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August 7, 2016
Watkins Glen, New York
THE MODERATOR: We're going to get started with our post race media availability. We're joined by Chris Buescher.
Chris, talk a little bit about your team's effort to get your car back out there today.
CHRIS BUESCHER: Yeah, really proud of the guys for getting it knocked out. That was unfortunate that I had to get out. Just spoiler stuck in the mud over there, around the Carrousel. I just couldn't get moving. Couldn't get it in reverse. It wouldn't stay in. You know, just basically had to get out.
They assessed the damage during the red flag. Got back into the car. As soon as the caution came back out, they hustled, got it back fixed up, rolling, pretty much saved our day.
Owe a lot to them today. They made sure we were able to stay in the points hunt. Not the way we want to do it. Really can't have more days like that if we're going to try and get in that top 30, but proud of them for their efforts to get it turned around.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Chris.
Q. How much more out of this weekend did you get than you thought you might get six months ago?
CHRIS BUESCHER: You know, for us, kind of hoped we'd get a lot more than what we did. Watkins Glen is a place that I love to come race at. Ran really well in the XFINITY race here last year. Had good speed in the Cup race last year before the actual race. Had a trans issue. But before that I was really happy with the way the weekend went. I thought this was really a place we'd be able to capitalize, gain a couple points, probably have a good run.
I think a couple things played against us there. But, you know, just went through the Bus Stop there, and there was just a wall of dirt as everybody ran off. As soon as I cleared through it, there was a car sitting there backwards. Just tried to avoid it. Pretty much cost us a handful of spots and a decent amount of points.
It's a bummer it worked out the way it did. But I guess the little bit of the silver lining is we did gain a couple points on that 30th position.
Q. Could you tell me whether there was any give‑and‑take at all today, or was it cut‑throat the whole day? Was it because of the track or the grip or just hard racing?
CHRIS BUESCHER: Where I was at, there wasn't any give‑and‑take, that's for sure. I think you walk up and down the grid post race here, they're all pretty beat up.
I think it was just hard racing. You know, road courses, they've been getting that way. I think they've probably always been that way. A lot of beat‑up racecars, trying to out‑brake guys. Getting into the Bus Stop is extremely difficult when you're two‑, three‑wide. Back there where we were at restarting in the 20s, you go into the Bus Stop, even is jammed up going through the S's and they fan out kind of going into the Bus Stop, thinking that's the best place to pass. You find yourselves three‑wide. It's hard enough to go through there two‑wide. I think that's where some of the carnage comes from.
Q. Was there confusion about whether you had to stay in the car or had to get out of the car? Seemed like there were different opinions on the radio.
CHRIS BUESCHER: Yeah, from where I was, we barely caught the wall on the inside. Basically the splitter hooked up in the mud. I know when I ran off course, trying to avoid the 4, it swung all kinds of grass over the car. I knew what the issue was. I was just trying to get them to push.
We're sitting downhill. Splitter is caked up under mud. Actually broke it loose. It was pretty packed. My hope was that we could be pushed backwards. They don't have any straps or anything to be able to hook to the back. Basically they're depending on being able to push the back bumper to get you moving. We didn't have that opportunity.
I get it. I mean, I get why they made me get out. I was just really frustrated and tried really hard to stay in it so we could keep rolling without losing any spots.
Q. Now that you're in a position of potentially being in the Chase, unlike your sort of semi‑colleagues at Roush, are you expecting more assistance from Roush or Ford to try to help you improve your results for the rest of the season?
CHRIS BUESCHER: You know, I think we've been working towards that anyway. We've been trying to basically get as close as we can to the Roush teams over there at Front Row Motorsports. They've been working extremely hard to put good cars on the racetrack. I feel like we can lean on them a little bit more, try to get a little bit better information, you know, parts and pieces, if we can get as good as stuff as possible to get to that top 30.
I think it's reasonable. We're going to have to see how everything plays out in the next couple hours. It's going to be a quick turnaround.
At the end of the day we did gain a couple points, only on the 30th position. I know we lost some to the 29th. That puts us in a really small bubble.
