Ford Performance NASCAR: Late Charge Nets Logano Third-Place Finish at Sonoma

Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes
Toyota SaveMart 350 – Sonoma Raceway
Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ford Finishing Results:
3rd – Joey Logano
15th – Brad Keselowski
18th – Greg Biffle
23rd – Ryan Blaney
25th – Trevor Bayne
26th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27th – Aric Almirola
29th – Landon Cassill
30th – Chris Buescher
33rd – Brian Scott
37th – Patrick Carpentier

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – PRESS CONFERENCE – HOW DID THE 22 PERFORM TODAY? “We had a hard-fought third-place finish today, which is no easy finish here at Sonoma at any point. I’m really proud of the effort that we have made here in Sonoma over the last – not just this race, we did make progress throughout the race – but in the last three years. I think a couple of years ago we had a fast short-run car and we fell off harder than anybody. Last year, we had a slow short-run car, but a good long-run car. This year, we had a pretty decent car throughout the whole run. It didn’t fall off really hard, so I’m super-proud of the effort that has been put into this race track here in Sonoma. This is a nice, solid third-place finish. I thought I could win the race there on the last lap when you’re watching those two go into seven and 11 and you’re running third. You think you’re in a pretty good spot to win this thing, thinking that they’re most likely going to crash each other. It was a fun race to watch. Going into turn 11 I was 100 percent sure that Denny was not going to win just by watching it, and we were right there on the cusp of trying to sneak one by. It would have been a gift if we got it, but you take them any way you can. Overall, it’s really cool for Tony Stewart. I said earlier that we’re probably witnessing a historic moment right now in NASCAR. It was a really cool thing for Tony to be able to come back and get that win, obviously it’s the same place Kyle did it last year. It’s just kind of ironic after he was hurt, so I don’t know what the deal is with Sonoma, but, overall, it’s cool to see Tony get that win here when it’s much needed. It still shows he’s got what it takes if you give him the right stuff. He’s gonna push hard when he needs to. I noticed that from lap one. I started right next to him and he was hammering right off the bat. I said, ‘Alright, we’ve got that Tony Stewart today.’ There are two different ones, and it was the aggressive one all day. Obviously, we saw that going into turn 11, so it’s cool for him. Overall, like I said, I’m proud of the effort we put into today.”

THERE WEREN’T MANY CAUTIONS TODAY. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE AND IS IT A BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR YOU AS A DRIVER WHEN RACES GO LIKE THAT? “In all honesty I think it’s because everyone is getting better. A lot of the crashes in the past have been because the cars are wheel-hopping into the corner and they can’t stop and they hit somebody. Most of the time that’s what it is. There’s still plenty of contact, but everybody has gotten better at this road course racing – not just drivers, but race teams and getting their cars better and their brakes better and the setups better. Not that the cars have become more easy to drive, they’re still very challenging to drive here, but it seems like we’ve all gotten better and know how to handle a lot of the situations on the race track and all have learned how to race a little bit better out here. Like I said, there’s still plenty of contact and bumping and banging. My car is hit on each corner, but it definitely was a fun race and it’s always been a run race here at Sonoma. There’s a lot of tire wear. The strategies are all confusing as all get-out. It always ends up to be a cool race at the end.”

ARE YOU MAD AT ANYBODY AFTER THE RACE TODAY? “I’m happy. I don’t get mad at anyone. Are you kidding me? (Laughing) I love everyone. I’m a lover.”

DOES THIS ROAD COURSE CHEW UP TIRES MORE THAN THE OVALS? “In different ways and each track is different. Some tracks you think of repaves. We just came from Michigan, which doesn’t wear tires at all. If you think of Martinsville or something like that it’s very similar. This race track, the surface has aged nicely. I think the beautiful weather out here allows that. There’s a fair amount of tire wear that tires and pit strategy really come into play a lot, and there wasn’t that late race caution. There was one with twenty-something to go, but if there was one with 10 to go it would have been pretty interesting or even with five to go it would have been pretty interesting to see what would have happened. So it’s nice that the track has the ability to do that. The tire falls off depending on what the track surface is, so not because it’s a road course or compared to ovals. It’s just because the track surface is wore in and that’s what we all love about it and what we all like about wore out surfaces.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – “It was a hot day. We had better speed than we’ve ever had before, but I just made too many mistakes.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion – “We had about a 16th-place car and that’s right about where we finished. We just fought all day and tried to hold our track position, but that’s just as fast as our car was. It was a really good call by Brian Pattie and the team on how to call the race. They did a great job. It couldn’t have worked out better for us, but that’s all we had.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “We just weren’t very good. We were really good on the long run, if I could save my tires, but I didn’t have any short-run speed. That really made the restarts tough to not lose any track position, but still not wear out my tires. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board for the road course here. We definitely struggled today.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion – “We just ran around 25th all day. We tried some different strategies, but none of them seemed to work and we never got any track position. I feel like I learned a lot, and we had decent speed at the end. We had top-15 speed, but we just never had track position.”

RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “It was a long day. Early on we short-pitted and got some track position. We had some good fortune (with the second caution), but I gave all the spots right back. HOW DID YOU CAR PICK UP THE DAMAGE? “I have no idea. People check-up and you run into them.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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