Ford Performance NASCAR: Brad Keselowski Darlington Media Availability

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, August 30, 2019
EVENT: Bojangles’ Southern 500, Darlington, SC. (Media Availabilities)

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – DO YOU ENJOY COMING TO DARLINGTON?  “I love coming here.  It’s always been one of my favorite race tracks.  I love the challenge.  I love running up against the wall.  I’m not always a big fan of the heat, but I do like that it’s a very demanding track.  It makes you feel like a race car driver.  It makes you feel like you’re on the edge and it makes me really kind of appreciate my job.  All the race tracks have their challenges, but this one just has so many and it’s so unforgiving.  If you mess up just a little bit, you’re in the wall and your day is ruined.  I appreciate that.  It demands that to be successful you drive aggressively, but also that you not make any mistakes.  That’s pretty cool to me.”

INDIANAPOLIS IS NEXT WEEK.  DO YOU FEEL THAT TRACK STILL NEEDS TO BE ON THE SCHEDULE?  SHOULD NASCAR KEEP GOING BACK THERE?  IS IT STILL RELEVANT?  “I think that’s probably a better question for the NASCAR execs as to whether we should keep going back there.  They seem to have a plan and know things that I probably don’t know, but I think that the reaction that we get from going to indy is always going to vary.  There’s always going to be some open-wheel loyalists who would rather not see us there, but there has also been a fan base there that really loves having us there, so I’m kind of mixed. I know I really enjoyed winning there.  It’s a big deal to me.  It would be a bummer if it wasn’t on the schedule because I wouldn’t have a shot to win there, so I would hate to see that go away, but that race has its challenges that I think are well documented and I wish there was a way to work through them. I don’t really have any specific ideas on what to do there.  It seems like there are a few people working on it, but I’d hate to see it go away, mostly out of pure selfishness.  But as for what’s best for the sport and all that, I can’t say I know all the scenarios to understand that fully.”

American Muscle

IF THE RACE IS TO CONTINUE WOULD YOU BE OK WITH IT BECOMING A ROAD COURSE RACE OR STAY ON THE OVAL?  “If I was gonna keep running there and they asked me I would say stay on the oval.  I know there’s kind of a pro road course movement going on right now, but I feel like we’ve got a pretty good balance as it is.”

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING END OF THIS TRACK FOR YOU?  I’ve always felt like that end – three and four – is a little more challenging because if you mess up over there it seems like you are more likely to hit the wall, and the groove over there is tighter to the wall, so I’ve always felt like three and four was just a little bit harder than one and two.”

DO YOU TRY TO SET UP AS A COMPROMISE?  “I just try to be as fast as I can be.  If that means one end over the other it doesn’t matter to me, I set up off the stopwatch.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED — WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE JIMMIE JOHNSON ON THE BUBBLE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS AND HOW DOES THAT IMPACT YOU AS YOU LOOK AHEAD?  “The first thing I think of is I want some of whatever Tom Brady is taking because it doesn’t seem to be affecting him, and then I look at guys like Mark Martin and Harry Gant, who drove in their fifties, and go, ‘Wow, how did they do that?’  There’s some special practices or special genes, I don’t know what it is, but it tells you that it’s possible to be successful in this sport for a long time.  Do I have the answer to how or why certain people can do it and can’t do it?  No.  I hope that I can, but time inevitably gets all of us.  Death and taxes.  I know that one day it’ll get me in my career, but that’s OK.  I’m happy with what I’m doing now and want to make the most of the window that I have now.  I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway I have is I’m in a terrific window in my career right now and I want to make the most of it.”

IT’S STILL ODD TO SEE JIMMIE JOHNSON THOUGH STRUGGLING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS SEASON ISN’T IT?  “Yeah, I don’t take any pleasure in someone else’s pain, and I know that’s probably very painful for him.  I don’ have any solutions.  I’m not close enough to what’s going on over there, but it just gives you, myself included, a sense of how fragile this sport is and how fleeting success can be.”

DID YOU HAVE ANY INVOLVEMENT IN YOUR THROWBACK PAINT SCHEME THIS YEAR AND HAS RUSTY LOOKED AT IT YET?  “I get a little bit.  They gave me a little sneak peak and said, ‘Hey, what do you think about this one?’  I’m very lucky because Penske has so many great ones to pick from, and when I think of Roger Penske he’s kind of the art director/owner, and he really takes pride in the paint schemes and has always done a good job at it, so they don’t particularly need my help.  I can’t comment on how much Rusty knows about it.  That’s a better question for the marketing guys at Penske, but he seems to embrace it as well, which is great.”

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