford camp, but on equal footing I think we’ve seen the 33 and the 20 car be the two best cars, and those are both obviously not Fords. I think it’s consistent throughout the three series, but a team and a driver can certainly make up for that, but when the teams and the drivers are equal then the deficiency shows up. For us, we’ve got to figure that out and that’s on us to do.”

CHRIS BUESCHER CONTINUED – WHAT WAS THE GAMEPLAN GOING INTO TODAY? “We’re always paying attention to points. We felt like we had a top-5 car for the weekend and we knew that we were pretty consistently better than the guys we’re racing in points throughout the weekend, so, for us, it was just a matter of making sure we finished that way. We did a good job. We were able to stay right there in that top-5 all day and, really, that’s what we needed to do. That’s about where we could run. I learned a lot throughout the race that will be good to apply the next time we come here and even to the Cup race tomorrow. We’re always thinking about it. It’s not fun to go out there and points race and say, ‘Oh, you’ve just got to finish fifth and that’s all.’ We’re always trying to get as much as possible, but today it happened to be getting as much as we could out of it, getting a solid day and at the same time we gained points due to other people’s misfortunes or lack of running as well as we did this weekend.”

CHRIS BUESCHER CONTINUED — DID THE CAUTIONS KEEP YOU FROM GETTING IN A RHYTHM TODAY? “Yeah, I really wish we would have had a lot less, but cautions are always tough. It’s always tough going down into one on restarts just knowing how aggressive everybody is. It’s just out of desperation and just trying to get as much as you can. It’s an easy time to do it and it ends up creating a lot more cautions, I think we saw. I would have liked to been able to run it out, but the way it worked out we got everything that we were gonna get for the day. When it’s all said and done we got what we could even with the cautions falling as they did.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED – WHAT HAS PENSKE HIT ON TO BE SO DOMINANT HERE IN THE XFINITY SERIES? “Why is Penske good here at Watkins Glen? One, their driver lineup (laughing). It certainly helps to have Cup drivers in the cars. The experience helps, but I think Penske has always had Watkins Glen as one of its best tracks. It’s kind of funny how that works, how certain companies seem to run well at certain tracks at the Cup or XFINITY level. For many years now it’s been Hendrick at maybe a Martinsville at the Cup level or I would point to even Roush at Michigan and tracks like that has always been one of the teams to beat, and I’ve always thought of Penske as being one of the teams to beat, not only at the XFINITY level but at the Cup level at Watkins Glen and always one of the perennial favorites. We haven’t got the win at the Cup level, but we’ve run up front and I think the 2 car itself has had four second-place finishes in the last six years, so that’s as close as you can get, but we haven’t closed it out. I don’t know. I think just certain companies, whether it’s internal culture, culture of management or just the pride they take in coming to a track, I don’t know, but certain companies just run better at some tracks. It’s always hard to identify that because I think if you fully understood it more times than not you would apply it to other places and be that way everywhere. The only thing I can really put my finger on for the XFINITY level specific to this race is Penske always puts Cup level drivers in their cars for these races.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 12 Snap-On Ford Mustang – “It’s pretty special. As a driver you always want to have a road course win on your resume. I’ve yet to have one on the Cup side, but it’s nice to have one on the XFINITY side now. We’ve come close to winning this race a few times, but had never been able to make it happen. I had a really good Snap-On Ford. It just goes to show how Team Penske is and the depth they’ve got from within when they can throw together a second XFINITY car like that and make two cars as equal as those two were out there today, and the two fastest cars is something to be very proud of – led by Kevin Buskirk and a lot of the guys that have been on the road before and they come back out and were having fun. It was a fun weekend for us and to go out there and put it on the pole, lead a lot of laps and win the race is very special for sure. We’ve been close to winning a lot lately and it feels really good. I know for Todd it feels really good too because we’ve been close here the last few weeks in both the Cup Series and the XFINITY Series, so it feels nice to be able to spray some champagne and have some fun in victory lane.”

TODD GORDON, Crew Chief – No. 12 Snap-On Ford Mustang – “I’ve definitely got to reiterate some of Joey’s sentiments. Kevin Buskirk and Andrew Overstreet, Corey Tucker – all the guys from the shop put together a heck of a car and gave me an opportunity to have a little fun today to come in and call a race. It was a pretty straightforward race when you’ve got that much speed, but it was good to get the pit crew out there. That’s our Cup pit crew for tomorrow and we had a couple of situations and Joey did a good job recovering from it, but it’s a good tune-up for tomorrow because pit stops are backwards here relative to anyplace else. It’s a little change for the guys and change for both Joey and myself in how we race these races, so it’s a great tune-up for tomorrow and a testament to Team Penske and what they can do out of this shop with the shop guys and the depth they’ve got.”

