Ford Performance Homestead Quotes

BRAD KESELOWSKI -- No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Finished 7th/4th in Championship) -- “We ran as hard as we could and put it all out there and just basically didn’t have enough speed.  On the mile-and-a-halves we weren’t as good as the 78 and 18 and those guys.  This last race coming down to a mile-and-a-half didn’t particularly bode well for us, but my team ran as hard as they could run.  They made some great calls - Paul Wolfe and everybody and put ourselves in position every chance we could to make the most out of the opportunities that existed without just being lightning fast, but it wasn’t there.”

PAUL SAID THE TOYOTAS ARE JUST THAT FAST.  HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?  “Yeah, pretty much.  What he said.  It’s just part of it.  You’re gonna have times where you’re the fastest, or you hope to at least, and you’ve got to capitalize on those and then you have times when you’re not and you try to make the most of them and force somebody into a mistake.  It’s a credit to all those guys.  We forced them to run as hard as they could multiple times and they were able to do it.  I give them credit for that.”

HOW MUCH DID IT CHANGE FROM DAY TO NIGHT?  “This track is notorious for the day to night change and being hard to get a hold of.  I didn’t think it was any different than normal.  We were maybe a little bit better when the track was greener, but that’s just part of the challenge of Homestead.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?  “There’s not a lot that comes to mind.  I had one pit stop where I didn’t get in the box perfect, but that’s about all I wish I could change from today.  Other than that, I feel like I left it all out there and ran a damn near perfect race, but we just didn’t have enough speed.”

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO MATT KENSETH AFTER THE RACE?  “It’s a pleasure racing those guys as their career winds down.  I have a lot of respect for what they’ve accomplished.  He raced me pretty hard there at the end, but clean and that was fun.  I just wanted to tell him congrats.”

ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED IN THE RESULT?  “You’re always gonna be disappointed when you don’t win the championship here, but I’m not disappointed in the effort.  There was a lot of great effort from my whole team and that’s something I was proud of.”

WHERE DO YOU NEED TO IMPROVE NEXT YEAR?  “We’ve just got to be faster.  We can’t show up and be that far behind on the mile-and-a-halves.  We know that.  That Toyota car is a good ways in front of us and we’ve got to figure that out.”

KEVIN HARVICK -- No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion (Finished 4th/3rd in Championship) -- “We just got really loose and then got a hole in the nose and it started to get tight in. We got that fixed. We were pretty good on the next-to-last run and we were just really loose on the last run. I want to thank everybody on my Jimmy John’s, Busch Ford for everything they’ve done. It was great to have a chance. We were in the mix all day. Didn’t quite have what we needed at the end. I want to thank Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Building, Textron, everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. Thank you guys for everything you did all year. We’ll be back.”

GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT IT WAS THIS YEAR: “Well, I think when you look at it from the inside out and all the work that everybody went through, the preparation that we went through to get to these playoffs was second to none. It was a championship effort. Just came up a little bit short. Congratulations to Martin (Truex Jr.). Those guys have been the dominant car all year. To go win the race and make it happen at the end they were able to get their car better and win the championship.”

DOES THIS GIVE YOU AN APPETITE FOR 2018? “I’m ready for an offseason. I think that everybody’s ready for an offseason.”

TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST STINT: “I was just really loose the whole last run. When it started to get dark we started to get tight in the corner and then we got a hole in the nose. We got that fixed and just couldn’t quite get it where we needed to be to make good times. Some runs we fell off. Some runs we were tight on entry. There at the end we were just too loose.”

JOEY LOGANO -- No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Finished 6th) -- “That was a good night for us. We never quit through the whole year and we end it on a strong note. It is always important to have a good run at Homestead because you have the whole offseason to think about it. I wanted that top-five but just wasn’t quick enough up by the wall. I don’t know why our cars don’t go fast up against the wall. The 4 couldn’t do it either. Maybe it is something we are doing. I am not sure. Altogether, I am proud of getting a sixth place run out of a car that we thought we would struggle to finish 20th with. We made good changes and had something to race with and get to head off on a good note.”

DANICA PATRICK -- No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion -- “I hit the wall in three and four and got some fender rub on the tire and it blew the tire.  I went a couple of laps and there was smoke in the car, but they thought it was all right, but it wasn’t.”  NOW THAT THIS RACE IS OVER HOW MUCH ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAYTONA 500?  “What I’m not looking forward to is I have to go sit in my bus and wait for everyone to get done with the race before I can go home (laughing).  That sucks, but I think that what’s coming ahead is bright for me and for the way it feels, so I’m excited.”

RYAN BLANEY -- No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion -- REFLECT ON YOUR VERY SUCCESSFUL 2017. "It's been a fun year for sure. It's a shame it ended not on a high note but it's been fun to run every week at the race track and be competitive. To win a race, that was pretty great. It's been a fun year overall and its kind of bittersweet to see it come to an end. I'm happy for what's next to come. I love driving for the Wood Brothers. It's been a fun three years and I'll always remember it."

