Ford Performance NASCAR: Keselowski Advances with Talladega Win (POST-RACE QUOTES)
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Sunny D Ford Fusion – “I really haven’t seen the replay, I was just running up the bottom there and the 38 ended up right in front of us. It was a bummer. We were working on getting our track position back. We felt good in the first run and got hung out there at the end of the second stage and were just working on our track position. I felt like we had a really fast Sunny D Ford to contend for a win and put on a show for all these fans that came out. Bummer we don’t get to do it but we will go on to Kansas next week and have some fun.” HOW DO YOU APPROACH KANSAS NEXT WEEKEND? “We’re going to go out and have some fun. We got points in the first stage (today) like we wanted. We were in position at the end of the second stage to get points as well and it just didn’t work out. Then I felt like we were in a position we could work our way to the front right there and pass a few cars and be in contention for a win. It just wasn’t our day.”. HOW DID THAT UNFOLD? “We were running up the bottom and all of a sudden the 38 came down. I saw some stuff going on at the top and kind of right in front of me, but the 38 ended up parked right in front of us. I felt like we had a really good run coming up the bottom with the 48, trying to get some of our track position back that we had lost at the end of the second stage. Our Sunny D Ford was fast again. It felt like we had a car that was capable of getting up there and contending for the win, led some laps and it was a bummer we didn’t get into Victory Lane, but we’ll go onto Kansas next week and have some fun. Hopefully, one of the Fords left can get into Victory Lane for Doug and everybody at Roush Yates Engines after Robert passed this past week. Hopefully, one of them will get it done for us and we’ll go on to Kansas and have some fun
KURT BUSCH – No. 41 Monster Energy Ford Fusion – “We got hooked in the right rear and I was pretty close to the front of the pack. I am just happy everything turned out the way it did to just not get clobbered by all the cars coming by. My guess is the outside lane was all jumbled up getting aggressive and pushing and somebody spun out and clipped us in the right rear. I thought we were looking good with the Monster Ford. We were coming from behind and the inside lane was open and we were making hay but now here we are coming out of the infield care center. That is just Talladega. That is how it works out. We need to figure out how to make the cars better so everybody can bump draft a little harder.”
KEVIN HARVICK – No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion – TWO INCIDENTS FOR YOU. “I’m fine. The last one we slowed down and I got in the back of the 75. I checked up and then the 21 popped up on the race track and I couldn’t get slowed down. It was just a bad weekend. The Busch Light Ford wasn’t as good as we needed. We had to start in the back and went to the back a couple other times and just couldn’t make anything happen. We were on defense the whole time and wound up wrecked twice, so not a good weekend.”
RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “We were up by the wall and somebody probably got turned and I got in it. I didn’t think there were enough cars to wreck that much anymore, but we happened to find it and a good day kind of down the drain.” HOW BIG WAS THE STAGE 2 WIN? “It’s obviously valuable, but it’s ruined now.” WHAT HAPPENED? “I don’t know. I went to the outside there and suddenly we all came together, which stinks. It’s unfortunate. We had a really good day going. We were racing hard and have nothing to show for it.” HOW DISAPPOINTING? “Obviously, it’s disappointing. Everyone had a good chance for the win. I thought we were one of the faster cars all day, which was nice to show, but you can be the fastest car and not finish the race and you’ve got nothing to show for it.” SOME STAGE POINTS COULD HELP. “Yeah, you’ve got to hope because we’re gonna finish 25th now. They really don’t mean anything. We had a shot to win the race, but you finish 25thand you get 18 stage points it doesn’t matter.”
JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “Brad and I worked well together and we were able to help him win the race today, which was good. I wish we could have won the race. I had a good enough run, but the damage and all – even though the guys did a good job fixing it – you could tell the speed wasn’t there as much at the end, but we were still able to pick up enough to keep some speed in it and get a fourth-place finish. It’s a good way to recover after a crash to finish fourth. I guess you should be proud of that, but I’m still mad I didn’t win.” BRAD WON IN HIS 300TH START LIKE YOU DID. “Yeah, it’s crazy how many have. I don’t know what the deal is with that, but more times than not I think people win in their 300th start. I don’t know.” GOOD FOR TEAM PENSKE TO WIN, BUT TOUGH FOR YOU. “Yes. It’s great that Brad won and Team Penske won. Brad and I work really well together on these speedways. I was able to push him up to the lead and I thought, ‘Alright, now I got you to the lead. It’s my turn to get up there and try to win this thing.’ We led a whole bunch of laps today with our Shell/Pennzoil Ford. We just got caught up in a crash. The guys did a good job fixing it enough to where we could be close and then under the red flag I said, ‘You know we can still win this thing,’ and we got really close. Our never-quit-attitude got us a top-five out of a day that looked like we may not even finish. I’m proud of that. We just have to fight again. I wanted to win this one really bad. Anything beside winning right now hurts.”
