Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Brad Keselowski Open Interview – New Hampshire 2

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
American Muscle

Sylvania 300

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Brad Keselowski Open Interview

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) YOU WON THE 3RD QUARTER VOTING FOR DRIVER OF THE YEAR. “I think it’s pretty cool to win an award like this. It’s certainly an award that I’ve through the legendary and always wondered what it took to win it. That’s cool. I think it’s kind of funny because I’m definitely going to take this home with me next time I go home to Michigan because when I was racing, or just started racing, at the local levels, I raced with my Uncle a little bit. He kind of took care of me. And there was quite a few occasions where I made some bonehead moves where I was not call the Driver of the Year for sure [laughs]. And I think I’d just like him to see that. It’s quite an honor so thank-you again guys and appreciate you voting for me.”

IT WOULD BE COOL HOOD ORNAMENT. “It would be a cool hood ornament, yeah you’re right. I didn’t even think about that. I don’t think I’m going to do that with it though. I’ll find something really cool to do with it. First I’m gonna tighten the bolt on it. I almost kind of like it that it spins [laughter]. Don’t you think it’s kinda cool that it spins? You could say that was intentional Lewis [Franck] and I would have bought it.”

YOU COME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE WITH ONE RACE UNDER YOUR BELT IN THE CHASE. YOU’RE A ROOKIE IN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP RUN BUT A PRETTY GOOD START FOR YOU. “It certainly was a good start as far as the finish that we were able to get at Chicago. I felt like at the end of the race we were very competitive and you know obviously the fuel played at factor in it. I honestly felt like we were a top three car at the end of the race. Kind of got off on the pit sequence and caught a bad break but you know all of that came together and we were able to get a good finish and I think that’s what you need to do in this Chase. You’ve got to take those days where, you know, things just don’t go your way and you’ve got to find a way to get a good finish out of it and we were able do that there and we need to do the same thing here in Loudon so off to a good start.”

WHEN YOU ARE WATCHING A RACE AS FAN, WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU LIKE TO SEE? “I kind of grew up with the local Saturday night short track-style racing and there’s always going to be somebody mad if you ever watch one of those races. Nobody ever gets beat fair and square at a local short track. I think that I’ve always been a fan of good side-by-side racing and more than just side-by-side because that means different things to different people because there’s people that don’t like the new Bristol because it’s side-by-side racing and it’s not wrecking. But I think it’s more than that. A good race to me has got side-by-side racing, it’s got a little bit of door rubbing, fender banging, all that good stuff and that’s the kind of racing that I like to see.”

DO YOU LIKE TO SEE GUYS GET OUT OF THE CAR AND MIX IT UP A LITTLE BIT IF YOU’RE NOT INVOLVED? “I don’t mind a little bit of emotion, no. I think emotion is good for it.”

HOW MEANINGFUL WAS IT FOR YOU TO MAKE IT 1-2 PENSKE FINISH ON THE BALLOT AHEAD OF WILL POWER? COMING HERE AFTER WINNING THE POLE LAST YEAR, WHAT CONFIDENCE DO YOU GET FROM THAT? “Well it’s very special for Penske Racing as a whole to have the one-two on that from the Indy car and NASCAR side. Roger might disagree because that just means we’re going to come back and ask for raises [laughs]. I feel very happy for the team and for the direction that we’re going as a company as a whole at Penske Racing and that’s just another way of showing that with winning that award. It’s all good stuff and I’m very proud of all of it and don’t know how to say it any more appreciative than that. But yes, as far as the pole at Loudon is concerned last time around here I thought that was great. It was a good booster for me, morale-wise, and make me feel good coming back here that we can continue to have strong qualifying efforts but we need to have better race efforts. I’m committed to that and I know my team is and we spend a lot of time trying to get that better and we have a whole new approach coming to this weekend from where we were last time and I feel like it’s going to pay off.”

