Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Brad Keselowski Open Interview – Talladega 2

Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
American Muscle

Good Sam Club 500

Talladega Superspeedway

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) DID YOU GET THE FEEL THAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR FROM YOUR CAR TODAY IN PRACTICE? “Not much difference from where were at here in the spring. I don’t really have anything to look for differently. It’s pretty much you come here and hope you make all the right moves and don’t do anything dumb. From there it’s just a matter of catching the right breaks. Our car has decent speed in it which helps you catch breaks. I wouldn’t say it’s the best car and I wouldn’t say it a bad car. It’s just a car.”

DO YOU HAVE A PLAN “A” DRAFTING PARTNER? PLAN “B”? ALL THE WAY DONE THE LINE? “I think Plan ‘A’ is definitely is to work with Dave Blaney. I’m excited about Dave. He seems to be a real a real good guy that you can talk to and work with. I still have Kurt. Plan ‘C’ is the rest of the field.”

COULD YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL IN THE CAR WITH THE RESTRICTOR PLATE? “No. I don’t think there’s any difference at all with the (restrictor) plate or anything that we can tell. It’s so small, I don’t feel like it’s made any difference at all.”

NASCAR HAS MADE ALL THESE CHANGES FOR THIS RACE AND IT SEEMS LIKE NOTHING IS DIFFERENT IN THE CARS. “Well, you can’t change the inherit nature of the cars when the cars get out there where’s there’s a lot of grip and drag. Those are the things that you have to change if you want to break up tandem racing. You can take away the grease on the bumpers and that’s not going to stop you from tandem drafting, it’s just going to make the likelihood of wrecking go up. Until you break up the high amounts of grip and drag, until you get rid of that, this is just the style of racing that we’re going to see.”

IS THERE A HIGHER LEVEL OF ANXIETY OF RACING HERE AT TALLADEGA? “No, I’ve been pretty calm since I’ve been here. It’s as comfortable as I’ve ever felt coming to Talladega. Obviously, I have a lot to race for. I just don’t feel any pressure. I feel like that everyone has a rhythm on how these races run and I actually feel very comfortable.”

WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON TANDEM RACING? “I don’t think that you can dispute that tandem racing produces some of the closest finishes. The thing about the sport is that there are a lot of different pieces that I think that everyone enjoys about it. There’s fans that like the manufacture piece. There’s fans that like the driver piece. And there’s fans that like the competition piece. If you judge the sport by close finishes, there’s no doubt that tandem racing produces some of the best finishes. If it hits the core of what the sport is about, I think most people would say ‘no.’ The core of the sport has been based on man and machine against another man and machine. Not man-plus-machine-plus-man-plus machine against the rest of the field. It kind of violates the core of what the sport is about in order to get a close finish. It’s and interesting trade-off.”

HOW IS PACK RACING DIFFERENT? “I think having a good friend in a pack racing mentality is helpful but not to the extreme it is in tandem racing.”

IN THE PAST YOU’VE ALWAYS NEEDED SOMEONE TO HELP YOU TO PASS? “Sure. You’ve have to have someone to help you, but sometimes in a pack race mentality someone helps you and they don’t even know they’re helping. It just happens that they’re helping. In this, you have to commit to someone. It’s like getting married.”

IF PLAN “A” IS TO WORK WITH DAVE BLANEY, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? “We saw Dave as having a lot of speed at all those plate races. Paul Wolfe (crew chief), he and Tommy Baldwin, who owns that team, get a long pretty well. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Dave Blaney. His calm and cool under pressure and has a fast race car. That makes him one of the best dance partners.”

IN 2006, JIMMIE JOHNSON USED FIVE STRAIGHT TOP-TWO FINISHES TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? IS THAT REALISTIC TODAY? “It’s realistic if you have a Roush car. They’re really fast. In reality, with how finicky this COT car is and how it is to get the setup right on it, probably not.”

WHAT WOULD BE A REMEDY FOR CHANGING THE TANDEM RACING AT PLATE TRACKS? “That’s tough. It’s hard to unlearn something. We’ve all learned how to make this work. And we all know that if you can tandem draft at the end of the race, you will win or you’ll put yourself in position to win. And if you can’t, you’re pretty much guaranteed your fate at having a shot at winning. So you have to go to a style of racing like we had with the old car where the bumpers don’t line up and all those things to where you know you’re going to wreck the guy in front of you if you do. That’s the only way that you can pull it off.

“One of the things that I think a lot of the drivers respect about the old-style Cup car that is missing now, you couldn’t really bump fenders with it. You really couldn’t do a lot of things. At the time we all complained about it. ‘Oh man, imagine how much better the racing would be if we could bump and bang.’ It some ways it is but a lot of ways it worse. We’re paying for it at tracks like this.”

WITH DAVE BLANEY AS YOUR DRAFTING PARTNER, SHOULD YOU HAVE THE EXPECTATION OF THAT YOU WILL BE LEADING AND HAVING A CHANCE TO WIN? “Sure. I would hope we would get to where we would have the opportunity to make that decision but realistically you probably won’t get that far. If we can just get a good, solid finish out of this that’s about all you can ask for. I’m going to push Dave and I don’t plan on switching if I don’t have to. If the situation presents itself you would like to, but it’s very doubtful that it will.”

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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