Ford Performance NASCAR: Harvick Leads Ford to 1-2-3 Cup Sweep

Ford Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Folds of Honor 500 (Atlanta Motor Speedway)
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ford Finishing Positions:
1st – Kevin Harvick
2nd – Brad Keselowski
3rd – Clint Bowyer
6th – Joey Logano
8th – Kurt Busch
12th – Ryan Blaney
13th – Aric Almirola
16th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17th – Paul Menard
23rd – David Ragan
24th – Michael McDowell
31st – Matt DiBenedetto
35th – Trevor Bayne

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion

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Finishing
Position: 1st

VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – YOU DID THE 3 SALUTE. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU? “I’m just so proud of everybody on our team. That was the first win in my career and to be able to do that and pay tribute to Dale was pretty cool. I’ve been waiting a long time to do that. We’ve had so many days where we could do that here, but I just want to thank everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing, Jimmy John’s, Busch, Ford, Mobil 1, Outback, Hunt Brothers, Morton Buildings, Textron Off Road, Liftmaster, everybody who puts this car on the race track and for five years it’s been so fast at this particular race track and a lot of other ones. I love racing here and it’s good to be back in Victory Lane finally. It took a while.”

YOU WERE IN EVERYONE’S HEAD WITH HOW YOU ARE DOING IT HERE, AND YOUR FAMILY IS HERE. “They came a little bit late. Keelan was mad earlier that he didn’t get to come, but it was great getting into this race car and knowing that everybody knew that they had to beat our car. I’m just really, really happy with everything that we’ve done at Stewart-Haas Racing over the last five years and this is a great start to getting ourselves in the Playoffs and doing everything that we need to do. We overcame a lot of things today. We got a late-race restart that we drove off and won the race with, so there are so many demons that seem to haunt us here for a long time, but the coolest part was being able to try to replicate that first win celebration.”

WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND DOING THAT? “Just how long I’ve been doing this. That’s the biggest thing is just how fortunate I’ve been to be sitting in these race cars and do what I love to do on a weekly basis. I wish I could explain to everybody at home how fortunate all of us are to do what we do and have the Folds of Honor here representing our military. We thank our military for everything that you guys do to let us be safe and come out here and do what we do on the weekends and just live a life. Thank you to everybody in our military.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Autotrader Ford Fusion

Finishing
Position: 2nd

“We were good, but we just weren’t as good as Kevin was. We had a strong race car, but just couldn’t quite find that last little bit of speed we needed.” YOU TALKED ABOUT TRYING TO GET THE SPLITTER UP A LITTLE ON THAT LAST STOP. WOULD THAT HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE? “Yeah, there might have been a little bit of speed there, but, honestly, Kevin was better pretty much every run than we were, but we were sure trying to keep him honest.” HOW CAN YOUR TEAM MAKE A LEAP AND BE AS GOOD AS HIM THE NEXT TIME WE COME HERE? “That’s a good question. I think we know where it is that we can be better and we just have to apply it.”

 

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion

Finishing
Position: 3rd

“It’s a fun race track. There aren’t many place left that can put on a show like that and be able to race all over the place, so I just appreciate this place. I appreciate Harvick’s speed. He was so fast. Man, I’m telling you our Haas Automation Ford was good all weekend long. All of our Stewart-Haas cars were fast. That’s a credit to everybody’s hard work over the offseason and it paid dividends here tonight. It’s raining now. How about that? Mother Nature allowed this to happen, so I’m proud of everybody and all our partners – Mobil 1 to Wix to One Cure and everybody involved. It’s a lot of fun to be able to run like that so early in the season.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 6th

DO THEY NEED TO REPAVE THIS TRACK AFTER THE WAY KEVIN DOMINATED? “No, I don’t think they need to repave it. It’s still fun to go around this place and the strategy is actually pretty fun too. I don’t think they need to repave it. I just think we need to figure out how to be better than Kevin, that’s all. It’s like the whole field versus one car at this point. He’s the best driver at this race track hands-down. They’ve got it figured out at Atlanta whatever it is. If I knew what it is, I would do it, but the fastest car won the race as it should.”

THE FORDS LOOKED REALLY GOOD. DO YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM THAT? “I’d be skeptical to say too much right now. Yeah, we looked pretty good, but Atlanta is a unique beast. There’s only one Atlanta. There’s no other track just like it, so it’s hard to say what’s gonna happen. I think next weekend really shows where your mile-and-a-half speed is at. Yeah, it’s a mile-and-a-half, but it’s not really like the mile-and-a-halves that we’re used to, so next week will be the true test to see where we’re at, but, like I said, this is a decent start to the season. We have almost two top-fives. We didn’t run bad. His Ford was dominant, but he can be on a tricycle and probably be that fast here, so I don’t think it matters.”

KURT BUSCH, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 8th

“I’m real happy with that run. I could really gas her up hard on green flag runs and the fresh tires after restarts. Harvick is a master at it and Keselowski is pretty good at it, but it just felt like our car would come unhooked on lap 20 of a run and we were just trying to make sure we were on the right pit sequence and stayed with our car’s strength. Our car’s strength was short-run speed today.”

 

DAVID RAGAN, No. 38 Fr8 Auctions Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 23rd

“We just missed it a little bit on our setups. We made some adjustments on it in practice that I thought helped, but with the track changing conditions and a green race track I felt like we got behind just a little bit. We made a couple of really good adjustments early in the race, but that was it. We couldn’t get our car any better. I was proud of our Freight Auctions pit crew. They did a great job not having any mistakes on pit road. We’ll learn from it. A shout out to Marcus and his family. We’re thinking about Marcus losing his father this weekend, so happy to get the race in.”

TREVOR BAYNE, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 35th

“From the green flag pit stop on it never came back up to RPM and we were running all the diagnostics trying to figure out what was going on. It was a really odd feeling. It wasn’t like a normal engine blow up, so I had reduced power for about five or six laps and then when it let go it wasn’t like a big moment where it let go. I actually saw the smoke and smelled it before the engine changed, so that was about the most smoke I’ve ever dealt with on an engine blowing up, so I’ll be interested to hear what happened and see it, but that was a bad day goes worse. We just weren’t handling like we needed to to have speed and then you have an engine expire, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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