Ford Media Center

Logano and Stenhouse Lead Ford with Top-5 Finishes in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Auto Club Speedway

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 EcoBoost Ford Fusion – “We’re not really sure.  It might be something in the engine.  It started smoking a little bit there and it was down on power, so we figured we would just bring it in and take a look at it before we break something out on the race track.  The guys are taking a look at it, so we’ll see what happens.  We’re not really sure what it is yet.”  ANY WARNING THERE WAS AN ISSUE?  “No, everything was fine.  It was actually running really good, so we’re not sure if it’s something electrical or what.  We have to get to the bottom of it and see exactly what happened.  We thought it might be a plug wire, but it looks like it may not be a plug wire.  You just never know what it could be in there.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “It was really good for us.  That was a crazy restart there at the end.  We had a really good Fastenal Ford on the long run and that’s where we excelled – kind of like Atlanta and Las Vegas.  On the long run we excelled and that really paid off today.  Our tires were good every pit stop, which was good for us, and we made the right adjustments there at the end.  Nick did a great job.  The pit crew did a great job and we were able to get the adjustments that we needed and was able to really rip the top there and gain a few extra spots at the end.”  WAS IT NICE TO BE AGGRESSIVE AND GO FOR IT ON THAT LAST RESTART?  “It was, but we weren’t good on restarts all day and we had to loosen up our car a lot.  We had it dialed in for the long run and just didn’t have it for that short run.  That cost us a few times, but we were able to bounce back and cautions fell our way.  It was just a really good bounce back weekend for us.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Auto Club Ford Fusion – MARTIN TRUEX JR. TALKED WITH YOU AFTER THE RACE.  WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?  “It was completely my fault.  I was gonna go in on the outside of him and he was gonna go in on the top as well and I just ended up being right on him.  We never touched each other, but just taking the air off these cars makes them uncontrollable.  I didn’t mean to do that.  I was gonna try to go to the top and I just got a little bit close to him and got him free, so I’m taking the hit on that one.”  WE HEAR HOW AGGRESSIVE YOU LIKE TO BE AT THE END OF RACES, SO WERE YOU LICKING YOUR CHOPS ON THAT FINAL RESTART?  “I was in a decent spot.  I was gonna try everything I could to try to get a run and do what I had to do, but I just spun the tires.  I don’t know why.  It didn’t really do that all day.  I don’t know what made it do that at the end.  I’ll have to watch the replay.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion – SIMILAR TO LAST YEAR WITH A GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER RESTART.  ANY THOUGHTS OF A REPEAT?  “We gave it all we had, but just came up a bit short.”  YOU BOUNCED BACK FROM THAT PENALTY AND PASSED A BUNCH OF CARS.  “We seemed to be about a fifth to 10th-place car, probably with everybody having some troubles we should have finished fifth.  I slid back to eighth there, which was frustrating, but, all in all, it was a decent day.”

RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “We blew a tire.  I don’t know what happened.  There was no warning and the tire just exploded into three.  That stunk.  We were good on some runs, but at the end of the race we weren’t very good.  We really struggled bad on restarts, really bad.  It would take about 20 laps to go back forward, but we just lost all of our track position and then got in the wall and that really hurt our race car.  We were gonna salvage a decent day, and then the tire exploded.”

BRIAN SCOTT – No. 44 Albertsons Ford Fusion – “I was proud of the finish we got.  I was one corner and one little having to check back out of the throttle away from a top 10.  I’m proud of my guys.  We went down a lap early.  We made a bad adjustment on pit road and we fought it for a long run, but we rebounded.  The guys did a great job on pit road and we were able to get a solid finish out of it.”  WHAT ABOUT THE FINAL RESTART?  “We tried to not fill it up all the way with gas and tried to pump some tires up and we just missed it.  I was way too tight.  I tried to roll speed through the center and kept checking out of it.  I got put in the middle of a couple of  three-wide situations and got passed.”  HOW BIG WAS THIS FINISH FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM GOING INTO THE OFF WEEKEND?  “It was really important.  We had a couple of hard weeks, so to have a good finish here – not only for the team but for our sponsors, Albertsons, Ritz, Triscuit, Shore Lodge, White Tail, Twisted Tea, everybody that’s on board this program – because we sold it and pushed it to them.  We said, ‘We’re gonna do good things this year.’  The first part of the year was tough, but we had to get through and now we’re bringing some new cars to the track and our performance is picking up.  It’s great.”

CHRIS BUESCHER – No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion – “It’s unfortunate we had the flat tire there because we had a lot of speed in our Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion.  I had a lot of fun today.  We’ve made a lot of really big gains in a short period of time.  If we hadn’t had that happen, we would have been in the top-20, no doubt, and probably a little bit better than that.  It’s a bummer that it happened the way it did, but I’m really proud of the guys.  We made a huge step in the right direction and if we have more days with a car like we had today, we will get the finishes.”

LANDON CASSILL – No. 38 CSX Transport Ford Fusion – DID YOU FIND SOME MAGIC AT THE END?  “Yeah.  The last 45 laps is what set that whole thing up because we had the long run, which we needed, and the car was really good on long runs but really, really bad on short runs.  Fortunately, with 40 to go we had a long run that put us in the top-20 and the guys had a phenomenal pit stop that held my position and we just had a great restart for the green-white-checker.  Sometimes you’re proud of what you did, but I feel like I got lucky in some ways that the line just went my way and we were able to run 16th.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion -- “I’m of course disappointed in our finish today.  We started off the afternoon with a much stronger car than where we finished. We struggled with a loose Smithfield Ford Fusion through the first part of the race, and then as the track cooled down our car tightened up.  We ended up losing the front downforce on our car and we never could find a solution that would get it driving for me. But, I’m proud of how hard my team fought this weekend, and I know that we’ll bounce back in Martinsville.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. PRESS CONFERENCE – “It was good.  We had a really good Fastenal Ford on the long run and that was kind of where we excelled.  We were struggling on the short run a little bit.  I thought we had a 10th-place car and then that last caution came out and my guys made a great pit call on pit road.  They made some good adjustments and had a good pit stop.  We restarted in the outside lane, which was really good for us.  Restarting on the bottom wasn’t very good for us all day, so I was able to run the line that I preferred and I think we were three or four-wide going into turn three on that last lap.  That was a lot of fun.  This race track has always been a lot of fun to race at.  This package has made it even more fun for us drivers, and it was a good day for us.”  HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU WITH YOUR PROGRAM AT RFR?  “I feel really confident in my guys and the cars that we’re building.  We still have a long ways to go as a race team, as the 17 team, but we’re limiting our mistakes which we had last year and that’s helping us improve.  They’re bringing faster race cars.  Our short track program needs to get a little bit better after last week at Phoenix.  We had a decent car, but didn’t have it just right and ended up blowing that tire.  But I thought we were gonna have a decent run there.  We spent a lot of effort on our mile-and-a-half and speedway tracks like California and Atlanta and Vegas and I can tell a big improvement, so I’m really happy about that.  We just still have to go to work on our short track program, but I’m very happy at the progress that we made over the off-season and hopefully we can continue the progress the rest of the year and we can restart these last final restarts maybe in the top-5 and maybe have a shot at the win.”

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