Biffle, Logano and Keselowski Aim to Punch Chase Tickets Saturda - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Biffle, Logano and Keselowski Aim to Punch Chase Tickets Saturday Night

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Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is one of three Ford drivers with a chance to make the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Biffle met media members at Richmond International Raceway to discuss his chances.

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – WHAT IS YOUR OPTIMISM LEVEL? "I feel pretty good.  It makes you nervous when you stop and think about it because of all the things that can happen. If we just have a standard race, we ran pretty good here last fall.  We ran fairly good here in the spring.  The reality is, we need to have just a decent day. That's really what it boils down to. You get nervous thinking about things like, what if I get a flat tire, this, that, anything else.  But I feel pretty good."

HOW REALISTIC DO YOU THINK IT IS YOU COULD CONTEND WHEN YOU GET IN?  "I think that people have probably underestimated us, because of the way we've run this season, have quite possibly underestimated the possibility of us contending for the win. You would think you would look at it and say every year, you would look at the bottom, you know, maybe seventh through 12th place guys and say they probably don't have as good a chance as the first through seventh or sixth, whatever you want to say.  That has some weight to it. Last year we came in leading the points here at Richmond.  This year we're ninth.  But I almost feel like we're in better position this year car wise and competition wise, than we were last year. It is well documented; we've struggled this season with this car.  As kind of a whole organization, we haven't been as strong as we had been last year.  I think we're getting it figured out.  We're not there yet, but we've also got 11 more weeks.  So we continue to build on this, we think we have good stuff coming."

WHEN YOU HAVE TO FIGHT TO GET IN, VERSUS CLINCHING EARLY, WHAT KIND OF A DISADVANTAGE DOES THAT PUT YOU IN? "I've been on both sides.  Last year it seemed like we had wiggle room to be able to try stuff.  Our box of tricks was empty.  We're looking in there.  Hey, nothing left, you know. I kind of compare that to this year, to the fact that we are sort of gaining more and more speed every week.  We went to Pocono and even though we finished second in the first race, we finished top-10 in the second race.  We were way faster in the second race. We go to Michigan, we won the first race and in the  second race we finished ninth after a fender got knocked in.  We were way faster the second race.  It was a way better car.  We learned a tremendous amount from the first race to the second race. So everywhere we've been, that's kind of been the trend.  We've been getting better and better and better.  We're excited about this race and how much our short‑track program has improved.  I think that's going to spell good things for Loudon and maybe Dover.  We're better prepared for Chicago.  Then we have some bread‑and‑butter stuff for us, Kansas, Texas, Charlotte."

 

 

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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KNOWING HOW TIGHT THE POINTS ARE FROM GUYS THAT ARE IN THE TOP-10 TO GUYS OUTSIDE THE TOP-10, WHEN YOU'RE IN THE CAR SATURDAY NIGHT, ARE YOU GOING TO WANT TO KNOW WHERE GUYS ARE? "Not really.  There is all kinds of crazy math.  I've talked till I'm blue in the face the last three days. I've been with a huge group of 3M people, customers, at a two‑day event, then customer appreciation day in Minnesota.  I've talked about this all week, about where we need to be at. I truly cannot figure it out.  I race here every week, and I've had a hard time doing the math.  Somebody said ninth or better, you're locked in.  Well, when I look at it and try and understand it, it appears to me I need to be in front of the 56 or 39 car most likely.  I need to be in front of both of them.  That's a big difference between ninth and being in front of those guys. Being in front of those guys is low 20's if they win versus finishing ninth.  There's a huge difference there, if I do the math, where I think we at a minimum have to finish. There are a lot of scenarios.  But for me I think I got it figured out.  We just need to have a good run.  If we're in the top 15 or 20, it looks like we're safe to me, unless something crazy happens, a bunch of hop scotching starts to happen, which is probably unlikely."

LET'S SAY SOMETHING CRAZY DID HAPPEN. "Can you explain what that is?  Because I'm trying to understand it, too."

