Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Final – Kansas 2

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011

Dodge Post-Race Final Quotes

Kansas Speedway

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BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Third “Another solid day for us. It just makes you kick yourself for last week at Dover for having the trouble that we did. We’ve had top-five cars each and every week. We’re executing very well as a group and as a team. The things that we can control, we’re doing very well. I’m proud of everything and our efforts. We were about a third- to fifth-place car today. We brought home a third, so I’m proud of that effort. Kasey (Kahne) looked really good there at the end. I told Roger Penske to check the No. 22 hauler (Nationwide) from yesterday because I’m pretty sure that Jimmie (Johnson) stole the car and put new decals on it because he was gone. He was fast. I’m proud of the effort and proud that we were able to get a solid run out of it again. I just wish I could have beat Jimmie; he just had a little more in the tank than we did. We gave it our best effort.”

YOU WON IN JUNE, WON IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES YESTERDAY, THIRD TODAY. ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT KANSAS IS REPAVING THE TRACK? “Yeah, I think that everybody is gonna be. I talked to some of the guys from the track last night; sometimes they have to tear them up because of the weather. All these tracks in the Midwest, whether it’s Michigan, Kentucky or Kansas, they go through all that frost cycle with the winters and the springs where they frost, de-thaw, frost, de-thaw, and it just kills this track. There are big potholes that I guess they’re having trouble keeping down. Nobody wants us to have another incident like we did at Daytona. It’s tough. It’s unfortunate when tracks have to do that. I hope that technology has developed or exists that can hold up a little bit longer so we can use these tracks further and further and further because I think that we see better racing as the tracks get older. I think this track in particular has become very racy. I think there is as much side-by-side racing as you’re going to see in this style of racecar here at Kansas. I think that it’s bittersweet for everyone and the sport.”

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE THAT YOU LIKE? “You know, I think it’s like anywhere else. You go to tracks, and some tracks you just pick them up real quick and you get a feel for them, and some tracks you get a good car and you learn and define what you need to run well there. I’ve been very fortunate over the last few years to have very good cars here and picked up on this place.”

WHAT IS THE REASON THAT YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO SO WELL AT THE END OF RACES? “You know, there are a lot of different reasons, and I think it all comes back to just having a good team. Good teams have good cars; they’re best at their end and fastest at their end. They use good pit strategy and stay strong through adversity. I feel like I just have a really good team. I guess it’s hard to define what makes a good team and a bad team does those things.

“You know, last year we weren’t a good team. We were always our worst at the end, and that’s not what it takes. I don’t know why that was, but that’s just the way it kind of works out sometimes. This year, it seems like as a group, we’re just clicking. It really hurts after last week because I felt like this is the only week we’ve had that was a bad finish, and something happened that was outside of their control.

“Sometimes that’s the way it goes, and we’re doing a good job of maximizing our day, taking care of everything that’s in our control and I’m really proud of our team for doing that. ”

DOES THIS WIN FOR JIMMIE REAFFIRM THAT HE’S GOING TO BE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT ALL CHASE? “Yeah, certainly he’s going to be tough. The real question is we’ve got two big wild card races with Phoenix and Talladega, and I don’t think you can rule anyone in or out until those two races are over and we get to Homestead.”

KESELOWSKI RADIO/TV INTERVIEW ON PIT ROAD

“Everybody was a little close; we were just closer, but the Miller Lite Dodge was good. Proud of the effort. Kind of an up-and-down day. We got up to be a second- or third-place car mid part of the race, then kind of fell off a little bit, but came back. Third-place day, that’s good, that’s what you’ve got to do. Really, we want to win races like Jimmie (Johnson), but we’re making the best we can out of it. If he stumbles, we’ll be there.”

YOU MOVE UP TWO SPOTS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, JUST 11 POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD. NO-TIRE STOPS, SHORT PITTING TODAY, YOU GUYS DID IT ALL IT SEEMS LIKE. “We did. Paul Wolfe, my crew chief, used great strategy. We did the best we could. I think Jimmie went in the garage and stole my 22 Nationwide car from yesterday today because there was nobody gonna run with him all day. His car was just way better. Kudos to them and a great effort by my Miller Lite team. To get a third-place out of this, if it wasn’t for that power steering last week, we’d probably have the points lead. Those failures, those troubles, they’re going to come the 48’s way and when it does, we’ll be there.”

PAUL WOLFE (crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GREAT RUN THE NO. 2 CAR HAD TODAY? “Yeah, it was a great run. It was a battle all day for sure. The car wasn’t close to where it needed to be at the start of the race. We just kept our head in the game, adjusting on the Miller Lite Dodge all day. As we went on the long green runs is where I think we were pretty strong. The way that things cycled out, we got inside the top five and once we got there, our car really reacted. I thought we were in a little bit of trouble when we stayed out and didn’t pit and everyone behind us had 16 lap fresher tires. I think being able to hold on like we did shows how strong of a car that we had. Great job by everyone on this Miller Lite Dodge team. These are the type of runs that we’re going to need to stay in this championship battle.”

WAS IT A DIFFICULT DECISION TO PIT OR NOT PIT? WAS IT ALL ABOUT TRACK POSITION? “It’s tough. I told Brad that let’s just see what the leaders do and everyone pitted, so we thought that we’d stay. You hope that more guys would stay out after you, but nobody did. Typically, in situations like that, you have four or five guys stay out and maybe you have a better shot. At the end of the day, we had another caution and we were able to hang on and get a third-place finish.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 13th “Track position is so important at this place and we fought tooth-and-nail all day to get it. We got behind in qualifying and had to start 17th. We ran from 15th to 20th most of the day and caught a break; we got the lucky dog to get back on the lead lap. We gambled after the fourth caution and didn’t pit with Steve (Addington, crew chief) coaching me to save fuel. We were a lap shy on the fuel calculation and hit pit road when most of the other guys pitted with less than 25 to go. That guaranteed us to be good on fuel. We got up to seventh when the 24 blew an engine to set up the green-white-checkered. We stayed out because we just had never been that great on new tires. It was like everybody behind us did pit, so that might have been our best move. We were still a top-10 car when the green-white checker came out, but just couldn’t hold on to a top 10. The fresher tires got us.”

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

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