Ford Media Center

Brad Keselowski Battles Back For Fifth-Place Finish in STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Ford Finishing Order:
5th – Brad Keselowski
11th – Joey Logano
12th – Greg Biffle
19th – Ryan Blaney
26th – Brian Scott
27th – Trevor Bayne
28th – Landon Cassill
32nd – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
33rd – Chris Buescher
36th – Joey Gase
40th – Aric Almirola

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 STP Ford Fusion – YOU WERE TALKING WITH DOUG YATES A MINUTE AGO.  WHAT PUT YOU OUT?  “We had a part failure with a part that typically doesn’t break, so I’m not sure.  Doug (Yates) will go back and investigate it and I’m sure they’ll figure something out so it won’t ever happen again.  It was a disappointing end to our day.  We had an okay STP Ford Fusion.  We were making it better and were probably a 15th-place car.  Walking out of the track now, I certainly would have taken a 15th-place finish because this is gonna put us in a pretty big hole.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “It was a good Martinsville race.  We had a lot of speed with the Miller Lite Ford on the long runs, but just not quite enough on the short runs to make anything of the Gibbs cars.  They were really strong all day.  All in all, I’m real proud of my team.  We’re starting to get this place where we’re real consistent and can run up front and that’s a good feeling.”  DID YOU DISCOVER SOME NEW AERODYNAMICS WITH THE WAY THAT NOSE LOOKS BECAUSE IT DIDN’T SEEM TO SLOW YOU DOWN?  “They weren’t the good kind, but that happens.”  YOU HAD SOME GOOD BATTLES ALL DAY WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON AND AJ.  HOW WAS THE RACING TODAY?  “There were good battles all across the field.  I think there’s a lot to be proud of for the style of racing that we’re seeing as of late.”  A TYPICAL MARTINSVILLE RACE AT THE END WITH EVERYBODY FIGHTING FOR POSITION?  “Yeah, a lot of digging, scratching and gouging.  It was good racing.”  ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULT?  “No, we want to win, but I think we ran very competitive and that’s something to be proud of.  We’re not happy, we’re proud.”  IT SEEMED THE LONG RUN IS WHAT YOU NEEDED.  “Yeah, the 80 to 100 lap runs we were right there for sure.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “It was frustrating.  You want to go out there and win for sure and we just missed it.  The first run was just absolutely awful to go down a lap from the lead, so we fought to get our car better, which we did, and then we overadjusted and came back and overadjusted on the way back, and then we had a pit road penalty.  I think we know where we missed it, but we didn’t have the tools to fix what we needed to fix.  Once the race starts a lot of times your hands are tied because you only have a certain amount of adjustments on your car or even on pit stops that we could fix what our problem was.”  WHAT DO YOU TAKE OUT OF THIS?  “We’ve just got to go back and learn from our mistakes and learn from what happened today.  It seems like this tire kind of threw us for a loop today, or at least for our car.”  DID THE CHANGE IN WEATHER PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR STUGGLES?  “I don’t know yet.  I’ve got to look back at it.  We come here expecting to run up front and challenge to win and we just weren’t there today, so we’ve just got work to do.”

RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “It was a long day for sure.  There were some runs where I thought we were OK and other runs where I thought we were way off.  At the end we were just OK and that penalty didn’t help us during that last pit stop.  That probably cost us a few spots, but not a bad day for this Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.  Finishing on the lead lap isn’t too bad for coming here for our first time, so it was definitely eventful but there’s a lot we can learn from this race and we can apply it later in the year.”  WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE 18 GOT BY YOU.  DID YOU SLOW ON PURPOSE?  “I don’t know who I was racing, I think it was the 13.  The 18 was gonna get by me regardless, so I didn’t want to mess their race up, so I just pulled over and kind of let those guys have their race.  You don’t want to screw up the leaders race and I didn’t want to be that guy.”  WAS GRIP AN ISSUE TODAY?  “We never had big tire issues.  We struggled a little bit with balance  We didn’t have a ton of balance in it, so there are things we can learn for the fall race.”  ANY CLOSE CALLS TODAY?  “I was pretty courteous today.  You don’t want to be the rough guy when it’s your first time and you’re a rookie, so I probably gave a little bit more than I should have took, but maybe we’ll put that in our bank and utilize that in the fall.”

CHRIS BUESCHER – No. 34 CSX Play It Safe Ford Fusion – “Martinsville is a tough place and we’ve got a lot of learning to do here.  I felt like we got a lot better about halfway through the race and that’s exciting for coming back.  We’ll have to wait until the fall and see if it all turns out the way we hope, but we’ll get better next time.”

LANDON CASSILL – No. 38 MDS Transport Ford Fusion – YOU TRIED SOME PIT STRATEGY TODAY, HOW DID THAT WORK OUT?  “It didn’t kill us, but it didn’t work out to the favor that we wanted it to, but that’s just part of the risk versus reward.  I have a hard time not taking those wavearounds when you have the opportunity.  We had a pretty good car, but it still needs to be a little bit better.  We’ve got a lot of ideas to keep working on it, so I’m excited to move on to the next one and glad we get to go back to another short track in a couple of weeks.”

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