SAY YOU HAD AN EARLY FLAT AND THE 56 AND 39 ARE RUNNING AHEAD. A FEW WEEKS AGO KASEY KAHNE DID NOT TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE KENSETH OUT OF THE WAY AT BRISTOL.  IF YOU WERE IN THAT KIND OF SITUATION, IT WAS THE LAST LAP, THE ONLY WAY YOU WERE GOING TO GET IN THE CHASE WAS TO SPIN SOMEBODY, MOVE SOMEBODY OUT OF THE WAY, HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THAT SITUATION? "So, it's a huge difference between moving somebody out of the way for one position, bump the guy and run for the win basically.  You'll probably do that, if you can get there and race him.  To just to take a guy out, no, I am not going to do that.  I've said all along, I've said forever, that doesn't take any skill or any kind of ability to do that. It is just plain and simple that wrecking a guy is not an option.  But to race a guy hard, maybe bump him, get your nose inside him, race him for that last spot if you need it, you have to have one more point to make it into the Chase, this is the white flag, I'm right there, then, yeah, I'm going to do anything I can.  I'm probably going to try and bump him up out of the way a little bit."

WHAT PREVENTS YOU FROM TAKING SOMEBODY OUT?  BECAUSE OF THE RESPECT IN THE GARAGE? "Yeah.  I don't want to be the guy that got in the Chase because I wrecked somebody, because I cleaned them off on the last lap.  That's probably not a good thing to do."


Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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THERE'S A LOT OF BIG NAMES NOT IN THE CHASE.  TONY STEWART, DENNY HAMLIN.  WHO HAS MADE IT IN THAT SURPRISED YOU? "To be perfectly honest with you, 100%, nobody.  Nobody's made it in that's a surprise to me because there's so many good drivers.  I mean, Kasey Kahne, you can't say that he's a surprise.  You can't say that Martin Truex is a surprise.  I mean, I could list them all.  None of them are surprises to me. Is it a surprise that those other guys are out?  Maybe.  But somebody has to be, you know.  Obviously Tony Stewart is not competing, so he's obviously not in. A lot has to come down to luck, what happened on the race track and how your season went so far."

SPEAKING OF LUCK, IF THERE WAS ONE RACE YOU COULD HAVE BACK, WHICH RACE WOULD IT BE? "Man, I can only have one (laughter)? You know, probably the one I would take would be Michigan.  I finished ninth, but I had that race won.  Brad came out of his pit box at a 45‑degree angle, and I just happened to glance down at my pit road speed, I saw him starting to pull out. I thought, ‘Oh, I have to try to beat him, because I came in the leader.'  I'm holding the tach right where I need it.  I look up.  Right when I look up, he's coming into view.  I turn the wheel, we hit together just that much.  It caved the fender in, knocked a hole in the nose.  I finished ninth. That potentially was my second win.  Very easily was my second win.  It would have changed things up quite a bit because I'd be in front of Kasey right now with two wins.  That would have been a huge turning point for us. The other one was Kentucky.  We had a pretty decent car, got kind of caught up in a wreck there that I wish I'd tried to turn down earlier or something.  You always second guess after it's over, but got in that Kurt Busch wreck, and Brad Keselowski down the frontstretch wrecked, and unfortunately I got caught up in that."

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion is one of three Ford drivers with a chance to make the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Logano met media members at Richmond International Raceway to discuss his chances.

 

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion -- YOU CAN GET INTO THE CHASE SATURDAY NIGHT.  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO DO?  WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET? "Well, obviously there are a lot of scenarios that can play out.  You look at all the numbers, where you've got to finish, if this happens or that happens.  We just have to do what we've been doing.  We're coming off six straight top-10s, three straight top-fives and we had a really good test here.  I feel like our car is going to be pretty fast.  We finished third here in the spring.  The only thing you can do is go out there and keep doing what you've been doing. The momentum that this team has right now, it's hard not to have confidence right now.  I feel like if we just do our deal, be smart.  Obviously we'll be aware of what's going on out there, what the bubble cars are doing.  At the same time we got to run our race and get the best finish out of it we can."

