Ford Performance NASCAR: Kansas 2
KEVIN HARVICK – No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion – BIG PICTURE, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED TO MOVE ON THE NEXT ROUND: “Yeah. That’s definitely a good thing. As you look at the result of the day you want to have a chance to win. We had a car capable of winning. Just got stuck in a box and the box kept on getting smaller and smaller. The caution came out with the 47 and that put us and the 18 in a bad spot. That was it.”
WERE YOU FOCUSED ON POINTS AT ALL DURING THE RACE WITH ALL THE CHAOS BEHIND YOU? “Our focus was one stage at a time and we accomplished that. After that it was about trying to win the race.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “We were good enough and better than our finish. The pit road speeding penalty was ridiculous because I was way under pit road speed and running right with everyone else both times and they didn’t get a penalty. I will have to see that one for my own eyes. All in all, my guys put a good effort in it and I think we were better than we finished.”
RYAN BLANEY – No. 21 Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford Fusion – “We started off in the back and was able to make some good ground early. We were able to run up through there and made good adjustments throughout the day which got us in a spot to be up toward the front towards the end and advance. It was a solid day for our team. We overcame a lot coming from the back and they should be proud of that.”
“It was a good race. We did a nice job coming form the back back and I thought we got our car pretty decent there in the second stage. Then there was a mixup with some strategy stuff and pit calls and it felt like we were kind of at the back part of that but we were able to recover and miss that wreck which was big for us. We ran strong enough all day that we should have been in with where we ran. I am really proud of my team for the effort and we will move on to the next round and Martinsville.”
KURT BUSCH -- No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion --TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “I just feel like I’m on razorblades here. I really wanted that one bad. At the end, I had the sticker tires. As I’m warming them up they weren’t grabbing in the back. I knew that I wasn’t going to get the jump that I needed. I tried to play middle of the ground. Early in the race with scuffs from qualifying I brushed the fence. Kansas; I don’t know what it is about this place. Kyle (Busch) struggles here too. I feel like I’m on pins and needles most of the day. (Tony) Gibson always throws nice adjustments at it and the race comes to us and we’re right there. We had a shot at winning. I just feel like I’m pushing too hard early on. I saw (Jimmie) Johnson spin. We saw the 77 spin. All the drivers asked for less downforce and yet never got the softer tire that we hoped for. But we’re right there. When we get it right we’re right there. It just feels like I have to overdrive. When you’re overdriving you’re not going to make it work.”
DANICA PATRICK, No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion -- (ACCIDENT ON LAP 198) - MORE BAD LUCK FOR YOU TODAY. “I came out and said, ‘I got a turkey’, three in a row. That is some bad luck. The Code 3 car was just stated to get better, just starting to get hooked up actually. I actually felt like I was catching the right lanes and right movements on the track and having good restarts. Would have been nice to finish one off. We haven’t done that in awhile. When the 77 came across the track it kind of reminded me of Charlotte. Is it four in a row? Gosh. I can’t even remember anymore it is terrible. Charlotte, the 38 spun. The trajectory is like a football. You never know which way they are going to bounce. It was mayhem. I will see a replay and maybe a hole I should have taken. From the cockpit I was just trying to slow down and miss the 77 but you can’t see every car around you.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion -- TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “We just couldn’t get on the right side of anything, strategy-wise, nothing. We got caught up in the wreck. Certainly not the way you want to finish at home. I had a top-five car all weekend long, just wasn’t meant to be.”
