Brad Keselowski Open Interview — Pocono

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pocono Raceway

Dodge Motorsports PR
American Muscle

5-Hour ENERGY 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) TALK ABOUT YOUR WIN AT KANSAS, BEING 21ST IN POINTS, THE CHASE WILD CARD AND WHAT IT MEANS COMING INTO POCONO?  “As far as the wild card is concerned, it’s a great opportunity for a team like ours, guys like myself that are obviously not where we want to be in points, but have some performance capabilities.  We haven’t been able to consistently execute, but we’ve been able to run well.  That’s something I feel good about for our team.  I said earlier in the season, way before I was super competitive like I think we are now and way before I won a race, I felt like the wild card was great for the sport and served this sport well.  I still feel that way, to this date and this time.  I think it serves the sport well from the standpoint of guys that are a bit riskier with their situations and put things out on the line. Although it didn’t affect the way I ran the race last weekend in Kansas, if somebody else were to win a race and bump us out, I’m sure if you look at the last few races before the Chase starts as being very, very aggressive races that teams would do pretty much anything trying to get that win if they were in position to capitalize off it.  I think that serves the sport well; it kind of builds into that playoff-drama type feel that other sport have.  For that, I’m kind of excited for the sport, to have the bracket or whatever we want to call it, the procedure that they do.”

WE’RE HALFWAY TO THE CHASE; WILL YOUR TEAM GO ALL FOR BROKE FOR WINS?  POINTS?  HOW WILL YOU BALANCE THAT?  “I think it’s too early to have a strategy.  There’s still a lot of races left.  I think if you look at the way that our team is performing, we’re more than capable of being in the top-20 on our own merits with the way that we’ve been running.  We just need to continue to execute.  We’re a team that is growing stronger every week.  If we can continue to grow as we’ve grown so far and at the same rate, I think that not only will we be a Chase-capable team, perhaps makes some noise in it.  I’m very excited about that and I don’t want to do anything to interrupt that process by doing something stupid and trying to get a win that may hurt that process.  There’s a balancing act there, certainly.  As those last few races come before the Chase, obviously you’ll have a little better idea where you stand.  You hate to box yourself in and say ‘were going to do this, or we’re going to do that’.  We have a little bit more time.  Those last three to five races before the Chase starts are going to be really, really exciting.”

WITH YOUR WIN LAST WEEKEND AT KANSAS, DID YOU SHOW YOUR TEAMMATE KURT BUSCH THAT YOU ARE A FORMIDABLE TEAMMATE?  “That’s a better question for Kurt than it is for me because I really don’t know how he feels about it.  I’d like to think that we’re growing as a team.  I would be the first one to admit that last year and the way that we performed was essentially a lost year.  I think if you look at that, he has a lot of merit for what he said earlier in the season.  But that was last year.  Now we’re on 2011 and in a sense, I feel that I’ve picked off where I was in ’09 and there’s a lot of potential there to be that formidable teammate that it takes to have a great multi-car team.

“I think one of the less reported things at Penske Racing right now is the synergies between the teams.  I think if you look before at the (Ryan) Newman and Rusty (Wallace) days,  it was well documented how that was not the case and I think that’s something that we have right now at Penske Racing which makes me really excited moving forward.  I think that Paul (Wolfe) and Steve (Addington) and Kurt and I work together really well and believe in each other and I think that’s important.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW SPECIAL MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY IS TO YOU? “Michigan is a very special place for me.  Not just because it’s a track that I’ve won on in the past in a Nationwide car, but because it’s my ‘home track’ of sorts.  It’s interesting that Carl (Edwards) has won those races (at Michigan) and he’d give anything to win at Kansas.  I won at Kansas and he’d give anything to win there.  Maybe we’ll have to trade trophies one day.  It’s still cool to win a Cup race anywhere you can win it and I enjoyed winning at Kansas.  To win at Michigan would be right up there with the Daytona 500, that’s for sure.”

DID YOU AND PAUL (WOLFE) TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE IN THE QUALIFYING ORDER?  “I think pretty much everybody is banking on rain tomorrow.  We have a whole bunch of engineers with all kinds of computers that show clouds and so forth.  They say rain tomorrow and we have to believe them.  If that’s not the case, we probably would have gone with a different strategy.  So, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

HAVE YOU MADE AMENDS WITH KYLE BUSCH?  “I guess I don’t know what making amends.  Making amends to me is sitting down and talking to someone and writing a peace treaty, so to speak.  And then, there’s putting things in the back of your mind and moving forward.  I’d probably say that I fall into the latter category as far as making amends.  To me, I put it in the back and move forward on what I can do to win next week and this week, make the Chase and all those things for my team.  I kind of find it a disservice to spend a lot time thinking about Kyle.  It would be a disservice to all the people that work on my own cars and to our own efforts.  If that’s making amends, then yes.  It’s probably not my definition of it.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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