Ford Performance NASCAR: Las Vegas Post-Race Quotes

NASCAR CUP SERIES
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
SOUTH POINT 400 – LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORD PERFORMANCE DRIVER – POST RACE QUOTES

Ford Finishing Results
2nd – Matt DiBenedetto
7th – Ryan Blaney
9th – Chris Buescher
10th – Kevin Harvick
12th – Clint Bowyer
13th – Brad Keselowski
14th – Joey Logano
15th – Ryan Newman
16th – Cole Custer
17th – Aric Almirola
20th – John Hunter Nemechek
21st – Michael McDowell
27th – Corey LaJoie
31st – Gray Gaulding
35th – Joey Gase
36th – Josh Bilicki

MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang — “Two seconds at Vegas. It’s tough to come that close, just wanted it so bad for this team. I love driving for the Wood Brothers. I want that number 100 for them so bad and for Menards, the whole family and everything they do for us and the team, and having Duracell on the car this week, we’re keeping her charged up good. Motorcraft/Quick Lane, Ford, Roush Yates Engines, all these folks that allow me to drive a really fast hot rod. Our car was the best it had been at the end, just couldn’t get control on those restarts. The 1 car, Kurt, did a great job. We had completely different ratios for the restarts and once he gained control of the race, he played the right games on the restarts, knew what we had on our weakness there. Man, it’s tough to come that close. I just want it so bad, but I’m proud of the team. They did a great job. My pit crew did a great job tonight and really earned that one for us.”


American Muscle

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang — “Overall it was a decent night. We had to start mid pack and were able to drive up through there pretty quick. I thought our Mustang was good and we made good adjustments on it throughout the night. By the second stage I thought we were really strong, we just needed to kind of restart with the leaders and stay in touch with them. That caution that trapped a bunch of us a lap down was unfortunate. I think we were running fourth or fifth at the time. That stunk. We were able to rebound alright and we started third on that last restart and tried to push Matt and get there but the top just kind of trained up on us. It was unfortunate to run seventh but we had a good car and really good adjustments all night. I thought we were right there, it just didn’t all work out. I thought our car was really fast though, so I am proud of that effort.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang — “It just wasn’t the night we wanted with the Autotrader Ford. It’s a good thing we had a little bit of a points cushion to lean on and we’ll run our best the next two weeks. It could have been a lot worse. It is frustrating but we are certainly not out of it. We still have a pretty good points cushion so we will try to get through these next two weeks and put up a good race and build ourselves a cushion.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang — DID YOU EXPECT THAT KIND OF RESULT TONIGHT? “No, our mile-and-a-half stuff has been really good lately. We ran really good at Kentucky, Texas and we’ve just been solid, so I came in here with a lot of confidence. I thought we would come here and run good. The guys have been working really hard on the cars back at the shop and we just missed it tonight. We were off in speed, off in handling, we were not very good at all on pit road. We didn’t do a lot of things right myself included, so it was just a bad night. Nothing went the way it was supposed to go. We’ve got to be better than that. You can’t transfer through these rounds running that poorly, so we’ll go to Talladega and see if we can’t pull one out of our hat.”

YOU’VE RUN WELL AT TALLADEGA BEFORE, SO DOES THAT GIVE YOU SOME COMFORT? “I don’t know. I mean, you can’t ever count on Talladega to be the place you’re gonna go get it done, but we have run well there in the past, so unfortunate tonight. Our HighPoint.com Ford Mustang was just not good and we’ve got ourselves in a pretty big hole, especially with Kurt winning. We’ve got to go to Talladega and see if we can’t get our Smithfield Ford Mustang in victory lane there. That would fix everything.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang — POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE — HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO HAVE A GOOD DAY NOT KNOWING WHAT TALLADEGA AND THE ROVAL PRESENT? “I was more worried about this race than I am the next two. We didn’t get out of here as good as I wanted to. Obviously, the 1 car was not a car that we needed to win a race. It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. Him winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out. It wasn’t near as bad as it could have been. The car was nuclear meltdown and I was lucky to finish, so 20 points is pretty easy to overcome at a track like Talladega that’s for sure.”

DO ALL FOUR SHR CARS WORK TOGETHER AT TALLADEGA TO TRY AND GET ABOVE THE CUTOFF? “Yeah, of course it does.”

SO YOU JUST GO AND RACE AT TALLADEGA AND NOT WORRY ABOUT POINTS? “Honestly, with the situation you’re in with those guys having such a pad on you anyways, you’ve got to go there and race and try to get stage points and try to do it all. I like the next two races. You can’t go out there and feel like you have to, it ain’t Hail Mary time. Twenty points can fall in your lap pretty easy at a track like Talladega and the Roval. You’ve got to go out there and be smart and we’ll do that, do the best we can and that just might be enough.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang — WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING FOR TONIGHT? “Everything. We just missed everything tonight. The car just didn’t drive good. We were slow on pit road and that was pretty much it. We just got buried in the field there and our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang didn’t go very good on the restarts, so it just didn’t go well top to bottom.”

THE CAR SEEMED TO BE ON THE SPLITTER FOR THREE-QUARTERS OF THE RACE. “It was on the splitter for 100 percent of the race, just hit the ground and wouldn’t go on restarts and just didn’t do much well. We had a lot of trouble on pit road tonight, so definitely not the night we were looking for with our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang, but salvaged a top 10 out of it and some stage points, so I think that big picture-wise it didn’t kill us.”

HOW IS IT TO GET A TOP 10 OUT OF A RACE THAT DIDN’T GO WELL FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM? “We did our job early in the race and got some stage points, and then were able to make something out of it there at the end and just salvage a decent night, but definitely wasn’t a clean night.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang — “Unfortunately, we got a little damage there and had to pit for the left-rear tire. You can’t afford to blow a left-rear tire in the playoffs and back the thing in the fence and shoot yourself in the foot. We had to pit and then just no cautions, and then the one time I had a shot at it the 48 just got me, so that was a little unfortunate. Eventually, we got the lucky dog and went around with our Pennzoil Mustang and drove back to 14th. I felt like that second stage, not scoring any stage points there hurts, but we’re still above the cutline and we’ll head on to Talladega and see how that one goes.”

“That was a fight tonight for sure. THe start of the race we were in the hunt for sure and I felt like we were fairly close and able to get quite a few stage points in the first stage. Then on that restart we got some damage with the 18 car and the 11 I think just kind of shocked at least me. I don’t know if it shocked the 18, I haven’t seen the replay yet. I was coming down the racetrack like we were two-wide and next thing I know we were three-wide and I got some damage on the left rear. Had to pit and went down a lap. We hung out there for a while and eventually got our lap back with 15 to go or so. We were able to fight back to 14th. We salvaged something out of it. We definitely left at least 10 points or so and that is probably a conservative number of points left on the table that would be very nice to have. That is in the past now. Now we move forward and head to Talladega and cross our fingers and see what happens there.”

COLE CUSTER, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang — “We just didn’t have the restarts we needed tonight. Obviously, the caution that came out in the middle of the green-flag pit stop cycle hurt us. The guys did a good job tonight and were good on pit road too.”


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