We've got to do a good job these next few. Take the off weekend, visit the family in Texas, come back and regroup and be ready to go to Bristol. We were pretty good there last time. Front Row Motorsports brings some good cars to that track. Me and Landon were both pretty happy with the speed of our cars. I feel like that is a place we can gain some points and maybe put a little bit of a cushion on that Chase bubble for us right there.
THE MODERATOR: Chris, thank you for joining us this evening.
CHRIS BUESCHER: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our second‑place finisher, Joey Logano.
Joey, take us through that final lap there.
JOEY LOGANO: The final lap or the final 15 (laughter)? It was crazy any way you look at it.
Typical Watkins Glen. I mean, it's just awesome, crazy racing, full contact. Just insane out there. So a lot of fun from the driver's seat and I'm sure the fans loved it as well in front of a sold‑out grandstand. It was pretty cool when I pulled over for the red flag in front of the grandstands and I could hear just fans screaming and yelling and loving it. I thought, Man, this is really cool to be in the driver's seat right now.
I don't know. Having those moments, I thought it was neat.
Overall our car was really good today. Driver shot himself in the foot a little bit with getting some damage in the Bus Stop when we were working our way back through the field. Ripped the splitter up. That was kind of the beginning of the end. Really hurt our racecar through the fast parts of the racetrack, so through the S's, the Carrousel, a little bit in 11. Didn't hurt us in the Bus Stop, that's where we were the fastest car.
We got ourselves in position to win the race, but I didn't have the speed in the racecar to make it happen. It wasn't anyone's fault but mine. A little mad at that. Got close to that sweep again here at Watkins Glen, winning yesterday, getting second today. Just so close. Wish I could take one corner back out of the whole race and we'd probably be sitting in Victory Lane right now. I thought we were faster than the 11 through the parts that we needed to be early in the race to be able to beat him.
Unfortunately we're sitting here second. But not awful considering what our car looked like.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions for Joey.
Q. We're seeing a couple of other drivers, your teammate Brad, also AJ Allmendinger, beating themselves up about contact in the last corner on the last lap with people that they didn't really want to hit at that point. Can you think of a time in your career where you've been in that position, try to make amends?
JOEY LOGANO: That's funny you ask me (laughter). Duh? Yeah, there's been plenty of times.
It's aggressive racing. Sometimes you're on the other end of it. Last week I was on the other end of it. To me, the protocol is show some respect the next few weeks and hope the dust settles. That's pretty much what you can do.
You know, accidents happen. We're pushing these things so hard. We're trying to stop from 180 to, what, 70 or 80 miles an hour. We're cutting off like 100 miles an hour going into the Bus Stop, and we're trying to do that two‑wide where there's only one lane through there. Someone's going to hit somebody. Someone's feelings are going to get hurt. It depends how understanding the other individual is.
Sometimes you can look and say, Hey, it's a racing thing. Next few weeks, just give me room, unless it's going to become something bigger than what it needs to be.
You know, each situation probably needs to be handled differently depending on who you're dealing with. But, yeah, I've dealt with it plenty of times. Just seems like, you know, I think I'm doing okay the last few weeks. I didn't make anyone mad today, I don't believe. So, hey, there's a little victory (laughter).
Q. It was obvious that the problem area for two days was the Bus Stop and the dust. Would you recommend that they do something about that? I don't know what they could do to eliminate that. You're going to make it straight. Each time somebody did it, splitters are coming off, now the guys behind you are going all over the place. I don't know asking if it's fair, but do you think there's something they could do or just leave it that way and know that it's going to happen and deal with it?
JOEY LOGANO: I think it's great. It's part of it. That's what makes it so interesting. You can't make the racetrack to just where it's too easy to get around and you can make mistakes and not pay a penalty. Then everyone's going to go straight through it all the time.
You don't want to make it where you want to make it a stop and go, make it a judgment call on NASCAR's point. If it's all paved, you put your left sides too far off on the other side of the curb, you got to make it stop and go.
