Ford Performance – NCS Bristol Dirt Qualifying Quotes

Ford Qualifying Results:

3rd – JJ Yeley

7th – Austin Cindric

8th – Ryan Preece

9th – Ryan Blaney

12th – Joey Logano

13th – Michael McDowell

14th – Chase Briscoe

15th – Todd Gilliland

19th – Aric Almirola

20th – Harrison Burton

24th – Matt Crafton

26th – Kevin Harvick

28th – Chris Buescher

33rd – Brad Keselowski


AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang (3rd in Heat 4) – “That’s the greatest I’ve ever been on dirt, I can tell you that much. I don’t know where it’s gonna go from here, but certainly happy with the effort in the heat race. The positive thing is I actually did everything on purpose, it didn’t just fall in my lap. I just appreciate all the hard work from everyone at Team Penske. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get something so different rolling – the things that are important and how you prioritize. By no means is this an end result for the race, but it’s definitely a win for me to start the weekend coming in with a lot of things that I know I wanted to work on be better at from last year. It was fun to be able to hang it out and get a good finish.”


WAS BEING IN THE FOURTH HEAT RACE A BENEFIT FOR YOU? “I think it was to a certain extent, being able to watch all of the heats and understand where the track was going, what I could do at the start of the race because those starts were so important with everyone trying to figure it out. I started in the back, so it was definitely a mentality of ‘if I screw up, I’m just gonna still be in the back, so I might as well take some chances and some risks.’ I was going in preferred lanes and crossovers, so it was fun.”



JJ YELEY, No. 15 Public Square Ford Mustang (3rd in Heat 3) – “They went well. We obviously didn’t know what to expect. I tried to roll the bottom on our first two little hot laps, just judging off the previous heat race the car didn’t feel very good, so I’m a dirt guy by nature and I knew all of those guys were gonna fight for the bottom, so I said, ‘the heck with it,’ I was gonna go to the top and the car handled really, really good up there. It took me a couple of laps to get into a rhythm. It felt like I might have been just a little bit better than the leaders once we got into third, and then I started overdriving and it just takes one little mistake to give up everything that you gained. To come from the back and finish third, I think it’ll be good for points and put us somewhere near the front half, which I’m thinking anything can happen here tomorrow.”


IS THIS A RACE THAT’S CIRCLED ON YOUR CALENDAR EVERY YEAR? “Absolutely. Last year, we had a really fast race car and got caught up in someone’s wreck with about 30 to go and felt like we had a top 10 car then. We have more resources here at Rick Ware Racing than we did last year. Obviously, the Ford horsepower was phenomenal. I can’t thank Public Square enough for coming on board and being a sponsor this week, so all of the things are kind of aligning and hopefully we’ll have a nice, smooth race tomorrow and we’ll be there at the end to where we can try to capitalize.”



RYAN PREECE, No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang (2nd in Heat 3) – YOU TRIED TO HUNT DOWN LARSON AND CAME CLOSE. “I don’t exactly have a bunch of dirt laps, so it was good just having a fast race car. It just comes down to showing that speed that we really have as a team. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction in getting the finishes that we really want. It’s a good start for this United Rentals Ford Mustang for tomorrow, having some track position and hopefully having a good day.”



RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang (WINNER HEAT 2): YOU HUGGED THE BOTTOM OF THE TRACK THE ENTIRE RACE. WHY? “I really only did my hot laps on the bottom because I had to start down there, so I wanted to try to get laps down there, a launch down there and kind of see if I could get clear. The reason I didn’t really move up is the bottom was working for me. I think the 14 tried to move up a little bit and wasn’t really going anywhere, so I was like, ‘Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t change it.’ It worked out for us. We learned a lot. Luckily, I didn’t give it away. I almost did a couple of times, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM A HANDLING PERSPECTIVE? “Yeah. The track will change a lot throughout the race tomorrow, but I think the start of the race is gonna be pretty equal to what it was in our heat race, so it’s good to kind of know where you started. I’d like to be a little bit tighter on entry. I thought my back was sliding too much getting into the corners, so hopefully we can switch some stuff up to try to help that.”



TODD GILLILAND, No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang (6th in Heat 2) – “It could have been worse. We definitely have some stuff to work on with our car, but it was nice to be able to get some laps in here and at least know what direction to go. That’s dirt racing. You never know what the track is gonna be tomorrow, so we’ll just keep working.”



BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 King’s Hawaiian Ford Mustang (9th in Heat 1) – WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WERE THE OWNERS SENDING THIS WEEK? “I wasn’t really a big part of that, so I can’t really say I have all the details on that. I have way too much going on to get involved in that this week. In general, as a sport everybody wants to keep moving forward and we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there.”:


ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE INVOLVEMENT OF JIM FRANCE AND LESA FRANCE KENNEDY? “I talk to Jim and Lesa pretty periodically and Jim specifically is at the track a lot and has an open door policy and he’s been great to me.”


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW RULES REGARDING THE APPEALS BOARD? “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Obviously, a strange week in general with all that went on with the Kaulig stuff and the Hendrick stuff and then the Hendrick stuff again in the last few weeks or days. We’re all just trying to figure out what to make of it and a few more boundaries is probably not a bad thing.”


DID YOU LEARN WHY YOU DIDN’T WIN YOUR APPEAL LAST YEAR? “I think as soon as I sat in the appeal and we got towards the end I didn’t feel like we deserved to win it, so I don’t know if I really needed a reason, to be honest. But, no, nobody sat down and spelled it out, but it was pretty easy to see.”


WOULD YOU ADVOCATE FOR HAVING PEOPLE THAT MIGHT BE MORE QUALIFIED SERVE IN THAT ROLE? “Always. You want the most qualified person you can get to hear what’s going on. It’s probably a little argumentative on who that should be and that’s OK, but I’m sure those people are hard to find, too.”


WHAT DO YOU MAKE ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HENDRICK AND KAULIG PENALTIES? “I’m not sure. I wish I could see the parts. Probably the biggest takeaway I got is that they’re gonna let you start seeing the parts again and I think that’s so critical, so I’m certainly welcoming that because without seeing the part, I don’t know what to make of anything to be 100 percent honest. You hear different rumors in the garage, but I don’t know what’s true and what’s not.”


THEY PUT ENGINE PIECES OUT AT SONOMA ONE YEAR, WHICH IS ABOUT AS TRANSPARENT AS YOU CAN GET. “Yeah, I wasn’t there that year. That pre-dated me and there are still some hurt feelings over that. If something is illegal, I think you should be to see it, yes. If it’s not illegal, I don’t think we should. I think the issue with that example is there was a pretty strong argument there was nothing illegal.”


DENNY SAID HE WAS PENALIZED FOR WHAT HE SAID AND NOT NECESSARILY FOR WHAT HE DID. DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE BEING HONEST AND SPEAKING OUT WITH WHATEVER IS ON YOUR MIND? “No. The reality is we represent Fortune 500 companies and there are a lot of things I’d like to say or do that I can’t do, but that’s part of life.”


HOW DO YOU DECIDE? “A case by case basis. Better off to stay silent at this point.”


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