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February 22, 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
KERRY THARP:Â Let's roll into our post race for today's 33rd annual Drive4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race here at Daytona International Speedway.Â Our race runner‑up is Brad Keselowski.
Brad, take us through your race out there today.Â Certainly a bang‑bang finish there at the end.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Yeah, it's a pretty strong day.Â Got to that one green flag pit cycle which helped us get a little bit of track position towards the end that we needed, then just kind of picking 'em off one by one as we made our way to the front, making some moves.Â Got some help from a couple different people.Â Got to the high lane.Â Got stuck on the high lane on a couple of restarts, which was frustrating, how it didn't work as well with the Nationwide cars.
We got stuck up there and made moves with the help of Trevor and James.Â He got the penalty, which I think set the tone for the rest of the race as far as what guys were looking at for driving their cars.
From there, made it to the lead there on that move with the help of Trevor.Â Just kind of managing the lanes there until the yellow came out and set up the green‑white‑checkered.Â Thought we had a shot to really pull it off obviously.Â We cleared the 7 on the restart.Â He got a really, really strong push from the 6.Â It was too much for me to be able to hold off.
Obviously coming off of four, really tight there, Kyle wasn't able to stay with me and keep pushing.Â Just enough to give Regan what he needed to win.
All in all a decent day.Â There was one point in time where I was stuck in the high line where I thought we'd be lucky to have a top 10.Â From that perspective, happy to get second, happy as you can be with finishing second.
We've been really strong all Speedweeks.Â We've come as close to winning all three races that you can that we've been in with the Unlimited, the Duels, then obviously here today.
A lot of momentum for tomorrow.Â I think my Cup car is probably the best car I've ever had here by a long ways.Â Try to focus on that.
KERRY THARP:Â Joining us is our third‑place finisher, Trevor Bayne.
Talk about your race.
TREVOR BAYNE:Â Our car isn't upside down.Â That's always good for us.Â You always stress out about these races.Â The first quarter of the race went like we thought it would go.Â Everybody was two‑wide.Â Tried to work our way from 31st.Â Saw Brad and Matt Kenseth dropping towards the back, thought that was a pretty good plan.
I kind of followed suit with those guys.Â Came down pit road had a little bit of a struggle there on the right front.Â Lost that lead pack, which turned out not to be a bad thing.Â Caution came out and we were able to work our way up to the front.
It was a pretty calm day for us until the very end, probably the last 10 laps or so.Â Working with Brad there was pretty fun on the top.Â Seemed like they kind of stalled out.Â I was able to work my way up to the second position on the top row, give Brad a couple hard shoves.
It's so much different now, I feel like it took a lot less thought to tandem race.Â You had to get on somebody's bumper and stay with it, that was it.Â Now you have to time your runs, figure out how not to crash them, stay attached.Â Worked pretty good with Brad.
Should have chose the top lane, Bud.Â But it was a good finish to the end.Â We were hoping to be able to come out of here with a top 10, good points day, when you're running for a championship.
With a championship mindset every weekend, you hope for a good finish in one piece while being able to battle for the win.Â That's what we did today.Â We had an opportunity the last lap to make a move and push the 7 there until I felt like I could try to pull down without losing any spots.Â It was just a little too late.Â The middle closed up.
Overall our Advocare Mustang had a pretty good day and we're pleased with a third‑place finish.
KERRY THARP:Â Our top Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate it Ty Dillon.Â He finished seventh.
Ty, certainly a very strong performance for you.Â You were up towards the front throughout the course of the race.Â Tell us about your day out there today and how you thought your afternoon went.
TY DILLON:Â Yeah, our Chevy was very fast.Â We were able to come from 23rd to 2nd.Â We had a great pit stop.Â I made a mistake and was speeding on pit road.Â Just kind of put us back in the hole.Â Luckily, Danny and the guys put together a fast car.Â We were able to come back through the field.Â Glad we stayed out of trouble.
There at the end it sucks to be close to the front.Â You're boxed in.Â I was riding in fifth coming off four, you can't make any moves hardly.Â The outside line got to coming.
Pretty exciting.Â I'm very excited to get a good finish coming out of Daytona.Â We're not in a hole to start the season.Â That's kind of what we wanted to accomplish.Â We'll battle on through the rest of the year, hopefully battle for this championship.
KERRY THARP:Â We'll take questions for Brad, Trevor or Ty.
Q.Â Brad, you mentioned the penalty to Buescher.Â Is it safe to say you were pushing the limits of the rule till that happened then that helped you figure out what you could do?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â It's safe to say racecar drivers push the limits of every rule.Â That's what we do.Â We push the limits of ourselves and we push the limits of those around us.Â We push the limits of the sanctioning body.Â That's who we are.Â That's I think what makes the sport so great.
I don't know where the limit is.Â Obviously NASCAR made a rule or a determination that it was over it, so...
That's kind of what happened there.
Q.Â A year ago you and Regan were also bearing down the finish line.Â Any of what happened last year come into your mind?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â No, not really.Â Maybe it should have.Â I'm not that smart and I've got a terrible memory.Â I wish I could give you something more exciting.
Q.Â Contrast to last year.
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Yeah, I guess it's not a bad place to be, racing for the win with the same guy every year.Â A lot of people, that would feel lucky to have that chance, and I do as well.
Q.Â (Question regarding the aftermath.)
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â I'm glad there wasn't the aftermath (laughter).