TREVOR BAYNE – No. 6 Liberty National Ford Fusion – HOW DID YOU NOT END UP IN THE CARE CENTER AFTER BEING IN THAT ONE MULTI-CAR WRECK? “I was right in the middle of it and, man, I was sliding backwards up the race track thinking, ‘Oh, this is gonna hurt. Somebody is coming through or I’m gonna back it in the fence.’ I just kept turning the wheel to the left trying to get the nose to slide around and it did, and I ended up going straight, so that was pretty cool. My guys did a good job of fixing the damage. We couldn’t have been back out there with speed if they didn’t assess it. We got a red flag to be able to look at everything and they did a great job getting the work done, getting it back on track and just thankful we finished one. We just survived better than everybody else. It wasn’t injury-free for sure.’ DESCRIBE THE LAST RESTART. “It was hard because you don’t have big runs. When there are only eight guys out there it’s hard to choose a lane or to make a run from the back, but the last corner off of four we got a huge run off the top and got to third, so I was pretty pumped with that. I think we were eighth coming across for the white flag, but I wanted those two more spots.”
ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – “That was exciting. The whole race was exciting. Right there at the end I was really committed to making sure that we got a Blue Oval to Victory Lane. I was kind of watching the 2 and the 22 and we were all kind of trying to work together and my car had some damage on it from earlier in the race and I knew my car wasn’t probably good enough to lead, but if I could have done something right there at the end, we might have been able to pull one off. But, nonetheless, we were able to get a Blue Oval to Victory Lane. It’s great for everybody at Ford and cool to see Brad win. He’s obviously been really successful here at Talladega, but I honestly thought for a minute there we might have a shot at it. Some things just didn’t work out going down the back straightaway.” HOW DID YOU SURVIVE TODAY? “I really just picked my way through wrecks, just kind of sensing that the energy of the pack was really high and knowing that all hell was gonna break loose at some point and just being prepared for that. We were fortunate to be able to miss some wrecks. Unfortunately, we got in a wreck right there coming to the checkered, but, all in all, it was a solid finish for us and I’m proud to run up front. That’s cool. I think we finished top-five in all three speedway races I ran. We had a fifth and two fourths, so I’m proud of that.”
LANDON CASSILL – No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops/CSX Ford Fusion – “Honestly, I just saw David sideways in front of me. I don’t know what started it or if he was the second thing that happened, but somebody hit me from behind or something and sent me into the wall.”
KESELOWSKI ADVANCES WITH TALLADEGA PLAYOFF VICTORY
- Brad Keselowski’s win today is the third of his 2017 season and 24th of his career.
- The win completes a 2017 restrictor-plate sweep for Ford, the first time it has achieved that feat.
- In addition, Ford has now won seven straight plate races and 16 of the last 28 (Daytona and Talladega).
- The win is the 9th of the season for Ford, exceeding its win total from 2016.
- Ford now has 34 all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Series Playoff victories.
- The victory marks the 58th win all-time for Team Penske with Ford and the 15th for Keselowski.
- Of Team Penske’s 58 MENCS wins with Ford, 31 have come over the past five years.
- The win is Fusion’s 88th Cup Series triumph since becoming Ford’s flagship vehicle in 2006.
- Today’s win is Ford’s 657th all-time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.
BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – VICTORY LANE --“This is still sinking in. It is a special place to get to race and a special place when you win here. It was really a collaborative effort with the team and getting a real fast car and making the right moves as a driver and a lot of help from up above with staying out of those wrecks. It really takes all three and we had them all today.” HOW CRAZY WAS IT OUT THERE FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT? “I feel like only eight cars finished the race. It was one of those crazy days. i think we have seen that at the plate tracks this year. A lot of attrition.” WHAT WAS THE DECIDING FACTOR IN YOUR OPINION ON THE LAST LAP? “Probably the bump I got from behind from Joey Logano, my teammate, that was really big and I am very thankful for that.”
DOUG YATES, CEO, ROUSH YATES ENGINES -- “I remember being on pit road with my dad when we won with DJ in 2005 here. It was a day just like today. It is really special. It is special to be able to compete in NASCAR. It is such a family sport and to be able to spend all that time with my dad and now have my family involved and be able to compete at a high level and win races like this with Team Penske and Brad Keselowski is something special. I want to thank the France family and everyone for allowing us to compete. And all the fans here today. What an incredible race track.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.