home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 2, 2015

Jeff Gordon

Brad Keselowski


THE MODERATOR: We're going to roll right into our post‑race for today's 42nd‑annual Windows 10 400, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race here at Pocono Raceway. Our second‑place finisher is the driver of the No.2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford for Team Penske. That's Brad Keselowski. Our third‑place finisher is the driver of the No.24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon. Let me ask Jeff first, you've been to a lot of races obviously and seen how these things play out. Just talk about today, how things played out here today at Pocono.
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, I'm not exactly sure where I started on that first restart but it was like 15th, 16th and I can't say I passed many cars. We just kind of hovered around that area, wasn't real pleased with how our car was in traffic, and when we were up front we were pretty good, felt like we were a top 5 car. But we played the fuel‑mileage strategy pretty early on and that lost us track position and we weren't able to climb our way up through there, and we continued to play that strategy and I'm proud of Alan for sticking with it. There at the end we were one of the last ones to pit which allowed us to run hard all the way to the finish not having to conserve or save fuel. I thought we were trying to get maybe 10th or 12th and all of a sudden they said you're third, and I think I was probably the most shocked person out there on the race track when I found that out. I knew cars were peeling off, but I just didn't realize that many were either running out or coming to pit road.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jeff, and Brad Keselowski, certainly looked like it was going to be a tough time there for you with that uncontrolled tire penalty and yet you worked your way up there through the pack. Your teammate was leading the race for much of the stretch there, ran out of fuel and you were able to get up there to second place. Talk about how you thought things played out today for you.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I think you covered it pretty well. Maybe there's something else in there I missed.
JEFF GORDON: How awesome fast your race car was?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was really fast, which was probably the highlight. Fast race cars are really a joy to drive, and I think at the end‑‑ it's hard to say, I think Kyle was maybe caught behind Joey and not able to show everything he had. But just by lap times and what everybody could run, we were running the fastest laps, and that was so much fun to have a car that strong.
But unfortunately just another race where I kind of feel like it didn't all come together for us, and this one certainly on my end with having problems on pit road and kind of sliding through the box. That dug a hole, got us a lap down with the penalty and so forth. I think the last restart with‑‑ had to be somewhere around 60 or 70 to go, we restarted 12th and we were able to drive up to sixth and looked like we were going to be able to get to fifth and then the fuel play came in there at the end. We were able to take care of it to bring home second, which is a very respectable day. Certainly probably not where we were going to finish without the fuel, but I guess that's sometimes how it works. I think my teammate and his team did a phenomenal job. I'm kind of heart broken for them not to win the race. But that's how this racing plays out. It was nice to have a race like this that stayed green for so long at the end. That's enjoyable to me, to let the racing kind of play out on the racetrack and not necessarily on pit road or restarts, and we saw that today.
I think it's been‑‑ we were talking about it privately the other day, I think it's been two years since we've seen a race play out where there was a green‑flag pit stop, a full‑length green‑flag run at the end, and it's nice to have one of those today, and sometimes that can create some of the best racing and best finishes, and I think that's what we saw.

Q. With so many people working on different kinds of strategies and so forth, can you guys sort of keep up with that, or are you just zeroed in on what you're trying to do and what your strategy is?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, my crew chief kept up pretty well. I think everybody could have probably pitted a lap or two later than they did there on that last stop, but here if someone pits a lap or two earlier than you and they're within two or three seconds they're going to jump you and get in front of you. In that case the air is so important. You're probably not going to pass them back. Everybody tries to pit one or two laps before their range, knowing that as of late, like I said, there hasn't been a lot of races where you get a full green‑flag run to the end, and when one guy does it, I think everybody kind of jumps over the bridge with them, and that was the case of what we saw today, and then of course the yellow didn't come out and everybody got trapped with one or two outside their window. You get a finish like that and it's just really hard to keep up with, but my team does a great job, and we were pretty fairly aware of what was going object.

Q. Did you run out?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: I did, right as we were coming to the finish.

Q. Brad, Joey ran out with three to go and you just mentioned that you ran out of fuel coming to the checkers. How is your car with the fuel mileage and how has it been with the Fords as of late.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: I thought our fuel mileage was really strong. Joey was in a different situation leading with someone pressuring him. He knew that if he let Kyle by and a yellow came out, essentially he lost the race because with a yellow, everyone could have made it on fuel. So you know, those two just looked like to me raced each other out of gas, which is part of the sport, too, but you know, I think our fuel mileage is pretty strong and pretty equal between all the Ford cars. Just didn't come together for Joey today and it did for us.

Q. Jeff, you finished third. Did that race have like a Michigan June 2009 feel when you finished second behind Mark Martin, and did you think you could script it like this running mid‑pack all day and then Kurt spins in front of you, you fall back and finish third in the end?
JEFF GORDON: First of all, if I had a memory that I could go back to the details of 2009 Michigan, I probably wouldn't be stepping out of the race car. (Laughter.)
I could not tell you one thing about that race. I mean, all I can speak of is my memories here of Pocono over the years have been great. I enjoy the challenges of this racetrack right from the beginning, the shifting, the three unique turns and how you have to set up the person that you're racing each and every corner and try to get that momentum off the corner. It makes for frustrating moments at times, but also a lot of fun when you complete it. You know, I've had certainly some great victories here over the years, as well.
What was the second part of that question?

Q. Just your career here at Pocono, all the wins. Did you think you could script the way you did today, finishing third with everybody kind of running out of gas?
JEFF GORDON: No, the script I had played out in my head was we were going to be 15th, so this one was way better than that. For whatever reason the last couple times we've been here we've had decent race cars, not maybe the cars that we would have liked to have had, but cars far capable of better finishes than what we've had, have been getting, and just a lot of different circumstances not playing out. Some to our own credit and others just circumstances.
Today finally one went our way for a change, which is really nice to bounce back after last week's unfortunate incident where we lost so many points.

Q. How was the car compared to June?
JEFF GORDON: Well, I think we were more competitive in June. I mean, we were running up front in June, and I thought we were holding our own with guys like Harvick and the 41. Those were guys that were pretty quick. I didn't think that we were as strong today as we were then. But you know, like you mentioned, when the 41 bonsaied it down into Turn 1 and spun out, we lost a bunch of track position on that situation and just never regained‑‑ it's really hard to evaluate your car. All I can tell you is Brad went by me like I was standing still, like I had 100 laps on my tires and he had three laps on his tires, so we've got some work to do.

Q. Jeff, we're looking to Watkins Glen next and wondering what you feel you can bring to the table there as road course racing is something I think of you as being quite proficient at.
JEFF GORDON: Well, the one thing that's encouraging to me is last year I thought we were really strong there, and we had a‑‑ I don't know if it was an alternator or battery issue, but yeah, some kind of battery connection issue and we lost power, so we never saw it play out. That happened‑‑ I think we were running second to Ambrose at the time. I'm encouraged by that. I'm looking forward to going back there. I know our aero package is a little bit different, but you know, I don't think it's that much different from what we had last year, so hopefully we can have another strong finish and performance there. That would be awesome. We need them‑‑ right now every race is so critical for us. We can't afford to have finishes like we had last week at Indy, and so we're going to have to attack and be on‑‑ just marching forward to be aggressive to try to get those good points and finishes and hopefully a win.

Q. Brad, your mental acuity this day must be something they should write about. You had a rough start to the race with a crew member problem. Do you have people talking in your ear to calm you down or do you have to do it yourself to finish this well?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, well, you know, I think if I was that great mentally, I would have never made the mistake at the start of the race would be probably the answer for it. There's always going to be some adversity, and that's part of the sport. That's part of what makes success so worthwhile. It's overcoming that adversity.
But you know, if we could have, quite honestly, not had that issue during the race, I feel like we probably would have won today, but that one is on me, so I feel really guilty for my team on that. Just glad we were able to, like you said, rally to second.

Q. In 2012 I asked you what your simple joys were. You said it was your phone. A few years later I'm wondering if you can add to the list?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Probably the phone and the baby, and her mom. Definitely her mom first.
JEFF GORDON: Throw the phone out.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, definitely her mom first. I don't know, I feel really lucky. A fast car is a lot of fun, too. How do you pick one thing? They're all a lot of fun. We're pretty lucky to be race car drivers.
Commander, let's get to the next one before Brad gets in trouble. (Laughter.)

Q. Jeff, third‑place finish today; how much momentum does that provide you and your team for Watkins Glen next week and the races before the Chase?
JEFF GORDON: This track is nothing like Watkins Glen. We need every bit of boost that we can possibly get. It's not been the kind of season that we would hope to have for my final season and certainly hasn't stacked up to what we had last year, but we don't quit. We fight for every race to build a better race car, to get the performance up, pay attention to our competitors, and do all that we can to put the best race car and race team out there. Sometimes you need just something to pull you through it, and last week got us down quite a bit. This is definitely going to lift us back up, so we'll try to‑‑ I think it's not about carrying momentum, it's about getting momentum, and I think this is the beginning of hopefully what can get us the momentum we need to get where we need to.

Q. Jeff, it looks like from looking at the Chase Grid you're 12th right now. You had something happen to you at Indy last week, and you come out today with what looked like was going to be a mid‑pack, maybe top‑15 run, you end up third. How big are those points as the season is winding down? Obviously you want to get that win, but to come away with a third versus a 15th.
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, I think as a team even though we're not performing to the level we want to we are performing well enough to make it into the Chase. If you knew that you were going to finish between 10th and 15th every week here going forward, but just like what happened last week, you can't afford to have many 42nd‑place finishes. That could be disastrous. There are no guarantees, and so you've got to gain all the points you can when you have the opportunity. We had that opportunity today; we did it. Like I said, this more helps make up a little bit for what we lost last week, but we can't afford to let that happen again. It's that fine line and balance between fighting as a team, as a driver, being aggressive, but yet not putting yourself in position to cost you everything, and so this is not the way we want to be in the Chase, but hopefully we can just continue to make gains and get ourselves in the Chase, and we've seen in the past where anything can happen when that Chase starts, but you've got to be in it first, and we're going to try to secure our way in there over the next few races.

Q. You now have a teammate Kasey Kahne who's outside the Chase. You don't have a win but you're in it and you have other teammates who do have wins. How does that change the mindset of the team, having a car that's in that type of position?
JEFF GORDON: Well, we're not in a safe position. Our teammates Junior and Jimmie are, and Kasey is not at all so I don't know what happened today. I haven't talked to those guys, other than I know he got loose and got into the inside wall there on pit road, and we're going to be doing everything we can with the 5‑24 teams being under one roof there at Hendrick Motorsports, working as teammates, working with our other teammates to try to do what we can to get both of us in. We're going to be fighting for every position. We know they are, as well, and if we're in the position‑‑ if we can get a win, then we can be in a position to try to do all we can to help those guys get in. If it's setups, if it's cutting him a break here and there, whatever can be‑‑ a pit stall selection, just the littlest things sometimes. Right now we've got too much to think about on our own, and they do, too, and we work together like we always do, and hopefully it works out for all of us.
THE MODERATOR: Jeff and Brad, congratulations. Thank you for a great weekend, and we'll see you at Watkins Glen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297