IS THERE ONE TAKE-AWAY FROM DRIVING FOR NASCAR'S OLDEST TEAM AND ARGUABLY ITS NICEST PEOPLE? "Just how humble they are. They're very humble people and a humble family. All they want to do is race. They're racers and that's how I grew up. I think that's what made our relationship special. Just remember where you come from and I'll always try to remember that.


KEVIN HARVICK -- No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion -- CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE?  “Yeah, it was kind of up and down as far as where you were against the championship guys.  There at the end, we just got a hole in the nose and had a tire equalize and all kinds of stuff happen right about dark, and we never got it back 100 percent right to really do what we needed to do, really at any point during the run.  We were just kind of treading water there.  The last run really, really loose.  They did a great job.  Just really proud of everybody on my team, and they did a great job getting us to this point and having a chance, and gave it all we had right up until the end.  Some points were good, some points were bad, and in the end it just wasn't quite good enough.”

ARE YOU ABLE TO AT LEAST FEEL GOOD FOR MARTIN AND EVERYTHING HE’S GONE THROUGH TO GET TO THIS POINT?  “I mean, yeah, they've had the fastest car all year, so it was good to see him win.”


BRAD KESELOWSKI -- No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion -- “Hard fought battle.  It was a long night, but we might not have got the result we wanted, of course the result you want is to win the race and win the championship, but the effort was phenomenal and I was really proud of our group for everything they put into that -- trying to be the best with this package and we weren’t quite the best in class, but we ran up front.  The 4, the 42, the 24 were pretty good.  My teammate was pretty good and I felt like if we could have had a couple cracks at it we probably could have run fifth instead of seventh, but there wasn’t really any point in the race where we were capable of running with the 18 or the 78.  That was kind of the way it was.  We tried everything we could throw at them with strategies and what-not, and it seemed to work out a little bit.  We forced everybody’s hands a couple times and put them in some uncomfortable spots, but in the end we just didn’t have enough speed to really contend with those guys.  Really, nobody did if you look at it, but we put the effort out there and I’m proud of that.”

WHEN YOU REALIZED YOUR CAR COULDN’T COMPETE DID YOU FIGURE STRATEGY WOULD BE THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD GET THERE?  “Yeah.  We needed those guys to make mistakes and strategy is one way to do that, for sure.  I think in the end, from what I could tell, it probably didn’t mix up who won the race, but not enough for us because we just didn’t have enough speed to really be in play.  We threw everything we had at it and the effort was really, really strong from our group.”

IS TRUEX A BETTER DRIVER THAN TWO YEARS AGO OR IS HE JUST IN BETTER EQUIPMENT?  “I think Martin has always been a pretty good driver.  I don’t think he’s really changed, but maybe he would say he has, but certainly he’s in some great equipment.  I think he’d probably tell you that.  He’s still beating the other Toyotas, so he deserves credit for that.  I think he’s got a good group over there.  Barney Visser probably doesn’t get enough credit because he’s come in and completely kind of schooled some of these owners to be quite honest with what it takes to win in this series with what he’s done.  He’s put Martin in a great situation and Martin has made the most of it, so I think he deserves a lot of credit.”

TOYOTA HAD A NEW CAR THIS YEAR.  CHEVROLET WILL HAVE A NEW ONE NEXT YEAR.  DOES FORD GET ANY HELP ANYWHERE, DO YOU THINK FOR 2018?  “I sure hope so.  When that car rolled out at Daytona and I think we all got to see it for the first time i think there were two reactions -- one, we couldn’t believe NASCAR approved it, and, two, we were impressed by the design team over there.  With that said, I don’t think anyone really ever had a shot this year the second that thing got put on the race track and approved.  It kind of felt a little bit like Formula 1, where you have one car that kind of makes it through the gate heads and tails above everyone and your hands are tied because you’re not allowed to do anything to the cars in those categories that NASCAR approves to really catch up, so as to what will happen for 2018, I don’t know.  I would assume that Chevrolet would be allowed to design a car the same way that Toyota was for this one, but Ford doesn’t have any current plans for that.  If that’s the case, we’re gonna take a drubbing next year, so we’ll have to see.”

WERE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS WITH ADJUSTMENTS AS THE SUN WENT DOWN?  “No, the cars when we went to the smaller rear spoiler this year, I guess it was smaller width-wise, I can’t remember the exact dimensions.  You’ll have to forgive me, I just got out of a four-hour race car, but when we went to the smaller rear spoiler this year it, of course, shifted the aerodynamics on the car to the front and as the tracks get hotter and slicker and take more rubber, even though it went into night, just really continues to extrapolate the need for rear grip and, right now, the Fords and Chevrolets with the 2017 spec are way down on that and, like I said, exaggerates some deficits as we get later into the race.  That was the case again today.”


4th    Kevin Harvick

6th    Joey Logano

7th    Brad Keselowski

12th    Clint Bowyer

15th    Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17th    David Ragan

18th    Aric Almirola

19th    Trevor Bayne

22nd    Kurt Busch

23rd    Landon Cassill

29th    Ryan Blaney

37th    Danica Patrick

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2017, Issue 11, Posted 8:05 PM, 11.19.2017