Ford Performance – NCS Bristol Dirt Post-Race Quotes

Ford Finishing Results:


5th – Chase Briscoe

8th – Todd Gilliland

9th – Kevin Harvick

11th – Michael McDowell

15th – Harrison Burton

17th – Brad Keselowski

18th – Chris Buescher

19th – Austin Cindric

20th – JJ Yeley

23rd – Ryan Blaney

24th – Ryan Preece

31st – Aric Almirola

34th – Matt Crafton

37th – Joey Logano

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Magical Vacation Planner Ford Mustang – “I thought the track was awesome. I thought that was the most realistic dirt race you’re gonna get with real dirt cars. I felt like we finally saw the dirt guys shine for that same reason, so I had a lot of fun running the top like that. It actually built a little bit of a cushion. It’s still not much, but it was just a lot of fun. I hope the fans enjoyed it. Hopefully, we can do it again in the future. I’m not really sure what the future of this race is, but I thought it was an awesome race from my vantage point and hopefully it was for everybody else, too.”


FOR AS GOOD AS TONIGHT WAS WOULD IT BE OK IF THIS RACE WENT BACK TO CONCRETE? “I would love to see this race on a non-Easter weekend just to see the turnout. I feel like we don’t get a true read about what the fan base thinks about it. We have to have a dirt race, I think, at least one. Now, if it’s here or not, it really doesn’t make a difference to me, but I do think after tonight, even last year, but especially after tonight, I think it’s shown that it can put on really good racing. It’s just a matter of the track prep and all those things that go along with it. I would be fine if we move it, we just have to be smart about it and where you run it because it’s gonna be hard to just go and replicate something like this or replicate and Eldora.”


YOU MAY NOT NEED SURGERY NOW ON YOUR HAND? “Yeah, they said today that I’ll do my x-ray first thing in the morning and depending on what it looks like I may not have to have surgery, so I don’t know what to think. As of now, I have absolutely zero pain. There were times I got a little behind, but it was literally the bulkiness of how big this thing is compared to what my normal hand would be that it kind of messed me up, but, from a pain standpoint, I feel 100 percent fine. I never had pain once in the race, so we’ll see how the x-ray goes tomorrow and go from there.”


DID IT IMPACT ANY OF YOUR MOVES? “I maybe got me a touch behind sometimes, like when I would get really far out of shape and turning it back quick the other direction, just due to the sheer fact of how bulky it is, but you’re not gonna have that anywhere else. When we’re at Martinsville, I’m never gonna go full lock left, full lock right, back and forth, so I think I’ll be fine going forward.”


YOU LOST SOME SPOT THAT ONE TIME LATE. “The 45 kept trying to slide me and I probably should have lifted and I tried stay in wide-open and trying to drive back around him and I got it in the fence. Then I started overdriving. I was in such a rhythm behind the 20 and when I got out of that rhythm I just started running a foot off the top and started making mistakes and got in the wall a second time and that was just me not doing a very good job.”


WHAT HAPPENED ON THE FINAL RESTART? “That last restart, especially being on the inside, you just try to shove the guy in front of you as hard as you can. I didn’t get a great launch and shove down the front straightaway to him and then going into one I just tried to run as low as I possibly could and when I went in there I hit those big dirt turtle things after my spotter had warned me about it five times. As soon as I hit it, it just bottomed the nose out super hard and my car just shot right and hit Blaney in the left rear. I absolutely ruined his day. He’d done a really good job and was running third and honestly thought he had a shot to win it if I could give him the right push, and I just completely ruined it for him. It wasn’t a very good decision on my part. I just got in there and hit the turtle and it bottomed me out.”



MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang – “I don’t know how you could do that. I literally had two 360’s without hitting anything. The first one was on my own. I just went full lock and ran out of steering to the right and I just stayed in it and it was straight and I’m like, ‘Oh, man. I only lost two spots.’ And then on the last one I’m not sure. I think there was probably some contact below me. I think it was maybe the 16 and the 38 and I saw one just turn right like he got knocked off into me and spun around and didn’t hit anything again. That is a very fortunate night when you can do two 360s and not get clobbered by the field. But we lost track position with that, so we had to stay out there on tires after that and not quite good enough at the end. We just lacked drive, but coming away with a top 10 after two 360s is OK.”



TODD GILLILAND, No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang – “I think our car was good when it was really tacky. I got in that very first wreck and when I was a lap down it was so fun. I passed like 10 to 15 cars, so I think we were more just set up for when it was tackier. We didn’t really have the entry grip or the exit grip we needed when it got really slick. That’s how this place goes, though. It goes through such a big swing. I feel like for a majority of the race we were OK. Frustrating because I thought we could have got a better finish, but that’s racing sometimes.”


WERE YOU JUST HOLDING ON AT THE END? “Yeah. I was absolutely hanging on. I thought I was gonna spin out on entry and exit. It was pretty bad at the end, but I’m happy we came away with a decent finish.”



RYAN PREECE, No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang – WAS IT HARD TO FIND A RHYTHM TONIGHT? “I think if we could have kept track position, we had I feel like a top 10 car, but when it got slick like that I don’t know how many people were actually moving forward, but it was just try to hold on. Those last 75 laps or so, I mean, once you lose track position after Stage 1, man, you guys saw it, guys stayed out and they maintained it. What are you gonna do at that point? I don’t care if Chad had a magic wand and I had a special set of tires that were staggered special, it wouldn’t have mattered. You just can’t do anything. There’s no grip anywhere.”


ARE YOU UP AGAINST A PERFORMANCE CHALLENGE OR JUST BETTER LUCK THIS YEAR? “That’s the third week in a row we’ve run top 10. It starts with, I’ve always said this, it starts with running there to winning races and we’ve showed speed, so that’s something. You’ve got speed, but ultimately it’s certainly frustrating when you’re not getting the results of where you’re running and not really due to something that you can really control. But at the end of the day the clock resets at midnight. We’re moving forward and we’re gonna go to Martinsville with every bullet loaded, so we’ll be good.”


ON THE RADIO YOU SAID GAME OVER. WHAT DID THAT MEAN? “I think you just get mad getting run in the fence. There was no meaning, it’s just from inside that race car you’re like, ‘I’m not gonna lift.’ When it comes to being run into the fence, every time you lift, if guys see you lifting when you’re at the right-rear corner, they’re just gonna keep running you up in the fence. I think when I meant game over, I meant just not gonna keep lifting and giving that respect of, ‘hey, I’ll give you this room.’ It comes down to that.”


THE LARSON CONTACT, WE VIEWED IT AS ONE WHERE YOU WEREN’T GOING TO GIVE HIM ANY ROOM. “No, I was just trying to run the top. You guys saw it. He was running the top and making ground and I tried to move up and it’s really slick if you’re not in the right spot, not racing dirt, I guess you figure that out.”



KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang – “It just takes me too long to get going. It’s not that we don’t have a good car or can’t do it, it just takes me forever to figure out where I need to be. The more worn out and nasty the racetrack gets, the better I am, but it just took me too long to figure it out.”



ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “I tried. I was out of my comfort zone already running up there and I was doing way better than I thought I was capable, and I started really getting a feel for it and a rhythm and started to get comfortable. Then I went down into turn one and tried a little bit harder and slid through the cushion and got in the fence and broke the right rear toe link and then we lost 10 laps changing the right-rear toe link. I’m just disappointed in myself and mad at myself for throwing away a good finish, but I was trying and just made a mistake.”



RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang – WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LAST RESTART? “I was excited to start on the front row. I thought that we were kind of making the middle work and I was really pumped to start on the front row and see what we had, but we never got a shot. The 14 hit us from behind and that was it.”


YOU CAME ON STRONG THE LATE. DID THAT CAUTION PLAY INTO YOUR HANDS? “Yeah, I think the caution came at a good time because it gave us a shot to win the race. I kind of got the middle going there pretty good and I was able to drive to third and not a lot of guys could really run the middle, so that’s why I was really excited to get a restart at it because I thought the middle could have been pretty good for a handful of laps and I could get to the lead, but I just never could get that shot.”



JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT HAPPENED THERE? “Someone wrecked in front of me and I can’t say I really saw it and they came down the racetrack and hit it with the right-front and it broke the steering and then I hit the wall really hard after that. That just kind of killed our car. It’s a bummer. We got caught up in pretty much everything from the beginning of the race. I was in the first couple of cautions right off the bat. We had a really good Mustang that could run its way back through the field and we got our way back to 14th by the end of the first stage and I was like, ‘Alright, I think we’re pretty good.’ And then just got caught up in more of them.”


WHAT ABOUT TRACK CONDITIONS? “It’s pretty racy right now. You look at it right now and it’s top to bottom. It’s pretty good.”


IS THAT WHY WE’RE SEEING GUYS LOSE IT AND SPIN? “There’s a lot of lanes. It’s really slick and as the cars get more and more sideways they don’t really like it too much. They really want to come around easy and you just see cars spin out, which is just a product of not being dirt cars. I think that’s part of it, but when we do get to race it’s pretty entertaining.”


HOW ARE CONDITIONS COMPARED TO LAST NIGHT? “Comparable. About the same. If anything, it’s probably rubbered in a little bit more, which we would expect, Obviously, it dried out pretty quick as we’d expect, but I think it’s pretty good right now. The lesson I learned tonight is after they watered the track up top is not more grip. That’s mud. Not good.”


HOW HARD WAS IT TO GET INTO A RHYTHM? “There is no rhythm right now. They run 10 laps at a time, if that. It’ll probably look like that for a while.”


HOW HARD IS IT TO GET THROUGH THE FIELD? “Honestly, our car was so good that we drove from the back a few times and it wasn’t that bad. There are a lot of lanes. If you’re faster, you can move around and do different things. You can pass and make big moves and do things, but there’s always carnage around you and at some point you get caught up in it.”

Ford Performance PR