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September 13, 2013

Brad Keselowski

Joey Logano

Juan Pablo Montoya


THE MODERATOR:テつ Let's roll into our post qualifying for Sunday's 13th Annual Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race here at Chicagoland Speedway and our third fastest qualifier for Sunday's race is Juan Pablo Montoya.テつ He drives the No. 42, Target/Kraft Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi.テつ Juan, talk about your lap out there today, certainly starting up front here on Sunday's race has to be a good deal for you?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Kind of disappointed we didn't get the pole.テつ Our car was really, really good in practice.テつ Looking at it, I was losing a little on one and two, and I nailed one and two in qualifying.テつ I went into three, thinking I know what I got to do, and I lifted and never turned.テつ I got back to the garage, and I was like, oh, oh great, you know?テつ I know that feeling.
So, yeah, I was actually surprised we finished third.テつ But when it bogs down like that and you still got to make it to the start/finish line, normally that's not a good sign.テつ But it was okay.
We ran pretty good the last few weeks.テつ Around Indy they decided to bring in new cars and better things, and we've been running a lot better so it makes it more fun.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for Juan.

Q.テつ NASCAR is planning a meeting with the teams tomorrow to talk about new rules for officiating and things like that?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Nothing motors?テつ Not F1 team motors?

Q.テつ Well, I think there's a lot on the table, but having raced with three of the top Motorsports series, what do you think needs to happen so we don't have another night like Saturday night at Richmond?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I don't know.テつ The question I asked when coming in here is maybe qualifying third I could make the Chase too.テつ I don't know.テつ That's all I'm going to say.テつ I don't know.
I don't want to get involved.テつ It's way above my head.テつ Thank you.テつ Yeah, I ain't getting involved in that one.

Q.テつ Restarts were a big deal after Richmond, and I know you were involved in something like that at Dover with Jimmie.テつ How do you think the series kind of understands it right now going into the final ten?テつ Do you think everybody has a good sense of how it's going to be officiated?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ They say rules are clear, but I mean, I don't know.テつ Even talking to Jenna Fryer this week, we talked about the Lucky Dog.テつ I felt like I had the Lucky Dog on the 24, and the 24 had to drive around me to get the Lucky Dog when we were on the same lap.テつ I thought that was kind of weird.テつ I was pretty mad about that one, but, I don't know.
When you start making judgment calls, it's bad.テつ When you make them black and white, the rules, it's easy.テつ If the rules say you don't beat the leader to the line, but if you do, get off the gas.テつ But it seems there is a gray area there.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Before you leave, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you for your Hispanic fans and the media that cover you, Hispanic media that cover you, just talk about your outlook this week and at Chicagoland Speedway and your qualifying effort here today, if you would, please?
THE MODERATOR:テつ Our second fastest qualifier for Sunday's 13th Annual Geico 400 is our defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Brad Keselowski.テつ He drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Penske Racing.テつ Brad, talk about your qualifying effort out there, and, obviously, this is a racetrack that you won a year ago.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Absolutely, this is a track that has been good to us in the past.テつ Certainly starting out front with the way track position is very, very helpful, pit stall selection, all those good things that come with it.テつ So I'm happy for that.テつ But, obviously, we've still got to run a race, still got to work hard and find speed to be up at the front.
I'm really proud of everybody at Penske Racing with some of the things they've done over the last few weeks to prepare this car for this weekend.テつ I wish it was with us being the Chase, because I honestly feel like we can win this race and win a lot of the mile‑and‑a‑halves with some of the things we've been working on.
So, you know, but that's not the reality, and the reality is we've got to work and do the best we can to go out there and win some races.テつ We still have a lot to prove about ourselves and our team and just, even though we're not the Chase, I'm still looking forward to the next ten weeks and being able to win races and have that opportunity.

Q.テつ Do you feel that Joey and his team make a little bit of a statement today considering what they've gone through over the last few days with the talk about the deal and all that stuff?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ You're asking if it was a statement for Joey to sit on the pole?

Q.テつ Yeah.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Well, any time you run well, it's a statement.テつ That doesn't have to be when you're facing adversity that you can see.テつ There is a lot of adversity as drivers you face all the time.テつ Some of it is in the media and some of it isn't, but running well against the best competition in the world that competes in Sprint Cup is always an accomplishment.テつ Whether there is off‑the‑track drama or not, so that's something you should be proud of.
I'll let you ask him, Bob.

Q.テつ I'm not going to ask one of the questions Juan tried to plant with me, because they were not nice in nature.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Okay.テつ I don't have anything for that.

Q.テつ It was a busy day for the Penske guys because they had some distractions.テつ Not you and Joey, but your team guys not knowing what was going to happen, I guess.テつ They had some meetings this morning.テつ So how, not to fuel his statement or anything, but just to come out and perform at the end of the day, how big of a task was that?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Well, usually the workload that it takes to be successful is much more than over a three‑hour or four‑hour time span, which is, I guess, what it would have been for today for the time period that happened to now.テつ But that's why I said the work and effort that went into these cars this race is what I'm proud of because that's months of work and I think that shows.
Obviously, if you put someone talented enough like Joey is and really all of our teams and team members, you're going to be able to persevere through those things and you have to to be able to make it at the Cup level.テつ Like I was saying to Bob, there is always some level of adversity.テつ Just because this week it's in the media, doesn't mean there are other weeks where there's not a level of adversity.テつ You have to be able to fight through that to be successful at this level.