YOU ARE IN A DON'T SCREW IT UP KIND OF SITUATION, RIGHT?  HOW DO YOU PREVENT THAT FROM HAPPENING? "Obviously you think about that stuff because you're a little nervous about it.  Hopefully the motor holds together, hopefully the tires don't blow out and hopefully I don't make a mistake.  Really, is that going to make my race car go any faster thinking about that stuff?  No.  As a whole team, as a tire carrier, stud that tire perfectly.  If you're the crew chief calling the race, that's all you have to think about.  If you're the driver, think about making that car go as fast as it possibly can. When you start thinking about all the things that can go wrong, that's when something is going to go wrong because that's when your mind is not in the right spot.  So mentally we have to be tough this weekend."

DO YOU DO MORE GIVING THAN TAKING, CONSIDERING YOU NEED A 10TH OR 11TH? "I think I race the same way I've been.  We've been fast lately.  I really hope I'm passing cars, not giving spots away.  There's going to be some hairy moments in the race. It's Richmond.  They picked a very exciting racetrack for this to happen at.  There's going to be some gouging.  That's typical Richmond with somebody at some point. We're going to want to stay out of the middle of something like that.  We just have to, like I said, do our thing."


Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED –

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, IF ANYBODY JUST MISSES THE CHASE AMONG THESE TWO GUYS, YOU AND BRAD, MOST PEOPLE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT YOU.  NOW BRAD NEEDS THE HAIL MARY AND YOU'RE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN DESTINY, PRETTY GOOD SHAPE. "Yeah, that's this sport.  You never know what's going to happen.  It's crazy.  You look at the Richmond spring race.  I was watching the race on the way up here.  I only got to 80 laps, but I know what happened (laughter). The caution comes out with five to go or whatever.  You come in, take four tires.  We come out 11th.  That wasn't the right call, was it?  All of a sudden it goes green and you finish 3rd.  Pretty good call. You never know what's going to happen in these races.  If the caution didn't come out, Harvick would have won the race.  It all depends on what happens.  Whatever the race throws at you, you have to be able to go with it. I look at the way we've been doing lately, Bristol, raced through a lot of stuff.  Garbage on the grill, speeding penalty, right front fender tore up, we finished fifth. That's pretty awesome to me. You look at a guy that I feel is best in the garage doing that, the 48 car.  Every time something goes wrong, he finishes 10th or better.  I'm like, ‘What the heck?'  You got to be able to do that to have a shot at this championship.  I feel like this team has that figured out right now.  We're doing a good job at it, keeping cool, keep our head in the game, making the most of it."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE 48 TEAM? "I mean, you watch those guys.  Brad is another guy that's really good at it.  You've seen a few times this year he's been able to do stuff like that.  Last week he didn't have the opportunity to do that. I think it's all up here, man (pointing at his head).  This sport, like any sport, it's a mental game.  It's like golf.  You can get in somebody's head and let things get in your head, but you got to be tougher than the other guy.  That's how you recover from a bad day."

WITH WHAT YOU'RE ON THE CUSP OF ACCOMPLISHING, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? "It's huge.  It's huge.  You know, especially going through what we've gone through this year with penalties, crazy races, and everything that's happened.  To be sitting in the seat we're in right now, that's pretty good, considering all the things we've gone through.  So I'm proud of that, no matter what happens. But at the same time it does mean a lot to get in this Chase, not only for me as a driver, but for Penske Racing as a team, for Shell Pennzoil as sponsors.  If you watch a race on TV, you notice the guys that are not in the race don't get any airtime.  It's a big deal for the sponsor. I think 2010 I would have finished third if I was in the Chase.  So this is your opportunity.  Okay, now you're in it.  Make the most of it.  It's one step at a time.  We have to get in first."

