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September 30, 2018

Jeremy Bullins

Roger Penske

Concord, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We're going to continue with some post‑race media availabilities. We're now joined by our race‑winning team, the team owner Roger Penske, who I know does not need any elaborate introduction, and also the winning crew chief Jeremy Bullins. Jeremy, we'll go to you for a couple of opening comments to kick us off. A little bit about the overall race and at the end what your reaction was when you realized that Ryan had come home the winner.
JEREMY BULLINS: Yeah, for us the race keyed a lot off the stage points. Being what our situation was coming in, we needed to get every point we could today, so we made a play to win Stage 2, and I knew we had our work cut out for us to get back to the front because of that, but it just worked out. The play that we made panned out in the last stage. We had fresh tires at the end, and the cautions were working out for us to gain some track position, and we were in position when those guys got together on the last lap.
I think since everybody first saw the track map, we said, coming to the checker is going to be interesting, and it was, and it just worked out we were in the right place at the right time.
THE MODERATOR: Roger, just your thoughts on kind of the first edition of the Roval and what you kind of thought of today's race.
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think everyone wondered what was really going to happen here with the Roval, and lots of the drivers, the teams were like, wow, it's going to be something. But I think the fact that it was the cutoff for the next playoff made it more interesting. There was so much strategy going on, a lot of racing. And I think obviously the ending with Brad and certainly the 42 there at the end, it was a terrific show. And I think that as the fans start to understand the strategy, because you can pit early, you can pit late, there's lots of things that once we get that communicated out to our fan base, I think it's made a huge difference. Obviously we were very, very happy to see young Ryan win this race.
For me and for Marcus and the whole industry, I think change is important for us, and this is something I felt was good, and certainly I think at the end of the day people would vote that it was some race and some finish.

Q. In 1976 you fielded a No.2 for Bobby Allison, and that year's Daytona 500 had a little bit of a similar finish to what we saw. What were your thoughts there watching Ryan come through to take the checkered flag, and when that last lap started, did you believe there was a true hope it was going to happen like that?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think you should go out and look at the right front fender on the 12 car because when we had the mess down there in Turn 1, he got into the 21, quite honestly. We weren't sure, there was some talk that we might have a tire rub, but we just needed to finish those three laps. He was in great shape to make the next stage for the playoffs. And that's really what we were focusing on, getting those early points. I think Jeremy had a great call there, and then when we came in, we had plenty of fuel, so at the end of the day, just the clouds kind of parted.
I hate to see Jimmie not being in the playoffs. To me a champion like he is should be in, but on the other hand, I guess the 42, he's one of the great young racers we have today. Overall it's a great day, and Blaney is one of the superstars coming up. We're just glad he's on our team.

Q. You've been a track promoter, you've got the Detroit race, yet you talk about change is good. This was something unique. Is this something even with the new package coming up to help the ovals next year, is this something more tracks or the sport should look at is kind of creating this type of environment, or can there be‑‑ did this show that these cars can run on a street course like your Detroit course at some point?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think that‑‑ I say change is good. As we come back to some of these locations, maybe the second event or the first event is different, and you could say you could almost run on the road course at Daytona. Think about it. There's plenty of places to try to utilize their facility for more than just one major event. I think this will put a lot of the promoters' thinking caps on to determine what they can do, and I think change is good, and there's no question as you saw the race build up and as the drivers started to get better on the racetrack, the racing was very tough.
I think the fact‑‑ it was a little bit like our Cleveland race many years ago, you could see everything. A fan in the stand could see the cars, and that's really important. Most road races you don't get to see that, so I think that's a bonus that we had here in Charlotte.
I guess if we get big enough barriers, if we had a full street course, I think it might be interesting. But no, I think that we've got to look at that. I think if somebody wanted to do that and put that on, it would be very interesting.
But the difficult thing on a tight street course is the size of the pit lane running 22 or 23 cars; you start getting 40 out there and the size of the pits and what we have to do might be a little bit of a problem, but look, I think we try anything.

Q. Roger, what is the significance of getting the 12 car into Victory Lane this year in its first full season?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, listen, when you think about it, seven out of the 12 cars that are in the next stage are all Fords, and to see that Stewart‑Haas has four and we have our three guys is pretty exciting. We're sitting there on the edge with both the 22 and 12. We've had good cars, good racing, and again, this is what it's all about. But for Blaney, it will just propel him to be that much tougher as we go into the next stage.

Q. Roger, how big do you think it is for Blaney to make this next round and get a win? Everybody has been looking for the young guys to kind of win and be a little stronger.
ROGER PENSKE: Well, that's what I thought when you think about Chase and you think about Blaney. They run well, but they got wins this year. For him to get in the playoffs, this next stage, is monumental for his career, and I think his confidence‑‑ in fact, he said to me in Victory Lane, he said, look, I can really go in this stage, because he likes those tracks. But I think overall, we've got to give him the credit and certainly Jeremy, and Andrea Mueller is our engineer on that car, too, should give her a lot of credit for what she's done, bringing that car to where it is; right, Jeremy?

Q. On a separate topic, Dover is going to have a kiosk in their fan zone next week where people can bet on the race, they'll be able to bet on NFL games and anything you can bet on in the casino inside; are you in favor of that?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I might be in favor of going to Las Vegas and betting, but I'm not sure I'm ready to bet on a NASCAR race personally. It's not something I've focused on at all. Obviously they have the capability in Delaware because they've got the track, they have betting. I think maybe for there it might work well. Some states will allow it, some states won't, so I think that's something that the industry really has to focus on and determine whether it's something we should do. At this point I don't really have a position on it, and I don't know that it's an option for us in the longer term.

Q. Roger, a few weeks ago on my radio show I talked about the Penske organization maybe peaking at the right time, and this was when Brad Keselowski finally got a win, Joey had gotten his, and then of course Blaney was starting to look stronger. Can you talk about some of the efforts that have gone into this season for you all to get where you are at this point for 2018?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think you work these entire 28 weeks with equipment that you've worked on, there's been some rule changes in between, we've done some things, but the focus in building the cars for this playoff period was something we focused on. Our R&D guys should get a big piece of credit for that because they've been working on evolutions of the cars we have for every week. In fact, we'll have new cars every week with something new on it, we hope as we go forward over the next several weeks.
It's a focus. I think all the teams continue to bring better stuff. I don't think we've been to a track lately that we didn't have something different than the previous week. I think that's the industry right now.

Q. When you say your cars were worked on, was it specifically getting your cars better and helping them propel (indiscernible)?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think from a road racing perspective, we've got lots of information and things. The way we set our cars up on Indy, some of it doesn't transfer, but I think there's a cross‑pollination that's really happened over the last several months, and certainly as we've focused on these cars, a lot of that's certainly paying off; don't you think, Jeremy?
JEREMY BULLINS: Yeah, absolutely. Everybody at the shop has worked really hard the last few weeks, and to Roger's point, the cars that we had here, there was a lot of effort that went into making these the best road course cars we could have being that it's the playoffs and everything we've got coming down the pipeline, speedway cars, intermediate cars, short track cars. We're working really hard to make sure we're bringing the best stuff every week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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