Ford Dover Friday (Brad Keselowski)

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
FedEx 400 (Dover International Speedway)
Friday, May 31, 2013

Brad Keselows, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion met with media members after his qualifying effort Friday at Dover International Speedway. Below is a full transcript.

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “That was decent. It is hard to say where we will end up. We have had an up and down last few weeks but we are here now and I am just glad to be back racing.”

American Muscle

WHERE HAVE YOU GUYS TESTED THIS WEEK? “We did some road course testing to get ready for Sonoma. I feel like that particular track is one of my weaker tracks and I would like to be able to go there and have a shot at winning. That would mean a lot to me.”

WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF COMFORT FOR YOU TO HAVE PAUL BACK THIS WEEK? “This is a team. It is a lot more than just me and a lot more than Paul. It is about everybody on it. Paul and I are like the quarterback and the head coach but it takes more than the quarterback and head coach and there was more than our head coach sitting out. We lost our car chief and our head engineer too. Getting everyone back adds to the comfort level. I think we are going to have a strong few weeks, I really do.”

IS THERE A SENSE THAT THIS IS THE TIME, A PERFECT STORM ALMOST, GETTING YOUR GUYS BACK, BEING AT DOVER WHERE YOU WON LAST FALL. IS THERE A SENSE THINGS ARE COMING TOGETHER AT THE RIGHT TIME? “I never felt panicked to begin with. Honestly I thought we had a shot at winning a couple of the races. We ran terrible obviously last week but at Darlington I thought we were a car capable of winning and circumstances outside of those people that were missing held us back. Same thing at the All-Star race. I don’t think those guys got a fair shake, I think we were fairly competitive and it just didn’t pan out. It is a lot more comfort having everyone back but I was very proud of the effort from everyone that stepped up.”

WAS THERE ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH THIS NEW CAR ON THE ROAD COURSE VERSUS LAST YEAR? “I was kind of surprised there was not that big of a difference so I would suspect we will see the same thing at Sonoma as we saw last year and in years past.”

SOME PEOPLE WERE SAYING YOU WERE IN A FUNK ABOUT NOT HAVING PAUL WOLFE THE LAST FEW WEEKS. IS THAT TRUE? “I don’t think that is right at all. Actually I warmly embraced the challenge and except for last week’s circumstances outside of my own control really kept us from capitalizing on it. I feel a little relief now, more so than just because Paul or the guys are back. I feel relieved because I think I have ran a lot of my bad luck out. That feels good because you know there is a certain amount you will get in a year and I feel like we have burned through it early in the year and that will put us in a good spot for the Chase.”

SO YOUR GOOD LUCK STARTS NOW THAT HE IS BACK? “Hopefully. We have burned through a lot of bad luck the last few weeks with parts failures, untimely cautions, and loose wheels. That is just part of racing.”

LAST YEAR YOU HAD A COUPLE WINS AND WERE IN GOOD POSITION CHASE WISE BECAUSE YOU HAD THOSE ALREADY, DOES THAT WORRY YOU THAT YOU DON’T HAVE ANY WINS TO FALL BACK ON? “You feel a lot more comfortable when you have two wins, no doubt, but points wise we are very close to where we were last year. It is just the lack of wins that I think is probably where everyone kind of raises their hand. Trying to be objective and look at the whole picture, I feel like we have more speed this year than we did last year in our cars. I feel like we have the potential and the confidence to get things done and we just have missed out on the execution and that is what has kept us from having those two wins. Some of that has been of our own fault. Some of it has been my fault and some of it has been bad luck. All in all, we still haven’t hit that execution and that is the really only difference. Quite honestly I feel like we are faster than we have ever been and I am just as confident as we have ever been.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE SUCCESS THAT KURT BUSCH IS HAVING THIS YEAR? “Kurt to me, I don’t know how anyone could argue against this, I think I probably have the most information having worked with a variety of drivers whether it was in the Hendrick fold or Penske fold or Junior Motorsports fold. Kurt was always hands down to me the guy that I looked to and said, ‘Wow, how did he do that? How did he go that fast? How did he make that happen?’ I always walked away and said that guy was talented. That talent is something that teams look for and something that teams with resources like the 78 car has, they have great resources, really can embrace and build a program around. It looks like Kurt and that whole team have really embraced that challenge.”

QUESTION INAUDIBLE “There are things I see him do that others don’t do. He can single handedly go to Sonoma and beat everyone with an inferior car. He is that good. He is on another level at those places.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON WAS SAYING HE NEVER KNEW HOW HARD IT WAS TO DEFEND A TITLE UNTIL HE HAD TO DO IT. ARE YOU IN THE PROCESS OF KNOWING WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW? “I think so. I am defending it right? It is not an easy challenge but a good challenge to have because that means you won the year before and I am all in.”

DOES THE WEATHER THIS HOT BOTHER YOU? “No, the heat is good. It is a nice little challenge. Heat always adds another level to what it takes to drive a race car. I think the more challenging this can be the better it is for all of us.”

WHY IN YOUR EYES ARE WE SEEING MORE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS THIS YEAR SO FAR? “I think the cars are more stable than they have ever been by themselves and I guess the counterpoint to that is that they are the least stable they have ever been in traffic or a pack. That is what you are seeing, to me, is drivers trying to figure that out. They are very unstable in a pack and very stable by themselves. What that does is build up your confidence when you are by yourself and then you get in a pack and make a move that the car won’t sustain and get in trouble. I have been there, everyone has, and that is just part of racing today.”

PART OF THE POINT OF THE NEW CAR WAS TO BE ABLE TO RACE TOGETHER. ARE YOU ABLE TO DO THAT? “I guess that depends on how you define being able to race together. The racing is always going to get more and more difficult and it is proving to do so. It is difficult to offer any valuable commentary without coming off as bashing the new car but I think we know there is still work to be done.”

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