|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
July 23, 2017
THE MODERATOR: We are going to start our post race media availability. We're joined today by today's third‑place finisher, Ryan Newman, driver of the No.31 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.
Ryan, a crazy race out there. Walk through it from your perspective.
RYAN NEWMAN: We just took advantage of the track position when we could. It paid off, but not to the extent that we wanted it to. Kasey had a little better car, got through the gearbox a little better than us on the restart three or four there before the end. Obviously you saw did the same thing on the last restart.
Proud of our team. Big turnaround from last weekend, finishing 27th outright, to third this weekend. Proud of the effort. Still got some work to do, no doubt. We saw lots of cars get crashed in front of us. But, you know, you got to have those days, too, I guess to make you feel good.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's runner‑up, Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Team Penske.
Brad, a crazy race out there from start to finish. Walk through the finish from your perspective, please.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Oh, gosh. I don't know. I need to watch all six hours of film (laughter). There was a lot going on there. A couple restarts with some wrecks. You know, I could only see a real small window view, quite literally, of what was going on.
But, you know, it seemed to me like the restarts were so tricky today because of the aerodynamics on the cars. You know, you get side‑by‑side, just the way things are, you either slow down a bunch to not wreck and give up a bunch of spots or you put it down in there and hope it sticks. If it doesn't, you know you got a big disaster on your hands.
Every restart, each and every driver has to make those decisions. Sometimes it works, and a lot of times it doesn't. I think that's what we saw today on a lot of the restarts.
But, you know, for us, Kasey and I swapped it back and forth three or four times, you know, the lead there on those restarts. It seemed like whoever was second would get the lead. Makes me wish I would have got one more restart, you know. The one where I was would have stayed clear, but that's not the way it was.
You know, we just have to take our result and move on. But really close. We weren't the fastest car today, but our team did a hell of a job executing. I wish I could have executed a little bit better to bring home the win. I'm not sure what that would have took.
But all in all, good to have a top finish at this track. I think our best finish coming to this race here was ninth three or four times. Kind of checked this one off as at least getting a top finish. Maybe not a win, but, you know, a top‑three, top‑two finish. So it's nice to check that off and hopefully we can come back here next year and improve one more spot.
I was thinking as I was walking over here about, you know, watching a race here with Kasey a few years ago where he was probably going to win it, and a restart at the end, he got passed in the same way we did here today. I was thinking about that, and thinking that, you know, I guess if we run up front and do what we did today, then we'll get a victory like Kasey did today.
Happy and proud to have a team that's capable of running up front, and when not capable of running up front, executing to get me up front and put me in position like they did today.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open the floor for questions.
Q. Can you gentlemen describe what the conditions were out there, what your visibility was. Then for Brad, at the beginning of the race, you weren't crazy about your racecar. Certainly losing the 18 and 78 had to help. Is there anything you learned in the closing stages that you can bring back next year?
RYAN NEWMAN: It was ridiculously hot inside my racecar. I don't know what was going on, but my bottom was cooking. That just made my whole body hot, miserable. They couldn't get enough water to me under those red flags.
But that's pretty much it. Just miserably hot.
Q. (No microphone.)
RYAN NEWMAN: There was no issue with seeing, no. It was actually worse when the sun was setting in three and four. You couldn't see the wall in turn three when the sun was setting.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was worse at 7:30 than it was at 8:30, so...
Q. Brad, you weren't crazy about your car at the start of the race.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: We just weren't dialed in. Paul and my team made it better almost every pit stop and put us in position to maybe not be the best car, but to be a top‑five, fifth‑ to tenth‑place car. Caught some breaks with the yellows and strategy to take it a little bit further than that.
That was certainly awful nice to see.
Q. Brad, Kasey thought you had jumped the restart there, the one where you took the lead. Talk about what you saw, what you did there. Also, do you have any feeling they should have thrown the caution before you hit the overtime line on that wreck?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I haven't seen any replays of the last yellow to have any kind of articulate answer that I think would be fair to give.
But as far as the first one, yeah, we were side‑by‑side. I was getting kind of pushed from behind. I think I was probably a nose ahead at the second line, for sure. But, you know, I'm not sure when he went or when he didn't go. It's so difficult to judge that. You know, I have a lot of respect, maybe not admiration, but I feel bad for those that have to judge it because it's the epitome of a strike ball call. It's probably even harder to see. That's probably one of the issues with the double‑file restarts, especially on the front row.
But that's the way it is.
Q. Brad, can you explain the lane choice for the last restart. Was it as much because of the SpeedyDry? Was there something that didn't go well with your car?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: No, I felt like I hit it pretty well. Just Kasey, it stuck. He drove through the oil dry. He didn't just drive through it, he drove it in there, and it stuck. You know, lots of credit to him for getting it to stick. It was impressive.
