Ford Performance -Texas Xfinity Race Quotes

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang

(POST-INSPECTION COMMENTS)

HOW DID YOU FIND OUT AND NOW YOU HAVE A THREE-RACE WINNING STREAK.  “Obviously, it’s great to be able to get the MoneyLion Ford Mustang in Victory Lane no matter how it happens.  It’s a great points day for that.  I just got out of the hauler from getting changed back into my street clothes and saw the 54 and everyone and their brother surrounding the scales, so that’s never a good sign for those guys.  I know they race hard and work hard.  I want to win it on track.  I felt like we had a shot to do that today and maybe didn’t execute as well as we should have and that’s what kept us out, but fast race cars and being in position that’s where it counts.”


WHAT HAS THE LAST WEEK BEEN LIKE?  “I guess I’ve got more wins on ovals than road courses, so I’ll take it.  I’ll move with it.  It’s great to be able to capitalize on fast race cars.  I said that last week and I’ll say it again.  I didn’t think this weekend we were quite as good as what we had at Kentucky, but, overall, being able to run up front all day and getting great stage points and having a say in things all race was great.  We’ve just got to keep going about that.”

DOES THE LEFT-REAR BEING LOW HELP A CAR?  “I think that would be a better question for Brian here in a minute.  Overall, they give a lot of tolerances and it sounded like they gave them a chance to get it back, but, overall, I think Kyle was just a step better than the rest of us today.  I don’t think that played a major factor.  It could have.  Who knows, but it’s where it counts.  Everybody has to play in the same sandbox and we were able to capitalize and be the best of the rest and today it meant a lot more.”

IS IT A HOLLOW TYPE OF WIN?  DOES IT FEEL ANY DIFFERENT GETTING IT THIS WAY?  “It’s hard to say.  A win is a win and it’s great.  It’s good for our team.  It’s good momentum and obviously it’s great points.  If they let me go choose the guns here in a minute I might be a little more excited, but, overall, to get the cowboy hats and do the whole deal here is great.  We were a contender all day and I believe we were able to do it, but it wasn’t in the cards in our race.  But, you always want to win it on track.”

A BIG WEEKEND FOR TEAM PENSKE.  YOU’VE MADE IT 3-FOR-3.  “Yeah, going three in a row in the Penske Eight-Wide Weekend is huge.  Roger doesn’t race in any series not to win and to be able to capitalize like that and have three in a row between Simon’s awesome win from the back last night at Iowa, I loved watching that race.  Scott McLaughlin got it done last night in Australia down in Sydney and then for us to follow up on our end of the deal is great.  I don’t know how the IMSA race is going right now.  I know the 7 car is having some sort of trouble, but hopefully the 6 car can pull it off and keep it going because I think Newgarden and our guys down in the Iowa can do it again tonight.  It’s exciting.  It’s what you expect when you drive for this team.  You drive for Roger Penske, you have the tools to do it, so I’m just proud to be able to drive the wheels off the race car every weekend.”

BRIAN WILSON, Crew Chief, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang -- “At the beginning of the race we weren’t where we needed to be.  We were probably a bit too free.  We had to work on it the first couple stages of the race.  It was kind of a curveball.  We expected it to be close to what it was last week, but we definitely had to work on the car.  I feel like by the end we definitely had race-winning speed to at least contend with those guys.  The 7 car was really good.  The 54 obviously was really good, but I feel like we were right there with those guys by the end of it, but it was definitely more work than what the past couple weeks have been.”

WHAT MIGHT A CAR THAT’S LOW IN THE LEFT-REAR BE ABLE TO DO?  “They’ve always got fast race cars.  I don’t want to take anything away from those guys because they’re really good, but the saying in racing is always low left and light.  That helps get your car down and helps lower the CG and there’s a reason why there are rules in place.  It’s our job to toe the line and I’m always worried about stuff like that.  I definitely feel bad for those guys.  That’s not how you want to lose a race.  They executed a really good race and they were out ahead of us by a good amount.  Maybe on the restart it played a little bit of a difference, but I feel like we’ve got some things that we should work on as far as restarts go, so I’m not gonna say that was the reason why those guys were in Victory Lane earlier, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.”

