Saturday, May 7, 2011 Darlington Raceway SHOWTIME Southern 500 Post-Race Quotes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Third “It was our best finish, but not our best run. We were probably a 15th-place car. We played some strategy there at the end. We’ve had a couple of races that I thought we were pretty decent – Bristol and so forth. We’ve caught some bad breaks. Tonight, we honestly weren’t all that good and caught some good breaks. We stayed out, made something of those last few restarts and was able to get a third-place finish out of it. I’m proud of the result, but not how we got it. We’ve got a long ways to go to be fast and to earn it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. A good team effort to get a solid finish out of a mediocre day.
“A nice comeback for this Miller Lite Dodge tonight. We played the strategy card tonight. That was our only shot. It all worked out. We had a shot late in the race and that’s cool. The last restart, I was just trying to stay in my own lane and stay with Regan (Smith). What a crazy finish. I’m happy with the result, but not happy with the way we got it. We want to earn them because we have fast race cars. We’ve got some work to do to make our cars better.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RESTART? “I knew that I could time a run on that last restart and give Regan a good push. Carl (Edwards) was really fast behind me. I ended up giving him (Regan) a huge push into Turn 1 and we hooked up and set sail. I’m really happy for Regan. I wanted to make sure that if I couldn’t win, he did. A win for the underdogs tonight, that’s for sure.
“We got up front and had a great finish. The bottom line is that we need to make our cars faster. We really have been struggling and probably are a 15-to-20th-place car lately. We just made the right pit call today to be up front at the end. We have a lot of work to do. This is a great finish.”
THE DECISION TO STAY OUT ON OLD TIRES, WAS THAT YOUR DECISION OR PAUL’S? “I kind of was yelling at Paul all day and by the end, he told me to do what I wanted to do. I saw everyone pitting and kind of figured that they would wreck on one of the restarts. I thought that it would come down to a green-white-checkered and it did. We caught a good break there. There’s no guarantees that it will happen. I was able to hold off the 4 car and everybody but the 99 at the end.”
PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) “It was a great night for as tough a season that it’s been. We didn’t have the greatest car, but Brad hung in there a drove a great race. We kept working on the Miller Lite Dodge and pit strategy just worked out for us.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DECISION NOT TO PIT ON THE LATE CAUTION? “Brad and I talked about it and we knew track position was everything, so we gambled and it paid off.”
WERE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOUR TIRES WERE GOING TO HOLD UP? “I wasn’t too concerned. Brad took care of his stuff all night and ran a great race. We got a bit lucky that a green-white-checkered came out. I knew we could hold on for two laps.”
KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 27th “It’s just been a long string of tough races. The “Lady in Black” got us. We unloaded a really fast Shell/Pennzoil Dodge on Friday – a top-three car in practice. We may have sealed our fate when we cut a tire in practice and put our primary car in the Turn 1 wall. We were super tight with the back-up car to start the race and we never could loosen the car up. We threw everything at it – track bar, wedge, shims – you name it, Steve (Addington, crew chief) tried it. This place is tough enough with a good race car, when your setup is off, it’s just a nightmare.”