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February 20, 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR:Â We've now been joined by our race‑winning team, including our driver Tyler Reddick, winning crew chief Doug Randolph, and the winning owner Brad Keselowski.
Tyler, take us through the last few laps and what it felt like to cross the checkered flag?
TYLER REDDICK:Â I can tell you any race you lead at Daytona can be very stressful.Â You're the guy in front of everyone else and you have no one else to draft off of.Â You're kind of a sitting duck.Â You have to really just wait and be smart, just hope for the best.
There was a lot of stress taken off my mind when I saw the 29 behind me, knowing I had a teammate right behind me.Â Obviously we came here to run 1‑2 either way we could do it.Â It was a shame that he couldn't hold on to second at the end.
A good top‑five finish for both trucks is just outstanding.Â It was just great to have a teammate there at the end.Â We were able to work together and pull off a win for the 19.
THE MODERATOR:Â Doug, your thoughts on the race and how it played out into your team's hands.
DOUG RANDOLPH:Â Well, it was a pretty easy race from our standpoint.Â Tyler did a great job all night.Â T.J. Majors up top did a great job.Â We had that one caution right in the middle of the race with the big wreck.Â Made our job easier.Â We could put on four tires knowing we had run through a lot of debris, fill up with fuel.Â That pretty much helped seal all the effort we had.
Then it was just fun to watch Tyler and Austin do their thing.
TYLER REDDICK:Â I don't mean to cut in, but I have to thank T.J. Majors.Â He did an outstanding job of doing a lot.Â He does a lot at all the truck races for me.Â He's just an outstanding spotter and I can't thank him enough.
THE MODERATOR:Â Brad, for you, I'm sure it's nice to start the season with a victory in the win column.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â It sure is.Â It's a bit surreal sitting here as an owner.Â Now I know how Roger feels.Â It's completely different.
I always felt like as a driver, when you win a race, you're happy about it, but in a lot of ways I feel like I just didn't screw it up.Â As an owner when you're up here, it's completely different.
To see what it means to Tyler, Doug, the whole team, kind of see it from a different elevation, it's a whole different really high of emotions.Â Man, it's incredible.
To have both trucks run as well as they did, this is Daytona, the biggest race of the year for the Truck Series, big prize money, and all of our sponsors here.Â Really a strong outing for them.
All those things are so key.Â But we're really serious about this championship effort.Â Tyler finished out the 2014 season with a record that was strong enough to make a legitimate run for the championship.Â We knew it.Â We had this conversation.Â We defined even another level from that to really feel good about this year.
We felt like we're doing that.Â But to prove it right out the gate at Daytona, that's really proving it.Â This was such a big day.Â Obviously it's a big day for Tyler and Doug, but it's a huge day for our team and a statement being able to win the opening race.
Hopefully we keep this momentum rolling for the rest of the season.
THE MODERATOR:Â Tyler, you became only the fourth driver to win their first race at Daytona.Â Has it sunk in yet?
TYLER REDDICK:Â It really hasn't.Â It's probably going to take a few days.
Like we were talking about, team effort, I really feel like when we broke out of the gate here, we were able to prove in the off‑season that everyone at the shop, I feel like they proved tonight that we worked the hardest during the off‑season.Â We have an outstanding group of guys that did that.
I'm sure all the guys at the shop are sitting at home just tickled to death.Â I can't even begin to describe what it means to them when they get a win.Â They work so darn hard to get us those great runs.Â To get them a win in the beginning of the year, I hope it means as much to them as it means to me.
THE MODERATOR:Â We'll take questions.
Q.Â Tyler, were you surprised that you and Austin were able to work so well and so effectively together, given how little experience you had on superspeedways coming in here?
TYLER REDDICK:Â Not at all.Â Austin is a very smart driver and he learns very quickly.Â We got to practice a little bit together.Â But I just had all the confidence in the world in our trucks going into the race.Â If we were able to get together, we were going to be able to do great things together and help each other out.
Once we got together on the front row on the restarts, I had a pretty good feeling we were controlling the race, controlling the pack.Â Once that happened, it took a lot of ease off my mind.Â I can't begin to say how much it means to have a teammate there and help you get to your first win.
I hope I can do the same for him later on down the road.