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED --

HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DO ANY WORK FOR THE LAST TEN RACES OR ARE YOU WAITING? "Yeah, we definitely look ahead.  You schedule these cars out when you're building them, so far out.  Yes, there are parts and pieces that you're developing that you try to time out for the Chase.  Obviously we accelerated a lot of that stuff because we're as a team not sitting as pretty as we wanted to be, the 2 and the 22. At the same time, I feel we have some good stuff coming down the pipeline.  Everyone is going to pick it up a notch when we get in the Chase.  I feel like we picked it up a notch the last few weeks.  We have to pick it up another notch to have a shot at it."

WOULD YOU BE BEHIND THE GUYS WHO HAVE LOCKED IN A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS AGO?  WILL THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE, HAVING TO WAIT TO GET IN? "They still have to race, too, whether they're locked in or not.  Yeah, they're going for wins, probably no pressure on them, they're having a good time, we're obviously stressed about the Chase.  That's going to wear on you a little bit.  Maybe they're a little fresher. I look at the way we've been running, we're as fresh as we're going to get.  We want to go.  We don't want to have a break or a moment to take the pressure off 'cause we've been doing pretty good with all the pressure on us."

YOU TALKED ABOUT WHAT A BIG DEAL IT IS FOR THE SPONSOR TO MAKE THE CHASE.  WHAT ABOUT YOU, CONSIDERING THE UPS AND DOWNS OF YOUR FIRST COUPLE YEARS, EVEN THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR FOR YOU.  "I'd be pretty stoked.  It's going to be a helluva party (laughter).  I don't know, milk and cookies or something for me.  I don't know how to party.  Somebody has to teach me.  I don't know how to do that. No, it's a big deal.  I mean, it is a goal of mine, yes.  It is a very big goal of mine.  You strive for it every year when the season starts.  I've come up short every time.  This is my big shot so far in my career. Doing it with Penske Racing, as a new driver over there, it's kind of a cool story."

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, WITH THE WAY THINGS STARTED AND CONTROVERSY THAT YOU HAD, DID YOU THINK YOU COULD GET TO THIS POINT? "Yeah.  I will say I kind of thought we were close to being out of it after Loudon.  We were 10th going into Daytona.  Then after two races you're 18th, way out of it, 50‑something points back.  I thought we were in really big trouble. Then we started racking up top-10, top-10, then you get a win.  We're back in it, we got a shot.  You knock off two more top‑five finishes, you're sitting eighth all of a sudden.  It's a good thing we didn't give up and quit on this thing. We just have to keep doing that.  We're having fun with that stuff.  We're having a good time with it."

IN 11 WEEKS YOU COULD BE CHAMPION. "I can be, yeah."

 

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED –

IT'S THAT CLOSE.  DOES IT SEEM LIKE IT'S THAT CLOSE? "No, 'cause there's a lot of things that happen.  Eleven weeks is a long time, for me at least.  Some ways you look at it, it's really short.  Other ways, the amount of things that can happen between now and then, you can't list them on a piece of paper.  There's a lot."

ELEVEN WEEKS AGO LAST YEAR, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE PICKED BRAD TO HAVE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP.  IT COULD BE YOU THIS TIME. "Go figure. Could be.  I hope so.  We're going to try.  We think we can do it, that's for sure.  You guys can decide what you think."

IF YOU MAKE THE CHASE, THERE'S GOING TO BE ALL THE STORIES ABOUT THE STORY OF THE YEAR, HOW YOU HANDLED IT ALL.  ARE WE GOING TO MAKE MORE OUT OF IT THAN IT WAS OR WAS IT A BIG TEST AND A BIG CHALLENGE FOR YOU? "Yeah, I guess you can say it's a big test.  Yeah, I mean, this sport will challenge you in many different ways.  A lot of ways I never thought it would challenge me.  But it does.  It's made me a better person because of it.  Made me a stronger person because of it. I love it, you know.  Even if I wasn't a race car driver, the experience I've gotten out of doing racing stuff, it's huge.  I'd be able to take that anywhere and use it to my advantage. To answer your question, there would be I guess a pretty big story to that."

LAST WEEK I WAS TALKING TO TODD GORDON ON RACE DAY MORNING, HE SAID HE LIKENED YOU MOVING FROM GIBBS LIKE A KID MOVING OUT OF HIS HOUSE GOING TO COLLEGE, GROWING AS A PERSON.  IS THAT A GOOD ANALOGY? "He pretty much nailed it.  I watched that episode.  You don't ask your crew chief questions like that.  He's not going to tell you things like that to your face because that's kind of weird. To hear his interview, words he said, it kind of made sense.  Yeah, I mean, you grew up, you moved out, you've gone to a new place.  Yes, I picked it up a lot in every area I possibly can. You think you're topped out, you think you're doing everything you can, then all of a sudden you realize, ‘Look at all this stuff you could be doing.' Brad opened my eyes to a lot of things, which, he's a great teammate for that.  Hopefully I'm opening his eyes to that also.  That's what great teammates are for."

HOW DO YOU THINK BRAD WOULD TAKE IT IF HE DIDN'T GET IN SATURDAY NIGHT? "Brad is mentally very tough.  I don't think it would affect him.  Obviously that would be a big blow for him, yes, but I don't see him curling up into a ball, you're not going to see him the rest of the season.  He's going to be out there trying to win races, and probably win a few, because that's how he is, the competitor that he is. I'd be willing to put money on him that after last week, he's twice as motivated to come into Richmond right now and win this thing and get in the Chase and prove everybody wrong, probably more than most people out there.  That's how tough he is.  He's cool. There's other people that would totally blow up in their face, that's the end of them.  Oh, man, I don't even want to race anymore, blah, blah, blah.  It would be completely different with Brad.  He's tough.  That's why he's the champion from last year."

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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Brad Keselowski, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, finds himself on the outside looking in among Chase contenders. Keselowski still has a chace to earn one of 12 Chase spots, but to do so he must win Saturday night at Richmond and get a lot of help along the way. Keselowski talked about that with media members.

 

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion -- TALK ABOUT YOUR MINDSET HEADING INTO SATURDAY NIGHT. "Sure, I haven't put too much thought into the actual race other than just going out to win it because that's probably the only thing that's going to matter for us. Even that might not be enough.  If you won it, you've done all you can do. I feel like we've been very competitive really all the way back to Indy, where we probably weren't as good as we wanted to be.  We just haven't produced results like we feel we're capable of. At the end of the day, that's what this sport is about, it's about results, where you finish the race.  We just haven't had those.  I know we're capable of it.  I feel honestly like we can come here and win the race.  That's really all I've thought about and all that is going to matter."

AFTER LAST YEAR'S MAGICAL SEASON, DID YOU EVER EXPECT TO BE IN THIS POSITION?  HOW MUCH OF YOU BEING HERE DO YOU BLAME ON TEXAS? "Wow, going deep on me already (laughter). I feel like we're a great team.  I feel like in the sports world, especially racing, you can only really control how fast you are and how well you execute.  You can't control the luck side. We've had a lot of bad luck.  There's been some times where we haven't executed. The shortfall of execution hasn't made up for the luck issue.  So I know, and I said this last week at Atlanta, we could turn a corner tomorrow and win the next five or six races.  That's where we're at as a team. Obviously that hasn't happened, it hasn't clicked that way.  That doesn't mean we're not capable of it.  What's happened to us this year could quite honestly happen to any team. As far as Texas, I haven't honestly put that much thought into the effect of that on our season.  I do know we've left a lot more on the table than 25 points, which is what we lost there.  We left a lot on the table this year. It wouldn't necessarily be fair to blame every short fall on that one."

LET'S SAY IN THE FINAL LAPS YOU WERE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A SHOT, THE ONLY WAY YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE IT IS YOU HAVE TO TAKE SOMEBODY OUT. "You have to watch and find out because I don't know.  I might change my mind from whatever I tell you here. Depends on the situation and how I feel."

