SRT Motorsports — Dodge NNS Final Race Quotes – Phoenix

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dodge PR

Phoenix International Raceway

American Muscle

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Post-Race Quotes

Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 2nd YOU WERE LEADING, AND THEN ELLIOTT SADLER WAS ABLE TO GET AROUND YOU. WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE?  “You know all them (Richard) Childress cars were fast.  We saw that Kevin Harvick was probably the car to beat today and I’m sure Elliott’s car was about the same.  They had two good cars there.  Our Penske Dodges were good too.  We just came up short there.  Elliott was able to get by us there early in the run. Our car would kind of level back off to his after a few laps, but the first few laps we just couldn’t keep pace with him.  They did a great job and my team did a great job.  This team here has been redone again since the offseason.  The first two races of the year, to get two second-place finishes, that’s good, but we both want to wins and we’ve been really close.  I’m proud of the effort, proud of the Discount Tire team, and keep going after ‘em hard like we did today.”

SO CLOSE, SECOND AT DAYTONA LAST WEEKEND AND SECOND HERE AT PHOENIX TODAY. HOW CLOSE ARE YOU IN GETTING TO VICTORY LANE? “It’s been a great start for Jeremy Bullins (crew chief) and the Discount Tire team.  Jeremy came over to this team as a new crew chief to start this year.  Two second-place finishes, that’s a lot to be proud of.  We want to win.  Close, but we just needed a little bit more out of our Dodge today, but a great effort by the whole team.  It’s great to see Elliott Sadler win, a Nationwide regular. That’s so important to the series as well.  All and all, a great day for us and the series as well.”

YOU WERE GAINING ON (SADLER); DID YOU THINK THAT YOU WERE GOING TO CATCH HIM? “My car was a lot stronger, compared to Elliot’s, on the long run rather than short run.  We needed some more laps.  If he would have made one mistake, we would have had him.”

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 6th YOU HAD A RESPECTABLE RUN TODAY.  “Obviously, not quite what we wanted, but all in all our Challenger was pretty good.  We didn’t have enough short-run speed to be able to do what it took to be a top-five car.  But Chad (Walter, crew chief) made a good call there on the last stop, just taking fuel, to get us to the end and I was able to hold on and make sure that we didn’t lose anything from there.  Real happy with everybody sticking to it, just not giving up.  Our Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger was good at times, just not what we needed to win today.”

IT SEEMED LIKE WHEREVER YOU WERE ON THE TRACK AFTER A PIT STOP, SIXTH OR TENTH-PLACE, THAT’S WHERE YOU STAYED.  “We could gain a little bit here and there and then we’d lose a little bit.  Most of the day, wherever we started that run, we ended up there.  It can always be worse.  You can be going in the wrong direction.  The guys did a good job in the pits today.  They’re still learning how to work together. I think as we continue to get into the season, they’re going to get better and better.”

Keselowski Press Conference – Media Center

YOU WERE MAKING UP A LOT OF GROUND AT THE END OF THE RACE ON SADLER. THIS WAS ANOTHER GOOD EARLY SEASON PERFORMANCE FOR YOUR TEAM. “Absolutely.  The Discount Tire Dodge was okay.  We’re proud of our effort.  It has been a great start and it was a great finish last year.  We’re coming off four consecutive top twos.  I think that’s pretty good, one of ‘em a win.  You know, obviously, there’s been some changes to Penske Racing and to my team during the offseason and the Discount Tire 22 team.  And to come out of the gate and have two strong runs, that’s a lot to be proud of.  Obviously, we wanted to get one more spot and pick up the win, but Elliott was a little bit stronger and there’s nothing to be ashamed of running second here today.  But you know we’ll keep pushing and if we keep putting ourself in this position, we’ll get a win.”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT’S GOING ON WHEN YOU AND SOME OTHERS DECIDE TO CUT THE APRON AT TURN TWO?  IT SEEMS VERY RANDOM.  WHY DO YOU DO IT?  “Why do I do it?  To pass cars; you know it’s quicker.  It’s definitely shorter.  It’s hairy and not a lot of fun to do, but you know as race car drivers, if there is any advantage to be had it’s our responsibly to find it and use it.  It is kind of rough on the car and it hurts inside the car (laughs).  That is a good question, why on some laps and not others.  You know you have to keep in mind that a car is like a fruit in the sense that it’s a perishable item.  It’s only made to run a certain amount of laps, cycles, etc.  Man, I’m just saying it has a shelf life.  It expires and when you use it in a manner like that, you’re going to make it expire quicker.  It’s a question of when it is helpful and when is it not?  You don’t want to take a bite out of the apple when it’s rotten.  You take care of it.”

WHEN YOU TOOK THE LEAD ON THAT RESTART, DID YOU FEEL PRETTY CONFIDENT AT THAT POINT?  WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT ELLIOTT CAME UP ON YOU AT THAT POINT?  “Well, I felt good (laughs).  I don’t know about confident. Confident would come over laps, but it was obvious the first few laps that I didn’t have the speed that Elliott or the cars behind me did. I was hoping I could get out there and the car would settle in and we would drive away, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  You know that’s the way it is sometimes.  I don’t want to say it’s okay because it’s not, I mean, I want to win.  It’s part of the game and certainly something for us to work on and enable us to secure a victory because, obviously, we were in position to win.  But you know, like I said, for where we’re at with our team and where we’re at right now with everything, I’m very much encouraged.”

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