Brad, obviously like you said out on pit road, it's not what you wanted to get, the win, but a solid afternoon nonetheless... "Yeah, well, it's the third race and third points race of the Cup season. I feel like we've had a shot at winning all three. That's something to be really proud of.
I want to win really bad, but I guess the consolation is starting out the year with three solid finishes and a top 5 and just kind of backing up where we finished last year with solid runs. For that I'm proud, proud of the effort today to recover from a couple mishaps. Certainly we didn't give up there at the end. I thought I might have had a shot.
Kasey and Kenseth, who won the race - if I could have got by Kyle I would have loved to have gone up there and put a little pressure on him and see if he would have given me a shot, but that opportunity didn't come up unfortunately. But still, like I said, solid day, great effort, and we're off to a really solid start, really the best start of my career by far.”
Brad, matt held off kasey with no tires on the last stop. You managed to take third from kyle with no tires. What does that say going forward at all? “It just says that I had a great car and he probably did too.
Whether you have tires or not, you still have to have a great car to be able to make things happen, and I think Matt definitely had a great car today, probably not as good as this guy, but Matt is a great racer, and he understands the sport very well. He's not the guy you want to have to beat on old tires, that's for sure. He never has been.”
In your brief cup career you've generally been coming from the back. I just wondered being in this position, I know it's early, but do you suspect you and paul might have some different way of approaching as the weeks go forward, coming from a different perspective? “Yeah, I want to win. It is a different perspective because I'm not happy with a top 5. I want to win.
You know, the last three weeks, really the last two weeks, and I'm sure when I get home tonight I'm going to go home and throw around some pillows and punch some things because we've had a shot at winning all three races and come up short, whether it's circumstances or bad luck or today just a little bit of execution.
In retrospect, once you get a day to cool off from it, you say, wow, that's really good, three top fives, that's how I'd have wanted to start the year. But with the way I finished last year, I wanted to win. I wanted to win all three of these races, and I'm not happy unless we can do that.”
Brad keselowski press conference continued -- we had the restrictor plate at daytona, we had the kind of unconventional layout at Phoenix. Some races just look visibly fast watching it. Today looked like a bunch of guys that had kind of been cut loose. Did it feel like that out there today because it just looked fast? “I thought it was a faster pace than what I've ever had, but then again, I've always had terrible cars here.
I'm not the best person to ask. This is by far the best car I've ever had here, and that thing would definitely rocket through the corners. I think Kasey's was probably even a little bit better. It was definitely a grueling pace. You know, one thing I was really happy about was this car seemed to really respond to driving sideways.
I think that puts a lot of emphasis on the quality of driver you are to control a slide, which is a really good thing. I think that heightens the ability of talented drivers to run up front. I think Kasey is really good at that obviously, and quite a few others that ran up front.
I think if you look at the drivers that ran up front, they're generally the ones that you would say have a lot of talent and a lot of ability to handle cars like that. I really like that. I think that's how it should be.
I think that's what should differentiate the drivers and their performance in this sport. So I was really encouraged by that, and like you said, it also falls into the really fast race pace with the actual individual lap times.
A couple times my spotter called out lap times, and I was thinking to myself, he must be in the wrong second bracket. I think that's a big change for sure. But not a bad thing.”
How important are the restarts at this point because the last two restarts looked very, very hairy, and to hear everybody say that they want to be in clean air, obviously there's an advantage up there. Can we expect some of the best action now to be coming out of the restarts? “Obviously there's double file restarts now. They started in 2009, Pocono if I remember.
I do know some good things. I can't remember if it was the spring or the summer race. It was one of the two, though, but I do remember the race. I believe what's important to understand is that the cars run off of air.
That's really tough to explain to the media, and I look at the media as maybe the voice of the fans I guess would be the best way to put it.
So when you ask a question like that I assume that you're asking for the fans, so the answer this for the fans and the perspective of even though you can't see it, the majority of what these cars are operating on is air, where that's air to cool the engine, air to go inside the engine and combine with fuel or air just so I can breathe or air for the car to operate from the perspective of generating grip.
And you have to think of a race car in three dimensions where it makes ‑‑ how it affects the air is X, Y and Z, and you have drag, which we all talk about on the speed sways and we have down force and side force. As it pertains to restarts and you get two cars next to each other which creates this giant bubble which effectively takes the air off of one of the cars.
That means that the two cars that are up front are really stealing each other's air back and forth and making it really hard to race, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but that puts everyone in a precarious position and really puts you, where the restarts become so important.
With that said, you go back to those last restarts, and I felt like if we could have possibly got the outside and had control of the air, we would have been able to win the race.
But obviously we didn't earn that from the perspective of coming off of pit road, and Matt did, and he did a great job of using that to his advantage, and it's essentially what got him out in the lead and won the race.
But to your point, the actual restart itself is as important if not more important as ever as the sport continues to evolve into using aerodynamics to make the cars perform.”
Brad keselowski press conference continued -- we've had three very different tracks so far. Next week we go to another one, Bristol. Do you have a feel for how this car is going to race on a short track? “Nope. That's why you've got to watch.”