Charlotte II: Winning team interview

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger) Race Winner TALK ABOUT TONIGHT'S RUN? "It was a great run. The start of the race was pretty frustrating. We started third, had a great qualifying effort. At the start, I moved back and...

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger) Race Winner

TALK ABOUT TONIGHT'S RUN?

"It was a great run. The start of the race was pretty frustrating. We started third, had a great qualifying effort. At the start, I moved back and got kind of boxed in and got really frustrated. I stayed patient which was really hard to do. My spotter and crew chief and owner did the best that they could to be patient. It worked out great. We had some pit strategy there in the middle of the race which I thought was really going to pay off. I didn't quite work out perfectly. I felt pretty good. And then our last adjustment was just incredible and it really got our car going. Then it was just down to having perfect restarts there at the end. I don't know if they were perfect, but they were sure exciting. Martin Truex Jr. ran a heck of a race. Without the pushes at the restarts by both my teammate Justin and Joey Logano, I couldn't have won the race. I got by with a little help from my friends I guess you can say. Without all that stuff working out I wouldn't have been able to win today. Having fast (Dodge) Challengers was pretty special. We've been really strong in these races. I knew after Kansas and California, we made some small improvements to our program with the Chargers and felt really competitive. I knew that we would be competitive at these races as well. It's just amazing how good these cars run and how good things are going over here in the Nationwide side with our cars and out team. I'm really proud of everyone that works on these cars that make them so fast. This is really a team sport and we work together as a team and win together as a team. That's something to be very proud of, what a great night.

"I'm so mentally exhausted after this race. I might be bias, but this was the best race that I've seen in my life. That was awesome! The decision to stay out, we knew that our car was good. We had pitted five laps before the yellow came out and I felt really good about it. I knew Paul (Wolfe, crew chief)...he made the adjustments right there at the end. We weren't really good on test day (Wednesday) and weren't very good the first-half of the race. I have to give the credit to Paul, that guy is amazing. This Dodge Challenger flew! I'm so proud of Dodge. Everyone at Penske Racing that put this car together...it's just really an honor to driver these cars. I'm proud of everyone on this team. I'm proud of everyone at Discount Tire and really proud that this car puts on such a great show for the fans."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY THAT YOU AND PAUL HAVE?

"One of the things about NASCAR racing is that it's not easy for the media or fans to see how much of a team sport this is because all's they see is the car on the track. It's so much more than that. It's having great pit stops. It's making great adjustments on your car. The track conditions are always changing. Your car is always changing and the strategy to win the race is always changing. Having the right chemistry between driver-crew chief, crew chief-team and so on, even driver, crew chief and owner, and being able to adapt to the competition, adapt with the changes in the car, those are the keys to being successful.

"Tonight, one of the keys was making the right adjustments on the car at the end. I felt like we did that and that's what gave me the speed to be able to justify staying out at the end."

CAN YOUR TIRE STRATEGY TONIGHT CARRY OVER TO TOMORROW'S RACE IN CUP?

"Tire strategy is always important. I think the key par that can't be overlooked is that our car was just that good. That's the large part of the strategy. You can make all the best pit calls in the world and when your car isn't good, it's not going to make a difference. You can make lousy pit calls and get away with it when your car is great. I felt like the pit call tonight made sense for where we were at. Tomorrow, if we have a car that's just plain fast, then you can make calls like that, be risky and usually get away with them. Looking at Kevin (Harvick) and Kyle's (Busch) cars from following them, I think they probably weren't quite in the situation speed wise that we were in and that probably affected their success more so than the strategy."

PAUL WOLFE (crew chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger)

TALK ABOUT YOUR PIT STRATEGY AND PIT CREW TONIGHT?

"We got ourselves on a little different strategy there part way through the race. We've been known to do that a time or two this year. I'm not afraid to go different of what the leader's strategy might be and felt at that point in the race, we could make it on one more stop. We're not shy to take a gamble like that and it worked out on that green flag cycle. We felt like we had a good car, we just never got track position. A few small adjustments and getting the clean air at the end, we just had a really good car. I'm just really proud of all the guys who work really hard all week on this car. We didn't unload as we would have liked to on the test day here Wednesday. We continue to learn about this car and what it takes to make it go fast. Everybody has worked really hard and the results show. It's exciting because we've run this Dodge Challenger four times and we have two poles and two wins and really had a chance to win all four races. I'm just really proud of everyone at Penske Racing."

ONCE YOU GOT INSIDE YOUR PIT WINDOW, WAS THAT WHEN YOU DECIDED NOT TO PIT AGAIN?

"We kind of looked at past races here and how it played out in the spring. This tire doesn't seem to have a lot of falloff. We just kind of studies past races to see how and what it takes and felt like we had enough fuel, tires weren't going to be an issue. It seems like with this new car that their much more aero sensitive in traffic. We felt like being out in front with the lead was worth more than what new tires would be."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN YOU AND BRAD?

"I think from the chemistry standpoint, we both believe in what each other does and we trust one another. The more we work together, I'm starting to read Brad and as we go through practice, kind of where we are and what he's thinking; it kind of goes back and forth. He believes it when I tell him, 'We're going to do this.' He believes in his team. You have to have that trust there and it just seems to work. I'm not really sure why, but we've hit it off and it keeps on getting stronger."

ROGER PENSKE (Chairman & CEO, Penske Racing)

YOURE ON THE VERGE OF CLINCHING THE 2010 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP: YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD?

"I really want to congratulate Brad on the job he's done coming on board with us this year. We got Paul (Wolfe) to join us and he said, 'Are you serious about this Nationwide program?' I think the real thing is that the new car for Dodge and our boys at the engine shop who put the chassis's together did a terrific. You know Kyle Busch has been so strong and to come here tonight, our own backyard, and have a chance to run side-by-side and beat him was a real feather in Brad's cap. I know he wants to do that and we do too. Give credit to Paul and the strategy and reliability. Brad's been a terrific addition to our team and you can see the results. We have to move this same type of capability to on to Cup."

WHAT WOULD YOUR FIRST NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MEAN TO YOU IF BRAD WINS THE NNS TITLE?

"Obviously, having been in the sport as long as we have, we've been close with Rusty a couple years. We were never able to complete it. To me, this was a goal that we set together. When Brad and I sat down and Paul joined the team, we knew what we had to do and I think that we've never looked back. I think we're building real chemistry within the team. I think the people that we've been able to attract, good driver, good crew chief; you attract a lot of good people to the team. Overall, in the engineering department...we've worked so hard with Dodge. They wanted to stay in and stuck with us during their bankruptcy and supported us. There are a lot of reasons. To win this championship, it's not over yet. Hopefully, it will be successful and it will be for us a building block for us to get to the next step."

JEFF SWARTWOUT (Penske Racing NNS Team Manager)

"Brad did a great job. We had great pit stops. Good strategy by Paul and Brian Wilson. Just a great team effort by everyone at Penske Racing."

TALK ABOUT WINNING TWO OF THE FOUR NASCAR NATIONWIDE RACES WITH THE NEW CAR, DODGE CHALLENGER?

"It's been incredible. It all goes back to the engineers and fabrication shop and mechanics that build these fast Dodges. Everybody has some input and that's a good thing. And what can you say about those strong, strong Dodge motors; incredible horsepower. Just a great team effort by everyone involved."

-source: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Team Penske