Dodge Motorsports press release
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 18th
“We had a really good Dodge Charger at the first of the race and felt like we had a car to win it. As the race progressed, just lost the handle on it. Lost a bunch of spots on pit road and I just didn’t execute at the end of the race.”
DID THE GROOVE WIDEN OUT DURING THE RACE? “The track was really, really good actually. I don’t see how anyone can complain about the track. It was a great race. It was a lot of fun, just disappointed we didn’t close it out.”
HOW MUCH DID YOU LEARN TODAY THAT YOU CAN APPLY AT THE NEXT RACE HERE IN FEBRUARY? “Hopefully a lot, but we’ll find out when we come back. You’ve got to have power, you’ve got to handle. It’s everything.”
KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 22nd
"What an unbelievable turn of events. We worked our butts off all race trying to get track position and just couldn't cash our ticket in late in the race. We knew that track position and two-tire strategy were going to be keys and it almost paid off for us. Steve (Addington, crew chief) made the great call for two left sides under caution around Lap 220. That got us out front, but we may not have packed the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge full of fuel. We're not exactly sure, but it certainly appears that way.
"I thought for sure that once we got out in clean air after we took the lead that we had a great shot at the win. I knew that we had one more pit stop to make and with track position, I loved our chance to win the race. Steve radioed to pit just as I was coming down the backstretch and within a second or two, I ran out of gas. Just incredible. I made it to the pit box and when we tried to restart the engine, the car wouldn't fire right away. It cost us a lot of time. Worst part is that I had no tachometer, got caught speeding on pit road and had to do a wave through. We went from first to 26th, all in just making a green-flag pit stop. It was just an incredible turn of events. I think we had the car to be in victory lane."
PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“We qualified fairly well today, got our car pretty good and got up there in the top five and had really good long-run speed. We had good pit stops the first part of the race to keep our track position. A couple times we got shuffled back when we restarted on the outside. On that last stop that really counted, we had a little issue on the right side and ended up losing four or five spots there in the pits. Then, on the restart, he got tangled up with some guys and we just lost all our track position. At that point, it was a battle. Just frustrating because I know we were a better car than an 18th-place car and just weren’t able to put it together at the end when it counted.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW WELL TWO-TIRE STOPS WORKED? “Not totally surprised. We knew it was pretty good. We saw it yesterday. It was just one of those deals. It was a matter of how long they would fall off at the end once we got 150 laps on ‘em. Initially, it didn’t seem to be a big deal. Like I said, a frustrating day for us, but we did gain some points on the 17 (Matt Kenseth). We moved up one spot going into the last race, so hopefully we can keep this thing in the top five.”
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge Charger R/T)
“We struggled to pass. I think everybody struggles to pass and I drove down onto the apron, a lot like (Elliott) Sadler did yesterday, and soon as I got back up to the main groove, it got loose on me. It’s a bummer. It was a brand new Dodge Charger and now it’s probably going to need a front and rear clip on it. That was a good race car. Guys did a good job all weekend long and unfortunately we find ourselves with another wrecked race car, which it doesn’t really matter. If you can’t stay on the lead lap, it doesn’t make any sense to race. That’s just my opinion.”
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU MOVING FORWARD INTO NEXT SEASON? “I learned you need to bring the best race cars that you’ve got every single weekend and it just takes money and right now, we don’t have enough of that.”