Ford Finishing Results:

2nd – Austin Cindric

5th – Harrison Burton

7th – Brad Keselowski

9th – Chase Briscoe

10th – Justin Haley

12th – Kaz Grala

15th – David Ragan

16th – Michael McDowell

17th – Josh Berry

18th – Ryan Blaney

20th – Riley Herbst

21st – Noah Gragson

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I’m OK. By the replay it just looks like awful pushes in terrible spots. That’s usually how these wrecks happen. Three times in a row here I’ve been right-reared by someone else’s awful push, so I’m getting pretty sick of it. People just have to be smart. I don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a Duel race. Why are you shoving in the tri-oval? I don’t get it, so just a shame we have to be the one with a tore up race car when it’s someone else’s issue. I don’t know.”

HOW ARE YOU? “I’m doing as good as I can be from getting hooked three times in a row here.”

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE SITUATION LIKE THAT? YOU CAN’T CONTROL THAT. “I can’t control it, but it comes from awful pushes by people. I mean, three times here in a row awful pushes have led me to getting right-reared and it’s just guys not being smart, not knowing when to get off somebody. You cannot push in the corner that hard in the tri-oval. I don’t know when guys are gonna get it. I’m sick of paying the expense of it and getting right-reared from someone’s dumb push, so it’s just frustrating because we do everything right and then you have guys who are just careless and just shove guys until they don’t know when to let them go and it causes wrecks and I seem to be the byproduct of getting hooked in the right-rear which is never fun.”

DO YOU ADDRESS IT WITH THESE GUYS? “I don’t know. I don’t care.”

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I will have to go back and watch but the 11 threw a pretty good block there and I just didn’t want to wreck myself in the process. Obviously we have a front row start. I wasn’t really anticipating him to throw it that early. I thought maybe two to go or one to go, but we were like four to go at that point. When I checked up a little bit not to blast him, the 2 got behind me a little bit and that got me sideways enough to get on that outside lane. Once I was the last man standing up there I just rolled out knowing that we wanted to race for the win. We were racing for the win. But once we weren’t in position to race for the win we needed to do everything we could to protect our Love’s Travel Stops Mustang Dark Horse. It drove well with a lot of speed. We had a shot at it, just didn’t get it done there at the end.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “It was a really strong effort by everyone on the Discount Tire Ford Mustang. Obviously we had good pace in qualifying and had a really strong car and great execution in the race. I wish things would have played out differently in the last five laps. We were able to get back up to the front and had some good runs and we got a couple Fords up there in the top-five. Overall, I am just poised to get to the 500 and see what we’ve got for the long race.”

HARRISON BURTON, No. 21 Motorcraft/DEX Imaging Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I had a real shot at it. I’m really proud of our guys. In that first wreck, the big wreck, I bounced off the fence and a quick diagnosis by the guys to make sure we could keep going. We pitted. I have a lot of confidence in that crew. When they say my car is good to go, it’s good to go. It was really fun racing with these guys. I thought we had the move to win. I haven’t seen a replay yet. I tried to get to the 20’s outside and just got, with the 2 pushing me, got really, really loose. I thought I had plenty of momentum to make it happen, but I just got a little free there, but I’m really proud of our guys. We were a little damaged and still had a good car, so that’s how you know you have a really good car. Hopefully, we can see what’s wrong and it’s nothing major and we can go run this car in the 500 and try and win that one.”

HOW DID THIS MUSTANG DARK HORSE PUSH COMPARED TO LAST YEAR? “I thought it was pretty similar as far as the pushing goes. We seem to have speed. When I got up in front of the 2 and he pushed me, it seemed to take it really well. He was pushing me really hard. Like I said, I had some damage so the car wasn’t driving perfectly and still we could get the momentum we needed. That’s definitely encouraging. I’m sorry the 12 car was out of it. It looked like he had a good car too and it looked like a big hit. I’m definitely glad we didn’t cause any extra chaos there at the end and had a good, clean race to the end.”

