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November 16, 2014

Brad Keselowski

Kyle Larson


KERRY THARP:テつ Let's roll right into our post‑race for tonight's annual 16th Ford EcoBoost 400, the final race in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and we're joined by our third place finisher, Brad Keselowski, and our 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Kyle Larson.
I'll start with you, Kyle.テつ Congratulations on an outstanding year.テつ Maybe just sum it up if you can.テつ You just got off the racetrack, but just look back at this year, and what stands out for you?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Well, there's a lot that stands out.テつ We were really competitive all season long with the Target team, and came really, really close to winning a couple of them).テつ Starting off the year finishing second, really really early in the season at Fontana was great.テつ There was a lot of room on the Kyle Larson bandwagon on to start the season.テつ I think a lot of people chose Austin Dillon to win it, and I was pretty confident in myself and in my team that we could do it.テつ I knew there would be some ups and downs, but I felt like we would be the top contender once we got halfway through the season, and we definitely were.テつ Really proud of that, proud of the effort everybody has put in on these race cars.テつ We've gotten better throughout the season, and just is a huge honor to win this title with all the other names that have won it.
KERRY THARP:テつ Brad Keselowski, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, finished third today.テつ Brad, you had a heck of a season.テつ Maybe just talk about your race here today and then also your season as you look back.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Yeah, it was a heck of a season, not just for me but for all of Team Penske, whether that's the 2 Cup car, 22 Cup car or 22 Nationwide Series team, certainly a year that we'll look back on with a lot of pride.テつ I'm kind of wishing it wasn't over, but we still have some work to do to continue to work and get better.テつ We just‑‑ all season long, Rodney Childers and his 4 car just did an excellent job having speed, and certainly capitalized with it at the end.テつ We had great speed this year, which is something I'm proud of, but we were always just a little tick behind.テつ But I think in the end, they leveraged that very well, and we have to go back and work a little bit harder and find a little more speed and try to keep up with that.
Like I said, all in all, an incredible season for us and something we're really proud of.テつ In some ways, I hate to see the season come to an end, and honestly I'm ready to be at Daytona next week for the 500.テつ That's probably not the most popular comment in the world, but sometimes I'm not the most popular guy.
But I'm happy with the year, and I think everyone has a lot to be proud of.テつ It's just a great season, and really not just for Team Penske but for the sport.テつ Proud to be a part of that, as well.

Q.テつ Brad, you said great season for the entire sport.テつ Evaluate the Chase format.テつ Did it do what you expected?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ You know, what I wanted to do is grow the sport, put us in a stronger position for years to come.テつ I'm not really looking at it in a short‑term perspective.テつ I can't say that I have the answer for that.テつ I think sometimes we get caught up in too much of the rhetoric around what a champion should reward, whether it's consistency or wins and those things.テつ And I think I might be a little bit too close to the fire to provide an objective answer.テつ But really all I care about with the format is that it takes the sport to another level for years to come.テつ I think the jury is still out on that, but it looks like it's going to be good.
But that's the whole point, and that's what I think everyone has rallied behind is a format to grow the sport.テつ I don't really have an answer for you in that sense until I think we see some numbers, for good or bad, but I don't have any complaints, either.

Q.テつ Brad, not so much the format but this particular race, we probably haven't seen a race with this much intensity since probably Tony won with Carl.テつ How did this race appear?テつ I know you didn't want to be, but as kind of a spectator to the championship, how did it unfold today?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Yeah, it kind of unfolded rather conveniently for a great finish with a lot of yellows and pit strategy.テつ I think any race would finish this way with those opportunities to really mix things up.テつ I thought it was a pretty good race in general.テつ But obviously there was a lot on the line, and like I said, NASCAR has got to be thrilled to death with that, and I hope our fans are, too.

Q.テつ Kyle, talk about your weekend.テつ Two strong races and Rookie of the Year honors.
KYLE LARSON:テつ The first two nights were extremely disappointing, but to close out the Rookie of the Year means a lot.テつ I would have liked to have ran better in the race tonight.テつ I thought we had a lot of speed the first third of the race, but as the sun went down, kind of everybody else got faster, and we weren't able to run the very top as much.テつ But overall a good weekend, three solid finishes.テつ Like Brad said, I wish the season wasn't over, but at least I get to do some more racing in the off‑season.
KERRY THARP:テつ Kyle and Brad, congratulations on an outstanding 2014 season.テつ Thank you for putting on tremendous shows each and every week for our fans, and we'll see you soon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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