Ford Performance Finishing Results:

3rd – Ryan Blaney

6th – Noah Gragson

9th – Joey Logano

13th – Brad Keselowski

20th – Josh Berry

21st – Chase Briscoe

23rd – Ryan Preece

24th – Todd Gilliland

25th – Michael McDowell

27th – Justin Haley

29th – Austin Cindric

30th – Harrison Burton

31st – Kaz Grala

37th – Chris Buescher

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “It was a long day. We started 15th and just kind of slowly worked our way up. The top two guys were pretty quick. It was hard to catch them. We never really had the speed of those guys, but I’m proud of the effort. We got better all day, which was good. I didn’t think we were great early and we continued to get better, so that’s all you can ask for. It was a good day for the Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang. We definitely have a decent idea of where to go from here going forward.”

DID YOU OPTIMIZE YOUR DAY TODAY? “Yeah, we worked really hard all day and got better through the race I thought. That was positive and we probably ended the best we were, so that’s always good. It’s something good to look forward to and hopefully just continue to work on. I’m proud of the Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang team. The 12 guys did a good job all weekend.”

HOW WAS YOUR CAR? “I thought we got better all day, which is good. Obviously, I wish we had more, but we got better all day from where we started and where we qualified. I thought we ended kind of our best probably. We were able to get in front of the 19 and the 11, who was pretty good, the 54. We didn’t have anything for the 5 or 45 all day, but I’m proud of the effort. Hopefully, this is a good learning experience. Going forward, hopefully we’re in a good spot.”

LARSON BEING FAST ISN’T A SURPRISE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE CAN TAKE FROM TODAY? “I don’t know. The Chevys are still fast. The Toyotas are still fast. The Fords, we had a good showing today too but we just have a little bit of work to do.

NOAH GRAGSON, No. 10 Fanttik Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “These guys are good. It feels good to do it in front of the hometown crowd. I was battling Ty and Ross there at the end for a top five. I really wanted a top five, but coming from 30th to sixth I’m just really proud of everyone’s effort.”

WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT YOUR 1.5-MILE PROGRAM? “This is the first true testament. I don’t know. Blaney was up there and maybe a couple other guys in the Ford camp, but this Mustang Dark Horse is bitchin’. It’s fast and it’s been really good. You can see the speed that it’s had in qualifying, not for me because I drove like a sissy out there, but with the other guys they have three poles so far this year, so we’re going good.”

HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO OTHER CUP CARS YOU’VE DRIVEN HERE? “This compared to last year just has a lot more speed. You can go where you want. We’ve got a good pit crew and just a good team.”

HOW MUCH CAN YOU TAKE FROM SOMETHING LIKE TODAY? DO YOU HAVE SPEED TO WORK WITH? “Yeah, we definitely need to be better and I need to clean some stuff up. Really, other than that last restart, I don’t think I had any net gains on restarts, so I need to keep working on that. I’m still trying to figure it all out, but overall it’s a good stepping stone to where we’re at right now. We’re gonna take this and get back into the positives in points and just keep on working, keep on learning and becoming better than we were yesterday and just keep that attitude. I think we’ve got the tightest group in the garage. They’re awesome to work with and I love every one of them.”

JOSH BERRY, No. 4 Mobil 1 Take 5 Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “I think we saw a lot of potential. Each run as a company it seemed like one of our cars was stronger than the other, but we learned a lot. Our car definitely seemed like it had speed. We just have to keep working on fine-tuning it and I need to work on starting a little bit closer to the front. All of those things start to compound and we can have a little better day, but, overall, I thought we were solid.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse – HOW WAS THE CAR RUNNING BEFORE CONTACT WITH THE 12 AND HOW WAS IT AFTER? “Before I thought our car was pretty good. We weren’t good enough to win, but we were definitely a fifth to 10th place car fairly easily. We were able to pass a lot of cars. That second run of the race we went backwards, but after that I was able to just continue to go forward. I was really happy with how my car was driving and just after the contact as soon as it happened I went into the next corner and we were a half-second slower that lap and just continued to stay a half-second slower the rest of the race. I’m not really sure what happened as far as why we all of a sudden lost a half-second, but it’s a tough one to swallow when you have that good of a car. We definitely had a top 10 car and finished 21st or whatever, so that part is kind of frustrating, but we’ll go to Phoenix, where we’ve had speed in the past and just hope to get a better run.”

JUSTIN HALEY, No. 51 Ohanafy Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “We were pretty good, but we just lacked execution again. I felt like our car was a little on the tight side, but when we were in clean air it was fine. It’s just new team blues. We’re just trying to get everyone to work together on the same page. I’m proud of the speed we had. I felt like we ran with some competitive cars, so we’ll keep working at it.”

KAZ GRALA, No. 15 N29 Capital Partners Ford Mustang Dark Horse – “We weren’t too bad today. We just couldn’t quite get a handle on the car. Balance-wise we were tight for the first half of the race and then somehow we got it free and couldn’t get back, so I was just kind of hanging on there at the end. We had decent track position and then a car came up in front of me and took the air away and we just bobbled and smacked the wall out of four. I don’t know if that hurt something or we really just fell off at the end tire-wise. I don’t really know. We just didn’t have anything to fight with at the end.”

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang Dark Horse – WHAT HAPPENED? “We lost the nut and lost half the wheel. I think the tire stayed up under the fender. I’m not exactly sure just yet, but it looks like the nut came off and something in the suspension actually cut the wheel in half. It’s definitely not what we wanted with our Fastenal Ford Mustang out here today. We had a strong day yesterday. I was really proud of that effort. We got a good bunch here and we’re gonna be contenders. We’re gonna win some races, but it’s not gonna happen today.”

IT WAS A HARD HIT. YOU OK? “Yeah. All good.”

DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING? “No. Nothing that says that was coming. That’s kind of been the case with this car. I’ve probably had three of these now through the last couple of years and haven’t had a warning on any of them. It’s nothing like the old five lug stuff where you’d get a vibration or a shimmy or have some kind of clue. It just happens all of a sudden. It’s very unfortunate there, very tough. We have a great group of people on our team right now and we’re gonna bounce back from this and get going in the right direction. That hurts just so early. We were able to move forward out of there. We took two tires and was doing OK and holding our own against four tires around us and just ended up out way earlier than we wanted. I guess we talked a little bit yesterday and probably truthfully for the first time in my career I’m excited about Phoenix after what we had last time there. I won’t have to lie about that, but certainly a bad day today. It’s very disappointing. That sucks.”

Ford Performance PR