WHAT HAS THE LAST WEEK BEEN LIKE AND HOW DO YOU KEEP IT GOING?  “The playoff points, that’s the biggest thing that we’ve been focused on.  We feel like we really need a safety net once we get to the playoffs and I think this is helping us out.  But, obviously, you saw guys close the gap from last week.  We were really fast last week and we had a lot of competition this week, so we’ve got to keep pushing and keep trying to get better and find every area that we can improve because guys are not gonna rest in this garage.  It’s a really strong garage with a lot of good teams.  It’s gonna be a heck of a battle by the time we get to the playoffs.”

HOW NERVE-WRACKING IS POST-RACE TECH?  “It’s definitely the most nerve-wracking part of my weekend.  I would rate that above having to make a pit call from the lead.  Until you’re through, you never feel good.  You’ve always got nervous energy and you’re wondering if something could have bent or broken or something they don’t happen to like that they just haven’t seen before.  We’re always toeing the line -- everybody in the garage is to find speed -- and anytime that they’re looking at the car you’re nervous.”

ARE THE TOLERANCES ENOUGH OR ARE YOU ALWAYS PUSHING THE LINE?  “I feel like the height tolerance they give you a window pre-race that we all work within . We typically toe the line there, but they let you adjust in pre-race tech to make sure that you’re within those windows, so there is definitely room that you can adjust and still work on your setup.  And then post-race they give you a pretty good window as well, where if you have to take rounds out of the left-rear for balance you should have enough room for that.  So, I personally feel like there’s enough adjustability.  There’s a pretty good window that you’ve got to work in.”

THREE STRAIGHT OVAL WINS NOW FOR AUSTIN.  WHAT DOES A RUN LIKE THIS DO FOR HIS CONFIDENCE?  “I think for the whole group it’s a confidence-builder.  I think the first one was the biggest one.  That took the pressure off, but after that I feel like today just showed that even if you don’t have the best car or a dominant car, we’re still gonna be able as a group execute and work on the car and get it to the point where we have a shot to contend for the win.  So I think that’s a big statement within our group that when we’re not the best car we can still find ways to get up front.”

DO YOU FEEL AT THIS JUNCTURE YOU’RE AT A CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL?  “I definitely feel that way.  I’m proud of the fact that both us and the 98 are both pretty high up in the points.  I’m guessing that probably moved us up into second or now we’re really close to second.  Between us and the 98, I feel like we’ve shown that we’re probably a couple of them that are going to contend, but then there are a lot of really good teams in this garage.  Like I said, it’s gonna be hard to sustain this level and stay ahead of everybody because you know everyone is gonna work on their stuff.  I believe we’re only one or two races past the halfway point of our regular season, so there’s still a lot that can happen.  We’ve got to push hard to stay where we’re at.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC POST-RACE INTERVIEW -- “It was a solid points day.  I think we had a really great shot, especially if we had clean air on our MoneyLion Ford Mustang of giving him a run for his money.  I didn’t do my job cleaning off my tires enough for that restart, so it sucks I spun my tires, but we’ve got some things to clean up today.  We didn’t get any help from that side of things, so some things to improve on.  I’m proud of my team for bringing more fast Ford Mustangs and I wish we could have seen a Ford in Victory Lane today.”



AUSTIN CINDRIC POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE (PRE-INSPECTION COMMENTS)


HOW TOUGH OUT THERE IS IT WITH SO FEW FORDS?  “We lucked up for today with the two of us, but, overall, we’re all racing hard and on these tracks it’s not as different or beneficial, but it just is what it is.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS SO MUCH AGGRESSION, INCLUDING SOME INTENTIONAL WRECKING, GOING ON IN THE SERIES THIS YEAR?  “It’s difficult.  I feel like you’ve seen it more in the last couple months than normally and you don’t get people to optimize their race cars.  You don’t get the opportunity to test out where your stuff is bad and we’re you’re gonna be able to put it in bad spots.  You usually only learn that in the race now, so that’s difficult.  I feel like most of the on-track incidents have just been guys trying hard and trying to make passes.  The last two weeks it’s been really hard to pass and you’ve got to be aggressive and commit to when you’re doing it.  I feel like that’s why you’re seeing more of it than not lately.”



CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang --POST-RACE INTERVIEW -- YOUR STRATEGY ALMOST PAID OFF IN A WIN TODAY.  “We just needed the caution to come about six laps earlier and we would have had them all pinned and would have been in the lead.  We were just so tight all day long and finally made a big adjustment there and we were the fastest car on the track until about 40 laps into that run and then we just got too tight again.  It was a hard-fought third-place finish for our Ford Performance Racing School Ford, but going to Kansas next week, which I can’t wait to get to, where we’ll be able to move around and run on the fence and hopefully it’s hotter than it is here.  That way we’ll be slipping around even more.”

CHASE BRISCOE PRESS CONFERENCE 

“It started off and we were just so tight all day long and we really didn’t in three and four and down in one and two and the guys were talking about whether or not we should make an adjustment that lasted.  It took longer, but we still had track position and we finally did that and then I think we were two or three-tenths better than the whole field coming from the back and we just ran so long on tires that I just got tighter and tighter and tighter.  Our whole strategy at that point was to try to catch an extra caution and have the field pinned a lap down, so we just caught the caution six laps too late and then we just came down and put four on it, so definitely a hard-fought third-place.  I felt like we made gains on it.  We were just so far off at the beginning it took us a while to kind of get where it needed to be.”

WE SAW YOU THROW THE WATER BOTTLE AND A LOT WAS MADE THAT MAYBE YOU WERE TRYING TO GET A CAUTION.  CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT SITUATION?  “The nozzle kept coming off and I was just trying to get rid of it because I knew we were gonna be pitting and I wanted another one just because I was so hot in the race car.  I kept pouring it on me as we would go, so I knew we were gonna be pitting in a couple of laps anyway, so I was trying to get it out so we could get the other one in.  It was a two-tire stop.  It was gonna be tight on time anyways, so I was trying to do anything I could to not hold those guys up.  I didn’t want to be sitting there waiting on pit road waiting for a water bottle, so I just tried to get rid of it so I would be ready for whenever we pitted.”

WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND ROSS MIDWAY THROUGH THE RACE?  “We were all on the top and we were going and I felt like I was foot-and-a-half to two-feet off of him and I guess I just dropped the air off of his left-rear and it got him really loose.  We were going so fast that as soon as he lost any momentum whatsoever I was already on top of him so I hit him.  I wasn’t trying to wreck him or anything.  I was just trying to stay in line with him so we could pin the 20 car on the bottom, and I guess I just got close to him and then dropped the air off of his left-rear and got him really loose.  I’m sorry to those guys.  That was definitely not my intention.  Like I said, I was just trying to make sure the 20 couldn’t get in and then I knew if we were in line as we came off of turn four we were gonna be able to clear the guys on the inside, so that was my whole strategy and I just got him loose when I got that close to him, I guess.”

IS THIS THE HOTTEST YOU’VE BEEN IN A RACE CAR?  “No, I wouldn’t say the hottest.  I would say Chicagoland in 2018 was the hottest and then, truthfully, I felt like Indianapolis was a little bit hotter at times than today just because you’re working a lot harder.  It was certainly hot, but I wouldn’t say it was unbearable by any means.  I felt like the racetrack, usually every time I’ve been here in XFINITY it’s been 40 degrees outside and the racetrack was a lot racier, I felt like,  when it was this hot out.  Hopefully, we can get to Kansas next week and it’s even hotter than this and we’ll be slipping and sliding around.  That’s kind of where my driving style is kind of the best, so hopefully it will be even hotter next week.”

HOW HARD IS IT WITH ONLY TWO FORDS OUT THERE?  “It’s not terrible, I feel like, when you come to places like this.  When you go to a Talladega or a Daytona it makes it tough, but at these places everybody is running all they’ve got, so it’s not like you’re really trying to help each other.  You try to if you can, but it’s so hard on a place like this, whereas at a place like Daytona or Talladega you can really work together.  Here, there’s really not much working together other than restarts where they might be at the bottom or the top so you can push them.  On the racetrack it’s really hard to do anything.  You’re trying to do the best for your team.  I think it hurts us when we go superspeedway racing, but other than that the two Fords have really won more races than anybody, so I think we’ve been okay.”

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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 2020, Issue 7, Posted 11:44 PM, 07.18.2020