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Mar 01, 2014 - 07:17 AM
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· 2014 Phoenix: NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Results - Keselowski, Ford On Pole! (Feb 28, 2014)
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· 2014 Phoenix: NASCAR Nationwide Practice One Results - Keselowski, Ford Fastest! (Feb 28, 2014)
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2014 Phoenix: Brad Keselowski NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Qualifying Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on Mar 01, 2014 - 07:14 AM
2014 Phoenix: Brad Keselowski NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Qualifying Press Conference

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion - TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN AND SETTING A NEW TRACK RECORD TODAY. "We had a really fast car and there is some pride to be taken in being the first one to win a Sprint Cup pole in this format. I am sure it will undergo a few adjustments along the way but it is very rewarding and a testament to my team and how fast of a car they gave me. Then it was just a matter of executing on my end. We were able to do that. I dind’t think I ran a good enough lap to be quite honest. When they told me the time, I said, ‘Alright, I will take it.’

YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FORMAT AND GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS. "I don’t know how to say it but it feels like a lot of things are coming together for me personally over the last few months. Whether it is personally or professionally - even the rule changes. I think qualifying has been one of those formats that I have struggled with. It just didn’t suit my style in the past. This qualifying format really does suit my style a lot better. It gives me a chance to learn and apply which to me was instrumental to our success today and hopefully will be in how we go forward. It is interesting how a small format change like this can favor or disfavor teams and individuals and this is one that we have been able to take like a fish to water. Hopefully we will continue to do that."


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WAS IT FUN, INTERESTING, HAIRY OR ALL OF THE ABOVE? "It is a lot more nerve-wracking and there is usually a pretty good rule of thumb that if it is a lot more nerve-wracking for drivers then it is usually a lot more fun for fans and partners and all those things. That is a good thing. I am more curious the feedback we will get from our fans and everyone as to whether or not they like it. At the end of the day it isn’t about if I like it, it is if they like it. I like it because it fits my style but that is neither here nor there. It is if our fans care for it more. I will be interested to see the feedback over time."

JAMIE MCMURRAY SAID THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE SLOW LAPS LAST NIGHT AT DINNER, IT WASN’T A COPY CAT THING, DID YOU ANTICIPATE PEOPLE DOING THOSE COOL DOWN LAPS? "I did anticipate everyone doing that here. It will be different at other tracks. This is the interesting thing about this format; you can’t make a template and say this is what you will see every week. Small variables have a tremendous affect on what strategy will be more successful. For this particular track with the sun setting as it was and the hard tire compounds, it is one specific format that was successful that will most likely not be at Vegas. That is a bigger track with a different tire compound and I think the sun does set while we are there qualifying. There are all kinds of small variables and it just takes one of them to change the successful strategy it will take. That is interesting to see how it will work out. At the end of the day, I think nine times out of 10 you will see the fast cars still at the front."

ANY CONCERNS SAFETY-WISE? "I think it is always a concern to see cars that are significantly slower than other cars on the track. That is why NASCAR has a minimum speed rule in the race. What is difficult is if you are in NASCAR’s position and you disallow those tactics, then essentially you will kill this format and it won’t work because the cars won’t be able to be cool enough to run a second or third time which is what makes this format relevant. It is a tough line to walk. I think we are still early in the stages and it is too early to tell what will work and what won’t. At this level, I think that this strategy or this tactic is probably more acceptable than at the lower levels where the speed gap between the first place car and the slowest car is a lot more prevalent. I think that will show up. Driver experience will show up and that creates a little more concern. I think it is just way too early to tell and like anything else needs to get a couple weeks under its belt and then we can draw a better conclusion on where we are at."

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED -- YOU WERE OUT OF YOUR CAR AND ON YOUR RADIO DURING THE SESSION. WHEN YOU WERE ON THE RADIO, WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT STRATEGY OR CHANGES TO THE CAR? "I was trying to get permission to go to the bathroom. Paul said I could. My lap was fast enough that he thought I would make the next round. The people downstairs in the media center can attest to that. I made a little pit stop."


WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY IN GOING OUT AT THE VERY START OF THE RUN? "I just get bored sitting around Tom. I can’t sit and watch other cars run, it drives me crazy. I got in the car and they asked if I wanted to wait or go and I had already fired it up and drove off. I am not a very patient guy. I felt that was the right thing to do, just go when you are ready and I was ready."

DID YOU SEE THERE IS A PRIVATE AUCTION OF 200 TANKS? "Yeah, I am on it. Believe me, I am on it. I told everyone I would buy one if I won the Daytona 500. I need more money. I didn’t win though. I gotta win this weekend. I don’t know what this race pays but I need a little help."

IS THERE ANY ADVICE OR HELP YOU GOT FROM ANY OF YOUR PENSKE INDY CAR GUYS ABOUT THIS FORMAT? "Oh yeah, Roger was all over that one. He loves it. He provided his feedback which was great and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. At the end of the day stock cars and Indy cars are drastically different but the formats are very similar. I think there are other rules over there that really separate - one of those variables is the tire compounds they use. They have the soft compounds over there and we don’t have that. That kind of throws a little hitch in to be able to carbon copy anything from over there. I am sure there will be small things we will push for to be able to go back and forth."

DID ANYTHING SURPRISE YOU OUT OF TODAY? "My lap surprised me because I didn’t feel I had a great lap. My best qualifying efforts are always the ones where I don’t think I do well. Maybe I should learn something from that. I think we saw what I thought we would see based off of when I did get the opportunity to do the Nationwide version of this at Daytona. I had a little bit of an expectation in mind but other than that, I didn’t see anything that really stuck out. More than anything else I am just curious the feedback we get from our fans and those that follow the sport as to whether they like it or dislike it. I am kind of neutral."

WHAT KIND OF A FACTOR WAS GOING OUT EARLY? "If you go out later you have to go by all these cars that are 30-40 mph off the pace and that can cause a whole new set of issues. I am glad we didn’t have to do that."

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