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Apr 25, 2014 - 07:02 PM
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2014 Richmond: Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
Posted by: ASkyler on Apr 25, 2014 - 07:00 PM
NASCAR News
2014 Richmond: Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes


BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion / QUALIFIED 2nd

TALK ABOUT THE PRACTICE SESSION AND QUALIFYING BEING CANCELED TODAY. "We have been keeping the trend up here of starting up toward the front and that is something I am really happy about. Pit road selection is important with that. Always here it is a track position battle but probably more so than ever here this weekend. We did some runs and felt like being in traffic would slow our car down tremendously. Starting up front hopefully we can just avoid it the entire race. The Penske cars have been very strong all season and I am proud of that. My teammate is especially strong this weekend and I think he will be one of the guys to beat. Hopefully we can get right there with him and get a solid race and a win. Richmond hasn’t always been the best race track for us so we would like to get the great finish we have been capable of and just haven’t put all the way together. We would still like to qualify and have a shot at the pole but we foresaw this coming and put a little extra emphasis in the practice sessions to get a good run out of it and a good spot and I am glad to see that kind of panned out for us."

 

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SINCE YOUR DREAM SCHEDULE BLOG POST HAS CREATED A LOT OF TALK. YOU SAID YOU CAN’T GET EVERYTHING YOU HOPED FOR, BUT WHAT KIND OF REACTION ARE YOU GETTING? "You can never expect to get everything you want in anything. In some cases you just hope to get something. I think it is just a great topic that is healthy for our sport to always have a discussion ongoing, whether or not we all agree which is going to be very seldom, few and far between when we can find things where everyone in the sports agrees upon. When I look at my role as an ambassador of the sport, it is one that I take very seriously. Being a part of that dialogue and attempt to always better the sport is one of the things that I would like to play a role in if possible. Certainly I don’t have all the answers or pretend to have all the answers. You start with what you think and how you feel and I am glad to share those things with our fans. I don’t really see anyone else out there doing that. It kind of puts me in a unique spot and I like to have fun with that and I think our fans do to."

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED … HAS THERE BEEN ANY REACTION TO IT THAT CHANGED YOUR THINKING? "There are always better ideas. It is hard to think of one specific off the top of my head. I didn’t come in here with a list, sorry. I am sure there are always better ideas and I don’t pretend to know everything, I just have fun with it."

YOU DESCRIBED YOURSELF AS AN AMBASSADOR OF THE SPORT. IS THAT EVERY DRIVERS JOB OR JUST THE MORE THOUGHTFUL GUYS’ JOB? "I think every driver is an ambassador of the sport without a doubt, just some have a louder voice. Winning races, running up front, those types of things give you a louder voice. Each individual has a responsibility to pick how they want to carry it from there. I am privileged, very privileged and it is something not lost upon me that with winning a championship sometimes that voice gets louder and heard in different areas than perhaps I would even think it would have been. That is a tremendous opportunity to help out. I am glad to do that."

LOOKING AHEAD A WEEK, WITH THE FORMAT OF WINNING TO GET IN, THIS TALLADEGA RACE COULD BE ONE THAT AN UNDERDOG GOES FOR AND WINS. DO YOU VIEW TALLADEGA AS A LOTTERY BALL, ANYONE CAN WIN TYPE OF RACE? "I don’t know if I really see any favorites. It is hard because this new car has really changed the game in a lot of different ways. I think it made plate racing better. I think this year it has been better racing than last year. All we have is Daytona to sample from but we had the Unlimited, Duels and the 500. I felt like the racing got better in the sense that last year at Talladega we saw it get single-file against the wall and nobody could make a move and we saw that a little at Daytona as well. That seems to not be the case with this package. I am not 100% sure of that though. It is hard to give you a great answer for that. Talladega will always be a wild card in some sense because of how big and wide it is and the lack of handling. It has always been that way for some reason. Obviously I got my first win there in kind of a wild card fashion. At the end of the day, I feel like the person that wins there deserves it and made a great move. I don’t think of it as a lottery. I never feel that way about it. I always feel like the person that wins there made a great move to make it happen and in that sense there are 25 or 30 drivers that are very skilled and talented enough to pull that off. It is still a bit of a wild card in that sense because it isn’t what we are used to. We are used to it being maybe 15 or 20 drivers. Do you add another pool of five or 10 drivers and teams into the mix that are capable of winning, yeah, and I think that is great. With the new format, that can change everything, assuming that team can stay inside the top-30 because I don’t personally expect there to be more than 16 winners. That could be very significant."

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED … WITH YOUR BLOG, SOME OF THE FANS RESPONSE IS THAT YOUR BLOG HAS BEEN INSPIRATIONAL TO THEM. WAS THAT YOUR GOAL? WHAT KIND OF BENEFIT DO YOU GET FROM IT? IS IT LIKE A THERAPY? "I think you can look in this room and most the media would tell you that the sports world is evolving, at least in a media sense, and so it is a challenge to me to be able to put out great content for not just my fans but all of our sports fans. I understand some of the challenges that are within this room to get those messages out and it seems like specifics of this sport, those messages always seem to get stuck in some kind of PR front or branding front and that was always very frustrating to me personally. That was kind of a way for me to escape that and get out great content and also at the same time it is personally rewarding as a way to engage some people that I wouldn’t have been able to really reach before. I think it has had a further reach than I thought it would, which is great. Certainly in some ways it serves as therapy and way for me to talk and take a more measured step to not get in trouble like I used to all the time. That is good for me. It is certainly good for Roger (Penske) and I am having fun with it and am really thrilled there has been a response at all. I am happy and humbled by that."

"I have a list of ideas, so I will be good for the next three or four weeks. It is hard to pick which one I want to use at any time and it seems like as I come out with different ones about three or four more hit me. I feed off of this group and hopefully this group feeds off of some of the work I do. I really think it is great for everybody. I am just having fun with it and rolling with it."

NEXT WEEK IS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF (AYRTON) SENNA’S DEATH. DO YOU REMEMBER MUCH OF ANYTHING FROM THAT? "Yeah, for me personally it reminded me a lot of when Dale Earnhardt died in the sense of the kind of general mood and atmosphere within my own family’s household. My dad and brother used to wake up early and watch the Formula One races and I was only nine or 10 years old but I can remember my dad was a big Senna fan and I can remember that he was never really a loud cheerleader type but I can remember him being more so of that than anything else I have ever seen which was always unique to me. I just remember the somber tone in the household. My dad raced and so that brought up a lot of questions as a kid that I would ask my mom and dad. There was a sequence of untimely accidents at that time. I can remember that one and the death of this one driver - my dad raced in the ARCA series at the time and there was one driver I was a huge fan of outside of my dad and he had died I want to say a year earlier. I think he died in 93. His name was Chris Gehrke and I remember when he died my parents wouldn’t tell me. We were watching TV one night and one of those memorial pictures came up. I remember that and my parents rushing me off to go take a bath but I had already seen it. It was too late. That brought up a lot of questions when I was a kid and it was really hard for them to explain to me when I was eight, nine, 10 years old. Those are the memories I have."

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED … DO YOU FEEL YOU WOULD HAVE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP WITH HENDRICK AS QUICKLY AS YOU DID WITH PENSKE? "I don’t know. I feel lucky to be where I am at. I feel lucky to be with Roger and very fortunate. It is a really tough question to answer because it is a fork in the road moment and obviously I didn’t go down that direction. I am not going to say I haven’t thought about it. Absolutely I have thought about it but part of me says I would have never met Paul (Wolfe) and would have never gotten the chance to work with him if it wasn’t for that. I definitely think I could have made a large contribution to where they are at but then again, somebody else would look across and say they have won two out of the four championships since that happened so what more could you have made for a contribution? I am not sure but I definitely feel like I could have helped out."

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