Just leave it the way it is. Let us handle it ourselves. It becomes crazy because you don't know what it's like until you get there, if there's dirt on the racetrack. Yes, there's a great example for me. I was leading the race. I went into the corner in the Bus Stop, it was like dirt everywhere. It was like a dirt track. I went sliding off the track 'cause of it.
But it keeps it interesting. It changes things up. I don't know. I don't want to make it too boring, you know, make it just idiot‑proof out there. You want to make it where there's a penalty for mistakes and not make it to where NASCAR has to make judgment calls. That's not what we want to make.
Q. Describe what it looks like when you go through dirt. Are you really almost blind going through there or do you have to remember where you are on the track, look at the car in front of you? How bad does the visual get?
JOEY LOGANO: If you see dirt or smoke, a funny example was the 2 car was going through the last corner there, as the 78 was sideways. He couldn't see. There's no visuals because you can't see two feet in front of you. You can't even see the hood of your car. It's like, Where am I? You see that constantly every week if someone crashes in front of somebody, you get in a cloud of smoke and you see nothing. You thought the fog in Pocono was bad, it's a lot worse than that.
It's a product of, you know, just racing in general. Get sideways, put a hell of a smoke show up, or dirt. That's what you get. You can't see. You kind of go off memory of where you last could see and try to drive through it and hope no one's on the other side of it.
Q. Back to you ticking people off.
DENNY HAMLIN: Great, thanks, yeah. C'mon, you're trying to get me to tick someone off (laughter).
Q. When you do, or they do it to you, does it matter they come over and say, I'm sorry, my bad?
JOEY LOGANO: Yes, it definitely does. I mean, owning your mistakes or whatever it was, if it wasn't a mistake don't say anything, but I think owning it is super important. A lot of times in these things, too, it's kind of funny, it kind of strikes a conversation, somewhat kind of strikes a relationship you didn't have with that particular driver. I'm not saying that it's like automatic we're friends. But sometimes you let it go a year and you find yourself racing cleaner with each other than before, or cleaner than anyone else.
You got to treat it with kid's gloves because it's a fragile situation on both ends. I think part of it, too, is everyone is looking what can I get out of it, you ruined my day, what's in it for me. Rightfully so for the other individual. How are you going to make this up to me? That's probably the common question you ask if you're sitting on the other end of it is, How do I get this back?
Q. Along those lines, is a sorry always enough?
JOEY LOGANO: No, usually not. Well, actions speak louder than words, right? You know, it's just like any other situation. If you have a conflict with another media individual in here, saying you're sorry is one thing, maybe you take them to dinner, I don't know. I think there's different things you can do.
Really the biggest thing is just show some respect out there on the racetrack, let someone go, make their life easy for the next few weeks, until the dust settles. That's basically what you can do.
Talk is cheap basically. I guess it's admirable for someone to come up and own their mistake. But, like I said, talk is cheap as well. You got to walk the walk with it.
Q. Were you kind of blown away by all the penalties? It seemed there was a rash of speeding penalties. Every team got on the radio when it first started and said, Slow down, slow down. Even the warnings weren't enough to save some of you guys on pit road.
JOEY LOGANO: The way we calculate our pit road, something was off. I'm not blaming this on NASCAR in no way possible. It's just something that the teams did not get the correct information or missed something that was in the information of the rollout of the tire, in my opinion.
Typically we're able to calculate this and put it into our dashes of how fast we need to go. For me it's how many green lights. For some people it might be yellows or reds, whatever color they want, I guess.
You know, for me, I felt like I went down pit road like I did every other time, I should have a good rolling time, shouldn't be a problem. Then you hear you get busted. You're like, Huh? It's always the constant thing everyone says after it, There's no way. That's what everyone always says.
I think when there's that many cars that get penalized, there's something that the teams missed. I doubt that everybody made a mistake. These race teams are way too smart for everyone to make one mistake like that. There's some kind of missing link in the data or something that they were calculating with that put us over.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, thanks for joining us. Congratulations on a great weekend here.
JOEY LOGANO: Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports