Ford Performance Qualifying Results:

11th – Austin Cindric

13th – Justin Haley

20th – Chris Buescher

23rd – Kaz Grala

24th – Ryan Preece

26th – Todd Gilliland

27th – Michael McDowell

28th – Ryan Blaney

29th – Harrison Burton

31st – Josh Berry

32nd – Chase Briscoe

35th – Joey Logano

36th – Brad Keselowski

39th – Noah Gragson

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tired Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Qualified 11th)

HOW DIFFERENT IS IT OUT THERE WITH THE REPAVE SECTIONS? “Not a whole lot different to be honest. I mean they’ve repaved, probably like the third or fourth time they’ve done some paving updates here. I think each time it hasn’t been a whole lot different. So, yeah, not too bad.”

SAME RULES AS LAST YEAR WHEN IT COMES TO TRACK LIMITS. ARE YOU GOOD WITH THE WAY NASCAR IS DOING IT? “I think for the esses it makes complete sense. I don’t see a better way of going about it in the esses. I think hindsight 2020, I think we could have probably discussed some better options for turn eight. Obviously we don’t have a lot of time to do much else, but there’s dirt everywhere. I feel like you don’t see cars in the second round go faster, or rerunning and going faster because it’s so dirty through there. And why that’s different from last year is hard to say. It could be the same dirt, could be different dirt, it looked really soft. I think we just need like a Martinsville style curb there and then that just completely eliminates that. I think the rest of it makes complete sense.”

OR JUST MAYBE MORE GUYS RUNNING THAT AREA BECAUSE THERE’S OBVIOUSLY SPEED THERE IF YOU’RE RUNNING THERE AND KICKING DIRT UP? “There’s more speed to go through the dirt than there is to actually miss the racing line. So you might as well just drive through the dirt and not care about anybody else. That’s the reality of trying to make quick lap times. It’s going to be worse tomorrow because you’re not going to be able to see very well behind other cars.

We had a caution for it last year, which is why I know they had concerns about it. I’m sure we all watched last year’s race and went, ‘oh everybody’s doing it so I need to be doing it too’. 

THE LAST COUPLE RACES HAVE BEEN A STRUGGLE COMING TO COTA. IS IT A RELIEF COMING TO A ROAD COURSE? “I take that kind of as an insult to be honest but it’s nice to have a race weekend right after a bad weekend that’s the beauty of this sport. You get to go again. From having tire issues last week and getting wrecked out on the fourth lap of the race I don’t think it’s very representative of what we’re capable of as a team and it certainly hurt us in points and I’m certainly looking forward to tomorrow.”

HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP TODAY OVERALL WITH THE 2 CAR? “I should be driving right now if I’m being honest. I’m frustrated not to be in the second round. I felt like we had the car capable. Obviously we missed it by like two hundredths or whatever. Both laps I had guys screw up in turn one, go off in front of me and have to re-merge. Yeah, its just unfortunate. We had top ten speed, still plenty of speed and plenty of opportunity to execute a good race tomorrow. That’s really what we need. Obviously there’s some cars that are extremely competitive right now and I feel like we can be one of them in the mix at race pace.”

WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD DAY FOR THIS TWO TEAM TOMORROW? IS IT MAXIMIZING STAGE POINTS OR IS IT MAXIMIZING FINISH? “I don’t think you can do both. You know, with the stages back, I don’t think you can run competitively and expect to win or expect to get a good top ten finish without crazy wrecks on restarts, without flipping stages. That game is definitely in play again as far as having a good finish and not having good points. It falls down to what’s important to you and I think those decisions will be made some people make their bed pretty early in stage one. 

THE RESTART ZONE WAS PUSHED BACK THIS YEAR. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? “I think it’s a good move. I think honestly it could be even further back just because if the leader did wait all the way to the end, I think you can get six or seven rows clear. And if I’m being honest, the top six or seven rows were the ones usually making the moves to try to advance their position and then it just creates a massive stack, and the car is out of line, and the back half of the field just wrecks into it. So my hope is that everyone realizes the leader just needs to go early to create that separation, which is why they moved the restart zone back. It should be interesting to see how it plays out tomorrow.”

Ford Performance PR