YOU DIDN'T TAKE KYLE OUT AT WATKINS GLEN. "No, I didn't.  That's a statement."


Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED --

THE STAKES ARE HIGHER HERE.  "There's always different scenarios.  That's a question that's asked without any variables, is completely hypothetical. There's always a situation that dictates a different response. An example of that be would, if I was leading the race, the guy behind me hit me to take the lead, one lap, I'm back to his bumper, hell, yeah, I'm going to drive through him, okay?  That's the reality. Now, if you're in a scenario where we were with Kyle, then not so much.  There are so many different scenarios, I don't feel it's fair to answer that question.  I don't know all the variables."

THE VARIABLE IS IT'S THE LAST LAP, MAKE THE CHASE WITH THE WIN OR NOT. "My career is dictated by much more than this weekend.  I plan on running in this sport for a very long time.  I feel like I have the people around me to be successful for a very long period of time. That said, just driving through someone and sacrificing code and morals that it takes to be successful for a long time for one weekend, you know, that seems very nearsighted. It's a difficult question.  I don't think it's that simple to answer."

IS THERE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE TEAM TO DO ALL THAT YOU CAN TO GET IN THE CHASE? "You're asking me what my responsibility to the team is?  I'm not following you."

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TOWARD THE TEAM IN DOING ALL THAT YOU CAN.  AT THE END OF THE DAY THIS SPORT IS ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIPS. "Sure, it's about results."

IF I'M ON YOUR CREW AND YOU DON'T DO EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN DO, HAVE YOU LET ME DOWN? "I think, you know, everybody's got a different answer for those things.  At the end of the day, this is still a championship team that's won races.  I would like to think that weighs more heavily on the mind than one particular race and an opportunity to wreck someone that wasn't taken."

IF YOU DON'T MAKE IT, ARE YOU MENTALLY PREPARED FOR THAT?  ARE YOU GOING TO GO HOME AND SLAM DOORS? "Well, I would probably do that either way, if it makes you feel any better.  I bought a little boxing rink.  I'll go down there and punch something. Am I mentally prepared for that?  I don't know the answer to that.  You know the answer to that after it's happened. I do know, again, I can't say this strongly enough, that I feel great about the majority of the people that are around me.  I think that different circumstances, we could be having a lot of different conversations, but we're not. I see the glass being at least half full and not half empty.  But either way, not making the Chase would obviously be a disappointment.  Our expectations as a team are to make the Chase."

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED --  

 

QUESTION INAUDIBLE – "No, I didn't, because I know I did all I could do at Atlanta.  I know I did all I could do at Bristol The items that disappoint me or really weigh heavily on my mind are the things I could control and didn't do the best I could.  That scenario to you guys might seem trivial.  That's knowing at Pocono we were a third or fourth place car and we finished sixth or seventh.  I know at Bristol and Atlanta there was nothing I could do."

THIS MUST‑WIN SCENARIO, ARE YOU THINKING A DIFFERENT STRATEGY FROM LAP ONE? "No.  I'm thinking it will come down to the last pit stop, how well the pit crew gets you out, whether you get the right lane on the restart, how willing you are to gouge in front of you.  That's probably what this race will come to."

I ASK THIS NOT IN ANTICIPATION THAT YOU WON'T MAKE THE CHASE, BUT BECAUSE TONY STEWART DIDN'T MAKE IT THE YEAR AFTER HE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP, DOES THAT TAKE ANY OF THE POTENTIAL SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT OFF OF BEING A CHAMPION WHO IS NOT ABLE TO DEFEND YOUR TITLE? "Well, I mean, I'd be ashamed if we didn't run well.  That's what I would be ashamed of.  And we're not running badly. I think the scenario that Tony had that year just shows how easy it is to miss a Chase, because these are the best drivers in the world.  They're elite drivers, elite teams.  There are scenarios that are just, quite frankly, outside of your control.  You combine those with one or two small mistakes and it all stacks up really quickly. I would say that Tony would probably say that's what happened to him that year just as I am now."

