Ford Performance: Brad Keselowski Adds New Sponsor And Talks Talladega

Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes
Geico 500 Advance – Talladega Superspeedway
Friday, May 1, 2015

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion, was part of a teleconference today in which Avaya was announced as a new partner with Team Penske.  In addition, Keselowski answered questions from the media about this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – COMMENTS ON AVAYA BEING ON THE 2 CAR AT KANSAS NEXT WEEK.  “I think NASCAR is trying very, very hard to continue to push the technical side and having more technical partners, so I think this is not just a win for Team Penske, but also a win for all of motorsports and NASCAR in particular.  I’ll be glad to join the team and to have them on our car and hopefully we can have a great race for them.”

American Muscle

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET NEW SPONSORS AND WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR TALLADEGA?  “As far as sponsorships are concerned they’re really the life blood of our race teams.  Obviously, there is some purse money that we are able to make if we perform very well, but even with that said I know on the Truck side and on the Cup side that usually about 70-80 percent of a team’s budget comes from the sponsorship side, so obviously sponsors are very important.  We’re glad to have them and we try to do more than just have sponsors we try to have partners, which means that not only is there the financial side but we work together and find solutions together.  I think Team Penske probably does that as well if not better than anyone else that has a relationship along those lines.  As far as Talladega is concerned, coming back here this weekend after we won last October when we were here, that was such a key win for us.  It’s always a lot of fun entering a race track you won at the last time you were there, so we’re carrying a lot of momentum in that sense and look forward to hopefully getting another win at Talladega.”

HOW IMPORTANT WAS THAT WIN AT TALLADEGA LAST YEAR IN A RACE THAT YOU NEEDED TO WIN IN ORDER TO ADVANCE, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY CONTINGENCIES AS FAR AS A RELIEF DRIVER WITH THE IMPENDING BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD?  “The first question about Talladega, last fall was unbelievable.  I think that’s probably the most emotional I ever got besides my first win in NASCAR, which would have been in the Nationwide Series at the time in 2008.  Going back to that, that’s probably the most emotional win I’ve had in quite some time, so it certainly meant a lot to me.  As far as the clutch factor or whatever, I try not to read too much into that.  I feel like if you get caught up in that you kind of let those emotions get to you and sometimes that’s maybe not in your best interest focus-wise.  You get so caught up in the moment that you kind of lose attention to the details it takes to perform, but all in all that was just an incredible weekend and one I’m gonna look back on for quite some time and be proud of.  But I’m also gonna be proud in a few weeks, hopefully in the next two weeks, when I become a father.  That’s something I’m very much looking forward to.  As far as contingency plans, we haven’t really made any because we’re very, very fortunate that everything at this time looks to fall directly in line with the race weeks of Charlotte, which is where we live, and hopefully we can accommodate in that sense.  Fingers crossed.  We’ll see how it all plays out, but I’m looking forward to it very much.”

HOW IS IT TO SHARE TEAM PERSONNEL AND NOW SPONSORS AT TEAM PENSKE?  “From my side I think it’s been great.  I think it’s an advantage in so many different ways, whether it’s the facility costs and being able to take advantage of that and reduce some overhead, I think that’s great from the team perspective.  But I think probably more importantly about the people perspective, I’ll give you a two examples, one of the engineers from  my Cup team left and became the head engineer for Juan Montoya and his efforts on the Indy Car side, so there’s some great cross-pollination there and then we had one of our young up-and-coming mechanics came up to what is now the XFINITY Series and was part of our championship team in 2013 moved over to the Indy Car side in 2014 and was part of winning the championship with Will Power and now has returned to the NASCAR side to the 2 Sprint Cup car team and is now one of our lead mechanics, so I think it’s great to be able to share people back and forth.  It helps open up their minds and perspectives to different parts and technologies that might exist on one side and not the other and kind of help us cross-pollinate those two to the advantage of both efforts.”

IS THERE A CHANCE THIS PARTNERSHIP WILL EXTEND BEYOND KANSAS AND AVAYA COULD SPONSOR MORE CUP RACES?  “I would say there’s always a chance for growth.  I kind of let Roger and Walt and all the guys – Jonathan Gibson and Merrill Cain – to figure the details out, but I certainly hope so.”

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