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JUN 10, 2019 | FORD PERFORMANCE STAFF

Joey Logano Wins Michigan

FireKeepers Casino 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Joey Logano kept manufacturer bragging rights in the Blue Oval fols, leading 163 of 203 laps and holding off the hard-charge of Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. to claim Ford’s third-straight win at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano was the leader of a group of fast Ford’s in the rain-delayed race Monday evening as six Mustangs found their way into the top-10 at the end. Daniel Suarez finished fourth with Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Ryan Blaney finishing sixth through 9th.

Logano had the fastest car in qualifying on Saturday and the fastest car in the 15th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event of the season, but after a late caution Logano needed overtime to seal the win.

Thanks to Logano’s victory, Ford Motor Company retained the Michigan Heritage Trophy that goes to the manufacturer of the winning car. Ford drivers have won the last three races at the 2-mile track.

Though Logano led 163 laps, the race wasn’t a cruise for the Team Penske driver. In one hotly contested section of the race, Logano passed Harvick on Lap 148, surrendered the top spot back to Harvick on Lap 149 and regained it on Lap 150.

But a two-tire call from Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, on a Lap 175 pit stop gained more than five seconds on Harvick, who had taken four tires one lap earlier. Even with the late caution, Harvick couldn’t regain the lost track position on the final two-lap shootout.

Logano led 109 of the first 113 laps and prevailed in Stage 1.

Clint Bowyer’s bid to repeat his Michigan victory from last June ended after just 130 laps after his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Ford crashed in Turn 2. He placed 35th in the 36-car field.

The race was delayed 27 hours from its initial schedule to a Monday, 5 p.m. ET start time by rain.

MENCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st - Joey Logano
2nd - Kurt Busch
3rd - Martin Truex Jr.
4th - Daniel Suarez
5th - Kyle Busch
6th - Brad Keselowski
7th - Kevin Harvick
8th - Ryan Newman
9th - Ryan Blaney
10th - Alex Bowman

REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
13th - Paul Menard
17th - Aric Almirola
19th - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27th - Michael McDowell
34th - David Ragan
24th - Matt Tifft
25th - Corey LaJoie
35th - Clint Bowyer

VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang
FINISHED 1st 
“It is so hard to have perfect days like that. I made one mistake on the restart and let the 4 get to the outside of me and really made me mad at myself. I was able to make that up, which is great, we are keeping Hudson up past his bedtime. This is a good place for him to get ready for sleep I guess. It feels so good to get into victory lane. I gotta thank the fans, everyone that stuck it out through the rain yesterday and came out today to watch a great race and a wild ending. You don't want to see cautions there at the end when you are the leader but as a fan that is like the one thing you do want to see. I am glad we got the best of both worlds.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO WIN HERE AT MICHIGAN FOR FORD? “This one, outside of the crown jewel events I consider this the biggest race to win because it is Ford Motor Company’s backyard and Roger Penske’s backyard and there area  lot of die hard Ford fans out here in the grandstands right now and it feels great to represent that company and get to victory lane today.”

POST RACE QUOTES

PAT DIMARCO, NASCAR PROGRAM MANAGER, FORD PERFORMANCE
HOW BIG IS THIS FOR FORD?
“This is a big deal for us at Ford Motor Company, all our employees and fans around the world. We had dinner on Thursday night, all the drivers with Edsel Ford who invited all of us up to Henry Ford’s original estate. We had a private dinner and it was nice to be there with a Ford family member and he reminded us all that we win 50-percent of the races here at MIS. He said he wanted to bring this trophy home again and we did. I think Joey out there in victory lane said we are at 51-percent now for Mr. Ford.”

