SRT Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series Indianapolis Motor Speedway Post Race ReportPress Release
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger) Winner
BRAD YOU GAVE ROGER PENSKE HIS FIRST STOCK CAR WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS TODAY:
“Thank you. I’ve been watching races here since I was a kid in Michigan. Everybody knows how special Indy is and any win that you can have here, whether it’s the (Indy) 500 or the Brickyard here tomorrow, the first Nationwide race, every race is special. I’m just glad to do it for Roger (Penske). I’m sure he’s watching (on television). I’m glad to have the support. This is the 100th win for Roger Penske in NASCAR so that’s really special for him. I’m glad to be able to be that guy that delivered. It wasn’t easy. Kyle Busch was really, really fast. He had a great car. I think that he was just a little bit stronger than us and I thought that it was going to come down to who got through the traffic better. The guys on the Discount Tire Dodge delivered an awesome pit stop on the final one and we beat them off. Then it was just me being disciplined, smart enough to get through traffic in one piece, take the lead and take it from there.”
WERE YOU CONCERNED AT ALL WHEN YOU HEARD THAT ELLIOT GOT BLACK-FLAGGED?
“My spotter told me to keep pushing and that there was going to be a reaction. I didn’t have enough info to make a great call on how I felt about it, not form a solid opinion.”
DO YOU GET TO TEASE ROGER PENSKE FOR NOT BEING HERE FOR HIS FIRST NASCAR WIN AT INDY?
“You’re damn right! (LAUGHS).”
WHEN YOUR WERE GROWING UP IN MICHIGAN, DID YOU EVER COME DOWN TO THE TRACK AS A YOUNGSTER?
“When I came to the Brickyard, I came to check out the museum. I think that was 2003. You know when you pull through that tunnel that it’s a special place. I can’t say that I’ve had opportunities to race here other than on the Cup side starting in 2010. I’m proud of the opportunities that we’ve had and the way that we’ve been able to have some success, especially here today.”
Jeremy Bullins (Crew Chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger)
“Congratulations to everyone at Penske Racing for the 1-2 finish. Congratulations to Mr. Penske and the whole organization and everybody at the shop. These are brand new cars for this race. How can you not be excited? We just won at the Brickyard!”
YOU’VE EXECUTED VERY WELL THE LAST FEW WEEKS?
“We started the year off bringing good cars to the race track. We had some little things go wrong and we knew that if we could get ever get it all going together that this is what could happen. We kind of got on a little roll lately and it feels good. It’s just not me. It’s the whole company. To finish 1-2 with new race cars, great pit crews…top to bottom, it’s a great weekend.”
MEDIA CENTER INTERVIEW
TALK ABOUT THE WIN AND JUST BEING A PART OF THE FIRST VICTORY HERE.
“Just a special day. The Brickyard means so much to all of us as race car drivers and to the sport in general. It transcends three different forms of auto racing. Whether it’s IndyCar in the United States, F1 and their history here and then obviously with stock cars and their initial time here to the current date from ’94 on. It transcends into a special place to race. I’m glad to be some small part of that winning the inaugural Nationwide race here. I hope I can be a big part of that history by being able to win tomorrow and pull off a double. That’d be extremely special to me and I would really enjoy that. But just a great day and full of some challenges, for sure.
Trying to beat Kyle Busch was going to be very tough on our own with speed but our team persevered on pit road, had an excellent pit stop that beat him off pit road and gave us an opportunity to capitalize. And then in traffic, it came down to me making the right moves and catching the right breaks. We were able to capitalize and I think that’s what great teams do. They capitalize on opportunity and we had that today with the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge.”
Bullins: TALK ABOUT HOW THE TEAM PERFORMED OUT ON PIT ROAD.
“That last pit stop, our guys beat everybody out on four tires. There were some guys that took two tires but we felt like with as many laps as there were to go, four tires was the way to go. Our guys stepped up and beat everybody off pit road. We were the first car on four tires and that was really the difference. Brad got a good restart, got to the lead and that was pretty much it.”
Keselowski: CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT LAST RESTART? DID YOU SPIN YOUR TIRES? DID SAM HORNISH BUMP YOU AHEAD?
“It happened really fast and I don’t have a complete picture of what happened. So, it’s hard for me to make a statement about it. I can tell you my perception of it was I got a push from Sam and it was a little more than I could take. And certainly I wasn’t going full-throttle but I was not in the zone when Elliott (Sadler) took off. It appeared that Elliott got a push from behind as well and maybe he just couldn’t slow down, I don’t know. I don’t know how it all played out.
I think NASCAR has made it a point to say that they’re not going to measure down to a millimeter on who beats who to the restart line. They just want it to be close and fair. It was obvious that Elliott beat us by more than that. That’s NASCAR’s call as far as how it all worked out in the box and so forth. It’s very difficult to say from my view and I’d like to see a full replay to kind of verify some of the things that I saw. Obviously, NASCAR saw something they didn’t like and made a call accordingly. That’s their job.”
WHEN YOU MADE THE PASS FOR THE LEAD IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HELD UP A LITTLE BIT GOING THROUGH TURNS 1 AND 2 BUT YOU GOT THE RUN OFF TURN 2 TO MAKE THE PASS. DOES THAT TAKE A SPECIAL KIND OF DISCIPLINE?
