R. Mark Stiles

R. Mark Stiles

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From the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake, Virginia, R. Mark Stiles, the owner, news director & editor in chief of Catchfence,™ has been dedicated to auto racing news media coverage, journalism and reporting for almost 17-years. Stiles started in the industry in the fall of 1997 with two columns (Green Flag Black Flag and Breaking Loose) for AOL/Athlete Direct's NASCAR department (ADNASCAR). He later merged Green Flag Black Flag and became the news director with Ryan Seek's CatchFence in 1999. At the beginning of 2001, Stiles went full-time with Catchfence, served as an assistant to the now retired Voice of Daytona Int'l Speedway chief track announcer, Bill Bowser, and In 2005 he acquired full ownership of Catchfence.

Feb 24

Ford Racing 2014 NSCS Daytona 500 Post-Race Recaps

Filed under Press Releases

Ford Racing Logo
Ford Racing Logo
ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion – WHAT HAPPENED?  “I don’t know.  I was going to the top with Kurt.  We were trying to do something.  We were a lap down.  We had a mistake in the pits that got us a lap down, but what a shame.  This Smithfield Ford was so fast.  We had a really good strategy.  We were in the top five racing for the lead and came down pit road and had a mistake. That got us a lap down and we were racing the 18 and the 13 for the lucky dog.  I couldn’t just ride in line.  I needed to make a move to try and get myself in position to be the lucky dog.  We were in position for quite a while and got shuffled out.  This sucks.  We had a really good car, but we’ll rebound from this.  We’ll go to Phoenix and get us a win.”

SINCE DELAY WHAT HAS THE RACING BEEN LIKE ON THE TRACK?  “It’s been a lot more chaotic for sure.  The track has a lot more grip, so people are taking a lot more risks.  The cars drive a lot better at night, so two and three-wide is usually not a problem.  Everybody was on older tires right there and I think somebody got loose up under me and the next thing I knew I was pounding the fence.  It’s tough, but that’s racing at Daytona.”

WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN?  “Somebody got loose up under us and ruined our day.  That’s part of it.  It’s Daytona.  We had a really fast Smithfield Ford.  Trent made some good calls on our strategy and we were racing up there for the lead.  We had a mistake on pit road, where I guess we took the jack down pit road and had to make a stop-and-go.  That got us a lap down and we were racing the 18 for the lucky dog and had it for quite some time.  We had a really fast car.  We were racing for the lead, but we were a lap down.  It’s just a shame to have a car that fast and be torn up.”

YOU HIT PRETTY HARD.  YOU OK?  “Yeah, I’m fine.  The car is safe.  Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports does a good job.  I’m just heartbroken.  I come down here for the Daytona 500 two hours away from home and I always want to run good here, but it never works out.  We’ll go to Phoenix and be really good there.  I hate it for all the guys on this Smithfield team, but that’s racing.”

TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “I thought we were really strong in the middle all night with our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford and we’d work our way from the back to the front time and time again.  There at the end we were running the middle with the 24 and the 11 and felt really strong and all of a sudden the 40 shoved it four-wide down into turn one and really squeezed everybody.  We almost crashed there, so I had to back out of the gas and fell back a few spots and we were working our way through the middle again.  Our car was really free up off the corner.  We’ve seen that a lot tonight with the cars.  Handling is becoming an issue again.  I don’t know if that’s just the track wearing out or the aero package we have now, but you actually have to drive them again.  There were a few times I got loose with cars around me, and I saw other people doing it, but it finally stepped out too far.  I tried to save it, but when it finally caught it hooked right into the wall like you see sometimes at mile-and-a-halves.  You don’t normally expect that at Daytona by yourself, but I hate it for our team.  We kept recovering tonight.  We went a lap down after a slow pit stop and got it back.  We worked our way into the top 10 a few times and led some laps, but it’s not the finish we were hoping for.”  

HOW FRUSTRATING TO WRECK SO CLOSE TO THE END?  “It’s frustrating, but we made it that far, I guess.  We made it to the last 20 laps and that’s kind of your goal at Daytona – to be around at the end for a chance to win.  Unfortunately, there’s still nine to go and we’re not out there, but I thank the Lord I’m OK because some of these hits are pretty hard, but Jesus kept me safe.  We’re good to go.  We’ll go to Phoenix in the Nationwide Series and we’ll be back Cup racing at Vegas.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Finished 4th) – “We had a really fast Miller Lite Ford and just came up a little short there at the end. We had a good restart but didn’t get any help from behind. I was really proud of my car and team to be able to hold fourth with no help. Dale and his teammates were really fast and they did a good job executing at the end. Congratulations to him.”  HOW MUCH HELP DID YOU NEED TO MAKE PASSES? “If I had maybe one or two cars behind me I think I could have maybe had a shot but I just didn’t get it.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion (Finished 7th) – “We struggled there for awhile. We worked our way to the front and got off a little on fuel strategy when that rain came. I knew our Nationwide Fusion was fast but it was such a log jam trying to get back to the front, then we slowly worked our way there and got a few cautions. I really wanted to get to the back bumper of the 2 and get Ford another 500 but all in all it was a good day for us. We came home seventh and that is a good way to start the year. We just needed a little bit more there at the end. We needed a couple cars behind us to be able to get to the 2’s bumper and we just didn’t quite get it.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “We had decent speed. I thought the 2 car might have been a little faster, but that was a crazy, crazy race there at the end.  It’s funny because you line up behind Brad and he gets a hole and I don’t, and then you see where he goes and where you’re at.  We got shuffled all the way to the back and then with 10 to go we were all the way in the back.  We worked our way up some.  At least the fans are excited about the finish or the winner at least.  But the guys did a great job the last two weeks and gave me some decent cars.  We survived it.  When you start in the back, like 15th or further back on the last restart, you’re pretty sure you’re gonna get caught up in a crash.  We came close enough on that last one when I was sideways, but I was able to save it.”

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