Q.テつ There was a lot of talk about restarts at Richmond.テつ You've obviously been involved in a lot of those controversies over the last come seasons.テつ Where do you think the series stands now in understanding how NASCAR's going to officiate that?テつ Is there any confusion still?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:テつ Well, certainly it's a difficult thing to respond to because it's all visual.テつ There is no trigger system, I guess you would say.テつ And I think there is a reason why it's called a restart zone.テつ Because just by pure definition, that infers that if you're in the general proximity, that's what we're looking for.テつ The actual lines are very short.テつ They're hard to read whether you're in the car or not.
Keep in mind, we're going 45 to 55 miles an hour.テつ That is pretty fast.テつ It might not seem fast compared to the 160, 180 that we go on most of these tracks.テつ But at 45, 50 miles an hour, a 100‑foot or 200‑foot segment goes by extremely quick.テつ It's getting the timing and all of that right, there are a lot of different variables.
I think what we've been seeing a lot lately too is where the second car has pulled up in front of the first car, and made it look worse than it is a few times and put the actual starter in a unique position.テつ So I think those things all add up and it's a loose area right now for sure for the sport.テつ But I think with the importance of restarts and so forth, the track position, it's another argument for why single file restarts are probably ready or should be ready to come back to the sport.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Okay, he's on a short timeframe here.テつ But Coors Light Pole Winner for the opening race to the 2013 Chase For the NASCAR Sprint Cup is Joey Logano, and he'll pace the field Sunday for the 13th Annual Geico 400 here at Chicagoland Speedway.テつ He drives the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford for Penske Racing.テつ This is a track record that he sets here today of 189.414 miles per hour, breaking the previous record set by Jimmie Johnson in 2005.テつ This is the 15th track record that has been broken this year with this new race car.テつ This is Joey's seventh pole and his second pole in 2013.
Joey, your first year in the Chase, you're starting on the pole for your first chase race.テつ How does that feel?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ It feels good.テつ It feels really good to be sitting up here and getting a pole.テつ This Shell‑Pennzoil Ford and this whole 22 Team and all of Penske Racing have been working their guts off, and it shows today when you have a Penske one‑two front starting positions like that.テつ That's a really big deal for everybody that works at the shop.テつ It shows.テつ When you come to this point of the season, everyone pick it's up a little bit if you get into this Chase.
It's cool to see us pick it up and get a pole and have a fast enough race car to do this.テつ I'm excited about it.テつ I know this 22 Team can win this championship if we keep doing what we've been doing over the past few weeks.テつ I'm excited about it.テつ I couldn't be more happy right now, so I'm ready to go.

Q.テつ Last year this race Brad won; that sort of launched him toward the championship.テつ Do you think that given the composition of tracks in the Chase that this could do the same for you?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, these mile‑and‑a‑half, two‑mile racetracks are where we've been our strongest throughout the years.テつ The shorter tracks have been a little bit tougher for us.テつ So, we know these races.テつ We really have to capitalize, and the other ones we have to be under damage control and try to get our cars as fast as we can at them.
Yeah, obviously, Brad's going to be the guy running to race to win this thing along with all the other 13 chase guys.テつ So, we'll work hard tomorrow in practice to get our car as good as we can get it, and practice for the race and we'll have to wait to see what happens.

Q.テつ I know yesterday you said you weren't concerned.テつ Just curious with all the meetings going on today, was there any point in time that you were worried that you would not be in the Chase and did it impact any of your preparation today?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No, it didn't impact my preparations at all.テつ I felt like I did a good job being able to stay focused in here and focused on doing what we have to do.テつ There wasn't any worry in my mind that we weren't going to be in the Chase.テつ I felt like we deserved to be here.
Despite what everyone says on Twitter, I realize there are a lot of people on Twitter that are really mean.テつ I've read enough of it, and I thought, wow, this Joey Logano guy's a real jerk, and I realized, you know, maybe I'm not.テつ So, hopefully, this helps prove them all wrong that we deserve to be here, because this 22 Team has got what it takes and we've proven that all year long.テつ I guess we have to do that for ten more races and prove them wrong a little bit more.

Q.テつ In light of everything that's gone on this week and the fact that this is the first Chase race, do you expect the racing to be any different on Sunday?テつ Will guys race any harder, be anymore difficult to pass just because they've got a grudge or anything?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No, I don't expect that.テつ Not because of a grudge, it might be tougher because you're running for a championship.テつ But over the last 10 to 12 weeks we've been racing hard to get into the Chase, And that is really hard.
If you look at the guys racing to get in the Chase, they were putting up good numbers.テつ You look at Newman, look at the 24, the 78, the 16, we were putting up some good numbers to get into this thing, and the 56 car also.テつ The guys that were in it we've been trying really hard the last few weeks to do this.テつ So now that we're here, we don't want to let it slip away.テつ We want to capitalize on the opportunity.

Q.テつ How close of a feeling did you have that the pole would be yours during practice?テつ And how many tenths or hundredths of a second will you lose when you convert over to the race set‑up?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ We'll lose it was about .8 today, pick‑up.テつ The faster the racetrack, the more difference there is from race trim to qualifying trim, just because you're adding tape and the faster you're going the more downforce you make the more difference that's going to have.
So that's pretty common when you come to a racetrack this big.テつ And after my lap, you know, I felt pretty good about it.テつ I felt that one and two was better than I had in practice, but I didn't feel like I nailed it.テつ But I felt like I had a really good three and four.テつ So I was glad I hung in there.
But I was really nervous about the 42.テつ I thought he was going to have a really fast lap.テつ I was watching the TV and I showed him about a tenth down the backstretch, and I went, oh, crap he caught me.テつ But through three and four I was able to make up the difference there.
So we'll have our work cut out tomorrow for us to work on this car a little bit more because, you know, we're working on getting this stuff better.テつ We can't just stay calm.テつ We'll be focused in to try to win this race.

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