SRT Motorsports 2012 NSCS AAA 400 Post-Race RecapsPress Release
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Race Winner
HOW DID YOU WIN THE RACE BY DRIVING SLOWER? “It wasn’t easy. The Dodge team and Penske have done an incredible job with these engines with power and fuel balance to go faster. Everybody at Penske Engines I want to say, ‘thank you’, I know you’re watching on TV. You guys are digging and made this happen. Just proud of the effort. This has been one of my worse tracks. I ran up front all day. I may not have had the best car but hung around in that top five, just kept creeping around and when you do that, you put yourself in position for good things to happen. That’s what this 2 team has done the last few months. Man, if we keep doing this the next seven weeks it will be an awesome seven weeks. I’m just really, really proud of the effort today.”
Paul Wolfe (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
AN INCREDIBLE DAY FOR THE NO. 2 MILLER LITE DODGE TEAM TODAY: “An unbelievable day. That was a type of performance that we needed to stay in this championship and we showed today that we’re going to continue to be there every week. Our Miller Lite Dodge was really consistent today. I don’t know if we were the best car; everyone in the top-five was capable of winning today. Brad did a great job saving us some fuel there at the end to where we didn’t have to fully back down. Dodge gives us great fuel mileage and all the guys back at the engine shop give this team engines that allow us to get the fuel mileage we need to
win races like this. A great job by everyone involved today.”
Travis Geisler (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)
“An incredible day. We knew that this was going to be a race that would be tough for us. I think this is Brad’s first top 10 here. It’s a testament to everything. What an effort by everyone on the team. Great Dodge horsepower. Great Dodge fuel mileage. Just a perfect day and I’m so proud of everyone that puts a hand on this program.”
Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 25th
“We just couldn’t catch a break at all here today. We had a solid top-10 car for the first run. We pitted and the yellow came out just a couple of laps later. We went two laps down but took the wave-around to get one of them back. Then when we pitted the next time, we had a loose right-front wheel and had to pit again under green.
“We had been loose in, tight center, loose off and the changes started to bring the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge around some. We had made it back up to the top 20 when we had another scheduled green-flag stop. Wouldn’t you know it, we hit pit road and the yellow came out again just a few laps later.
“The cautions, when they came out, just didn’t go our way at all today. I got into the fence with about 15 to go and that put the finishing touches on a disappointing day.”
Todd Gordon (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger)
“We pitted under green the first time and about four or five laps the caution came out. You go so slow here on pit road, which put us down by two laps. Then we had a loose wheel. The more you try to dig out of those situations, the bigger gambles you have to take and the bigger holes you get put it. The cautions didn’t fall that well for the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge today. I felt like we had a solid top-10 car today. That first yellow put us in a hole and we never got out of it.”
MEDIA CENTER INTERVIEW
Q: Talk about how the race went for you from maybe the start to the finish. It certainly looks like you were able to really do a good job, your entire race team, you as a driver, of stretching things out to the max with fuel.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Happy for our day here today obviously. It’s a long race, 400 miles at Dover, it’s darn grueling, to be honest. My team just kept at it all race long. We made some adjustments, made our car a little bit better here and there. I was really proud of that effort. Certainly a lot stronger than what we’ve been here in years past. I feel we were really strong here this time around. Very, very proud of our team for that. As the race went on, we slowly eked our way up from the 10th starting position. We were up to fourth. Kind of fell in there on that last run, after my pit crew got me out fourth, something like that, and that put us in position to really capitalize on good strategy and execution. My guys did that. They did a great job, like you said, with the fuel. Together we were able to manage it very well, which is important as anything else in racing these days. As you saw, it came together at the end for a victory.
Q: Talk about some of those things that allowed you to get to Victory Lane:
PAUL WOLFE: Like Brad said, this hasn’t been one of our best tracks, but we talked on the plane ride up here and felt that we were capable of winning here this weekend. I think that type of mentality and attitude is throughout our team. I feel like there was a lot of hard work that went in behind the scenes preparing for this weekend. We were able to unload here and have good speed in our car. I feel much better than what we’ve been in the past. I think we backed that up with a solid qualifying effort yesterday afternoon. Just slowly worked on our car all day. Took us probably two runs to get it capable of running in the top five. We were able to do that. Had a little hiccup on pit road, but everybody stayed calm and focused and recovered from that, went on to put ourselves in position.
I feel like any weekend that you can run top five towards the closing laps of a race, you’re putting yourselves in position to win. That’s what we were able to do today. Just a great job by everybody on this team.
This was another small step to the 10 races. Just really proud to be able to come out of here with a points lead.
Q: Roger, certainly not even a third of the way through the Chase, but this race team has won two of the three races and has laid down the gauntlet they’re going to be a factor here, a championship contender. Talk about that:
ROGER PENSKE: First, I want to dedicate this win to Chris Economaki. Obviously, I go back probably 45 years with him when I was a driver, used to take his photos home from the track. I remember one thing about him, he cared about the little guy running on the short tracks. I obviously can’t thank him enough for what he did for us. I know he’d be proud today to know that Penske Racing team is dedicating this race to him.
Really, today it was all about teamwork. As I said before, Brad has really pulled this team together. He knows what he wants. Paul has a great group of guy working around that car, not only the ones over the wall, but the ones at home, the aerodynamicists, the guys in the shop, outstanding. Fuel economy takes two people: the driver that knows how to get it and obvious the guys that know how to set that up at home.
Article Tags: 2012 AAA 400, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2012 NSCS, AAA 400, Brad Keselowski, Dover, Dover (DE), Dover International Speedway, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NSCS, Paul Wolfe, Penske Racing, Roger Penske, Sam Hornish Jr, The Monster Mile, Todd Gordon, Travis Geisler