BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 25 GODADDY.COM IMPALA SS met with media and discussed his attempt to qualify for the Cup race, testing on behalf of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, driving style differences in drivers, and more. Full Transcript: ON HIS ...
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 25 GODADDY.COM IMPALA SS met with media and discussed his attempt to qualify for the Cup race, testing on behalf of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, driving style differences in drivers, and more. Full Transcript:
ON HIS ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY THE CUP CAR THIS EVENING AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "Well I'm certainly looking forward to running here at Lowe's Motor Speedway. I had a great run here in the Nationwide race in the spring and I have a great opportunity to drive for Hendrick Motorsports with Lance McGrew and GoDaddy.com and I'm looking forward to that. It's going to be a tough show to make. I think this might just be the toughest show all year to make with the field that I've seen. So it's going to be tough, but I'm looking forward to it."
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE WEEK HAS YOUR TELEVISION BEEN ON THE WEATHER CHANNEL? "Actually none. I have not watched it one bit. I've kind of conceded that it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it. So, actually I kind of felt bad about it last night and I woke up this morning and saw that the ground was wet and didn't feel very good about it, but from what I've been hearing, it sounds like it's going to be all right. It sounds like there will be scattered showers and we should be able to get it dried off. I'm pulling for that anyway."
YOU GOT THE CHANCE TO RUN A SPRINT CUP PRACTICE LAST WEEK AT TALLADEGA. DID YOU PICK UP ANYTHING AT ALL THAT WILL HELP YOU THIS WEEK AT CHARLOTTE? "I think every time I get in one of the Sprint Cup cars, whether it's to test or to practice, yeah it helps and makes me feel more comfortable. As you make it through the ranks you go through different series and this is by far the most comfortable I've ever felt going up a level. I feel very comfortable with the people I'm surrounded with and the equipment I'm surrounded with and this is one of the first times I can say I moved up and felt like this is for me; I can do this. So I'm excited about that for sure."
AS MUCH TESTING AS YOU'VE DONE FOR THE TEAM, HOW MUCH OF THAT CAN THEY ACTUALLY GATHER FROM THAT FOR THEIR OTHER DRIVERS? "I would say that probably 75 percent of the things that work for me are going to work for the rest of the drivers. I've tested with all five Hendrick drivers now with Mark (Martin) being in the future there, and every one of us are different and not just that much different, we're a huge amount different. And so that's been really an eye-opener.
"You get to the point that when you're driving these race cars and you get behind another driver and you're like wow, I'm doing all I can and there is nothing more I can do until you actually get to go testing with them and see their data and see how much differently they're doing things and then it starts to all gather up and it's like, wow.
"There's a reason why Jimmie (Johnson) is so good at Charlotte and there's a reason why Jeff (Gordon) gets around Martinsville and you see those little things that each driver does different and it makes a difference. And that's very interesting. I feel like I bring a little bit to the table from the standpoint that I have no pre-conceived notions of what's supposed to work and what's not supposed to work and then of course, anytime I can watch them, there's a reason they're at this level. They do a lot of things right and I learn from that as well."
HOW MANY LAPS, HOW MANY DAYS HAVE YOU RUN IN A CUP CAR THIS YEAR? "Wow, a number? Humm. I'm going to say it's got to be somewhere around 10 or 12 days. So I don't know. I guess around 500 laps or something like that, give or take."
YOU DID THE INDY TIRE TEST? "Yeah, we did the Indy tire test Monday and Tuesday, which was really good."
WHEN YOU HEAR TALK ON THE TOPIC OF CAR OWNERS TAKING RISKS ON YOUNGER DRIVERS, DO YOU TRY NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THAT BIG PICTURE AND JUST CONCENTRATE ON YOUR LITTLE PIECE OF THE WORLD? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ALL THAT? "I think it's kind of funny that Jimmie (Johnson) was up here (driver availability, media center) before me because I think there are a lot of similarities between us two and what we've come from and what we've done. And I feel like I'm being put in the same situation or opportunity that Jimmie had, where he had a Nationwide career that or Trucks, I ran the Trucks before the Nationwide Series, where it was just nothing to write home about, you know? But we didn't have the best equipment every week and I think that's the best way you can learn. When you run 15th to 20th every week, I think that's how you learn. You don't learn a lot winning races. And when I see young development drivers that just go to ARCA with the best car and lead every lap and win races, it's like, eh, what did you learn?
"So I think Jimmie and I have a lot of similarities as far as that's concerned. I think that's how we've learned to race and learned to communicate with our team and learn how to stay motivated. And so that's exciting to me to have him up here and have him saying all those things because I feel the same way about Mr. Hendrick taking a chance on me. Up until getting with Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and the No. 88 Nationwide team, I'd never had that real opportunity. So it's just cool how that's all going to work out and I'm looking forward to it."
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT SHOCKED YOU ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON AND JEFF GORDON AT CHARLOTTE AND MARTINSVILLE? "They all have different confidence levels. That's kind of the thing that I thought was funny. When Jeff heard what races I was going to run, Charlotte and Texas, the first thing he asked me was, 'Why did you pick those two?' And I said, 'What's wrong with Charlotte and Texas?'
"And he said, 'Man, those tracks are tough to get around.' And that just goes back to how he's struggled at Texas and how that just doesn't fit his style. So I thought that was kind of interesting. And then you talk to Jimmie, and he's like, yeah, those two tracks will be great for you. So that's just funny how the different styles work out. I think Jeff appreciates the tracks where you're a little more aggressive or you can be a little more aggressive and find some speed, so I see that in him. Where you look at Jimmie and Jimmie is more of a laid-back driver and maybe a little less aggressive and a little smoother and that's part of his success. Dale and Mark are both different as well."
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, OR PLAN TO DO TO KEEP YOUR NERVES CALM THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS TODAY OF TRYING TO QUALIFYING INTO THE SHOW "Yeah, that's going to be tough. That's going to be really tough; trying not to think about it but trying just to do it. It's kind of a mind over matter type of deal there. So I think it's going to be tough. That whole rain situation makes it even more stressful, which I didn't think that was possible. But the hardest part, as I've said before, is going to be getting out of the Nationwide car for practice and going straight to Cup qualifying, where it's your first lap that's going to be your fastest and there is no time to adjust. You've just got to do it. That part is going to be hard and I'm a little nervous about that, but I'm trying to keep it into perspective. The way it's looking now, I'll just be happy to get a chance to qualify. So we'll see how all that works out."
-credit: gm racing