NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GEICO 400
Topics: GEICO 400
September 13, 2013
THE MODERATOR: Our second fastest qualifier for Sunday's 13th Annual Geico 400 is our defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Brad Keselowski. He drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Penske Racing. Brad, talk about your qualifying effort out there, and, obviously, this is a racetrack that you won a year ago.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Absolutely, this is a track that has been good to us in the past. Certainly starting out front with the way track position is very, very helpful, pit stall selection, all those good things that come with it. So I'm happy for that. But, obviously, we've still got to run a race, still got to work hard and find speed to be up at the front.
I'm really proud of everybody at Penske Racing with some of the things they've done over the last few weeks to prepare this car for this weekend. I wish it was with us being the Chase, because I honestly feel like we can win this race and win a lot of the mile‑and‑a‑halves with some of the things we've been working on.
So, you know, but that's not the reality, and the reality is we've got to work and do the best we can to go out there and win some races. We still have a lot to prove about ourselves and our team and just, even though we're not the Chase, I'm still looking forward to the next ten weeks and being able to win races and have that opportunity.
Q. Do you feel that Joey and his team make a little bit of a statement today considering what they've gone through over the last few days with the talk about the deal and all that stuff?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: You're asking if it was a statement for Joey to sit on the pole?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, any time you run well, it's a statement. That doesn't have to be when you're facing adversity that you can see. There is a lot of adversity as drivers you face all the time. Some of it is in the media and some of it isn't, but running well against the best competition in the world that competes in Sprint Cup is always an accomplishment. Whether there is off‑the‑track drama or not, so that's something you should be proud of.
I'll let you ask him, Bob.
Q. I'm not going to ask one of the questions Juan tried to plant with me, because they were not nice in nature.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Okay. I don't have anything for that.
Q. It was a busy day for the Penske guys because they had some distractions. Not you and Joey, but your team guys not knowing what was going to happen, I guess. They had some meetings this morning. So how, not to fuel his statement or anything, but just to come out and perform at the end of the day, how big of a task was that?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, usually the workload that it takes to be successful is much more than over a three‑hour or four‑hour time span, which is, I guess, what it would have been for today for the time period that happened to now. But that's why I said the work and effort that went into these cars this race is what I'm proud of because that's months of work and I think that shows.
Obviously, if you put someone talented enough like Joey is and really all of our teams and team members, you're going to be able to persevere through those things and you have to to be able to make it at the Cup level. Like I was saying to Bob, there is always some level of adversity. Just because this week it's in the media, doesn't mean there are other weeks where there's not a level of adversity. You have to be able to fight through that to be successful at this level.
Q. There was a lot of talk about restarts at Richmond. You've obviously been involved in a lot of those controversies over the last come seasons. Where do you think the series stands now in understanding how NASCAR's going to officiate that? Is there any confusion still?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, certainly it's a difficult thing to respond to because it's all visual. There is no trigger system, I guess you would say. And I think there is a reason why it's called a restart zone. Because just by pure definition, that infers that if you're in the general proximity, that's what we're looking for. The actual lines are very short. They're hard to read whether you're in the car or not.
Keep in mind, we're going 45 to 55 miles an hour. That is pretty fast. It might not seem fast compared to the 160, 180 that we go on most of these tracks. But at 45, 50 miles an hour, a 100‑foot or 200‑foot segment goes by extremely quick. It's getting the timing and all of that right, there are a lot of different variables.
I think what we've been seeing a lot lately too is where the second car has pulled up in front of the first car, and made it look worse than it is a few times and put the actual starter in a unique position. So I think those things all add up and it's a loose area right now for sure for the sport. But I think with the importance of restarts and so forth, the track position, it's another argument for why single file restarts are probably ready or should be ready to come back to the sport.
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