Ford Performance NASCAR: Cole Custer and Austin Cindric Daytona Media Session

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Thursday, July 4, 2019
EVENT: Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona Beach, FL. (Media Availabilities)

COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Jacob Companies Ford Mustang – HOW DO YOU INSPIRED AND KEEP GOING AT THIS TIME OF YEAR WHEN IT REALLY BECOMES A GRIND? “Winning races. I think that’s pretty much the biggest thing. You’ve got to find a way to do your homework every single week and have a good idea of what you need when you show up at the race track and what you need to be doing, and then from there it just kind of takes car of itself. You have to have good people around you to also show up to the track strong, but it’s all about doing your job every week.”

AS HOT AS YOU’VE BEEN LATELY DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE THE FAVORITE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “It’s hard to say. You can’t go off one race. I think the three of us – me, Christopher and Tyler – have been pretty much good everywhere, but I think hopefully throughout the year we can get better and better just because it being Mike’s first time working with me together at a lot of these tracks. This is the first time he’s worked with our chassis at a lot of these tracks, so hopefully it just keeps trending in the right direction.”

American Muscle

SO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT GOING BACK TO SOME OF THESE TRACKS FOR A SECOND TIME? “Yeah, we should definitely be better going back for a second time at these places. That should be our strong suit, I should hope. We’ve been strong at a lot of places it’s just a matter of keeping it going.”

DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE IF YOU DON’T WIN EVERY RACE IT’S NOT BEEN A GOOD WEEKEND? “I don’t know if it’s not been a good weekend, but I think when we’re disappointed it’s because we didn’t compete for a win. I think if we’re not in the top five or top three competing, I don’t think we’re gonna be happy with our weekend, but I think we have the capability of going there and winning every track, but it’s just a matter of putting it together every single weekend.”

JOEY WAS VERY COMPLIMENTARY AFTER LAST WEEK. DID YOU HEAR MORE OF THAT FROM OTHER GUYS OR YOUR TEAM? “Yeah, I mean everybody has been supportive. We had a good race. I don’ t know what else to say.”

ANY MORE DISCUSSION ABOUT NEXT YEAR? “Obviously, people talk about it, but there’s nothing really to go off of. Right now we’re just trying to win races and that’s pretty much what we’ve got right now.”

DO YOU KNOW YOUR TIMEFRAME ON DECIDING ON ’20? “I have no idea, honestly.”

ONLY THREE FORDS IN THE FIELD TOMORROW. HOW WILL THAT AFFECT YOU? “Just be aggressive. I think that’s pretty much the name of the game at the speedways now is just being really aggressive. You’ve got to put yourself in jeopardy pretty much every lap and hopefully you don’t get wrecked. It’s just part of it and we’re gonna try to stay up front and be aggressive the whole race.”

DO YOU SEEK OUT YOUR OTHER FORD TEAMMATES IN ADVANCE AND TRY TO WORK WITH THEM THROUGHOUT? “I think at certain times, yes, especially when it gets single-file or when you can really work together. It gets tough when you’re in the pack because there is so much going on and so many different moving parts that it’s hard to stick together, but I think if by happenstance you get linked up together, you’re gonna try not to hang each other out.”

HAVE YOU NOTICED THE DRAFTING CHANGING AT ALL IN THE XFINITY SERIES? “Our package really hasn’t changed in the last three years, except for the tiny little nose change they made it’s been about the same. Our cars haven’t changed that much.”

WHAT ABOUT THE WAY THE DRIVERS ARE HANDLING THE CARS? ARE THEY DRAFTING MORE AGGRESSIVELY? “Not really. I mean, it’s been about the same. I think there’s a few more experienced guys in the race this time, but really it’s about the same as what it’s been.”

DO YOU THINK YOU’RE BETTER AT IT NOW? “Yeah, I think I’ve tried to get better at it and I’ve gotten better. It’s never been my strong suit, but it’s something I’ve tried to work at and hopefully I can put it together this time, but Daytona has never been a good place to me at all.”

HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN A STRUGGLE HERE? “I guess I’ve always struggled with it a little bit. It’s just hard putting yourself in jeopardy every single lap and being used to that and it’s just hard because you can do it on lap 10 and maybe you get wrecked and maybe you don’t, so it’s just tough getting used to that.”