KAZ GRALA, No. 38 Ruedebusch Ford Mustang Dark Horse – YOU DIDN’T MAKE A QUALIFYING LAP SO HOW STRESSFUL HAS THIS BEEN? “Our first lap on track was today, really. This week is just so crazy. It’s always so stressful coming here as an Open car and I’ve had terrible luck on Wednesdays. I haven’t been able to have a single relaxed Thursday yet, and today was certainly no exception. That was a pretty intense battle there coming down to the last couple of laps. It was way closer than I wanted it to be, but it was great racing with BJ and David Ragan. Everybody racing clean and pushing hard, so that was cool. I’m happy to get this No. 36 Ruedebusch Ford into the Daytona 500 because Front Row Motorsports worked so hard yesterday to get this car ready and in shape for today and they did a great job. We obviously had great speed, so I’m excited to see what we can do on Sunday.”

YOU HUNG OUT AT THE BACK IN THE BEGINNING. WHY? “Honestly, I’m starting to learn this Next Gen plate racing and track position is so important that it’s pretty hard to make headway, so I was just kind of feeling out the runs there and learned quickly that it’s hard to go anywhere. That kind of adjusted my mindset going into the second half of that Duel and from that caution on we knew we had to be aggressive and we did what we had to do there with a little bit of drama along the way, but I’m just happy for it to be over. It’s quite a relief.”

YOU’RE 3-FOR-3 AS AN OPEN DRIVER MAKING THE 500. HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE OTHERS? “They’ve all been equally tied for the most stressful moments of my life. I have not had one smooth Duel yet all three times and yet I snuck in in all of them. That definitely took a couple of years off my life right there, but to make the Daytona 500 it’s always worth it.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “The beginning of the race I tried to save fuel as much as I could. It seems like t his race, the shorter you can make the final pit stop the better position you put yourself in. We rode around probably 15th on back at the beginning and after the fuel cycle we were third or fourth. I thought that was the right play to do. It was starting to get dicey at the end and couldn’t miss the wreck there with Blaney. Tore our car up a little bit. We didn’t kill it but we have a lot of work to do just to get it ready. Fortunately we have a practice tomorrow to see where we stack up but I thought our car handled really well which is always a positive here.”

NOAH GRAGSON, No. 10 Black Rifle Coffee/Ranger Boats Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I was going good. We just made our green flag pit stops and then shortly after a handful of laps or a half-dozen laps, after we all blended back off of pit road, the top lane started going and then they started stacking. I was probably fifth or sixth in line on the top row and they started wrecking and came across the track. I saw the 24 and then rode in the ambulance with Kyle Busch and Blaney and Riley Herbst, so I don’t know exactly where they were. I haven’t seen it yet. I got some good experience and ran up front before we pitted. I worked really well with the other Dark Horse Ford Mustang drivers, Riley Herbst and I were tandeming up there in the front two rows, so that gave us a little experience in our Ranger Boats, Black Rifle Coffee, Winchester, True Timber Dark Horse Mustang tonight. It’s unfortunate that we got torn up, but the guys at Stewart-Haas Racing have been working really, really hard and I think our backup car – it sucks going back there, there’s a lot of hard work and I hate tearing stuff up, but I’m grateful to be back here and we’ll give ‘em hell on Sunday.”

RILEY HERBST, No. 15 Monster Energy Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I don’t know. I haven’t seen the replay. I’m just really frustrated with myself for my lack of judgment. We had no shot to win the race after I didn’t have a really good green flag stop at all. I got shuffled there and I should have understood the bigger picture and been better aware to bail at that point. We had a good start to the run. It was fun to run with Noah and really fun to lead laps in the Cup Series again. It continues to build my confidence and continues to build my respect in this garage, but hindsight is 20/20 and I should have bailed immediately after the green flag stop and just rode to see Sunday.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE FORDS TONIGHT? “I don’t know. I got a lot of pushes from Toyotas that I didn’t really like compared to Talladega and Daytona of last year, so that was unnerving for sure, but, again, I haven’t been in a Cup car since Talladega, so who knows if it’s my lack of judgment there or just the new noses.”

JOSH BERRY, No. 4 SunnyD Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I was pretty happy with the car. It is a unique scenario. I thought we were able to make some moves and make some progress. Overall I thought the car was solid. I hate whatever the issue was we had at the end. I thought we were in a really good spot. It was a great opportunity to race up front and learn but unfortunately we didn’t get refired there but the guys will get everything fixed up and we have a couple practices to work through things and get ready for Sunday.”

JUSTIN HALEY, No. 51 Treetop Apple Juice/Jacob Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “We had a good day. Obviously, we had some damage there at first, but I feel like we have a good race car for the 500. We’ll just keep at it and hopefully fix some stuff up and get ready for 500 miles.”

Ford Performance PR