Q.Â Tyler, who was your first text message from?Â Brad, it's such a crapshoot here, but did you have a feeling coming in here that your guys might be well‑positioned to run so well?
TYLER REDDICK:Â I was just saying I got about 150 text messages in a matter of 20 minutes.Â That's pretty unreal.Â Actually I got a text message from one of my close friends that I grew up in DuQuoin with, Kyle.Â He was watching.
It's great to see all these people know, you never know if they're watching or not, to get so many texts from your friends over the years, to know they were watching your race, it means a lot to me.Â Met a lot of great people over the years, a lot of great friends.Â I have a long list of text messages here.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Your friends and family are about to get a lot bigger.Â You'll have aunts and uncles you don't even know about (laughter).
I knew we were making big steps in the program.Â I can't say that I had any preconceived notions coming into the plate races because they're such a crapshoot.Â We finished Talladega out strong.Â We knew Doug Yates and Roush‑Yates engines were continuing their development, felt good about that.
I don't come into Daytona with any notions of what to expect.Â I mean, the progress we made.Â Tyler's first race for us was last year here at Daytona.Â We knew we needed to be better than that.Â But Talladega he ran awesome.
So the progression has been incredible.Â Right now, I mean, I feel good about every race.Â I feel good about where our program's going.Â We're making a lot of investments with the team to be competitive, to be a top‑notch, high‑caliber team that can win a championship year in and year out.Â Looks like it's paying off right away.
Q.Â Brad, you had Ryan.Â I think Tyler is the first one you kind of picked, I assume, who has won a race for you.Â What does it mean to see him do that?Â Last year he had one or two top 10s in his first eight races.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â To answer your question, kind of backtracking to Ryan.Â Ryan was an incredible step for our program.Â To be able to take a driver from really the raw level to a developed level, who now has kind of graduated from our program at the end of last year.Â He'll run a handful of races this year, but certainly won't compete on a full‑time basis.
But to see him make it to the Cup level, to get a high‑quality ride with the Wood Brothers, the association they have with Team Penske.Â Then furthermore, starting in the Daytona 500, starting in the top 10, I don't know exactly where.Â That's a dream come true for our program.
I think it's a testament to the strength we have with the program, what we think it's capable of doing, not just for drivers, but for all of our personnel.
I want to see this program continue to develop talent, and that talent isn't limited just to drivers, but certainly that's the biggest face of the program.Â To have a success like Ryan, graduate to the Cup level validates the program.Â Then to have the success we had today here with Tyler is even that much more.
So, you know, look, like Roger said, we can't get too caught up in our press clippings.Â We still have a long way to go and we want to win the championship.Â There's a lot of work to make that happen, but this is a hell of a start for that.
Q.Â Brad, can you talk about why you wanted to become a team owner.Â I was reading you lost money last year.Â I guess it's not a financial situation.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â It's definitely not a financial situation (smiling).
I haven't figured out how to make money at it yet.Â It's a long ways away.
I enjoy the team.Â I enjoy this moment right here.Â It's incredible to me.Â Here I am in Daytona, Victory Lane, I didn't even have to work for it (laughter).
But it's incredible to stand next to Tyler and Doug and know that you're a part of seeing them succeed.Â It's a whole different kind of feeling.
I love this sport to death.Â I want to see it continue to grow and be successful.Â If that's going to happen, it's going to take investments from all the stakeholders in the sport.Â Certainly as a championship driver, I'm one of them.Â I want to reinvest in the sport so it can be healthy and strong.
Along the way there's obviously some personal rewards an incentives.Â Financially isn't one of them, but highlights like today certainly are.Â Like we talked about earlier, to see some of those drivers graduate to elevated status, to know you played a role in that is a phenomenal feeling.Â Makes you feel good about yourself as a person.Â I'm enjoying the hell out of it.
Q.Â Obviously he's talented, took you to Victory Lane.Â What did you see in him that you decided to give him the opportunity?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Tyler's a winner.Â He won before I ever worked with him.Â When Tyler's name first came up, the comment was, Oh, the kid that won at Rockingham.Â He won a K&N race.
TYLER REDDICK:Â 2012.Â Actually first start, too.Â It was a great way to start my NASCAR career.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â You got to start with a winner.Â Then from there, you look at the personality, all the other intangibles you can find, try to make the most of them.
