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September 18, 2016

Ryan Blaney

Chase Elliott

Joey Logano

Joliet, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We're going to begin our post race media availability for today's 16th annual Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. We're joined by today's runner‑up, Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford, and today's fourth‑place finisher, Ryan Blaney, driver of the No.21 Motorcraft Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center Ford for Wood Brothers Racing.
Joey, got a little interesting at the end. Go through the final restart, digging to get that second‑place finish.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, just overall very proud of what this 22 team was able to do all weekend. Brought a very fast racecar, one that was capable of running top three for sure. Just took us a while to get to that point.
Then anytime a caution comes out late like that, that's the definition of pressure for a pit crew. You're in the Chase, there's a lot on the line, you're coming down to the end to win a race. They execute and beat the 11 off of pit road.
Couldn't be more proud of the way they handled the pressure and the way the pressure made them better. That's pretty neat. It's a big thing to look forward to through the next nine weeks, we can handle it. Showed it today. Can't wait to get to New Hampshire and continue this momentum.
Obviously a second‑place finish gives us a decent cushion for the next couple races, but we got to keep attacking the way we are right now.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, the 21 team showed its gambling side today staying out there for the final restart. What was going through your mind as you knew you had a field of cars with tires behind you?
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah, you know, it was a long day for us for sure. We passed a lot of cars. We didn't start good. We started 22nd. Worked on our car all day and got it better and better each run. There was maybe only one run where I thought we went backwards. We fixed it right away and started going back forward again. That was promising.
We're in a position where we can take risks like that. We're not in the Chase. We can stay out. I think we were seventh before that last caution. Decided to stay out. Knew it was going to be tough when only a couple cars stayed out with us. We needed about two or three more for it to be a realistic shot.
But it paid off and we finished a little bit better than what we were going to. That's a true testament of this team, not starting great but getting our car better throughout the day, taking risks like that that pay off. Sometimes they don't pay off. Luckily this one did. A good run for us. Hopefully we can do something like that for the next 10 weeks.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up the floor for questions.

Q. Ryan, talk about the decision to stay out. How did that come about? Was it your crew chief or you?
RYAN BLANEY: It was a little bit of both of us. He kind of made the final decision. We kind of made a plan that we were seventh and there was only I think 14 cars on the lead lap. That's a really tough spot because you're right in the middle. Usually what you do, everyone else does the opposite.
So we initially decided if we could get to the front two rows, we were going to stay out. Then you kind of had a shot. But then everyone came. We decided to stay out anyway. That put us in the best position possible being able to restart the race.
It was a thought. But at the end he made that call to stay out.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations on the finish today. Best of luck next weekend in New Hampshire.
JOEY LOGANO: Thank you.
RYAN BLANEY: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We will continue on with our post race media availability. We are joined now by Chase Elliott, driver of the No.24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
Chase, you did just about everything you could to get that win today. What was going through your mind when that final caution came out?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I expected it. We've all watched this stuff long enough, we know these races don't go green that long typically. We know that we see late‑race cautions way more often than not. That's a part of racing from short‑track racing all the way up to this stuff.
I've learned over the years, you just got to expect it from my seat, from the crew chief's seat, from the pit crew's perspective. You just got to be ready for it, embrace it when it happens, suck it up and try to figure out how to make it happen after it does.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open the floor for questions for Chase.

Q. You've been close a couple times in races before. You seem like this is a little bit easier outcome to accept than what happened at Michigan. Is that true when it's sort of a late caution and more random than a mistake?
CHASE ELLIOTT: No, there is no easy outcome. You know, it's unfortunate. You hate to have it happen. As you get faced with these situations more than once, I think you learn. You learn from situation to situation.
But like I said, I felt like we did a good job as a team today trying to control the things that we could control. And you can't control when a caution is going to come out. Granted, you can expect one a lot of the time, but you can't control when it's going to happen, and you certainly can't control how many guys are going to stay out on tires and try to make something happen at the end of a race.
That's just a part of life, part of racing.
THE MODERATOR: Chase, best of luck in New Hampshire next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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