Ford Performance NASCAR: Blaney Wins Xfinity Series Race at Dover

Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
Event: Use Your Melon Drive Sober 400 (NXS Post Race)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Dover International Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

Race Winner – Ryan Blaney
8th – Cole Custer
16th – Ryan Reed

RYAN BLANEY (No. 22 Fitzgerald Ford Mustang) RACE WINNER – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
YOU TOOK THE BEHIND THE WOODSHED TODAY. HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CAR THAT WAS THAT GOOD AND THAT DOMINATE? “Yeah, it’s really hard to get a car like that and to be honest we didn’t have it in the first run. We were a little bit off on the first run. We made some great changes after the first Stage to get it better to where it needs to be. We actually got it better for the last run. I think this team does a great job with that of maybe not firing off the greatest but they know how to work on it and make it better throughout the race. As a driver that all you can ask for, great changes throughout. It’s awesome to get to victory lane with Fitzgerald. This is really cool. We were close the first race this year and just didn’t quite get it. Definitely learned a lot for tomorrow.”


American Muscle

WHAT WAS THE HANDLING YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE FIRST ROUND THAT YOU GOT THE LAST TWO? “I was really tight the first run. We were super free here the first race. We tried to get to the other side of it and just overshot it. It was cloudy the first part of the race but when the sun came out I thought we got better and the track came to us. That’s what we planned on.”

POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM TODAY’S RACE THAT YOU CAN TAKE AWAY FOR TOMORROW’S CUP RACE? “It was actually really nice to have those long green flag runs today because in the Cup race you usually have a bunch of them. This race track, when we get lot of laps, it lays rubber down. With it being a concrete track, your tire really tends to do something different when the rubber gets laid down. It’s almost in sheets. You can slide the back or slide the front over them. How we adjusted the car based on that is a big deal. We’ll have a meeting after this for the Cup car and see if we can adjust of how we were on the Xfinity side; how we were at the start of a run when the track was cleaner. And then when did it lay rubber? At what lap did it swing the other way and what can we do to adjust our cars for that. Hopefully we can hit that right. I thought we did a good job predicting that today and hopefully hit that correct tomorrow as well.”

WHAT MADE YOU GIVE THE CHECKERED FLAG TO THE FAN? “I don’t know. I think that it’s really cool. It’s the first time that I’ve been a part of the NBC stopping on the frontstretch. Doing an interview right there is really cool and being a part of it. I thought that it was a really cool thing to do. You’re right there with the fans. I don’t know. I got the checkered flag and to be honest with you, I never keep the checkered flag. I saw a bunch of kids there and I was like he can have it. He seemed really pumped to be at the race. I saw a lot of kids here today which is really cool. Personally, for me to see. I kind of saw a little bit of myself in those little kids. Coming here and watching races, anything we can do to keep them coming back and show them that with a great experience at the track hopefully he enjoyed that experience and enjoyed the race. I think that’s a product of stopping on the frontstretch and being with the fans. It looked like he wanted it, so he was pretty happy when he got it. That was cool. I like seeing the kids there. Whatever we can do to make there day I feel like it’s part of our job.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE EXTRA INTENSITY OF THE XFINITY REGULARS? WHAT IS THAT LIKE? “Yep. It’s a really big deal for the Xfinity regulars to win and advance. Today is kind of what I had on the Cup side last year.

I wasn’t in the playoffs on the Cup side last year so that intensity level was pretty much the same. I was able to race around many of them. (Justin) Allgaier raced me really good. How hard they drive during the race is definitely noticed. We obviously want to win the race but you know what they’re going for so you might feel to be more careful around them. You don’t want to be an outsider that takes them out of their championship run. That’s the last thing you want to do. I was aware. It was really cool to see the intensity level bar be raised. I like it. I like when the racing is really intense from Lap 1 and that’s what it’s suppose to be about. It’s nice to know that it’s just not in the Cup Series but also in the Xfinity Series, Trucks too. I like the win and you’re in the next run. I think that’s a great thing across all three series’.”

YOU CHOOSE TO SKIP THE BURNOUT. WAS THAT BECAUSE OF THE CAR? “I didn’t do a burnout at Charlotte when we won earlier this year and I didn’t do one at Pocono. It’s not really my thing. I used to do them and just not a fan of them anymore, especially when people destroy their race cars. That raises a lot of questions. I just don’t think that it’s really that nice to do. That’s just something personal that I don’t think a big smokey burnout, you can just go down there and give a big wave to the fans and they get pretty pumped up about that as a big, smokey burnout and all that. Just personal preference.”

GREG (ERWIN, crew chief), YOU TOOK THE CAR THROUGH THE NEW INSPECTION PROCESS. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? “NASCAR really requested that the Xfinity (Series) had some experience with that machine. The ‘Hawkeye’ system I think that they call it. We came in an hour early and Wayne (Auton) and the Xfinity officials were really helpful helping us get the car unloaded and get over there. The idea behind that is to help (NASCAR) with their body inspection process. What we saw was not in too many of the details. The particular that the thing has of our car, the data that it took, seemed to match pretty closely with the data that we have from the at the shop. So thumbs-up there. It was surprisingly fast. It seemed to be less than a couple of minutes inside the black tent. It’s all color coded. It’s 3-D. It’s pretty fancy. It looks pretty futuristic. Engineers all over the place. Lot’s of cameras. Lots of technology. Lots of processing power. What we saw there is I think there is going to be capability there for them to streamline their process and make it more accurate which is something that is very, very hard to do. I’m sure that’s what they’re looking forward to. It was a good opportunity to take the flange-fit car through that machine because we know exactly the mold that body was suppose be build off of so we get the opportunity to compare what their picture looks like compared to what we’ve been calling the ‘gold surface’ for years…the absolute perfect car that NASCAR would want you to have every week. What we say is ‘green is good’. Ninety-five percent of our car was green. I think they’re in the right direction. There are some difficulties with sharp edges, locating the chassis, other things that you can imagine would be influenced on a digital system like that is that advanced. I think it’s a good start and I think it showed some promise. I haven’t received the scan yet myself. I just got to see the numbers on the screen. We’ll take that back and evaluate that and decide where we need to from there. Overall it was a positive experience.”

GREG, HAVE YOU HAD ANY TIME TO SPEND WITH PAUL MENARD? ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD IN GOING BACK TO CUP SERIES NEXT YEAR? “Not as much time as I would have liked. I hung out with him a bit in Chicago a few weeks ago. We went out to dinner. I went to go talk to him a month ago when this deal first came together. Paul and I have known each other for quite some time through his father’s affiliation with another race team that I was on almost 10 years ago. Yes is the answer to all your questions. I’ve gotten to speak with him a little bit. Certainly, we text back and forth now. He’s paying attention to what I’m doing. I’m paying attention to what he’s doing. We’re trying to forge that relationship. Going back Cup racing full-time on a competitive team with an organization that can provide competitive equipment is what I told myself I wanted to do since I came to Penske Racing. I’m very excited to get back to that opportunity and helping him and helping (this) race team on the Cup side being as competitive as we can be.”

COLE CUSTER (No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang) TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE TODAY: “We had a solid Haas Automation Mustang. We definitely didn’t have the best car but we made it better all day. Just the last restart didn’t play out for us; it was tough to pass. We got held up in wrong lane there. It was solid race. We didn’t make any mistakes and got the points that we needed. A good day and we’ll head to Charlotte. A solid points day for us. We did what we needed to do. I was expecting more but we learned a lot and did the most with our car today.”

RYAN REED (No. 16 Lillys Diabetes Ford Mustang) TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “It was tough today. Just a struggle all day trying to find the balance. Kind of surprising that we struggled like we did today. We had a really solid practice yesterday. We’ll just have to evaluate what happened today and go back to the shop and figure it out to find more speed.”

PASSING SEEMED PRETTY DIFFICULT MID-PACK TODAY: “Yeah. That’s part of the problem. It’s a feast-or-famine track. If your car is good you’ll have a great day. You can more around and hustle and make the move you need to make. But if you miss it this place will eat you alive and just be along for the ride. It was one of those days where the car was driving me more than I was driving it. Those are never fun.”


Get 2 FREE stocks valued between $2.50-$1,400 when you open and fund a Webull brokerage account or earn 5% annual interest rate at Worthy.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here