Q.Â Doug, what has your journey been like through racing?Â What is the difference working for Brad Keselowski as opposed to some places you have in the past?
DOUG RANDOLPH:Â It's an interesting story, I won't bore you with it.Â I worked a lot of places, a lot of Cup teams.Â Sort of what Brad just said, when Brad and I first talked, that's what drew me to this team.Â He has a true vision for this team.Â It's unlike any vision than any other team I worked for.
His vision is he reinvested in the sport and wants to bring these kids up.Â I've had the pleasure of being able to work with Ryan and Tyler.Â Yeah, I know these Cup guys.Â I know the look in his eye when he wins, but there's nothing like the look in these kids' eyes the first time they win.Â It's a lot of fun.
All you have to do is look at the tape of this race last year to see where Tyler was last year, see how far he's come.Â You can't put a price, you can't put any value on that, just watching these kids learn and grow, knowing that you're a part of it.Â It's a huge motivator.
Q.Â Tyler and Brad, when it was all said and done, were you surprised that the freight train stayed in line as long as it did and nobody jumped out of line to try to make a move until off of turn four?
TYLER REDDICK:Â Honestly, I was not really surprised for multiple reasons.Â With all the carnage we had early on in the race, the amount of trucks that fell out of the race, it really makes it difficult for a group of trucks to get together and make a run for the front of pack.
All the things that happened in the first of the race were more in our favor from lap one.Â Everything that happened happened for a reason, and it just made the race easier for us as a team I think.
Q.Â Tyler, you had a rough start last season, then the second half of the season things really clicked.Â Was there anything in particular that was building confidence for you in getting you to the point where you were in that position and contending every week?Â Brad, a lot of times we've seen people pull early.Â Young drivers have a rough start, you make a change.Â Is this a feather in the cap of patience?Â Is his success a sign that we should be waiting on these guys?
TYLER REDDICK:Â I think everyone knew going in that with only seven pavement races ever under my belt, there were going to be some things we had to work on.Â They quickly showed right away at Daytona.Â Through the first part of the year we had a lot of things come up.
I felt like once we got through half of my year, there were a lot of things we improved upon.Â From the second half of the year on, there were a lot of things that we were able to take out of the equation to make us have a better race team, have us better finishes.
It's unbelievable how much I learned from Daytona here last year to Homestead at the end of the 2014 season.Â You just feel like you're on two completely different planets from the standpoint of readiness and comfort.Â So all the laps added up.Â It's just comfort and seat time.Â The more we had, the better we got.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Patience as an owner, first off, you shouldn't hire somebody you don't believe in to begin with.Â We believed in Tyler the whole time.
But to go along with that, patience is kind of earned by a driver by having a strong work ethic, meticulous and well put together mental attitude.Â Tyler's had that all along.
I can't say there were ever any doubts in my mind that we would get to here.Â But there was a question as to how long it would take.
I knew along the way that part of getting Tyler to this part was continuing to make our equipment better.Â I feel like we've taken some good steps, positive steps, in that direction as well.
I can't say there was ever a moment where I felt like we were going to do anything different.Â It's not really a true test of patience, but I'm still very happy with how it turned out.
Q.Â Brad, with the exception of the final lap which was I'm sure intense for you, which other lap was the most intense for you?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â The restarts are killer, wow.Â I didn't want to watch.Â Just let me know when it's over.Â I was joking on Twitter that I wish I was living in that episode of Click where I could just fast forward.
But both the drivers, Austin and Tyler, did a phenomenal job.Â The scariest part is always the last corner of the last lap.Â I'm thinking, Man, let's not turn a great day into the worst day ever and wreck each other.Â They didn't.Â They did great.Â I'm really proud of both of them.
They both drove phenomenal races.Â You can see the parity we had in the two trucks.Â They were both very fast and ran together 1‑2 the whole race.Â Those guys just did a great job.
I was nervous more about the things they couldn't control like yellows, something breaking, running over debris.Â I saw a couple trucks had issues with that.Â When we didn't have those issues, we got to turn four, I knew it was just between the drivers, I felt pretty good about it.
THE MODERATOR:Â Congratulations to all three of you.Â We wish you the best of luck this season and appreciate your time tonight.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports