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September 6, 2015

Brad Keselowski


THE MODERATOR: We're going to go ahead and start with our post‑race press conferences for tonight's Bojangles Southern 500 here at Darlington Raceway. We are joined by our second‑place finisher Brad Keselowski. Tell us a little bit about the closing laps here tonight.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, long race. Long night. At least we led a lot of laps, which is something to be very appreciative of, and obviously started on the pole, and that was great. Just seemed like one of those races that just kept cycling with yellows and pit stops and yellows and pit stops. I don't know how many yellows there were but I don't know if I ever drove a Sprint Cup race with this many yellows before. There's got to be somebody with a stat on that. A lot of yellows and a lot of back and forth there, and we just came up short right at the end, which was a bummer. But a lot to be proud of, but still want to win these races, and gosh, man, we were right there, and we just haven't been able to close it out.
We'll go to work and keep working.

Q. Brad, we heard a lot on the radios from drivers this weekend that the consensus was almost that the old Darlington was nearly back. Did you feel that way?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, yeah. You know, the race kind of reminded me of‑‑ I remember when I was a kid and my dad wanted to teach me how to drive a car, and he gave me a stick shift. You practice and you learn and you learn how to drive it and you stall it out all the time and then eventually you kind of start to figure it out and you stop stalling it so much and you get into a pattern and you don't stall it out anymore.
And then for whatever reason you get a car with an automatic and you drive that for five or six years and you get back in a car with a stick shift or a manual, and you stall it out all over again, and you keep stalling it out and you have to get back in the routine. The race reminded me a lot of that because the cars, just five or six years ago when I entered Sprint Cup, were extremely difficult to drive, much like a stick shift when you're first learning how to drive.
And then they've gotten really easy to drive over the last four or five years, to the point where we're all kind of looking around at each other as drivers going, wait a minute here, this isn't good, it shouldn't be this easy to drive these.
So we asked NASCAR to, hey, make these cars harder to drive, give us our, metaphorically speaking, stick shift back, and they did, and I think somebody thought they'd be really funny and pick Darlington as the track to do that, which would be like if you picked the mountains of Virginia to give somebody a stick shift back. It's kind of that same feeling.
Kind of metaphorically speaking I think there was a lot of people that stalled it out today.

Q. Second race with the low‑downforce package this season. Could you give me your thoughts on how you think it played out?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: I loved it. Like I was just kind of saying there to Kelly, it separates the race car drivers from the pretends, and that's the way it should be.

Q. Given the fact that we're not going to have this package again this year, what can you take from tonight that you'll be able to use in the Chase, both from a mental and physical level?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, there's a lot to take from tonight for us that extends beyond the downforce, still all the same things, restarts, pit road, dialing in some of the suspension stuff on the race car.
Mile‑and‑a‑halfs are the bread and butter of this sport. This is a little bit smaller than mile‑and‑a‑half, I think, but as we get into the Chase, you win the mile‑and‑a‑halfs, you win the championship. You know, it might not be with the same downforce, but it's a difference‑‑ it's not that big of a difference and a lot of the same things still apply, engines still apply, suspension stuff still applies, pit crews, restarts, all that stuff, strategy, so I would still take that away from it.
THE MODERATOR: Brad, thanks for joining us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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