HOW MUCH CLOUT DOES THIS HOLD TO WIN THE MANUFACTURER TROPHY ESPECIALLY IN MUSTANG’S FIRST TRY IN THE CUP SERIES HERE IN MICHIGAN? WHAT ARE THE BRAGGING RIGHTS? “I think there are a lot of bragging rights for the manufacturers, especially with Ford and General Motors right here an hour away from the track. People are talking about it all the time. Even yesterday there was a Twitter war between Ford Performance and Toyota Racing. It means everything to our company and our Ford family members with Edsel and this is true to his heart. We have a committee meeting tomorrow that this trophy will go back to Dearborn and at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning it will be sitting on the executive conference room table. It means a lot to all of us that work on the program, our drivers, our teams. They all talk about it leading up to MIS. It is a great honor and a privilege to be here and win this trophy for all of them.”

KNOWING HOW WELL THE FORDS WORK TOGETHER AND NOW THREE FORD WINS IN A ROW HERE AT MIS, WHAT IS IT LIKE KNOWING YOU HAVE SUCH GOOD COLLABORATION AMONG YOUR TEAMS AND SUCH GREAT CARS? “We set out last year with the Mustang when we submitted it to NASCAR and the goal was to come out and win the Daytona 500 and then to win the next race, and then the next race. Obviously Michigan was high on that list as well. Team Penske has brought home wins for us, but you saw today Kevin Harvick was right there with Joey. They had a strategy call and sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. It is easy to say that the Mustang has dominated MIS this year so far. Kudos to our teams, collectively and collaboratively for developing the Mustang, along with our Ford Performance aerodynamics team and of course Roush Yates Engines. That is a common denominator to our success here among all the teams. We have the best engine in the garage and that power under the hood is a huge part of our team successes. We didn’t have the struggles that other OEM’s have had in the past with our new car and I think that is proof toward that.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang
FINISHED 6th
“We just didn’t put it all together today. We were in a really good spot and had the pit road penalty and lost the lap and it took us til about 70 to go to get it back. It is kind of a miracle that we got back up to sixth to be quite honest. We have to execute the entire weekend and we just didn’t today.”

“We were hoping if we could get a yellow, we were 24th with 60-70 laps to go and we got up to sixth. With a yellow we might have had a shot at winning it. I thought the team did a good job with the strategy all day.”

“The cars when they get behind each other they make the car in front of them faster. If you go back 20-30 years ago that was not the case. You would draft but you wouldn’t make the car in front of you faster. Now it seems like when you get up behind somebody you make them faster too.”

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford Mustang
FINISHED 4th
“The car was pretty strong the entire weekend and then again today. We just struggled for whatever reasons on the long runs in the first half of the race. We were able to make some adjustments and come back and I am proud of my guys. We still have some work to do but we are slowly heading into the right direction.”

RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Coca Cola Ford Mustang
FINISHED 8th
“To have our best lap I guess other than maybe one lap to be our last lap makes me proud of the guys. The Coca Cola Ford wasn’t the greatest all day. We had some good restarts toward the end but just struggled with the dirty air. I think everybody did. It is obvious if you know anything about racing. It was a good points day for us. We need to get some stage points. Nevertheless I am proud of the guys.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang
FINISHED 7th
“We had a really fast Busch Light Ford and just made a lot of mistakes today.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation/ITsavvy Ford Mustang
(Retired on Lap 130 after accident)
WHAT HAPPENED?
“The 20 got loose and I tried to basically make an evasive move to get under him. The 3 was there and got loose under him and then I got into him and ran out of real estate. It was a pretty frustrating day. Pretty frustrating out there.”

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RACING TODAY? “It was pretty much what I expected.”

REALLY FRUSTRATING FOR YOU: “Yeah, frustrating for all of us. It just wasn’t out day. The 20 got loose and I tried to move down to not hit him and then I got loose with the 3 underneath of me and got into the 20 and got wrecked.”

HOW FRUSTRATING IS THE RACING? “I mean, it is not racing. I am sorry, I am biting my tongue. I have never been penalized for trying to make a pass in my whole life since I was four years old. You get a run on somebody and you can make a complete pass and by the time you get to the next corner you have been passed by four people. It is really, really frustrating.”

IS THERE ANYTHING THE DRIVER CAN DO TO TRY TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE UP? “It is all situational and all comes down to what call you make and when you make it and when you make it and how your track position plays out for stage points and then how your luck plays out from there.”