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – WERE THERE SOME THINGS YOU’VE LEARNED IN PAST RACES HERE THAT HELPED TODAY? “Obviously, as a driver that’s why I want to run the XFINITY races is to become a better road racer. That’s something we don’t do very often, so it’s nice to kind of get out there and get in a rhythm and understand what it takes to go fast. I always felt like Sonoma was a better road course for me than Watkins Glen and I feel like the improvements that I as a driver have been able to make and giving my crew chief better info on what my car is doing and ultimately making our car faster, I can’t help but think about the first time I came here in an XFINITY car. I think I ran 10th. I ran about 15th all day and I was so mad and frustrated because I didn’t know how to go faster and I was really just confused. It’s cool to be on the opposite end of that and being able to be in victory lane after all those years. It’s a special win for sure, but the main reason why we run this race, like Todd said, is to be able to obviously get our team used to the backwards pit stops and driver getting used to how to race on road courses and how to pass and what I need to do as a driver to win this thing hopefully tomorrow, so there are a lot of good things that come out of running this XFINITY race, even more so than a normal weekend.”

TODD GORDON CONTINUED – A FITTING WEEKEND TO GET THIS WIN CONSIDERING OSWEGO SPEEDWAY IS CELEBRATING ITS 65TH ANNIVERSARY TONIGHT? “Yeah, if I weren’t racing here I would have probably made the drive up there when the garage closed on the Cup side, but it’s a special place. Obviously, this is home to me. I grew up about two-and-a-half hours north of here, so this is as close as we get to where I grew up and I started racing at Oswego. It’s a cool place – the Steel Palace – and it’s great to see the recovery they’ve been able to make in the last couple of years. It seems like the car count is coming back there and it’s kind of fun to be home honestly.”

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – HOW CLOSE DID YOU COME FROM BEING TAKEN OUT DURING YOUR CHARGE FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK? “Really not very close at all. The biggest thing I think was the crash when the 7 spun out, but we were fine there. But anytime you go to the back of the field your chances of crashing go up a lot and when you crash you obviously don’t win, so you want to get yourself up towards the front as quick as you can, but you also want to be safe and smart back there because you don’t want to crash your stuff. This is a very fast race track and knocking fenders in and beating your car up is gonna hurt you later on in the race, so you’ve got to take care of your stuff – be patient, but you’ve got to be aggressive because you’ve got to get back up there. I used up a lot of my race car getting up through the field, not body parts or anything like that, but you’re using the brakes so much and you start to lose a little bit of braking as you’re powering through the field as quick as you can and trying to get that track position back knowing that this is a short race and all we had was one more pit stop left. I wanted to be able to get myself that track position back before the last pit stop, so I didn’t have to completely kill my tires trying to make up spots for the end of this race. I think I kind of worked that plan out good. It’s not very often you have a car that’s just that superior, and both of Team Penske’s cars were so fast. It was fun to work our way back up to catch the 22 and race with him.”

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THROUGH THE YEARS AS THE KEY TO HELP MAKE YOU SO COMPETITIVE ON ROAD COURSES? “It just takes a lot of laps and I’ve worked with a lot of people. I actually came up here with Boris Said one time and if you want to see a funny picture imagine me and Boris in a Miata running around here. We don’t fit very well. It’s pretty funny, but he taught me a lot that day about how to get around here and it just takes laps, just trying to figure out how to make more speed, where you can do it and what you need in your car in certain areas to go fast. It’s nothing by any means that I have figured out, believe me. A lot of times I’m still wishy-washy on some of my feedback, but I feel like I have a better idea to what I need. You look at some of the best road racers and I look at AJ as one of them, especially at this race track. He can go fast in a shoebox around this place, so understanding what they do and what they look for – I’m playing a little bit of catch-up, but I am catching up so that’s good.”

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED — DESCRIBE THE SENSATION OF DRIVING A CAR YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH? “It’s really, really nice. Obviously, there are other cars out there that are really fast as well, but I felt like braking was probably our strong point to most of the cars out there today. That’s what really helped me pass cars and kind of move around and work with stuff and kind of work through the field a little bit quicker. It’s nice. We knew it was fast in practice yesterday. We had a really good car there and we made some small adjustments for the race. We were really fast in qualifying and then throughout the race we had to work our plan and when the race threw us a curveball we kept our minds in it and kept our heads in it like we do every week on the Cup side. No one got flustered or went crazy. We kept our heads down and kept digging and made it back up.”


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