NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Showtime Southern 500
Topics: Showtime Southern 500
May 7, 2011
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
KERRY THARP: Let's roll right into our post-race press conference. Our third-place finisher is Brad Keselowski. Brad, certainly your best showing of the 2011 season. Have to feel pretty good.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was our best finish, but definitely not our best run. We're probably about a 15th-place car. Just kind of played some strategy there at the end and still kind of in the same boat. We've had a couple races where I felt like we were pretty decent. Bristol, so forth, caught some bad breaks.
Today honestly we weren't so good and caught some good breaks, kind of stayed out, made something of that last few restarts, was able to get a third-place finish out of it.
I'm proud of the result. Not really how we got it, but proud of the result. Still we got a long ways to go to be fast and to earn it. We got a lot of work to do, but a good team effort to kind of get a solid finish out of a mediocre day.
KERRY THARP: Questions for Brad.
Q. The decision to stay out on old tires, was that yours or the crew chief?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, I kind of had been yelling at Paul all day. At the end he told me to do what I wanted to do. I saw everybody pitting. I kind of figured they would all wreck on one of the last restarts, it would come down to a green-white-checkered. It did. Caught a good break there. There's no guarantees that will happen.
Was able to hold off the 4 car, everybody but the 99 there at the end.
Q. On the restart, you pulled up in front of Carl. What were you looking for right there?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Which one? The last one?
Q. The last one.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: The last one, basically Regan with his older tires, it was going to be hard for him to get going with the gears. I restarted next to Regan before in the race, saw he was struggling even in normal situations. I timed the restart about a car length or so back, gave him a huge push into turn one, which was enough to get him the drive he needed. That helped him clear the 99. I just fouled him up in the hole, kind of logjammed it, which kept Carl from getting back next to him.
Your thought is to just get all you can and dig and claw. I knew I was no match for Carl. His car had been way faster all night. Had two more tires than what I had, which was zero.
This has always been one of my favorite tracks. I think it was '94, '95, somewhere in there, this racing video game came out called NASCAR Racing. This was the only track I ran.
I don't know, for some reason I always liked it. I always said I had the advantage from that all along, ran well here, at least on the Cup side. I used to race with Denny Hamlin and stuff on the video game. This was one of our favorite places to come. It's that way in the real world, too. Maybe that's why I run here better than some other places.
It's a place I respect. It's a place that you have to respect. It's been good to me.
Q. The restart before that last restart, what did you see? We're looking at 18, 29. Did you see any of that stuff going on?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: No, I didn't see any of the wrecks back there. I'm sure there are some angry people. It's the basic same old thing, kind of what happened last night. You line up a bunch of faster cars. They all kind of lose their heads because they have to make hay real quick. Someone is going to lose out on that deal. Sounds like that's what happened.
KERRY THARP: Brad, good run out there tonight.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Thank you, guys.
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