Buescher Clinches Playoff Berth With Richmond Cup Victory

  • Chris Buescher won his first race of the season and third overall with today’s victory.
  • The win is the 139th NASCAR Cup Series triumph for car owner Jack Roush and second under the Roush Fenway Keselowski banner.
  • Today’s win is Ford’s 723rd all-time in NASCAR Cup Series competition.

 

Ford Finishing Results:

1st – Chris Buescher

4th – Joey Logano

5th – Ryan Preece

6th – Brad Keselowski

8th – Aric Almirola

10th – Kevin Harvick

11th – Chase Briscoe

14th – Ryan Blaney

22nd – Michael McDowell

25th – Todd Gilliland

26th – Austin Cindric

29th – Ryan Newman

31st – Harrison Burton

35th – JJ Yeley

 

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – WHEN THE CAUTION CAME OUT TAKE US THROUGH YOUR EMOTIONS. “I don’t get too stirred up most of the time (laughing). I was sitting there and we had a nice easy lead going there. I was taking care of it and then shifting and about the time Scott came on the radio and said, ‘Let’s work it just like that. Keep it smooth.’ I don’t think he even got off the button and, caution.’ So, I knew it was gonna take some work to get back going, but our Fastenal Mustang was so good firing off today, so good in practice. I didn’t get the job done in qualifying. I had to pass a bunch of cars today and have some great strategy and some great pit stops. Everybody at RFK Racing who has worked so hard to get us to this point. This is awesome. I knew that last restart was gonna be tough, but I knew we had the speed in this thing.”

 

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS SUMMER RACE AT RICHMOND THAT FITS YOU SO WELL? “I love it when it gets hot and slick out here. I like searching for grip. I like that line moving around and it made it fun. I felt like the spring race we were pretty decent, but didn’t have everything go our way. That was just textbook execution from everybody. We had a clean day, good strategy, good pit stops, good choices and that got us here to Victory Lane with our Fastenal Mustang. I just feel that the hot, slick weather lets us move around and chase what we need to have that speed in our race cars.”

 

HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE IN QUALIYING AND THE RACE? “It might have been me (laughing). I won’t take the credit today. That was a ton of other people working together. We had a little bit of a miss in qualifying and group choice was bad luck of the draw, but at the end of the day it put us in a tough spot to start the day and to be in victory lane that makes it even more special.”

 

 

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 BuildSubmarines.com Ford Mustang – “I’m happy for Chris. We’re incrementally building. It was a solid day for both teams here at RFK. I’m happy for everybody that works on these teams, everybody that supports us with Fastenal and Ford and Build Subs. We led a lot of laps with both cars. Neither of our cars started up front and drove through and great job with the pit crews and just a lot to be proud of today. Of course, I want to win as a driver, but I’m just happy we’re as competitive as we are and we just want to keep building and keep getting more competitive every week.”

 

IS THIS A STATEMENT THAT YOU GUYS ARE MAKING PROGESS? “One win is good, but you get three or four or five and then you feel a lot better. It sure beats not having any at all, but we want to keep going. It’s nice to have one car locked in the playoffs. We need to get both cars locked in the playoffs. We have a good points gap, but we want wins and this is where we need to be.”

 

MICHIGAN IS NEXT WEEK. DO YOU HAVE THAT CIRCLED? “Yeah, Michigan has always been a great track for what was Roush and then Roush Fenway and hopefully it will be that way again for RFK. We know it’s not gonna be easy. There’s a lot of great competition there, but it’s nice going in there with a win under your belt.”

 

 

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – “We weren’t that bad with the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang, just a little bit off from the best cars. Really couldn’t hang. If you put us at fifth, we could probably hang at fifth, but just qualifying as poorly as we did, slowly getting our way up there, a couple setbacks during the race, kind of made us hang around 7th and 10th place range for a little bit. I knew we just had to get there. Paul did a good job. Must have been a special set of tires. I don’t know, but it fired off pretty good and was able to roll the outside of two lanes there. When Denny screwed up and slid up, got me down the middle and I was like, ‘Maybe this is okay,’ and then it allowed the 8 to get back to the outside. We gave up a spot there. I saw him. I got excited. I was like, I’m also there. I need one more caution. It wasn’t fun (smiling).”

 

WHAT ABOUT THE FORD PERFORMANCE TODAY? “I think where our weaknesses were hidden today by the lack of grip in the racetrack. Mechanical grip seems to come in and it’s hard to put the power down as it is, so I think just where our weaknesses are were masked and I’m glad Chris was able to capitalize on it and a Ford got in Victory Lane. We need to get more of them in there, but it’s nice to see one there in Victory Lane right now.”

 

 

 

RYAN PREECE, No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang – “My confidence was I’ve seen what Chad has given here in year’s past and we talked a lot about what we were gonna need and I said, ‘Man, if you can get me to roll the center, I’ll deal with loose in,’ so that’s what he gave me today and this United Rentals Ford Mustang was pretty stout. Fifth, we lined up in that second row at the end, but we run more like this we’re gonna have more opportunities to challenge for wins.”

 

HOW BIG WAS THIS FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE, BUT FOR TEAM MORALE? “We all did (run well). I think that’s just a product of working hard. Sitting and twiddling your thumbs isn’t gonna get you the results that you really want. I know that from racing, so we’ve just been working hard and trying to find what I like, find what Aric likes, Kevin likes, Chase likes and I feel like we’re all trending in that direction.”

 

 

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “It was a strong day. I don’t know that we had anything for the 17 or the 6. They were really good, but I could maintain and after about 55 laps I think we were arguably the best car on the racetrack from that point on. The first run it went 70 laps and from like lap 50 to 70 I passed a ton of cars and unfortunately in those next few stages the runs aren’t as long. They’re only 45-50 laps when you break them up into three and I didn’t have enough of a long run to pass a lot of cars like I did previous. I’m frustrated that I bottomed out getting on to the apron coming to pit road under the green flag there and kind of took off in a four-wheel slide and barely clipped the orange box there with my right side tires. I’m frustrated. That’s a silly mistake. You can’t make those mistakes, but, all in all, it was a great day. I had a great Smithfield Ford Mustang. I’m really proud of our guys. We’ve been bringing some really good race cars to the racetrack lately, so we’ll see. We’ve got a few more here to try and get one.”

 

 

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang – “Overall, it was a decent day. Our qualifying effort hurt us more than I thought it was going to. I thought our car was really good on a long run, but just could never get the track position to go with it. It seemed like toward the end of the run we would be better than a lot of guys, but were never better enough to pass them. Overall, I thought our car was good, but just needed a little bit more speed to finish it off. With how our last couple of months have gone it’s definitely nice to have another solid run. It seems like all the short tracks we can always run good, it’s just the big tracks that we kind of struggle on so hopefully we can apply something we learned today for Michigan and move on.”

 

Ford Performance PR