Ford Performance NASCAR – Michigan 2 (Stenhouse & Tifft Breakout Sessions)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, August 9, 2019

Consumers Energy 400 Media Availability — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang — LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEKEND, IS IT YOUR BEST SHOT TO WIN? “I think Bristol is our race track to go in and do what we need to do. I am bummed in the spring that we didn’t get to race and show exactly how much speed we had because throughout the weekend in practice that was by far the best race car that I have ever had at Bristol. I know we have ran second there and struggled in practice and qualifying. I was bummed that we didn’t get to show that speed. I am thinking that when we go back there that we will have that same speed and hopefully showcase what we’ve got.”

American Muscle

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? “I think we have brought a lot of different things with our cars, us and the 6 team. The 6 got a good finish here the last race but we struggled on speed and it was difficult. He had some really good restarts to get a top-10 here. But we struggled with speed and so that was one thing that we focused on, trying to find that speed and build that into our cars when we got here. Off the truck we struggled a little on speed and there are cars that are really fast. We closed the gap a little bit there throughout that practice and feel like we still have some adjustment in our race car to get it faster for qualifying. We will see how it shakes out here pretty soon.”

DO YOU FEEL THE PJ1 WILL HELP YOU WITH SPEED ON THE HIGH SIDE IN THE RACE? “Yes and no. It is pretty high up there. I am not sure that you will see a ton of people running in it. You never know. We have only done qualifying practice so far and I think you don’t need it for qualifying. We will see how it plays out in the race. I do know that you feel a little more comfortable out there on the race track with it there because it used to be that you ran the third lane and if you slipped too high you would be in the gray and it would be really slick and a lot of times you couldn’t save it. I think it gives everybody that comfort of knowing that if you do slip up that you might be able to save it and you might be able to not lose as much time. It will be interesting to see. You will have people eventually venture up there, we just have to see how long that takes. Hopefully we do that in practice and run two or three-wide in practice. Nobody used it at Pocono and then I think a few guys started using it in turn three and four and then one and two and in the tunnel on the restart. By the end of the race it was beneficial to use. Hopefully it won’t take until the race for us to use it. Hopefully we can use it in practice to try it out.”

DO YOU SEE ANYONE VENTURING UP THERE IN PRACTICE TO GET AN ADVANTAGE FOR THE RACE? “Not today. We are all in qualifying trim and trying to run the shortest distance to put the fastest lap time down. Michigan you can change your line a lot and change the stopwatch a little bit with it. We are all kind of trying to figure out what that perfect ideal line is for qualifying around here. The 22 ran a little different line here in the spring I feel like and I think he qualified on the pole or was up front. He ran a little different line compared to most and everybody paid attention to that. We all pick up on things and try to figure that out throughout practice. I ran three different lines throughout practice to try to figure out which one was best for our car but also what will bring us the best lap time.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO WIN ONE OF THE NEXT FOUR RACES? “100-percent we have to win. It is a bummer because I feel like we have been fast compared to the previous years. At least on the 1.5 mile tracks. It is a bummer that we are kind of in that spot but I think we can get our car good here and strategy, there are all different ways these races can play out. I don’t think Michigan is our best opportunity to win but I do think it is an opportunity that if the situation arises that you might be able to get something done. Bristol is by far the one that we circle.”

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, August 9, 2019
Consumers Energy 400 Media Availability — Matt Tifft

MATT TIFFT, No. 36 Meijer Ford Mustang — DID YOU GET INTO THE UPPER GROOVE AT ALL YET? “I used the upper groove a little bit, but just my right sides on entry into one. The rest of it, no.”

WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE? “It didn’t feel like anything for the 10-feet that I ran through it. I have been watching the Trucks to see if anyone could get up there. It is so high that it is hard to commit to going up there. I have seen Crafton try to run a few laps up there and try to get it going but it is tough to be the one to commit to trying to be up there today when we are in qualifying trim. Tomorrow I think you will see guys run it and try to work it in and then we will see with the truck race how that goes. On restarts I am sure you will see us use it. It is going to make that part really interesting but the rest of it we will just have to play it by ear tomorrow and at some point we will have to try it.”

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK AT BRISTOL? “The spring race was atrocious for us. Hopefully we will have a better weekend this time. We didn’t have things go our way. Back then we were really struggling with our short track package in center turn and have since changed a lot of things with our cars and the geometry and how we approach those weekends. I am excited to go back and try to capitalize on the gains we have made. We have had solid finishes lately and we need to keep building on that. The fact that it is my first Bristol night race is really cool. To be a part of that on the Saturday night race, it is one of the biggest races of the summer for NASCAR and I think it is really cool to participate in that.”

DO YOU FEEL ANY ADDITIONAL PRESSURE WITH THE MANUFACTURER TROPHY AND EVERYTHING HERE AT MICHIGAN? “Yeah, we got to do a really cool tour of Ford Headquarters yesterday and there is certainly a lot of pride coming up here and being in Fords backyard and sporting the Blue Oval, you want to see a Ford in victory lane. This used to be about who could build the fastest car and go 220 mph into the corner. It has changed so much now that it is more about working with each other a little bit. If someone is pulling down to the bottom and if it is your teammate or another Blue Oval you might want to push him and try to get by somebody else. There is a little bit of that which is a bit more like the plate tracks. There is definitely an element of that now that wasn’t necessarily there in previous races. You certainly don’t want to be pushing a Chevy or Toyota and helping another manufacturer to a win.”

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