I KNOW YOU REVIEW THINGS AFTER EVERY SEASON.  IF SATURDAY DOESN'T GO LIKE YOU WANT, IS YOUR LIST GOING TO BE TWICE AS LONG? "Obviously.  I have a long list of things that I know we could have done better this year that we haven't.  We have to hit them and be better.  Not just next year, if that's the scenario, but right now. Whether I make the Chase or we miss the Chase, I still plan on going out and trying to win the next 10 races.  I think that we can have a shot at doing that."

HOW HAS THIS YEAR TESTED YOUR LEADERSHIP? "Well, you know, you're always tested a lot more by adversity than you are when things go right.  Everybody likes to look at the guy who does a great job of handling things when we go right.  I'm more impressed with people that can handle things when they go wrong. There are obviously scenarios that I could have handled better.  For the most part I think that I've handled it as well as you could in the current situation."

 

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

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BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED –

YOU HAD A TEST HERE NOT TOO LONG AGO.  THE INFORMATION YOU GOT, HOW IS THAT GOING TO IMPACT SATURDAY?  "I felt positive about the test, for sure.  This was a track where our results, when Paul and I first got together, were not very strong.  We've had a series of probably two or three decent runs here.  We were looking to push ourselves over that edge, over that hump, win races here.  I think that test will give us that opportunity. Being able to test at night was kind of a cherry on top."

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT JOEY LOGANO OVER THE LAST TWO‑THIRDS OF THE SEASON? "I've been impressed watching him build confidence.  I don't know if that's really a learning question, but that's what I've seen in him.  I've definitely seen him build a lot of confidence and help lead his group to be in a pretty strong position. Quite honestly, as it stands right now with how he's run over the last I think six weeks, he would be my favorite to win the championship.  He's definitely got the momentum.  His team has got things going for them in so many different directions.  There's a lot of confidence that comes with that.  He's been catching the breaks, too.  That stuff seems to be a little perpetual. When it's good for you it's perpetual, when it's bad for you it's perpetual."

WERE YOU CONCERNED AT ALL THAT THE DRAMA AT THE START OF THE SEASON WAS GOING TO AFFECT HIM? "No, I think that drama was actually good.  I think that's a character builder.  I look at it as a sign of strength, not weakness.  Those issues only come up when you're running well. Nobody really remembers a fight between a guy running 20th and 25th.  They remember it when you're going for the lead and trying to win races.  That's where he and his team are. If he could overcome that ‑ which he has ‑ I knew he'd be in great shape. I've always believed in his talents.  That's why I wanted him to come to Penske Racing. I didn't spend that much time focusing on it.  It was kind of his test, not mine.  It wasn't really for me to worry about."

HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU THINK HAS YOU IN THIS POSITION IS CORRECTABLE AND HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK IT WAS JUST LUCK, FATE, ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF? "That's difficult. I would say probably 50/50.  Half of it we could have corrected, half of it was misfortune.  That's probably fair."

IF YOU DON'T MAKE IT, ARE YOU GOING TO VIEW THIS AS A LOST SEASON FOR YOU? "Any season you don't win a championship should be a lost season for every driver, you know.  I can tell you, like I said last week, just making the Chase this year and running eighth or 10th or whatever would not have been a good year either.  That's how I feel about it."

 

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Federated Auto Parts 400 Friday Advance (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Page 12

BRAD KESELOWSKI CONTINUED –

IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE THE CHASE, WOULD THE SILVER LINING MAYBE BE THAT PAUL COULD DRIVE YOUR TRUCK AT MARTINSVILLE? "I don't know where that one's coming from (laughter). You know, it would be cool to see Paul run a race or two.  I haven't thought that much about it.  Should I?  Do you have inside info that I should know about?  Maybe one day.  Never say never."