SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T) Race Winner
“I don’t know how to quite do this whole victory lane thing on the NASCAR side and standing up on the side of the car so I had to jump back up there to get another picture. Chad Walter (crew chief) made a great call bringing me down for two. We felt like we were really good getting going but we didn’t have long run security but two tires might help us turn a little better and boy did it ever. I’ve just got to thank all the guys on the Alliance Truck Parts team and also Penske Racing. They’re giving me good race cars. It’s been an up and down year and we felt like we were close a couple of times and to be able to come and kind of sneak one today even though we did have four restarts there towards the end. I’m just super-thrilled about it.”
WHERE DOES THIS WIN RANK IN YOUR CAREEER? “I won so much over there (Indy car racing) that I didn’t know how much to appreciate it at the time. I came over here and I wanted the challenge of racing these cars because it was the next step. It was something new, it was something that motivated me again. There was many times where I shook my head and go ‘Why did I do this?’ But I did know that I would always regret not trying it so I’m just really, really excited that we were able to keep going. It ranks right up there. My next goal is I want to run for a championship next year and get the funding to be able to do that and then obviously how to figure out how to win a Spring Cup race.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE A NASCAR DRIVER NOW? “I feel like I’m a lot closer. I feel like a lot of the other drivers may have questioned that at times but then when they saw me stick with it and run a part-time schedule this year because this is where I wanted to be. I want to be successful over here and not knocking Indy car in any way, shape or form. I’m just super-excited about this opportunity. I feel like I’ve been a NASCAR driver for a while but I didn’t have that win checked off there. We’ve got one down and we’ll keep working at it some more.”
ARE WE GOING TO SEE YOU NEXT YEAR? “We’re hoping so. We’re not full-time yet. We don’t have it all signed up yet but we want to be, we want to run for championship. We feel like we’re getting closer. Today probably helped us out a little bit.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished Second
“Very good run. Just had to be smart, had to be there at the end. We saw a lot of wrecks today, a lot of action. I told somebody, they asked me how they thought this race would play out and I thought it’s either going to be one of the best races of the year or one of the worst and it ended up being one of the best. Really, really happy with how the race track turned out. I think we saw a lot of passing and a lot of action and all in all just a lot of fun.”
COMMENT ON THE LINE THAT YOU WERE RUNNING OFF TURN 2 AND DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH. “Well, if you pave it, I’ll use it (smiles). And they paved it so I’ll use it. You know it was kind of fun. I think I might have a concussion from running down there the way it beats your head up against the headrest. I’ll take an Advil tonight be just fine so it was a good run.”
HOW ABOUT YOUR TEAMMATED SAM HORNISH JR. GOING TO VICTORY LANE? “Man, that sure is great. Sam has paid a lot of dues in NASCAR and it’s great to see him get some success out of it. This is like his third or fourth year. That Nationwide team with Chad Walter and Alliance Truck Parts and him, they’re going to be tough to beat next year if they can run for the championship. I hope RP (Roger Penske) can put that together. He’d be the favorite if he can run he did today.”
YOU HAD A GREAT RUN TODAY. “We had a great Discount Tire Dodge Challenger and made our way through the field there and just ran a smart race. Great pit stops and great teamwork to finish 1-2 for Penske Racing.
HOW WAS THE TRACK? “It’s really gripping up and a lot of fun. I’m excited about the race tomorrow.”
WAS THERE MORE GRIP WHEN YOU CUT ACROSS THE APRON THE BACKSTRETCH? “It is shorter (laughs). And you’re supposed to go the shortest way around, right?