Q.Â Brad, the outside line in both the Truck race and Nationwide Series race seemed difficult to come in.Â You were one of the few guys that could make that work.Â Is there anything going on with the Nationwide cars and the Trucks to make it difficult for that groove to come in?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â I think it is the way it is because of the combination of the aero package and the track having as much grip as it does.
The Cup aero package is quite a bit different and a lot more sensitive to running the high lane.Â You don't see that at the Cup level.Â The Truck and Nationwide level, the cars have quite a bit of grip.Â They also don't seem to be as sensitive to the right side side draft.
Running the bottom of the track is just the shortest distance.
Q.Â Is there anything in the closing laps that you can apply tomorrow in terms of tactics or strategy, lane, how to approach the final laps?
TREVOR BAYNE:Â To the question before this one, the lane choice.Â Whatever lane has the most cars is where you want to be at.Â It seems that's where the momentum has gone, the Sprint Unlimited, the Duels, Truck and Nationwide Series.
Most drivers in the Truck and Nationwide series have chosen the bottom because it is the shortest way around.Â We don't have a handling issue like the Cup cars do.Â But if everybody were to go to the top, the top lane would be the preferred lane to be in, in my opinion.Â I think that's going to be the case tomorrow for the Cup race.
If everybody groups up and decides they want to be on the bottom, that's where you got to be.Â You can't do it on your own here.Â That's what makes it so tough.Â As racecar drivers, we're used to being in control, us and our crews trying to figure out how to make our cars as good as possible, using our ability to get to the front.
Here if you make a move and nobody goes with you, you're in trouble.Â I think we've learned a little bit about it as far as the bumping and pushing.Â If I were to hit somebody tomorrow, like I was pushing Brad when we were going to the lead, that would turn me sideways across the front of the field, that's due to the bumper not being aligned like they are in Nationwide cars.
A little bit different tactics.Â I think we push the limits as racecar drivers, like Brad said.Â All the while, we were being intentional today about not hooking up.Â To me I had to think about that.Â There are a lot of times I just wanted to get to somebody's bumper and stay there.Â I had somebody pushing me, just like the end of the race down the backstretch.Â Eleven cars bumping me, it would have been very easy to stay on the back of that 7 car.Â I knew I had to get a paper thin air gap between us or we could be in trouble.Â That's jumping on the brakes a little bit, backing up to that run to be able to push to the finish.Â That's very complicated.Â I don't know if it will work the same way tomorrow.Â You can bet it will be an exciting finish tomorrow, that's for sure.
Q.Â Brad, TV seemed to catch you scratching your head to the national anthem.Â Anything there?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â Well, I wish they would just sing the damn song.Â That's my reaction.
Q.Â Brad, how did you feel when you actually bumped Regan to the lead, saw him drop down, he left you hanging?Â Tomorrow on the last lap, do you want to be in first or second?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â The Cup cars are way different.Â I wouldn't take anything from today and say that's what you're going to have tomorrow.
Regan did what he had to do.Â It's referring to when he dropped down in front.Â That's just being a smart racer.Â You're not going to get very far in life if you sit and dwell on things like that.
Q.Â First or second tomorrow?
BRAD KESELOWSKI:Â I want to be in the lead every lap.
Q.Â Ty, on the last restart you were pretty far back.Â With two lanes pretty packed together, what do you have to do or how are you able to get people out of your way to work your way forward, like you did?
TY DILLON:Â After the penalty?
TY DILLON:Â When you're that far back, you're behind all those cars, you're far enough back where you can get a big draft up to the pack.Â I was able to use my momentum and pick the right lines.Â I think we got up to probably 14th or 15th just off switching from line to line.Â Then once we got to 14th, rode the bottom.
Whatever line I was choosing, I just stayed in it, didn't switch.Â A lot of people get a little anxious, try to move lines, get shuffled to the back.Â Just by staying patient, I was able to work my way back up to I guess the top eight or nine, whatever it might have been.Â We got to the outside and jumped up to I think fifth.Â That was just a product of staying patient with the line.
I have a great spotter, Billy, who helped me navigate.Â Also a fast car helps, too.
Q.Â Trevor, you can probably remember not starting out the beginning of the season.Â How do you think it will resonate with your team and how long do you think it will last?
TREVOR BAYNE:Â Last season we were running second or third in this race right up there with Brad and we had a gear come apart.Â We left this race with a 30‑point deficit.Â You know you can't have many of those days for a championship.Â You have three of those days, you're 90 points behind, simple math.Â You just cannot do that.
We had a few of those last season.Â They're bound to happen, but you have to manage that.Â I feel like we did a good job of that today.
Definitely gives us a little bit more momentum going into Phoenix and places like that.Â Obviously it's out of control here, out of your control here.Â We could have just as easily finished 30th today as we did finish third, not done a thing different in the race car.Â Just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With the 21 car, we knew we had to race in.Â Clint Bowyer missed me by a foot.Â Could have been just as easy that he caught me and we could have missed the Daytona 500.
To come out here is a huge blessing.Â To be third place, I seem like I just won the thing because I'm excited, but that's because we're looking at a big picture kind of deal this season.Â That's not something I've done before.
I kind of go race to race, try to go for the win every time.Â I probably put myself in positions I probably shouldn't be in a lot of the time.
That's not to say at Phoenix, if it's the last and we're battling for the lead, I won't put myself in a bad position because we're racers and that's how we're wired, we go for it when it counts.Â Today I feel like we did that.
Like I said at the beginning of this, we want to be as safe as we can with good results but still battling for wins every single weekend.Â To come out of here with a good points day, that's going to give us a break in the season when you do have that bad day because it's going to happen.
KERRY THARP:Â Thank you, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports