Brad Keselowski Wins Pole at New Hampshire

Loudon, NH July 12, 2013:

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st) –  “We have a really fast race car. The Blue Deuce has been fast since we unloaded here and we came here and tested a few weeks back and the guys did a great job giving me an awesome car. I don’t feel like I nailed a perfect lap but my guys carried me with that car. Hopefully it will be this fast on Sunday when it really counts.”

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, New Hampshire July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Brad Keselowski wins the Coors Light Pole for the Camping World RV Sales 301at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH..(c)2013, Matthew T. Thacker.Autostock.

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, New Hampshire
July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Brad Keselowski wins the Coors Light Pole for the Camping World RV Sales 301at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH..(c)2013, Matthew T. Thacker.Autostock.

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion (Qualified 7th) –  “That was a pretty decent lap. I am pretty happy with that. Obviously we would like to be another tenth faster but that was okay. We worked really hard and made the right adjustments. I think if I had to do over I could run a couple hundredths faster so I am fairly happy with that. Hopefully we will end up top eight or nine, that would be really great.”

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Carl Edwards qualified 6th..© 2013, Brian Czobat.autostock USA.

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire
July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Carl Edwards qualified 6th..© 2013, Brian Czobat.autostock USA.

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion (Qualified 18th) –  “We missed it just a little bit there. We just were a little too free. I am disappointed in that. The qualifying is so tight here that a tenth the other way would have us a really good starting spot. It is disappointing but I think we have something to build on too. I think in race trim we were pretty happy, so we will just keep working on it for Sunday.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M/WB Mason Ford Fusion (Qualified 16th) –  “We were definitely free out there. I just got loose and that is the way the car has been since I got here. I am having a hard time driving it right now. We definitely have some work to do to get it better for Sunday.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Qualified 26th) –  “I was busted sideways twice. That wasn’t a good sign. We have a lot of work to do before Sunday.”

2013 NASCAR Nationwide Cup Series New Hampshire July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Joey Logano was 18th fastest in practice..© 2013, Brian Czobat.autostock USA.

2013 NASCAR Nationwide Cup Series New Hampshire
July 12, 2013, Loudon, New Hampshire USA.Joey Logano was 18th fastest in practice..© 2013, Brian Czobat.autostock USA.

RICKY STENHOUSE Jr., No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion (Qualified 24th) –  “That wasn’t very good. We haven’t been very good since we got here honestly. I don’t know what we are going to do. We have a lot of work to do. We just have no grip right now at all, especially rear grip up off. I can’t get the throttle down. We just have a ton of work to do.”

DAVID GILLILAND, NO. 38 LONG JOHN SILVER’S FORD (QUALIFIED 25TH) – “That’s a good pick-up from practice for us so I’m proud of Frank (Kerr) and all the guys.  They made some good adjustments for us there.  Our car’s been tight and we’ve been slowly gaining on it, getting it a little better each and every time we go out on the racetrack.  At this progress, by Sunday, we’ll be really good.”

DAVID RAGAN, NO. 34 TACO BELL FORD (QUALIFIED 30TH) – “It was a good pick-up but not as much as we’d hoped for.  Our car felt really good the last run in qualifying practice.  We made a few small adjustments but probably should’ve been a little bit more aggressive.  It was a decent lap but definitely could’ve been better.  But, I think our racecar will be good for Sunday.”

 

BRAD KESELOWSKI POLE WINNER PRESS CONFERENCE

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – TALK ABOUT YOUR POLE EFFORT OUT THERE TODAY.  “We’ve had good speed since we started here today and obviously there is a lot more to racing a race track than how fast you are in qualifying but it is still a good start. We have a great race car here and I think our race team is ready. We have been close. We’ve had the speed the last few weeks to get the job done but different scenarios have bitten us. Those will come and go and I feel like they’ve went. This is our time.”

HOW IS THE MOOD OF THE TEAM?  “You know, Ricky Craven asked me the same question earlier and I told him there is a sense of urgency but not a sense of panic. I think there is a strong difference between the two. We are eager to get going, we are hungry and feel like we can do it but I don’t feel as sense of panic. There are still two months of racing essentially to get into the Chase. We have fast race cars and if we do our part we don’t need any help. If we do our part we don’t even need any luck. We just need to do our jobs and I feel like we have got the team to do just that.”

ASSUME YOU ARE HAPPY THERE WERE NO PENALTIES FOR THE ROOF FLAP THING SINCE YOU WERE LOBYING FOR THAT OUTCOME. DO YOU FEEL THAT UPLIFTED YOUR TEAM AT ALL? “Any time you have a threat of penalties coming for any team, not just mine, it is a relief that they don’t come. I stand behind what I said before about how the situation was handled and I thought that those in NASCAR that made that decision nailed this one.”

INDIANAPOLIS WILL BE JAMES FINCH’S LAST RACE IT APPEARS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DRIVING FOR HIM AND WHAT KIND OF GUY JAMES IS? “Yeah, it is unfortunate to see because James has definitely played a role in the history, not just history, that probably isn’t the right word, but he has played a role in a lot of different things with the sport. Whether it was giving drivers opportunities on the front side or back side of their career or crew members of the same sort. Certainly he has a lot of crazy stories and a lot of fun things he has done too which add to some of the character of this sport. Not having him as a car owner, he will definitely be missed.”

“Anytime you win is special but when you do it for a car owner and a driver for the first time it is kind of a double whammy. That is partially why it is sad to see him go. That is a bond we will always share.”

HAS PERCEPTION CHANGED BEING A REIGNING CHAMPION? “Not really, I still have the same goal and that is to continue to be a winner and that is what fuels me inside. The competitive fire that burns inside of me is still there whether I was a champion or not. I probably have it with a little bit more confidence and I believe in myself and those around me a little stronger because of the championship but as far as those core values I guess it is what you are probably trying to allude to, they remain the same.”

JOEY WAS IN HERE EARLIER TALKING ABOUT CONVERSATIONS EARLIER IN THE WEEK YOU GUYS HAD ABOUT HELPING EACH OTHER GET INTO THE CHASE WHILE RACING EACH OTHER TO GET IN THE CHASE. CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT?  “I think every team has its way of finding success in different ways that the teams work with each other and that is across all aspects, not just the drivers side. It is crew chiefs, car chiefs, engineers and all the way down the line. For me, I am committed to working with Joey and doing all I can do for him and we are kind of tied together sometimes whether we like it or not. I wanted him to come to Penske and seeing him be successful, the more success he has the more credibility I have because I wanted him to come to Penske. The stronger I feel about the legacy I will have with Penske Racing when it is all said and done. I have a vested interest in seeing him be successful if for nothing more than my own reputation inside Penske racing. Either way, he is my teammate and he can help me and there are going to be times where he is going to be better than I am and there will be times I am better than he is. If we can prop each other up on both those situations and both those times, it is for the betterment of all. You would like to see us in a situation where we are both locked in. That is not what it is. I think as a whole, if we can get over this little hump that we are fighting through right now there is no reason both cars at Penske Racing can’t make the Chase.”

MORGAN SHEPHERD WILL BE THE OLDEST DRIVER EVER TO START AT CUP RACE AT AGE 71 ON SUNDAY. YOU HAVE RACED AGAINST HIM A LOT IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS?  “I don’t know what it is like to be 71 years old so I don’t know if I can comment on that. I certainly don’t know what it is like to be 71 years old and Morgan Shepherd. At some point I think you just have to trust that he knows what he can do and what he can’t do.”

WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PREDICAMENT YOU ARE IN, AND DENNY (HAMLIN) IS IN A FAR WORSE PREDICAMENT THAN YOU ARE, BUT WHEN YOU ARE IN CATCH-UP MODE, IS THERE TENDENCY TO OVERDRIVE THE CAR? HOW DO YOU FIND THE BALANCE FROM JUST DOING WHAT YOU ARE USED TO DOING AND THE EDGE WHERE YOU ARE TRYING SO HARD THAT YOU DO TOO MUCH?  “I think every driver handles that differently and it defines who you are as a NASCAR racer. I guess the thought process behind this sport is that all the cars are equal. I am going to go ahead and tell you that is not the case. Those of you in the room know that but others maybe don’t. On any given day at the race track, the win is defined differently based on what you have from a car and team to work with. Sometimes the win is simple, you win the race. You take a fast car and find a way to get it up front and lead laps and win it.  Sometimes the win might be having a 15th or 20th place car and finishing in the top-five. That might be the win. I know that is really hard for some people to see and there are very few people inside this sport that I think even know when that occurs when someone takes a 20th place car and finished fifth. It is just as important though as being able to take a winning car and win with it and it is just as impressive to me. You alluded to Kurt earlier and I have seen Kurt do just that. It is my job to do the same. As a driver, You have to have the keen sense of what you have on that day, which is incredibly difficult because we all have a piece inside of us that refuses to lose, that wants to find a way to win with the 20th place car but quite honestly that is usually when you wreck or do those things you talk about. It is a fine line to balance as drivers that really gets no notoriety but quite honestly is one of the hardest things you do unless you have a dominant car week in and week out like some guys do.”

DOES YOUR CONFIDENCE BEING RATTLED OR YOUR CONFIDENCE LEVEL PLAY A ROLE IN IF YOU OVERDRIVE A CAR? “Anytime your confidence is rattled absolutely it plays a factor in how you drive your car. It is a critical thing to have without a doubt. I can’t speak to Denny and where his confidence is at but I just trust that he knows where his health is and where he should be and go from there.”

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Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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