“I think any racer that has any success will tell you that racing requires a lot off discipline, a lot of aggression and knowing which one to use and when to use it is critical to your success. Certainly, passes here at Indy are no exception. I believe you’re talking about passing Sam for the lead and being able to get by Sam was a critical moment for us in the race. He had a very fast race car as did we and we had four tires and he had two at that point. We needed to get by him before another yellow came out and it kind of evened us out. Certainly, I was hustling to make that happen as quickly as possible. At that time the 54 (Kyle Busch) was still quite a threat to win the race and you know it just came down to executing the move I needed to execute to win the race and that was it.”
Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger) Finished 2nd
HOW WAS YOUR DODGE CHALLENGER AND HOW SATISIFYING WAS THIS RUN AT INDY?
“Well, it’s good because we gained points on some guys that we’re racing against. The easiest way to gain points is by beating ‘em. We had a good day, the car was good. We made good changes on it. Unfortunately, we came down to that last pit stop we had to take two (tires) to get track position. Loved to have been able to take four but we didn’t think that we were going to be able to do what we needed to do in traffic to be able to get around those guys. Just super-happy for Brad (Keselowski) and the 22 guys getting another win. At the end of the day we’ll just take what we can get. That was our motto today – make sure that we get out there and get some good points and do the best that we can. So, I’m just real happy for all these guys that work on the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge.”
THIS WAS A GREAT RUN FOR YOU AND THE TEAM. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR DAY.
“It’s a great finish for Penske Racing, to be able to see Brad and the Discount Tire team go to victory lane and for us to be second, we did a good job. The guys that work on this Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger did an awesome job in the pits today. When we were confronted with a decision there at the end, we had to take two to get track position. And lo and behold, we only get a three-lap run before the yellows started happening. We had a good car but we didn’t feel that taking four would put ourselves in position to win. We felt if we could get out of the traffic we might be able to help ourselves out a little bit; just too tight there.”
HOW MUCH CAN YOU TAKE FROM TODAY TO TOMORROW’S CUP RACE?
“I mean, we got another 60 laps tomorrow so I guess the biggest thing is patience and how the tires go throughout the run. The big thing for us to do tomorrow is just to go out there and try to get some solid points for that 22 Shell/Pennzoil car and do the best that we can for them because that’s where we’re at. I’m not running for anything more than to keep those guys in a good point’s position, try to get through a tough time.”
THE ONLY CLOSE CALL YOU HAD ALL DAY WAS WITH KYLE BUSCH ON THAT RESTART LATE IN THE RACE.
“I was trying to get around (Joey) Logano early on in the race and slapped the wall just a little bit coming off Turn 1. That was close enough for me on that restart, I don’t know exactly what happened but it was plenty close enough.”
ANYTIME YOU CAN FINISH 1-2 AS A TEAM, THAT’S A PRETTY SOLID DAY.
“I’m real happy for Penske Racing. These guys put a lot of work into it, brought new cars out to the track today. I’m real happy about that. Anytime you can be part of a new or inaugural race at any track, it’s good but it’s really, really special here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Just real thankful for that, all the fans that showed up today. I thought there was more passing than what I thought there was going to be from practice. It was really about patience. If you were overdriving the car and got to somebody, you couldn’t do anything with ‘em. If you patiently worked your way up there half a car length at a time, it gave you that opportunity to be right behind them going through the corner and be able to get that draft down the straightaway and get around ‘em. A real patience racetrack today.”
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO COME BACK WITH GREAT FINISH AFTER LAST WEEKEND’S DISAPPOINTMENT?
“For us to come back and have a good weekend is really good for the team’s moral. There were a lot of guys that were disappointed after last week, mostly on how our strategy played out. For them to be able to come back and have good strategy today, we felt like we had both strategies covered there at the end which is always a good thing to do.”
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE RESTART WHEN ELLIOTT SADLER GOT BLACK-FLAGGED?
“Brad almost always, always, slows down the restart and that one he left even before he got to the thing. I don’t know what it was. I was running third. I haven’t seen a replay of it yet.”
YOU’VE HAD A VERY INTERESTING AND HECTIC FEW WEEKS:
“I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. If you look at how we’ve run those last couple of weeks, we didn’t run like we wanted to but we were point’s racing and keeping ourselves out of trouble. We were fourth at Loudon, eighth last week. We should be first to fourth at worst. To come out of there with an eighth-place finish was not a good day for us. There was not real infighting with our team. The thing that we did – we all said that we could run better and found way to get everyone back onboard.”
YOU WON HERE IN INDYCAR ON A LAST-LAP PASS. DID YOU HAVE THOSE SAME VISIONS TODAY?
“It took me a bit to get around the 3 and to be able to go after Brad. I felt like I was catching up to him a little bit. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Yes, I’m catching up to him but as soon as I get there it’s going to be tough because of the aero. He’s just going to push the pedal down harder and was probably saving a bit (of fuel). I didn’t have some big grandeur that I was going to pass him on the last lap.”
Chad Walter (Crew Chief, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger)
IT SEEMS LIKE YOU GUYS ARE GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO WINNING.
“I give all the credit to everybody at Penske Racing. We definitely had this as a target from the day they announced it. Brand new cars, brand new engines, brand new aero package; just a great effort from A to Z. To see it all pan out and see the driver give an A+ effort, the communication was at an all-time high and we just went out there and executed. I’m real proud of this No. 12 Alliance team. Dodge gives us great equipment and great things to work with. This one means a lot to me, even though I’m sitting here second.”
- SRT Motorsports Press Release
Article Tags: Chad Walter, Elliott Sadler, IICS, IMS, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 250, IZOD IndyCar Series, Jeremy Bullins, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NNS, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T, Penske Racing, Roger Penske, SRT Motorsports