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May 30, 2014 - 05:48 PM
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2014 Dover: Brad Keselowski NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Qualifying Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on May 30, 2014 - 05:44 PM
2014 Dover: Brad Keselowski NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Qualifying Press Conference

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion - YOU SET A NEW TRACK RECORD TODAY. THIS NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT SEEMS TO FIT YOUR STYLE. "Yeah, it has been a good year for qualifying and I would say most years that has not been the case. I am not going to complain by any stretch of the imagination. I am very happy with our effort today with qualifying on the pole and as important as qualifying is here at Dover with pit road selection. I am looking forward to Sunday’s race and am very pleased with our starting position."

A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT THE SUCCESS OF TEAM PENSKE IN QUALIFYING AND WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE TRICK IS. WHAT IS THE STRATEGY? IS IT ANYTHING MORE THAN FAST CARS? "You know, speed is the backbone of any success in motorsports. Being the backbone, that doesn’t mean it is the totality of what you need. You need more than just that. You have to execute and you can’t make any mistakes across the board with all the ancillary things you have to work on with these cars. In that sense, we have a strong backbone and great speed and we have been executing very well on qualifying day. We have to keep that up. It has been great. We need to do that in race trim as well. You have to execute in race trim and we haven’t been exactly where we want to be there. Qualifying well is a good start to the weekend but there is a lot more to it with racing. We have to carry that over."


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HOW HAVE YOU HAD SO MUCH SUCCESS THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR? WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BOTH IN QUALIFYING AND RACING? "I don’t know if I feel like we are running a lot better than we did last year. I think at this time last year we are similar in standings, laps led and finishes, other than having one win. We are qualifying significantly better though. I think the cars are build a lot different than last year. Ford has done a great job catching up with the front nose piece that they kind of got left behind on when the Gen 6 car came out and were allowed to catch up for 2014. I think that was a big piece. I don’t think we were far off before, we just needed those little pieces that were outside of our control to be evened up and I feel like that is the case now and we are where we should be."

11 DRIVERS BROKE THE OLD QUALIFYING RECORD. WHY SO MANY? "The bigger rear spoiler and the ride height rule. The bigger spoiler adds significant downforce and there is also a different front belly pan that adds a lot of downforce as well. That is just putting a lot of grip in the cars. Cars make more grip by a long shot than what they ever had. Last year, when we finished the year, somewhere around 2,600 to 2,800 lbs of downforce and now they are making about 3,200 lbs. That is a significant increase and we are seeing a significant increase in speed to go with it, as we should when the cars are by themselves. In race mode when you lose that downforce you see speed similar to years past."

WERE YOU PLAYING THE CLOUD GAME OUT THERE? "Yeah, clouds are helpful but at a track that is concrete like the Monster Mile is here, it isn’t quite as impactful as it is at other surfaces. The white concrete doesn’t attract as much heat as the black asphalt does and temperatures make a difference but it isn’t quite as impactful here. The sun was coming in and out and I went out right as the clouds were about to roll in but I missed them by about a minute. We still put down a good lap but this track probably had a little more speed in it if we had caught the cloud just right."

HOW DO YOU THINK QUALIFYING WILL PLAY OUT NEXT WEEK AT POCONO? "Pocono could be very interesting with that track, back to Mary Jo’s question; it is probably one of the most sensitive tracks as it pertains to sun and clouds. As large of a facility as it is, it is very easy to have one part of the track that is under shade and another part under sun. Those things should all play into it and it should make it fun but one thing I can say about this qualifying session is it was apparent last week at Charlotte that it used to be when we ran and qualified that it wasn’t a fair opportunity for everyone in the sense that some cars would go out as the sun was setting down and the track was hot or others would go out late at night and not have that same opportunity. I think this year we are seeing where it is a fair opportunity for everyone. There is nothing that keeps you on pit road if you want to go out and that eliminates a lot of those variables and it is in your hands to make the right decision. I think that is a lot of fun for me personally and that adds more to it as it should. It puts more skill and instinct into the game, which I think we all have interest in seeing the teams that put the most skill and thought into it running up front and winning."

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