Monday, Sept. 19, 2011
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Fifth “Whew, an amazing day to get this Miller Lite Dodge Charger a top-five finish. I’m proud of Paul (Wolfe) and everyone on this team. It wasn’t easy. We started off the race really loose anticipating that the track would be a lot tighter than it was. I just had to ride it out and wait for the competition caution to make some adjustments.
“I knew that I had a fast race car. It really was a matter of trying to be patient and keep working on this Blue Deuce. Paul did an amazing job. That’s what makes a good race team. We hung in there and battled and battled all day. We tried some different strategy, got moved to the back, but kept plugging away and got fifth out of it. Our fuel mileage was awesome. It was a good first step for us in the Chase. We’ve got Loudon next week. We’ll take a solid day and move on to next week.”
PAUL WOLFE (crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) “A good start to the Chase for the Miller Lite Dodge team. We started off really loose. I had to try and keep the driver’s head in the game; I know that he was frustrated at the start of the race. I knew what we had in our car and what we needed to work on. We continued to make the car better on each pit stop. Brad hung in there and kept cool all race. I think he got some confidence in what we were doing.
“We got ourselves in position to try some different strategy. It didn’t work out so well and we found ourselves in the back of the field a little bit. But on that last caution, we were able to come in and get tires and fuel and make a run to the front. At that point, it was about going into fuel-saving mode similar to what we had to do at Kansas. It worked and we found ourselves with a top-five finish. It was a strong run for us to start the Chase. Our Miller Lite Dodge had speed in it all day. Brad drove a great race saving fuel there at the end. We gained some points on a bunch of guys, that’s all good.”
YOU MADE A CALL NOT TO PIT EARLY IN THE RACE AND MOVE UP FROM 11TH TO 1ST; WAS THAT A TRACK POSITION CALL OR FUEL STRATEGY CALL? “Track position. We wanted to see what our car would do in clean air because we really weren’t in a (fuel) window at that point. We said, ‘Let’s gamble a little bit.’ We knew that we could get a wave around if the caution came out, which is what happened. Overall, I’m proud of the effort. We just have to keep putting runs together like this to have a shot at the championship.”
KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Sixth “It was a good point’s day for our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. We had speed in the car early, but just didn’t keep up with the track. We were a top-10 car all day. We led a bunch of laps early. We just struggled with making adjustments as the race went on.
“The key for us late in the race was fuel mileage. I knew that we were short. A lot of guys were short. I told Steve to pack it full of Sunoco and that I would do the rest. To get a sixth-place finish to start the Chase is a good step. We still want those race wins.”
STEVE ADDINGTON, (crew chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) “It seems like we can get our cars tightened up, but can’t free them up at all and we struggled with that. I’m disappointed that we led a lot of laps today and should have had a better showing with the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. We just couldn’t stay on top of the race track like we needed to once the track got rubbered-in. I’m disappointed in myself.
TRAVIS GEISLER (Director of Competition, Penske Racing) “I think we had a solid point’s day as an organization today. We’ll come out of here with a good start to the Chase. We gained a few spots with both of our cars. It was great Dodge horsepower at the beginning of the race to lead a bunch of laps, and then great Dodge fuel mileage at the end of the race to be able to come home without running out of gas. We were able to take advantage of some guys who had poor fuel economy which was the key to the day. We’ll go on to Loudon and try to get some good finishes out of it.”