Here’s a recap of how the Ford Racing drivers faired in the Subway Jalapeno 250 from Daytona as well as some quotes from the drivers. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. led the Ford banner by finishing 2nd, Michael Annett was right behind him in 3rd place, then there was Josh Richards in 16th, Bryan Silas in 20th, and Jeffrey Earnhardt in 30th place.
JEFFREY EARNHARDT – No. 15 TobaccoFreeFlorida.com/Nuts Off Ford Mustang – “I don’t know. I saw Ricky coming behind me. He gave me a good shot down there in the middle of one and two and I thought that was pretty aggressive. Then going down the backstretch he ran back up on me and hit me even harder and turned us sideways. It’s OK to hit someone, but you can’t slam into them like that because you’re gonna turn them sideways. It happens everytime, especially with the way we are out there. Everybody is right on top of each other, it’s real tight and you’ve got to mediate how hard you’re gonna hit someone.”
MICHAEL ANNETT – No. 43 Pilot/Flying J Ford Mustang (Pit Road Interview) – “That was a lot of fun. You just have to be patient with these things at the beginning. Every time we come to them I tell people I don’t want anybody on my bumper until the last five laps or I’m not gonna touch anybody the last five. It’s nerve-racking because we’re race car drivers. We want to drive up front. We want to lead those laps. It looks like a lot of fun, but as long as we’re bringing home top fives and we’re able to roll in here with a third-place finish, this is awesome, this is what these guys deserve. They did a heck of a repair job on the car for the hit we took in the big one there in the middle and the car still finished top five, so that’s awesome and a testament to these guys.” WHAT ABOUT THE LAST LAP? “I started to push the 1 off the start and I thought, “OK, I’m gonna push the 1 and it’ll be us two,’ and then he had to split the 3 and whoever the two guys were on the outside, so the 3 was sitting there and I wasn’t clear. So I was like, ‘Alright, the 3 is the one and we know he’s got some horsepower,’ so I figured we’d be there at the end. Unfortunately, he got torn up. After you come off turn four you’ve got to go for the win. I’m not here just to push a guy across for third, so we both kind of had the same idea and dove to the bottom at the same time and I just had a little clearance on him and accidentally turned him. I hate that, but at least he finished fourth. They tore up a race car, but we both got good finishes and we’re both in the Nationwide Dash for Cash, which is awesome.”
MICHAEL ANNETT – No. 43 Pilot/Flying J Ford Mustang (Post-Race Press Conference) – “This has been a fun couple of weeks. Going into these races I always have the same mentality. I really don’t want to lay a bumper to anybody and don’t want them touching me until the last five laps and we did pretty good. We got caught up in that big one in the middle and thought it was gonna end our day, and really just got the right-front corner and they got it fixed up pretty good and I was actually pretty happy with the speed we still had and after seeing the car that won, I guess damage didn’t really matter. It was fun, and then on that second-to-last restart, I got the 54 on my bumper, who was tore up too and laps down, and for some reason him on the bumper matched up pretty good with us. I wasn’t squirrely at all and we were pushing to the front. I got up to third and had that last caution and then I think Austin was on the outside pole with the leader and the 1 lined up in front of me, so at that point I thought I was just gonna push the 1 and had a good push going and then something happened with Austin and whoever was pushing him and the 1 dove to the inside and Austin was sitting down there and I thought, ‘Shoot, he’s probably got the best power out here. We might as well go with him. We’ll be there at the end,’ and just stayed on his bumper. I didn’t do any of that peeking out and just stayed right on him and pushed him as hard as I could and he made the right moves and got us up there at the end. Then we got blocked coming to the line and we both kind of had the same idea to dive to the inside and it was just one of those deals we always see here, but he said he was alright and that’s the main thing. We both got top fives, both qualified for the Dash for Cash and even though we didn’t get the trophy today, I think we both came out as best we could.”
RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – No. 6 NOS Energy Drink Ford Mustang (Pit Road Interview) – “That late restart, we didn’t have many people to work with and I saw him hung out there in the center and I got a good restart and jumped to the middle and caught up with the 1. He was fast all night and I just pushed him to the win. I was hoping I could make a move there, but I saw the 3 and everybody coming, so I kind of tried to duck out and block them and we ended up second. It was a fun race. This NOS Energy Drink Mustang was really fast pushing. I could push for a long time, too. It’s exciting and I hope the fans enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun.” YOU WERE IN A COUPLE OF INCIDENTS. WHAT HAPPENED IN EACH? “It’s tough. I pushed the 87 for, I think, 40 laps straight and I didn’t have a problem. It’s tough when you get those guys that didn’t practice drafting and things like that because it kind of catches them off-guard. I think that’s what happened on the 15. The 38, I thought he was going to the top and I was gonna go with him and then I just got him loose. But it was a fun day.”
RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – No. 6 NOS Energy Drink Ford Mustang (Post-Race Press Conference) – “It’s pretty cool. A couple years ago, I think our rookie season, we were third coming to the line when Junior won. That was really exciting. Restarting 11th here with a green-white-checkered and I got a really good restart, shot up the middle and it just kind of seemed like they parted. The 1 was coming back and I knew he was fast, and we were able to push all night. I felt like we had one of the best cars that could push, so getting hooked up with him I knew he would make the right decisions to get to the front, so I just pushed as hard as I could and there at the end I never even looked out the windshield. I was just making sure I was pushing him and looked in the mirror to see where the 3 and the 43 were coming, and tried to block them. I was hoping they weren’t going to have as big of a run on us, so that I could try to make a pass for the lead, but for our first time with NOS Energy on the car, I think they’re happy. We got a very good run out of it and we’re gonna get back to winning here pretty soon.” WHAT HAPPENED WITH JEFFREY EARNHARDT? “We ran up on him pretty quick. The 31, we were working together there, and the 15 was in front of us. I tried to get to the inside of him there going in one and he chopped us. I kind of pushed him out trying to get him kind of in front so I could hook back up with the 33 and then just caught him a little hard there. I hit him a couple times in one and two, and then kind of thought he would drag the brake a little bit, but, then again, I probably should have known a little better. He didn’t practice that in practice – two-car drafting – and he’s not out here with us every week, so I probably should have thought a little bit better before I did that.”
Ford Finishing Order:
2nd – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3rd – Michael Annett
16th – Josh Richards
20th – Bryan Silas
30th – Jeffrey Earnhardt