Ford Performance NASCAR: Las Vegas (Harvick, Keselowski and Blaney All-Top Five in Playoff Opener)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Sunday, September 15, 2019

2nd – Kevin Harvick (P)
3rd – Brad Keselowski (P)
5th – Ryan Blaney (P)
9th – Joey Logano (P)
10th – Ryan Newman (P)
13th – Aric Almirola (P)
14th – Paul Menard
20th – Daniel Suarez
22nd – David Ragan
24th – Michael McDowell
25th – Clint Bowyer (P)
26th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
28th – Corey LaJoie
30th – Matt Tifft

(P) KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – FINISHED 2nd

“It was good. We had two solid stages and with the way that practice went for us, that was a miracle. To be in contention with a chance to win the race with 25 laps to go says a lot about the guys working on this 4 car and everybody did a great job of making something out of what wasn’t very bright for us on Friday.”

HOW DID YOUR CAR CHANGE AS THE SUN WENT DOWN? “It didn’t really change a whole lot. It is hard to tell whether it was the track – obviously the speeds got faster but for us we kept adjusting on our car and making it better. It wasn’t drastic by any means.”

DID LAP TRAFFIC HURT YOU? “Not much. I was having trouble with the front turning and the back sliding. We were lacking overall grip and Martin was able to catch us on that next to last run at the end of the run and I needed a restart. I needed the rubber to be picked up and be able to run flat out for 10 laps to build that lead and I was just never able to do that.”

(P) RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 PPG Ford Mustang – FINISHED 5th

“It was a long night for sure. We didn’t start very good. We started really tight and didn’t go anywhere and I was really worried. We took really big swings at it. We were on the really tight side and really loose side and a little bit of both. We couldn’t take off very fast. Other guys would take off really fast. At the end of a run we were really fast up by the wall but we just lost too much ground and then I just got tight there at the end. I might have been able to run third but the top two cars were in a league of their own, especially the 19.”

(P) BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang – FINISHED 3rd

“We had a bad start tonight but a good finish. We weren’t driving very good at the start. Nothing I was doing was working and we were just kind of bleeding positions. Almost lost laps. The team worked on it really hard there and got us back to a spot where we could kind of almost steal a win. I thought for a minute we might be able to. All in all it was a good day. Not the win we were looking for but a lot of perseverance and a lot to be proud of.”

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? “Well, I am disappointed we didn’t start the race better but very proud that we didn’t freak out and everyone kept their head on their shoulders.”

HOW ABOUT THE RESTARTS? “Typical playoff restarts. everything is on the line and everyone is trying to get all they can get. That is part of the fun.”

(P) JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang – FINISHED 9th

“We got shuffled to the back and then got to the outside of the 41 and he didn’t know I was there and he crashed our car. We just didn’t have a chance to fix it as good as it needed to be and as good as it was before that. I don’t think we could because aero means so much here. They fixed it as good as they could to recover with a top-10. Our car was so fast and I feel like we had a chance of winning it but we just kind of got shuffled into everything.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOUR TEAM TONIGHT? “Our car was fast. We were definitely capable of winning this thing, no doubt. We showed that. That is positive. I like that part. We scored a lot of points which is also positive. I don’t know where we are in the standings yet but the stages and the finish gives us some points to hopefully give us a little cushion over the next couple races but we have to still be smart to make it to the next round.”

“If we didn’t have a wrecked car we would have had a shot at winning. We were really good at the beginning of the race. We drove all the way to the lead and led a bunch of laps. We can be proud of that. We won’t let our heads get down on this. It is still a strong day.”

AT THE END OF STAGE 2, TRUEX BEAT YOU AND DIBENEDETTO KIND OF HELD YOU UP AND THEN TRUEX LET HIM BACK ON THE LEAD LAP. DID YOU GET RACED UNFAIRLY THERE? “I guess they are still teammates. That is my thought on that. I mean, it is racing. What am I going to do, be a hypocrite and complain about something? No. It is racing. He is trying to stay on the lead lap or trying to stay a lap down instead of two down and he had his teammate racing for a stage win in the playoffs behind him. What do you expect?”

AND YOU WEREN’T HAPPY WITH THE 41 AT ONE POINT AS WELL: “Yeah, well, he crashed me, so I wasn’t too excited about that. It wasn’t on purpose, he just made a mistake. Unfortunately we were the one that paid the penalty for his mistake there.”

(P) ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – FINISHED 13th

“I am leaving content. We dug deep and I feel like we maximized our day. We had a few miscues and weren’t 100% perfect on our execution. The car wasn’t 100% perfect and we still managed to go up there and lead the race and score stage points. I think we finished third in Stage 1 and scored a fair amount of stage points. After Stage 1 we kind of lost the handle on the car and lost some track position and it because even more of a handful. We dug deep and fought hard and got out of here with a decent finish. I think they just told me we are plus-six to the good on 12th so I feel gooda bout that. It is better than leaving minus-six or minus-16 or minus-60. I am happy with that. We will keep our heads up and keep diging. Our Smithfield Ford Mustang showed some signs of strength tonight and we just lost a little bit of the handle on it.

(P) RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Oscar Mayer Bacon Ford Mustang – FINISHED 10th

“We needed track position but most importantly we needed to get our Oscar Meyer Ford Mustang tightened up and we finally did toward the last run. We still finished loose but we fought really hard with being loose all day long and this is not a good place to be loose. It is a challenge. I am surprised we were as loose as we were but we had a good car and made some decent points but not the day that we wanted to have.”

(P) CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang – FINISHED 25th

“We just weren’t very good tonight. We were just off. Off in all areas.”

DO YOU NEED TO TALK WITH DANIEL AFTER WHAT HAPPENED ON THE FIRST LAP? “No, no. I mean, it is a product of it. I had a run on the Buescher kid and he ran me in the wall so I tried to go inside of him and someone hit me in the left rear and knocked it down. It just wasn’t our night. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I had a run on Buescher on the outside and he ran me in the wall. I went low and tried to fill the hole and I got nailed in the left rear. We shouldn’t have been back there though.”

(P) – indicates NASCAR Playoff driver

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

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