Ford Performance NASCAR: Harvick & Custer Team Up For Top-5 Ford Finishes in Duel #2

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Thursday, February 13, 2020

4th – Kevin Harvick
5th – Cole Custer
7th – Matt DiBenedetto
12th – Michael McDowell
14th – David Ragan
19th – Corey LaJoie

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light #PIT4BUSCH Ford Mustang — Finished 4th

American Muscle

“When they are coming that fast it is putting a lot of risk out there to block. We have seen how that works out. I gotta thank Busch LIght and our #PIT4BUSCH Ford Mustang. We had a great car tonight. The guys did a great job. We were able to get onto pit road and had a great pit stop and put ourselves in position to have a chance there. Matt D was a heck of a pusher. It was kind of two against the rest of those Chevrolets and we held our own tonight. We have some fast Ford Mustangs. I gotta thank Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Jimmy Johns, Ford, Outback and everyone that helps us on this car for making it so fast. There was just a herd of Chevy’s we had to race against in that race and two on seven and we almost beat them with only two cars.”

HOW MANY DO YOU NEED ON SUNDAY IN THE FINAL 10 LAPS? “That was just a weird scenario with the 24 in the middle of our six cars that we had on the bottom. He was able to pull out of line and then it kind of slowed our line down enough to where they were able to carry that momentum from the outside line. Those guys did everything they needed to do right there. I probably could have been a little more aggressive on the block but we have seen what that results in.”

COLE CUSTER, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang — Finished 5th

“We are still just getting used to everything. We had a solid night and a good finish there at the end. We definitely have some things to look at on the car. We got pretty tight there and maybe I am doing something wrong. We have a lot of good stuff to build on. We had good pit stops and everything was solid. I can’t thank the team enough for all the preparation we had coming here and all the Ford simulator time we had and I am really stoked that we were able to get some stage points out of it and can’t wait to get out there on Sunday.”

MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Mustang — Finished 7th

WAS IT JUST A NUMBERS GAME AT THE END? “Yeah, we were just a little bit of a sitting duck there. I slept a little on a block. I felt like I could have got up there. They were gonna go where we weren’t regardless, but I could have tried to stall them out a little bit. I was pushing Kevin and at least our Fords together were doing pretty good. It was all right. We learned some good stuff and kept the car in one piece when everyone got real squirrely on the backstretch. Kevin got off the track. I let him back in and just made sure we didn’t tear up cars because we still have a good car that we want to keep for Sunday.”

GOOD TO KNOCK OFF THE RUST WITH EVERYTHING? “Yeah, it was good to get all that stuff out of the way like getting on pit road and making sure the brakes are good in a race situation. It’s different when you all pit in a pack versus practice, so there were little spots where I was conservative and like, ‘OK, on Sunday I know I can get a little bit more here. I can get in the pit stall and get a little bit more here,’ and then peeling out, our car sucks up, what kind of blocks you can make, just kind of getting back in the rhythm of all the things. It was a good test. I’m a little bummed that I didn’t stall out that top lane. I was a little too late to it and didn’t want to cause a crash, so just trying to be a little bit smart, but I’m still a little mad at myself over that.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED THE CHEVYS WERE ABLE TO COME UP AND MAKE THAT MOVE? “No, I called it. I said it on the radio with about five to go. I said, ‘Watch for when they pull out of line. They’re gonna do it.’ A couple of Fords and there was a line of Chevys, it’s just how it works on the race track so I knew it was coming, and I was a little slow to the block. Regardless, they were gonna go where I didn’t, but I wanted to stall them out and I was a little bit too slow to getting there. I should have been a little bit quicker getting up there, so I guess just knocking a little bit of rust off and trying to not crash the primary car.”

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