WITH MORE AND MORE FUEL MILEAGE RACES, DO YOU EXPECT THAT THIS ONE SUNDAY COULD TURN OUT TO BE YET ANOTHER ONE? ARE FUEL MILEAGE RACES GOING TO BE AN OVER-RIDING THING THROUGH THIS CHASE? “It’s tough to know. I mean, a lot of it depends on where cautions fall certainly. But I think the larger piece of it we’re seeing more fuel mileage races because there’s more cars on the lead lap. And where there’s more cars on the lead lap, it’s just harder to pass. It’s harder to take advantage of new tires and make something of it because even if you come in and put on new tires and you have 20 laps more fuel than someone else you still can’t get to the front even when they’re in fuel conserve mode and running lap times a half a second off because you have 20-some cars to pass. And with the aero deficiencies of the COT car in a big pack and the advantage that the leader has with the cleaner air it negates the tire advantage. That’s the real reason why you’re seeing ‘em. Now hopefully over time I’m very hopeful that the fuel injection will come in and kind of alleviate some of those issues but that’s what we’re seeing as a whole right now in this sport.”

DRIVERS HAVE SAID TODAY WHAT THEIR TECHNIQUES ARE FOR CONSERVING FUEL. ARE YOU WILLING TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF YOUR TECHNIQUES? “No [laughter].” IS FUEL CONSERVATION GETTING TO BE FOR EACH TEAM A WHOLE NEW SET OF SECRETS LIKE CHASSIS SETUPS? “Yeah, absolutely, each team has their own way of making it happen, just like anything else, no different than cooling off your engines for Daytona and Talladega and different things like that. It’s just an evolution of the sport. The sport is always evolving and that’s part of what makes it so interesting. And the thing that I will say about fuel mileage races is that as a whole and general they do take talent. The driver that is able to save it very well, there is some talent involved in that. So I have a level of respect for those races accordingly.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE RULES CHANGES AT TALLADEGA? WILL WE SEE A DIFFERENT RACE? “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. You might see a different race, you might not. I don’t think anyone really knows for sure. And the funny thing about Talladega is no one really practices so I don’t think anyone can give you a concrete answer until the race starts and then we’ll have a better idea of whether that’s going to be a big deal.”

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IS IT FOR A DRIVER TO BACK UP AND SAVE FUEL? “I think that’s always been a part of racing, at least professional racing, having the discipline to know when to go and when not to. It’s the Tin Cup moment. You’re ahead by five strokes and you’re on the last hole, you know, lay up. That’s a part of the sport and that’s part of what makes it what it is is having a driver or player in whatever sport it is know what is to be gained and what’s to be lost. That’s the intelligent quota of a driver or of any athlete in any sport. So yes, it is hard to do, absolutely, but it’s part of what makes this sport what it is and I think it’s cool.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TRACK AND WHAT IS YOUR FOCUS THIS WEEKEND? “Well when you come to Loudon I think you always have to focus on, you know, turning in the center and you know you hear that about a lot of different tracks. But Loudon, it’s really all about turning in the center, really long corners that are tough to get your car to work all the way through. You’ve got to have a really good car here. You’ve got to get through traffic well and manage your pit road and not lose your track position but mostly if you’ve got a car that turns in the center, you’ll be tough to beat here at Loudon.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION TO THE BIG SCREEN TV AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW IT? DO YOU EVER LOOK AT DURING A RACE? “My first reaction in the Cup race was that I wish it didn’t flash red during the middle of the race. There was like a 30-lap segment there where there some commercial or something playing. I don’t know what it was but it kept flashing red when I’d go down the backstretch and it looked like a caution light or a red light from a distance. You know in general it’s too close to the wall to be able to see, which is probably a good thing. When you go to Daytona and other places like that where they have the Sprint Vision it’s very easy to get caught looking at it down the backstretch where it’s just in the right position where you can see it. I’m kind of thankful that it’s as close as it is but you know I did get to watch the Truck race and obviously I ran the Nationwide race while I was down there. I don’t think it was quite working for the truck race but watching the truck race from the stands I could tell it was going to be really cool for the weekend. I think projects like that are really important to our sport. As one of the younger guys in the sport, I feel like one of the things that we can continue to work on and continue to do better to be able to relate to other guys my age is working on the technology front. And it’s nice to see a racetrack on the forefront of that like Charlotte is.”

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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