Richmond: Winning team interview

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 12 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger) Race Winner "Our car was just so strong tonight. Paul Wolfe (crew chief), the whole Ruby Tuesday team, they gave us a great Dodge Charger. We put it in the right spot at the right time on the...

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 12 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger) Race Winner

"Our car was just so strong tonight. Paul Wolfe (crew chief), the whole Ruby Tuesday team, they gave us a great Dodge Charger. We put it in the right spot at the right time on the green-white-checkered finish. I wanted it to pay off. I knew if we lost this race because we didn't take tires, I would be so mad. So, I came down and got tires, made the right move with Greg (Biffle) on the last lap and it all worked out."

WAS IT A PLANNED PIT STOP?

"I don't think it is planned. The 18 and 12 were probably going to do the opposite of whatever we did. I wanted to play offense. I wanted to be the guy with tires. They let me come in and put tires on, we caught the right breaks and made the right break at the very end and got the Ruby Tuesday Dodge in victory lane.

HAVE YOU EVERY HAD THIS GOOD A CAR AT ANY TRACK?

"Never. What an awesome car. I'm honored to get to drive it. They gave me a great car and I earned my money there at the end. It was just a cool race. I hope the fans enjoyed the green-white-checkered. The victory lap was a cool little American flag display for everyone. This is a big military area, so I thought that would be really cool for them. We appreciate all their support."

WHEN THE CAUTION CAME OUT, A HUGE LEAD WENT AWAY. WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND?

"It's part of racing. You can't blame anybody. Paul Menard got a flat tire. It happens. We made the right decision at the end. Everything worked out. It was a great race. I hope the fans enjoyed it.

AT WHAT POINT DID YOU GUYS DECIDE TO PIT ON THAT LAST CAUTION?

"I watched Kyle (Busch) and I don't even remember what Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) said to me to be honest. I watched Kyle and he looked like he was pitting and I knew he would do the opposite (of what we did). That's what's cool about Paul; he kind of read my mind. I was watching Kyle and he was running down on the apron like he was going to pit. I wanted to make sure that I ran as high up as possible and commit at the last second, hoping that I could catch him going onto pit road. I wanted everybody to go on pit road, but Kyle made a great move and at the last second got off of pit road."

AFTER LEADING 188 LAPS, WAS IT TOUGH TO THINK ABOUT THE "BIG PICTURE"?

"Yes and no. You can't cut somebody off to get in line. That's when you have to think about the big picture. When you have a hole, you have to fill it. There was a hole there going into Turn 3 on that first lap on the restart and I was sure going to fill it. And it put me in a three-wide situation, but I felt pretty confident that I would come out on it. But yeah, it is real hard to be patient there, yes."

AT ANY POINT TONIGHT DID YOU THINK THAT THIS IS WAY TOO EASY?

"It wouldn't be right if I didn't win a race without a bunch of drama. I knew the whole time that we were running, 'How is this going to fall apart?' I'm going to get a flat tire, or a yellow is going to come out. It's more mentally draining leading the race than it would be (running) fourth because all you do is worry."

DID THE RULES INFRACTION FROM TALLADEGA FIRE YOUR TEAM UP?

"Maybe Paul (laughs). I know that he was fired-up on Tuesday. We've been fired-up all year long. This team wants to win. Paul wants to win and he's had opportunities to win in the past. Things just haven't gone his way. We've had opportunities to win this year and things haven't gone our way. Sometimes finishing second and third is the best way to get fired-up and we've done that over the last few weeks. That's been healthier than winning has. It keeps us working hard. It keeps everybody in the shop digging and, hopefully, gives RP (Roger Penske) some more energy to help us with some more projects that we're working on to make our cars go faster.

"We still have to keep working forward. We can't be happy where we're at. We have a long ways to go in this season. We'll have the new car coming up. We're going to have to work hard to get that car ready. That's going to be a new challenge and erase any advantage that we have with this car. I think the next race here is with the new car, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we're definitely on the right track."

PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 12 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger)

"Everybody has worked hard to this point. We're starting to build some momentum from our previous short-track race at Phoenix. We were able to come here and fine-tune our car. It was pretty good tonight. We didn't want to see that (last) caution come out, but we felt that we were good enough. Obviously, it was the way to go (four tires) on that last stop. We had 60 laps on that last run. I'm just proud of all the guys, a lot of hard work back at the shop. We've built a lot of cars in a short time this year. We've been fast everywhere we've been this year. We feel like we've had cars capable of winning. We just kept putting ourselves in position and now the wins are coming."

ROGER PENSKE (Team Owner, No. 12 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger)

"I think it's a culmination of a great driver tonight; the call that Paul (Wolfe) made at the end was a gutsy call to bring him in. But when he went back out on four tires, we were in fourth-place. We were in great shape.

"I think it's a credit to Tom German (Technical Director), our engineering guys back at the shop that have pulled this together. I think with the number of moves that we had to make at the end of last year to get this team going, I've called Paul a number of time to ask, 'How are we going to catch up?' I think that we've caught up now. The body hangers, our engine shop certainly has delivered some real power and for Dodge, it's so important because we're the only ones representing Dodge and I want to congratulate them."

-source: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Paul Menard , Paul Wolfe , Roger Penske