Ford Performance NASCAR: Phoenix 1 (Chris Buescher Media Availability)

NASCAR CUP SERIES
PHOENIX RACEWAY
FANSHIELD 500
FORD PERFORMANCE DRIVER MEDIA AVAILABILITY
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2020

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 SunnyD Ford Mustang

RYAN NEWMAN WAS AT THE TRACK TODAY. YOU HAVE SEEN HIM. HAS IT BEEN HELPFUL TO HAVE HIM AT THE TRACK? DO YOU THINK IT WILL HELP ROSS CHASTAIN OR PUT PRESSURE ON ROSS? “I think it will be helpful. I think it is going to be a really good thing. It is so awesome to see how well Ryan is doing. We got to sit down with him last night and go through a lot of his take and his stories from everything. I have said in the past, Ryan has been very on board and informative with everything going on. He has watched races and watched our practices and called into our meetings. He is still helping us. I think him being here will definitely be a positive thing. For one, just for morale and for everyone to see him here and all of that. For the fans to see him here will be great. It will be very helpful to our group as well to make sure we are doing the right things in practice to make sure we get our SunnyD Ford headed in the right direction, as well as the 6 group.”

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WHAT CAN HE SEE HERE IN PERSON THAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT THAN WHAT HE WOULD SEE ON TV? “I don’t really know yet. We haven’t talked since the end of practice so I am not really sure. Usually he is very specific on what he is trying to look for and dissect into. I definitely look forward to getting back to the hauler and taking a breather and seeing what he feels like he saw during practice. He does run pretty well here and it is a place where he has a lot of insight. It is someone else to bounce things off of. I don’t know what is different from being on TV from his point of view but I would imagine just having access to what the crew chiefs and engineers are talking about and being able to be there first hand and see it all and have his hand on it will just open a lot of information up to him that he can try to relay.”

HAVE YOU GOTTEN A CHANCE TO LOOK AT HIS CAR? HAS IT BEEN BACK TO THE SHOP YET? “I don’t think that car will ever come back. I think that will be on lockdown. I don’t think that anybody has seen it other than Ryan and the safety group of people in the industry.”

DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT WITH THE SAFETY OF THE CARS AMONGST THE DRIVERS? BECAUSE YOU AREN’T ON THE DRIVER’S COUNCIL, RIGHT? “I don’t know what is going to come of it yet. The little that we have talked to Ryan, I think they learned some things that he is trying to relay. There is probably some room for improvement but at the end of the day he will be the first to tell you that it is an absolute miracle that he is with us today at the race track this quickly and at all. It is a scary sport, a dangerous sport. Everything did its job, I just think there is always room for improvement. Unfortunately for us, the only way we can realize a lot of that potential for improvement is post incident. You can’t predict the craziest of circumstances. That is definitely one that we are going to take a good look at. We have a great opportunity as an industry with the NextGen car. I know it is pretty far along already, but whatever we can get out of this can definitely help us.”

HAVE YOU HAD TO TAKE ANY MORE OF A LEADERSHIP ROLE WITH RYAN NOT THERE? HE WAS GOING TO BE THE VETERAN AND YOU SOMEWHAT OF THE NEW GUY STILL BUT NOW YOU ARE THE VETERAN AND ROSS IS THE NEW GUY: “From a drivers point it has been a little bit like that but really Ryan has been involved from the get go. He is not missing. He is not absent from it. He is still very much kind of leading the people that are newer to the sport, which is me and a little bit more so Ross. I think that it hasn’t changed a whole lot at this point but obviously we are looking forward to getting Ryan back in the seat to get back to the way we planned on it. Ross has been doing a fantastic job and I have been learning from him as well. It has been as smooth as you could ask it to be considering all the wild circumstances.”

YOU PRETTY MUCH HAD A FRONT ROW SEAT FOR THE WRECK DIDN’T YOU? “I just saw the initial spin. Honestly, I didn’t even know – I knew he was going to hit the wall but I was gone before I ever saw any of that. I didn’t have any vision of it.”

EVERYTHING HAPPENED SO FAST, BUT FROM WHAT YOU COULD SEE, DOES IT EVEN MAKE IT MORE MIRACULOUS THAT HE JUST WALKS INTO A ROOM AT DINNER LIKE HE DID LAST NIGHT? “I didn’t go back and watch the race. I still haven’t. Just because it did concern me for a long period of time. I have never been so scared in our world for a hit. To see something and realize that it was bad. It is not something that I have really studied much. We saw it on pit road as we were going through post race interviews, which is where I learned something that bad had happened. I knew he got turned but that happens at every Daytona race we go to. We wreck half the field and everyone walks away and is just mad. We got used to that being the normal. Fortunately that is normal because we don’t want it the other way. Until I saw a replay during the post race I had no clue. I haven’t gone back to try to look into it. I try to stay off social media when it comes to that stuff. I don’t want to see it yet. I wanted to talk to Ryan and I am glad that he came out here and was able to talk us through everything. It is something that if or when we have the opportunity to view the car, I would like to try to understand how the outcome was as good as we could imagine.”

COREY LAJOIE WAS SAYING THAT PEOPLE WERE REALLY INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT FROM RYAN HOW THE CAR SAVED HIM AND GAVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO WALK AWAY: “I think for us to have all the Ford drivers around a table and for Ryan to come in, it was an opportunity for us to try to ask and learn. I think that Ryan has a very unique attitude to everything and his positivity and him cutting up kind of lightened the atmosphere on it. We all wanted to know. We were all curious about what he thought was good, bad, what can be better. How he has been since. All of the normal questions. Yeah, we were absolutely interested in what could be better. This is a one-off accident right now but that doesn’t mean it always will be. That same situation can play out again. We want to know what we can do to make the inside of the car safer. What can we do to keep race cars on the ground. What can we do to help the cars push better so they aren’t so light in the pack when you are connecting at superspeedways. There are all kinds of things you can ask. All the drivers, not just the Ford drivers, but this entire garage wants answers. We want to know that we are doing everything to try to solve issues that we see or we are curious about. NASCAR does a terrific job and the safety of our cars has come so far and we are proud of that and thank them for that every day. But we want to keep going.”

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