KURT BUSCH & RYAN BLANEY POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCES
KURT BUSCH -- No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion -- WALK US THROUGH YOUR DAY: “For us, we had a real adventurous day. Actually, I brushed the wall early on, got a lap down, had to dig out of that hole all day. For the call early to stay out and then to put on scuff tires to limp it home through one of the stages, that was a gutsy call by Tony Gibson. I have to say hats off to Gibson for that because that put us back on the same sequence with the leaders and the tires. That gave us the same amount of sets of stickers that we could use towards the end of the race. Man, I tell you, the restarts, when you have scuffs, you have a couple heat cycles on them, they're just not the same tire. Guys are buzzing the tires, sliding all over them. I was one of them. The big accident on the back, these tires, you feel like you've got them under control, then the next thing you know you don't because the cars are really unstable once they get a couple heat cycles on them. All in all, Tony Gibson deserves this second‑place finish. He got on me pretty hard on Saturday morning after qualifying. He said, You know, we got a brake problem. I said, ‘What do you mean?’
He goes, You didn't use brake, that's why we didn't run good in run two and run three. I like, Man, I never use brake in qualifying. So he actually really pissed me off. I spent the whole race pretty agitated. At the end I made sure I used brake and brought it home in second.”
RYAN BLANEY,. NO. 21 OMNICRAFT Ford Fusion -- YOU HAD TO START ALL THE WAY FROM THE BACK TO COME HOME THIRD. WALK US THROUGH YOUR DAY. “Yeah, it was a long day for sure, especially coming from the back. We made decent ground before the competition caution. The deal that happened Friday, having to start in the back, coming back, having a pretty fast car there at the end really all race shows some pretty great resilience from the Wood Brothers team, and it definitely feels good to be moving on, for sure.”
IN WHAT WAYS WERE YOU ALL ABLE TO REGROUP YOUR PIT CREW AND YOURSELVES AS DRIVERS WITH THAT WRECK ON LAP 199 THAT TOOK OUT SEVERAL VEHICLES, INCLUDING THE 19 CAR?
KURT BUSCH CONTINUED: “In all honesty, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. I'd say today I spent 99% of my restarts on the bottom lane. That's just the way it unfolded. So I would really look at Lady Luck on that as the first reason why we were able to escape that situation. Secondly, I mean, yeah, you're driving cautiously on the restarts with scuffs because guys are able to get sideways real easy. You just hope that you're in the right place and you're able to make a move to get away from all the trouble.”
RYAN BLANEY CONTINUED: “Pretty much what Kurt said. I was right behind him on the bottom when that happened. This tire is unforgiving at this racetrack. I saw the 77 get really loose. When someone gets that free, that sideways, there's a 50% chance he's going to come back up in front of the field. Unfortunately, that's what happened. Some of that is luck, for sure, being on the bottom, being able to get clear of that. I think we've done a great job this year. I would say this is probably the most fun I've ever had racing with anybody, no matter what car. They just make it a really fun year. Just to be competitive, still be in this thing, that's just a bonus, to be honest with you. So I didn't really have any goals, expectations. I just wanted us to do well, see where it ended up. It's going pretty decent for us right now. Hopefully we can keep that going.”
KURT, SO MANY TIMES YOU'RE ON THE BAD END OF LADY LUCK. TO FINALLY KIND OF GET AROUND EVERYTHING AND PUT IT TOGETHER AND FINISH SECOND, IS THIS SOMETHING YOU GUYS CAN BUILD ON, THE 41 TEAM, FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON?
KURT BUSCH CONTINUED: “Yeah, it was nice to have things unfold in our favor today, even though I brushed the wall and got us a lap down early. The mentality that I've been trying to accept right now is run for 10th, try not to push the car too hard. Anything above 10th is icing on the cake. You just go where you can. I've been trying to drive it too hard. There's guys like a seven‑time champion who spun in front of me today just because of the insecurity that these cars have when they're side‑by‑side, the way that they're affected by the air. I know for us, we're not on the positive side of the grip level curve. We're right behind it. So I just need to keep the car at that level. Yeah, we'll try to build on it. It's a matter of just keeping track of the adjustments throughout the race, making sure that we use every set of sticker tires that we possibly can and get the most out of sticker tires. When we have scuffs, we struggle. We're a 15th place car on scuffs.”
FORD FINISHING ORDER
29thRicky Stenhouse Jr.
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.