Ford Performance NASCAR: Ryan Blaney Charlotte Media Availability

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, September 27, 2019
EVENT: Bank of America Roval 400, Charlotte Motor Speedway

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang – WHAT’S IT LIKE COMING BACK HERE AS A WINNER? “Coming back here, it’s nice coming back to a place you’ve won at no matter how you do it. Honestly, I was kind of more excited to come back here to see the new chicane. I think that was pretty unique, a lot different from what we had last year. We’re actually talking about adding more braking markers because there are only six of them and we’re braking at like the hypothetical seven, so I think we’re gonna add a couple more. Now when Newgarden goes out he’s gonna be like at the two, but I was more excited to get back here and see the new chicane and things like that. But, yeah, it’s nice to come back. That’s kind of all I’ve heard this week was last winner and I don’t really think about that stuff too much. I kind of think about the next one coming up.”

CAN YOU COMPARE WHAT YOU THINK THE DIFFERENCES ARE BETWEEN A CUP CAR AND AN INDY CAR? AND WOULD IT BE SOMETHING YOU WOULD BE INTERESTED IN? “I think everything is different, every little thing. But at the end of the day it’s racing. You can compare how they drive, but as far as the cars themselves they’re night and day. Would I like to drive one? Yes. I lobbied to try to make a few laps today after qualifying in that car and I got the no, which is understandable, but I think it’s cool he’s gonna come out and do it. It was great that he won the championship this year. That was really great for that group, but I think they ran it on the sim and they were like 14 seconds faster than our Cup cars here, so that will be pretty unique to see. They’re just lighter. They’ve got a lot more downforce than us. They stop a lot quicker because they’re that much lighter. I think they weigh like 1800 pounds or maybe 2000 pounds. It’s crazy how much lighter they are, so they’re just a little bit more nimble, a little bit more agile.”

American Muscle

DOES THIS COURSE DRIVE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT FROM LAST YEAR? “Oh, yeah. Last year, you were carrying so much more speed getting in there and you weren’t really using the brakes much. You’d only downshift one gear and carry a ton of speed through there, and now this year, I know a lot of the guys had multiple problems getting in there the first few times they’ve gotten on the brakes there because initially when you get on the brakes you think you’re good, but then it’s a really tight corner and then immediately you’re turning back to the right after the first set of curbs. It kind of took a little bit to get used to. I know I kind of ran over the strips once and then I missed it and bailed the second time, and a lot of guys have been doing that, so that takes some time to kind of get used to it and get your bearings straight. I think the corner is gonna be really exciting in the race when we’re all bunched up together. You’ll see some pretty bonsai moves in there, but it’s definitely a lot different. I like it better. You needed another heavy braking zone. Before you could never pass through there, it was just too fast and way too narrow, so I think it’s a good thing that they’ve done that.”

THOUGHTS ON DOVER. “It’s always nice to go back to a place where we’ve been this year already with this package. You kind of build your cars maybe a little bit differently. I feel like this year is probably the biggest year that teams have really messed around with how they build their cars – kind of what you want to prioritize from downforce to drag, straightaway speed. The short track stuff, like at Dover, you want as much downforce as you can. You don’t really care about the straightaway speed there, but now you go to Kansas and you’re kind of weighing your options. You build a little bit different for Dover from what you did in the first race this year, but not a whole lot different. Now Kansas, I think that’s another story of the way people are gonna build their cars, but it is nice having references, even for drivers and how you run that place is a lot different and on-throttle time has increased so much more, so that’s just nice to have some previous notes to look back at and kind of figure that out to where you’re kind of unloading off the truck a little bit closer, having a little bit more of an idea.”

HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS RACE BEING 8 POINTS AHEAD OF THE CUTOFF? “Honestly, we’re in a better spot this year than what we were last year. I think we were only four points about the cutoff line last year and I thought we executed the day really well from getting stage points in the first stage and then winning the second one. That was kind of our goal. Every team around the cutoff line are gonna have their certain goals and how they’re gonna play the race out, and we kind of have our slight idea and plan of what we’ve talked about this week and gonna try to stick to that, and then you compromise if things don’t go your way or something random happens. You just try to have a solid day. You try to run well in the stages and get stage points and whether you’re sacrificing here or there it’s kind of what you have to do. A lot of the teams are in the same boat, you just try to not have any issues, keep it on track and just be in a spot to where you can run up towards the front. Hopefully, you qualify well tonight to where you can start ahead of the curve. You definitely don’t want to start back in the twenties, for sure, so we’ll try to do that and get our weekend started off right here.”

DO YOU THINK DRIVERS WILL REACT DIFFERENTLY IF CARS ARE SPINNING BEHIND THEM OR TAKING EVASIVE ACTION THE LAST COUPLE OF CORNERS? “Honestly, I don’t know. It’s not really anything I’ve thought about. That’s an in the moment decision and you have a split-second to kind of make that decision, so I don’t know. I guess that would be a NASCAR judgment call if he would have just said, ‘I’m going to go straight,’ and gas up and not letting him hit me, I don’t know what NASCAR would do in that situation, so that’s up to them. I think there is some things where you kind of can almost point to it as they say you can go down pit road to avoid a wreck and reclaim your position, so would that be avoiding a wreck? I don’t know. That’s tough to kind of speculate on because it just didn’t happen that way, but I’m not sure. If we find ourselves in that spot, I don’t know which one I’d do. You don’t really think about that beforehand you just kind of whatever you feel at the time and you’re kind of jerk reaction. That’s really how it is, so I’m not sure.”

YOU AND SIMON DID A FUNNY COMMERCIAL FOR INDY AND ROGER HAD A TAG LINE. DID YOU KNOW HE HAD THAT KIND OF SENSE OF HUMOR? “That was funny. That was a funny thing they came up with at Indy with Simon and Mr. Penske. I’ve never been yelled at by Mr. Penske before and then he was yelling and acting like really angry. Me and Simon both looked at each other and didn’t know. He was a good actor, or maybe he was just actually really mad, I don’t know. That turned out really funny. I know people enjoyed that. Mr. Penske, he hasn’t really done a lot of that stuff, and it was cool that he was open and willing to do it for Indy and all those people, so that was a lot of fun. I know a lot of people really enjoyed seeing him in that. That was a nice little cameo by him – maybe there’s an Oscar in his future.”

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