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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: AAA 400


September 28, 2014


Jimmie Johnson

Brad Keselowski

Kyle Larson


DOVER, DELAWARE

KRISTI KING:テつ We'll get started with our post‑race press conference following the AAA 400 here at Dover International Speedway.テつ We're joined by Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, who finished third in today's race.テつ Jimmie, talk a little bit about what it feels like and how relieved you are to be sitting here and advancing to the next round or the Contender in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
JIMMIE JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, excited to advance.テつ These first three races went pretty well.テつ I think Chicago was probably the track where we left the most points on the table.テつ Today we kind of ran, finished where we ran, but we had a decent car.テつ Really strong on the long runs but just would lose too much time to make up the deficit that I had there.テつ Good solid day today, happy to advance.
Would love to win at Kansas or Charlotte to take Talladega out of the mix and not have to stress about that, but we'll see how things go.
KRISTI KING:テつ We're also joined by Kyle Larson, driver of the No.42 Target Chevrolet, who finished sixth today and also was our highest finishing rookie in today's race here at Dover.テつ Talk a little bit about your thoughts on the race out there today and your high finishing position here in the race.
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I'd be really happy about my three races in this round if I was in the Chase.テつ But yeah, it was a really good finish for us.テつ We were terrible the first two runs.テつ It was all I could do to not crash the car, I was so loose.テつ I was just hanging on, and Shine and everybody did a really good job to make huge adjustments to get the target Chevy fast.テつ Once we did, we were a top 10 car immediately, and just kept working on it and got better and better.
I thought we had a top‑5 car.テつ It was just about I guess a lap and a half short on fuel there at the end so I had to save a little and gave up fifth.テつ Good three races for us, and happy about it and hopefully we can keep these top 10s rolling.

Q.テつ Jimmie and Kyle, looking ahead to the next round of three tracks, how do you view the combination of Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega to advance to the next round?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:テつ Talladega is definitely the wild card.テつ As I mentioned a minute ago, if I'm one of the guys that wins at Charlotte or Kansas, it's sure going to make the race at Talladega fun.テつ Otherwise you're just going to be on pins and needles and stressing like crazy.テつ That's the strategy; really try to win one of those first two so you can go to Talladega, pull them tight and let it rip.
KYLE LARSON:テつ Hopefully I can be the guy that wins Kansas and Charlotte so all the Chase guys can be nervous going into Talladega.
JIMMIE JOHNSON:テつ That's fair.

Q.テつ Just talk about Jeff; number four of the season now and he's really after this championship, isn't he?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ He's had some of the craziest things happen to him the last five or six years late in the Chase.テつ I think last year is a great example of it.テつ He didn't squander the opportunity that came about with adding the 13th car to the Chase, and late in the Chase he just had some weird stuff happen.
Definitely happy for him.テつ He's been on fire.テつ He and Alan have found a lot of speed in their race cars.テつ Their team is performing at a really high level, and it's awesome to see.
KRISTI KING:テつ Gentlemen, congratulations on your run today.テつ Good luck next Sunday.
We'll continue our post‑race press conference here with Brad Keselowski, who finished second in today's AAA 400 here at Dover, driver of the No.2 Worth Ford.テつ Obviously you had already secured your spot to advance to the Contender round before getting into Dover, but great race out there for you.テつ Just talk a little bit about finishing out this round and advancing to the next round and your thoughts on the Chase thus far.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Yeah, we've had a really good start, so we can't really complain that much having won a race, and a second and a seventh.テつ But it's hard to look at that.テつ All I can think about is how I wanted to win all three races, and now it's time to move forward.
Three more races, a new start, and what we were able to do in these last three, other than getting us to this next round, really mean nothing.テつ We've got to keep our head on straight and push forward these next three like we have these last three.

Q.テつ Speaking of the next three, because it seems like the Chase now is in three‑race clusters, can you kind of frame what you're looking at now with Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega?テつ How do you approach that?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ You know, in some ways all the brackets are survival brackets, but that particular bracket is probably more so than the others.テつ Surviving Talladega is its own horror film title but it's also a reality.テつ That place is going to be a crazy place to finish that bracket out.テつ Certainly there's going to be a lot of guys on the bubble, and it's probably all going to change on the last lap in the last corner.
But looking at Charlotte and Kansas, you probably can control your destiny more so at Charlotte than any other racetrack, which is good.テつ We're putting an emphasis on that race.テつ But then I look at Kansas and say, since that track has been repaved, it seems to be very, very sensitive to aerodynamics and getting in a pack and spinning out with a really hard tire.テつ Anything could happen there.テつ It's almost like a mini‑Talladega in that sense.
But all in all, it's going to be a real challenge, and if you can survive all three of these brackets and go to Homestead and win this thing, you've certainly earned it.

Q.テつ Previously winning the next three races that are coming up, does that help ease the pressure a little bit, being winner at the next three tracks already?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Not really, no.テつ I mean, it's a confidence booster, but you don't get anything for it, not that matters in the next bracket.テつ I don't think of it as anything more than a confidence boost and nothing else.

Q.テつ Obviously everybody was racing hard today.テつ Did you sense that the guys were maybe a little extra careful, racing hard but making sure nobody caused any wrecks?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I wasn't.テつ I drove it as hard as I could and put us in some hairy spots a couple times, but that's my job.テつ I don't know.テつ I'd have to sit and watch the race on TV to answer for everyone else, but I was just doing all I could.
KRISTI KING:テつ Thank you very much, and congratulations on your run today and advancing to the next round.テつ Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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