Ford Performance NASCAR: Logano Takes Mustang to NASCAR XFINITY Victory Lane

Ford Notes and Quotes

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

Roseanne 300 (Auto Club Speedway; Fontana, CA)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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Ford Finishing Results:

1st – Joey Logano

6th – Cole Custer

14th – Kaz Grala

17th – Ryan Reed

28th – Austin Cindric

33rd – Dylan Lupton

 

COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang – “I don’t know if we had anything for the 22.  They were pretty dominant all day, but we were definitely a third or fourth-place car and just kind of fought hard all day.  That last restart just didn’t play in our favor with the 39 staying out and being behind him, but it was definitely a hard-fought day.  I was happy with the speed we had, we just have to come back next week and be a little bit better.”  A GOOD SOLID DAY WITH NO ISSUES.  “Yeah, for sure.  We have been getting better and better as the season goes.  We have fast cars, we just have to have one day where everything goes our way.”

 

RYAN REED, No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang – “Overall, it was kind of a disappointing weekend at Auto Club Speedway.  I thought we had a really good race car most of the weekend.  We started off decent in practiced and qualified seventh and I felt like we had a really strong race car for the race.  When we got going early on I was fighting the balance a little bit and felt like if we got our Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Mustang dialed in we would be in contention for a top 10.  We ended up breaking a power-steering pump about halfway through the race, so it was a disappointing end.  It’s one of those deals where you’re gonna have mechanical failures in racing and when you do you just have to deal with them. You diagnose what happened and move on.”

 

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 60 Lti Printing Ford Mustang – “There are a lot of positives to take out of this weekend, but none of them happened on Saturday.  Unfortunately, that’s the day that counted.  We have to figure out why we had a fifth-place car in practice and a 15th-place car in the race.  You get caught up with guys racing way too hard and putting you in bad spots and at the end of the day that’s what cost us a lead lap finish, just poor situations to be in and it’s unfortunate.  This race had so much potential for us.  I learned a lot about this track and what I need to do the next time I come back.  I feel comfortable knowing we have speed, but at the end of the day I brought it home with a bunch of battle scars on it.  We’ll move on and I’ll be in the 12 car at Texas and see what I can do there.”

 

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE – WHAT MADE YOU SO GOOD?  “The car was really good.  It was a total team effort, though.  I was talking to Wilson afterwards and even my crew chief on the other side, Todd Gordon, and I said, ‘Man, if we don’t win this race tomorrow, we really screwed something up.’ It’s one of those races and one of those cars that is so good that you just hope that you don’t screw something up and don’t win the race when you have a car like that.  The pit crew did an excellent job.  Every time we came down pit road we came out where we were and we were able to have good strategy, good pit stops and a quick car, so everything went as planned and we were able to be here in Victory Lane.  It’s nice when you have a car that dominant and you win the race.  It stings a lot when you don’t win a race and your car is like that, so it’s more of a relief than anything right now.”

 

BRIAN WILSON, Crew Chief – ANY CHANCE WHEN YOU SECOND-GUESSED LEAVING HIM OUT THERE AND HAVING TO TELL HIM EVERYONE HAS FOUR TIRES?  “Yeah, absolutely.  Like Joey was saying, anytime that you’ve got a car like you worry that you’re gonna screw it up and 100 percent as soon as I saw that we were the only car out there I thought that we had screwed it up right there.  It was early enough that we still had enough laps left where I felt like, ‘OK, we’re gonna have to pit again.  It’s gonna cycle through,’ but are we gonna get back in the pack and is something gonna happen to change our day.  Fortunately, it worked out to where we could put the tires on pretty quickly afterwards and obviously with the car that strong and then six-lap fresher tires, it worked out really well.   I don’t know how fun it was coming through there, but it was fun to watch.”

 

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – “That’s always fun.  Any time you have new tires and no one else does it’s fun.  It’s when you have the old tires and every one has the new tires that it’s not fun.”

 

IT SOUNDED LIKE THERE WAS SOME DEBATE ON THE LAST STOP.  WHAT MADE THE FINAL DETERMINATION THERE AND, JOEY, DID YOU THINK GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THE CAR THAT YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO GET BACK TO THE LEAD SO QUICK?  “I felt sure that we had a car quick enough and then when we had tires on it I think we had 10 laps and they had six.  I felt like with new tires we’d be able to drive up there pretty quick with the car we had.  The worry more than anything was a restart, if someone crashes in front of you and you get in the crash.  That would probably be the biggest worry, but it felt like once we got close to the front we’d have an advantage like that with new tires.  You’re gonna blow right by them, so I felt confident in that.  I’ll let Wilson talk about the decision.”

BRIAN WILSON CONTINUED – “On the decision, you always want to try to keep tires as late as you can here just because if a caution comes out with four to go you want to have tires to come and take them.  You don’t ever want to be in a situation where someone else has more tires left than you do.  I was definitely on the fence and I want to say that the deciding factor, really, was when I brought it up to Joey.  You could hear in his voice that he was doubting it and at that point it wasn’t necessarily the doubt but when he doubted that decision it was more that he has confidence in the car and if we’d pit, he knows he’s gonna be able to get back up front because I had already said we’re probably gonna be 20th at that point, so the way that he responded to the question kind of gave me the confidence to know if we put tires on this thing he’s confident that we’re gonna be able to get back to the front.”

 

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – “I just felt like Allgaier was gonna get me if we ran many more laps he was gonna eventually pass me.  I was trying to hold him off pretty hard, so I  know eventually once one car passed me more were gonna pass me because we weren’t gonna have the clean air anymore.  That’s why I was kind of voting for tires, but I followed it up with, ‘You’re smarter than me.  You make the call.’  I didn’t want to have that pressure on me (laughing).  I drive.  He calls the race.”

 

ARE YOU A FAN OF ROSEANNE BECAUSE NOW YOU HAVE A TROPHY WITH HER NAME ON IT?  “I knew this question was gonna come up.  I feel like I’ve watched Roseanne a long time ago like on Nick at Night, if I remember.”

 

BRIAN WILSON CONTINUED – “He was watching the reruns.  I think I watched them live.” (laughter)

 

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – “I was kind of hoping, when we pulled in here yesterday and I saw the Roseanne 300 banner over the walkway over there I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the name of the race?  That’s cool.’  And then I was thinking what the trophy would look like, and I was hoping it would be a big picture of her face.  It was a lot calmer than that, unfortunately, but it’s still cool.”

 

BASED ON WHAT YOU SAW TODAY WITH CARS THAT HAD SIX-LAP TIRES ON THEM WHEN YOU PITTED, ARE YOU GLAD NASCAR MADE THE DECISION TOMORROW BECAUSE YOU WOULD HAVE STARTED ON SIX-LAP OLDER TIRES THAN THE CARS WHO DIDN’T MAKE QUALIFYING ATTEMPTS?  “NASCAR had to do something there.  Last year, we did not get through tech here before qualifying and we started 37th.  We were 11th three laps into the race.  You can imagine starting 25th on brand new tires you’re gonna be racing for the lead four laps into the race if it takes that long.  I don’t think cars that don’t make it through tech should have an advantage on the field.  It’s kind of backwards on what it should be.  Even last year it was kind of backwards of what it should be.  It shouldn’t have been like that, so I think NASCAR is gonna come up with some good ways to prevent this from happening again.  I’m glad they did something because when you have cars that I don’t want to say purposely not going out there to qualify, but kind of, and trying to get the advantage is not what the fans come here to see.  You come here to see your favorite driver qualify.  When you tune in to watch qualifying, you tune in to watch 40 cars qualify, not 24 of them.  I think that’s important that NASCAR does something to prevent that from happening and they made it right this time.  I’m sure they’ll come up with a good way to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

 

WHAT CAN YOU LEARN TODAY FOR TOMORROW?  “There is some things you’re able to learn from running this race and you only come out here once a year, so it’s still kind of a challenging race track when you don’t get to come here but once a year. There are so many lanes on the race track.  Restarts become crazy.  Things like that.  The cars are very different – a Cup car from an XFINITY car, but I think we made a change today in the Cup car that we made on the XFINITY car and we had the same result on it, so we learned some things yesterday that helped us for our race tomorrow and I think for me as a driver a couple of things I’m able to transfer over, but I think just getting comfortable running up against the wall again, things like that just kind of help you for the first couple laps in the Cup race.”

 

DO YOU HAVE AN EDGE OVER THE CUP GUYS WHO DIDN’T RUN TODAY?  “You have an advantage for the first five laps probably because you know where the track is a little bit better, maybe kind of know where the track went throughout the race.  There’s not a whole bunch.  The cars that were fast earlier in practice today are gonna be fast tomorrow.  I don’t think the advantage you get from running this race is so large that you’re gonna smoke everyone tomorrow because you had more laps, but it does allow you to feel a little bit more comfortable in moving up the race track sooner.”

 

WHAT ONE THING MADE YOUR CAR SO DOMINANT TODAY?  “I don’t think there’s one thing in motorsports anymore that makes a car fast.  I think we’d say it all the time, we’re stacking pennies.  We’re making small little changes here and there. We’re not looking for a lot anymore, you’re looking for half-a-tenth most of the time and whether it’s a good change or not.  I think really what it comes down to is the people and I think that’s what gives you the advantage.  The better the driver can work with the crew chief and understand the lingo and what you’re trying to explain, the better the crew chief can work with his engineers and the changes from the guys making the changes, from the ones building the cars at the shop when we start. All of that has to work together.  Everyone has somewhat the same tools at this point.  It’s not like you can have a huge advantage on a tool that everyone else doesn’t have, it’s just how you work your tools and that’s the big advantage I feel like we’ve been able to have at least for this weekend.  It’s subject to change every week.  That’s how motorsports works.”

 

BRIAN WILSON CONTINUED – “I would sum that whole thing up just by saying the unfair advantage these days is Team Penske.  That’s a very simple way of saying it and this very much has been several years in the building, getting the XFINITY program back to where it needed to be, so everyone from all the different departments have really chipped in.”

 

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED – WHEN NASCAR SAYS ANY CARS THAT FAIL INSPECTION WILL HAVE TO MAKE A PASS THROUGH AFTER THE GREEN FLAG, WOULD THAT BE A DETERMING FACTOR FOR ALL THE CARS TO GET THROUGH INSPECTION?  “Oh, yeah.  That’s a huge penalty.  It’s huge.  That’s plenty to make sure everyone gets through and gets on the race track.  I think that’s fine.  I may regret saying this someday, but I think it’s a good idea.  I like and I’m amazed they were able to come up with something that good that quick.  That was good.  I’m glad they’re on their game and they saw that.  We’re all competitors.  I’m not blaming anyone for doing what they did yesterday.  We even thought about doing it.  It makes sense to play the game that way.  It just doesn’t feel right and that’s why we didn’t do it, but I understand why people would do that.  If it’s me, I would do it in a heartbeat.  Todd got me not to do that, but the rule coming down to make a pass-through under green, that’s plenty to keep cars from doing that for sure.”

 

BRIAN WILSON CONTINUED – WILL YOU TALK WITH TODD GORDON ABOUT STRATEGY OR ANYTHING?  “I often have conversations with the Cup crew chiefs depending on which driver I have.  It’ll start on Tuesday or Wednesday at the shop just trying to figure out what they’re gonna be working on and what direction they’re going and see if they’ve seen any trends.  A lot of times the setup may not be the same, but the changes that you make and how you tune on the car you wind up with the same reaction or the same response, and even if you’re in a different range on spring or wedge or whatever it ends up being.  There are a lot of conversations along those lines, but then during the weekend, especially at races where the tire is common between Cup and XFINITY, it comes down to talking about directions and trends that we see on tire pressures and where did it affect the car.  Did we gain overall grip?  In this race, I’m sure they were paying attention to how did the strategy play out two laps into a run versus six laps into a run.  How do you make the calls and when do you want to come in and when do you want to stay out.”

Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance/Photo Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

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