Chris Buescher Leads Mustang to First Career Mast

FORD QUALIFICATION RESULTS

1 – Chris Buescher

5 – Ryan Blaney

11 – Kevin Harvick

12 – Austin Cindric

13 – Ryan Preece

20 – Brad Keselowski

22 – Joey Logano

23 – Chasing Briscoe

27 – Aric Almirola

28th – Cody’s Warehouse

29 – Michael McDowell

30 – Cole Custer

32 – BJ McLeod

34 – Todd Gilliland

35 – Harrison Burton

Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang — Pole Winner Press Conference

PROVE US THROUGH YOUR QUALIFICATION SESSION: “It was definitely a great start for our Fastenal group and pretty cool for RFK to get our first pole, my first Cup Series pole. This is probably my first NASCAR pole, I don’t think I ever got one in the Xfinity Series either. Man, even cramped media center here. It’s like being on a backstretch. This is a pretty cool start for us. The training was very interesting and we had a lot of torn equipment. I watched it with a lot of attention trying not to be one of them. I was lucky enough Brad (Keselowski) came over and he saw a few things and helped me with some input from inside the car and what we were trying to achieve. He went out there and did really good practice and a good qualifying effort too so we could apply some of what he saw and it turned out really well for us and our qualifying efforts. Pretty cool to finish on the first lap. I think the second lap has more potential. I guess it didn’t need it but I didn’t let them make the adjustments they wanted before we got into the second half. I thought it was going to be a little too conservative but it ended up being enough to hold it in. Good start. We are slowly and steadily building momentum throughout a good season after Talladega’s finish which was very difficult for both teams, especially us. We have a lot of laps left to go, but a bad start and there is no better place to see the green flag fall.”

THIS IS YOUR FIRST NASCAR POLE. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO OPEN FROM THE LIST? “I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever emphasized in its entirety. In the end, it’s all about the checkered flag at the end of the race. This is really cool. I’ve been very close here in Dover on the Xfinity side and this is a place I’d love to come to forever. I like watching it on TV. It’s fun to explore here. I still have one of Xfinity’s smaller Miles The Monster trophies in the home office. It’s a special place for me and it’s cool to get our first pole here. It’s been a long time coming. Heck of a start for us. I’m really looking forward to racing tomorrow with our Fastenal Mustang.”

WERE YOU SHOCKED BY THE SPEED YOU CAN LOWER TODAY? “A little bit. We had some practice and I thought the grip was really good, we just lost some pace and I think that’s just some comfort coming from me and trying to tackle the bumps better. I can see a lot of data from both drills. Brad is coming and gave me a lot of insight that helped me realize what I needed to try to do and pretty much come out in qualifying and commit to it.After the first round I knew we did a pretty good lap, we were only the third car on the track so I don’t know in the where the position is. We went through all of them and saw someone else making laps and it ended up being a very strong lap. I knew we had a very good chance in the second half. There were some cars that scored good numbers in just one lap and that’s on my mind. We were able to get it in our first lap which maybe helped that. I was able to get everything we needed n. It’s pretty cool. It’s been a wild ride around this place. No breathing. It’s like Bristol in many ways. You’re just tired. I was out there shaking trying to drink afterward. It’s a roller coaster of a race track and a lot of fun. For those of us sitting here watching the race and wondering about track position and how important this is, it’s always been a little bit sensitive here and I think with the weather we were a little worried it might not be as wide as we need it to have a good race. It has put a lot of rubber on pretty quickly and it’s interesting. I feel it gives me optimism for a good, wide race track. To start we don’t have to worry about the track position. I am very proud of everyone. That’s really cool and cool to cross that one off the list. ”

HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE FLOW WILL Extend DURING THE RACE? “I don’t know how fast it will move. I’m optimistic it will be just by the amount of rubber put with it being cold outside in the grand scheme of things. You’re always nervous when that happens, it becomes a very narrow one-groove race track. I didn’t think it would be like that. We’re going to watch Xfinity race and pay attention to that, even though it’s a very different race car at the moment. We’ll be watching to see if it moves around there. I hope it will move in the first stage and I think when you get all the cars on the track at the same time if it will move it will probably be quite fast.

WE HAVE SEEN GOOD RACING ON SOME HIGH SPEED TRACKS. WHAT ARE YOU ANTICIPATING FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS, INCLUDING THIS CAR? “I think we see this one as maybe our last big unknown. As we enter the weekend, we have reached many different race tracks with many different characteristics and we have a few different ones, but we can relate most of them to other race tracks. Dover balances, doesn’t it? Bristol will be one, but Bristol above ground is definitely worthless when we come to Dover with concrete. This is one we have circled and many meetings and talks about this upcoming event. I think we ended up with more questions than answers. I didn’t know what to expect for this one. I think we’ve seen it track position sensitivity over the years and I know that’s something this car is trying to overcome. I don’t know how it will work here. If the track goes wide as I feel quite optimistic at the moment, I think it will be a very good race and you can see us moving from the bottom on the apron all the way to the fence like we did in different races in the past. Then Darlington, they have some tests there now so maybe more laps there than Dover. The tests here were a long time ago at this point. I think Darlington is always a challenge. More unknown from that race track is probably the durability of the car. We’ve seen it quite tall and you don’t have to worry about the metal body cutting through the tires if you get into the fence. Something we’ve seen very forgiving in the Xfinity Series. That is something one might think about for this car. We had some weak links exposed earlier that have been addressed and improved and I think that might change the way we see how aggressively we run the outfield that can create so much pace at Darlington. Little unknown there and still a lot of questions, but I think this is the biggest unknown with a lot to solve in a pretty long race. We’ll have more answers at the end of the day tomorrow. ”

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER WIN POLE IN NASCAR? “To be fair, I never thought too much about it or stressed it. I don’t think it’s something I thought we would ever get. I think we will be able to get our game right and grab one. That’s cool to get it on Dover. We had a good pace at different times and we learned a lot with this car. With 15 or 230 minute training sessions and all those training crashes it goes really fast. It’s all about how you unpack and how close you are and how fast you can get there if you don’t get close from the start. This is a week where everyone is doing a really good job in our group across the organization. It’s very special for me to get the first pole, hopefully, the first of many poles.

Ford Performance PR

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