Wallace Posts 3rd-Place Finish, Leads Mustangs In Auto Club XFINITY Race

Ford Performance NXS Notes and Quotes
TreatMyClot.com 300 – Auto Club Speedway

Ford Finishing Order:

3rd – Darrell Wallace Jr.
11th – Aric Almirola
14th – Ryan Reed
16th – Jeb Burton
20th – Ryan Blaney

DARRELL WALLACE JR. — No. 6 EcoBoost Ford Mustang — “This is great.  I don’t know where to begin.  We weren’t where we wanted to be in practice, but this was our better day of the two this week.  I messed up in qualifying and that put us behind a little bit, but I knew we had a decent EcoBoost Ford Mustang to work with.  The grip level that felt like we were lacking in practice was there for qualifying so I knew we’d have a good race today.  It didn’t fire off like it did in qualifying, but we never gave up.  I just kept talking to myself and singing to myself – anything I could do to stay calm and not get into the wall.  This is a great day for our Ford EcoBoost team.” HOW WERE YOU ON FUEL?  “We were close, really close.  It’s all in this foot and the engineer and crew chief on top of the box.  It’s a team effort.”  WHAT ABOUT TODAY?  “This is a great day for us.  Coming off practice yesterday we were kind of up in the air about what we wanted to do to this car, but we all put our heads together and really dug deep to pull out the speed in this car because it definitely didn’t have it.  To come out of here third, I wouldn’t have told you that yesterday, so it’s a good day for us.”

RYAN BLANEY — No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang — “We were OK early and got better and better.  There were a couple of runs I thought we were really good, especially towards the end because we could make up ground that we lost in the beginning.  We were racing hard with the 19 and the 20 and we weren’t very good on a short run.  We had to hold on and fight to try to stay as far up as we could until we could start reeling them back in.  I just kind of turned up in front of the 20.  I didn’’t know he was out there.  It’s obviously my fault, so I’m sorry to him for turning up in front of him, but I just didn’t know he was out there.  I thought I had enough time to get back up and get in front of him and it cost me.  That ruined our day.  We had a decent car, but the promise is we’ve gotten better over the past couple of weeks and we can at least run with the top guys who have been dominating this year, so there are some things we can take away.”

JEB BURTON — No. 43 J. Streicher Ford Mustang — “At the end of the race we ended on a positive note and we were ahead of a bunch of those guys and I felt like we were a 10th to a ninth-place car.  It’s still not where we wanted to be, but we ended on a positive note.  We qualified better today, but those two long green flag runs in the middle of the race got us a lap down.  I had the lucky dog and then Aric got a lap down and right when he got passed the caution came out, so luck didn’t go our way.  I’m so proud of the guys.  We were better this week.  We showed we can keep getting better and we just have to keep digging.”

RYAN REED — No. 16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang — “First of all, we had a really strong Mustang.  We ran top-5 lap times all day.  We came out after that penalty in front of the 18 and we held him off for 15 laps and we were really good.  We got a penalty on pit road.  It sounds like it was a loose equipment penalty, but it sounds like he was just tossing it and the guy caught it, so I’m not really sure what that’s for, but Phil will go back and talk to Wayne and try to figure out what the deal is there.  The point is we have fast Ford Mustangs right now week after week, but we have to clean up our penalties.  Today is a hard one to swallow because we don’t really know who to point the finger at because we kind of did what we do every week, so it’s kind of an iffy deal but we’ll move on.”

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