I didn't feel like I could do that if I was on the bottom lane. Maybe I could have, I don't know. You never know till you're in that spot.
Q. Brad, does a second‑place run provide more momentum or frustration for your team?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Oh, shoot. I don't know. I just got out of a car that was 130 degrees for six hours. I'm not even sure where I'm sitting right now.
RYAN NEWMAN: Send him an email on Tuesday, he'll get back to you (laughter).
BRAD KESELOWSKI: That's a really deep question.
Second sucks, but there's 38 other spots worse than that, so... I guess it's a glass half full, glass half empty question. You know, it's got its ups and its down.
Q. Watching Kasey get out, he was worn out, like he'd been in a 15‑round fight. Have either of you competed in a race that has been as worrying as this one was?
RYAN NEWMAN: Yeah, I think the Daytona 500 a few years ago when Montoya took ought the jet drier was one of those marathons, kind of like today. So, yeah, it's happened before. But this was really hot today. I think it was really hot for all of us, miserable. The red flags, you just sit in an oven. As soon as you shut the car off, it just gets hot inside there. There is no way for any NASCAR official or any fan to know what we go through when we're sitting out there like that.
Q. With all the red flags, the attrition, how did the complexion of this race change throughout the event from the start to the finish?
RYAN NEWMAN: I don't know, just a lot of attrition, right? You end up racing 20 cars in the end versus 40. Track position is always key. But, you know, it's easier to pass 18 of 'em than it is 38.
You know, it changes your strategy, but in the end you really just want to be out front. So we stayed out with Kasey and took the track position, which worked out for us.
Q. Brad, I know this feels like an hour ago, maybe actually it was, but going three‑wide into turn three with Kasey and Jimmie, what was your thought process being stuck on the outside?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was just a tin cup moment. I didn't want to lose by laying up. I thought if we all wrecked, I could go home and feel good about that. But if I laid up, they all drove on, I finished second, I would have been mad about that forever.
So, you know, obviously it didn't work out perfectly. But darn near got away with it. Kept us in position there at the end to fight Kasey.
RYAN NEWMAN: I don't know if you could see or not, but the 48 had a big oil leak. He was smoking all the way down the back straight. Looked like he was already on fire before he spun out. Just so you know.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: All right.
Q. Did you ever think you could go three‑wide here?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: No, and you still can't (laughter). Tin cup didn't think he could hit it over the water, but he still tried, right?
Q. Brad, where does this rank in terms of absurdity in the races compared to 2008 with the tires here?
RYAN NEWMAN: I wouldn't call it absurdity. I think it was just a crazy race. 2008 wasn't a race when we had the tire problem. That was a mess.
You know, I think what we saw today was some crazy strategy, some crazy restarts. Not really that bad a racing. I've seen worse racing here, by far, as far as not being able to pass.
So, you know, a guy could get up underneath somebody, shake them loose, move them out of the way, whereas in the past you would lose your whole racecar. I didn't think it was ideal, but it was definitely crazy.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I don't know. 'Absurd' is maybe not the right word. But I don't know if I would call it ideal either. Maybe there's a different word. Where is Nate Ryan when you need him?
It certainly wasn't what has become the norm for this race. That's not necessarily a bad thing because I don't think the norm was what we all were looking for.
I still think there's a lot of work we can do to make a race that has a good balance between high attrition and also having key moments that we all love to see. And this race had, you know, some key moments that I think we'll probably play back for the next five or ten years. But then it also had a lot of attrition and a lot of moments that did kind of look a little off key.
You know, like Ryan said, every race is never the same. That's just why you go to them. You might see a phenomenal race one year and a not so phenomenal race the next. That's part of it, the unpredictability. I think that's what we all love about racing.
So, you know, we'll see what we have next year. We come back, I doubt we see this race.
Q. One of the things that made this race as long as it was was the red flags. What are some of the feelings and thoughts that go through your mind when you're sitting there in the car after a red flag, especially with the early red flag for rain, then the last couple of red flags there at the end? You're up front close into winning this. Are there any nerves going through your mind at that point? Keeping calm, talking to your crew?
RYAN NEWMAN: I was too hot to take a good nap. Kind of tough just sitting there. I mean, really just miserable. Seriously just miserable inside the racecar.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was just hot. I don't know what word there is to say. Had to be 130, 140 inside the cars for, I don't know if it was the full six hours, but I think we were in 'em for a full four hours at least.
RYAN NEWMAN: Yeah. It was hot.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Go sit in the sauna for four hours and you can probably relate. I'm not complaining about it. That's part of being a racecar driver nowadays. But that's the story of what it was.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thanks for the show you put on today. Good luck next week in Pocono.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports