Ford Performance Development scored a double podium finish in the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season ending race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday.
Speaking following the race, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were asked:
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang — WHAT DID YOU NEED MORE OF?
“I would have loved to have a late-race yellow for sure. I thought we were pretty fast there at the end. It’s tough. We got behind there with some track position and I fought really hard to get it back. We didn’t get it all, but got most of it. We were right there with the Discount Tire Ford and just came up one spot short.”
YOU WERE FAST ON THE LONG RUN. DID YOU JUST NEED TO BE CLOSER TO THE 9? “
Yeah, I would have liked to have one of those late-race yellows like we saw in the truck race and the Xfinity race. I thought we were pretty good there and just didn’t have the track position to make it show. I knew we had a good shot at the end of the second stage and just couldn’t keep it up in a spot to where we could have the lead. I’m really proud of the speed we had. It was a solid day. I just wish we had one more spot.”
WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF TEAM PENSKE TO HAVE TWO CARS IN THE FINAL RACE AFTER A CREW CHANGE DURING THE OFF-SEASON?
“I think it was one of those scenarios where everybody got better. You look last year we didn’t have either of the cars in the top four at Homestead for the final race and now we had two cars in it. I think you look at Ryan Blaney and he had one of his best years ever, so it was interesting how it worked out. I think all three got better and for us with the Discount Tire Ford we had a great season.”
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang
— WHAT DID YOU NEED MORE OUT THERE, ESPECIALLY LATE IN THOSE RUNS?
“I just needed to go a little faster there at the end. Paul did a good job with the strategy, pitting a lap before them. The pit stop was great. We got ourselves to the lead, so we did what we were supposed to do there. We just weren’t fast enough there at the end. That was the biggest thing. We were loose off.”
WHAT DID YOU NEED TO HOLD CHASE OFF THAT LAST RUN?
“I just didn’t have the speed at the right time. Early in the race our Shell Pennzoil Mustang was really fast and nothing anyone did wrong. Our pit crew was on it. Our strategy got us out front there at the end, but the 9 seemed like he lit off there pretty good there and that last run was able to go really fast, and then got another vibration there towards the end of the run and lost the turn and was still a little free off. We were close. Everyone executed and did their job and that’s what we should be most proud of and also is how far we’ve come from the beginning of the season to now as a team. There’s a lot to be proud of. It stings not winning. I’m not gonna lie, it hurts, but at the same time we’re stronger because we went through it.”
WHAT WILL YOU TAKE FROM THIS YEAR TO MOVE ON?
“Like I said, it’s a growing year. As a new driver/crew chief pairing with the team, going through what the Covid protocols are and not being able to be around each other and not having practice maybe being the most challenging piece. Like I said, to see where we’ve come from there’s a lot to be proud of, so we look at the positives. I’m always a silver lining person. It’s hard to do right now, but I will say we’ve grown a lot and it makes me really excited for 2021. I told the guys before we came here, you don’t lose in these situations. You either win or get stronger and unfortunately we’re the stronger ones today. We’ll get stronger, but we’ll be ready for next year.”
Stewart Haas Racing’s Cole Custer who was named Rookie of the year was asked:
COLE CUSTER, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang —
YOU ARE THE SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR ROOKIE SEASON?
“I think it was definitely a rookie season with a lot of peaks and valleys. It was a really interesting season to be a rookie with no practice, no testing or qualifying, so it was a lot of just learning on the fly, but I think we all managed it very well. We had a really good rookie class of me, Tyler, Christopher, John Hunter, I think we all had really good runs throughout the year and it definitely means a lot to win that. I can’t thank everybody enough for putting me in this situation. Everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, HaasTooling.com, Ford Performance, everybody that helps support this team.”