SO DO YOU HAVE TO FORCE YOURSELF TO DO THINGS? “A little bit, I guess. It’s not the most comfortable thing to do, but I think it’s just part of the racing and you just have to be aggressive.”

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Thursday, July 4, 2019
EVENT: Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona Beach, FL. (Media Availabilities)

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Pirtek Ford Mustang – DO YOU SEE TEAMS WORKING TOGETHER ON THE XFINITY SIDE LIKE THE CUP SIDE? “I don’t think so much on the Xfinity side because I feel like a lot of different drivers priorities are in a lot of areas and careers are a lot more fluid down here in the Xfinity Series. But on the Ford side of things we have three really strong Fords and that’s it, so hopefully we’ll be able to work together when the time comes, but if we’re all lined up 1-2-3, that would be a really good day, but otherwise it will be pretty hard to find help from the manufacturer side of things, so we’ll work as hard as we can and make as many friends as we can and show off how fast your car is through the whole race.”

HAVE YOU FELT IN YOUR CAREER THE AGGRESSION LEVEL GOING UP AT THESE SUPERSPEEDWAYS? “Yeah, no doubt, and I feel like I’ve learned more about what I need to do throughout the pack to be able to position myself well. The last couple of speedway races I’ve felt really comfortable with what I’ve done and what my steps have been in my career to understand what’s gonna make this work at these type of race tracks because it is different than what we do every weekend and it is different than just generating speed with your hands and your feet, so trying to understand that and working with my spotter, Josh Williams. I really think my next step of that is understanding how to manage lanes running up front. That’s something I don’t have a lot of experience doing, so I’d love to be able to do that this weekend. I’ve got confidence that we’ll be able to do it if we’re put in that position, but definitely want to see us up there.”

YOU SAID THAT YOUR TEAM EXECUTED AS WELL AS EVER LAST WEEK. DO YOU FEEL YOU AND YOUR TEAM ARE IN A GOOD SPOT RIGHT NOW? “Yeah, I think so and it’s great because last week we had a great gauge with Joey. He’s one of the best right now and he’s been able to give us some really good feedback on our cars and maybe some of the things I’ve been doing or things we’ve been doing as a team or directions we need to improve on or stop working on, so it was really good to have him and have him sit down and debrief and learn from what he had to say and kind of help give us that direction. That 12 car runs a couple more times this year and really being able to understand what we want to do come Playoff time because I feel like this is an important part of the summer to really gain Playoff points. That’s something I’ve always said, I haven’t really had many Playoff points racing in the NASCAR Playoffs. When I was racing Trucks, yeah, I made it with one Playoff point, but it’s not easy and it’s hard to replicate something like that. Last year, you get wiped out in one race and your season is over, so you want to be able to have that kind of a buffer and this is the time of year you can continue to generate that, but once it comes Playoff time you have to be on your game.”

IS IT ALL ABOUT PLAYOFF POINTS NOW? YOU’RE FOURTH IN THE STANDINGS AND IN GOOD SHAPE IN TERMS OF MAKING IT. “Yeah, no doubt. Points-wise, we left the first Daytona finishing fifth and we were fifth in points. I think we’ve been one of the most consistent teams in the garage area and we come back here fourth in points. There are three guys that have generally dominated this season so far and then there’s us in fourth, so I feel like there are a couple of cars that are kind of in a similar position as me, trying to figure out what that next step is to jump in that lead group of guys. The next couple of months are gonna be really important for doing that.”

KENTUCKY IS UP NEXT. WILL THAT TRACK SPREAD OUT NOW AFTER THE REPAVE A COUPLE YEARS AGO? “It’s hard to say. It all depends on how the track ages over the winter. I think you’ve seen, I always use Kansas as my best example. When I started stock car racing, which was three or four years ago when I had my first ARCA race, Kansas was a repaved track and now we see Kansas with guys running at the wall, running every lane they can, rubber laying down really heavily, so I feel like you give these tracks time and they’ll wear in, they’ll move around and things will change. As drivers in our cars we’ll adapt. Texas, we had almost two usable lanes and that’s a relatively repaved track and then obviously that has to do with some of the traction compound stuff, but these things come with time and Kentucky is one of those places that I really like and one of those places where I think we can put it together. I’m hoping the track changes a little bit so we can be a little more dynamic with our passing, but I don’t think last year was too bad.”

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