KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Finished 3rd
“We were solid all day. We just got beat at the end on the luck of the draw on restarts. That’s what our sport is about…luck on which lane is going to go. I don’t’ know, I’d rather lose to any of the 41 cars out there than the 48 car. I thought we had them beat. I gave it my heart today, but came up short. We did well at Bristol. It was a great day for our Miller Lite Dodge. It’s a shame we didn’t bring it home for a victory.
“We thought four tires was the way to go. I’m really proud of Steve Addington. We gave it our best effort. I’m beginning to think the Busch Brothers can’t drive that good; it’s all about Steve Addington. I give him the credit. I gave it my heart today. To lose to the 48 sucks, but that’s the way it goes. We fought hard.
“These are tough to lose. This is a track that I feel competitive on. We definitely had a car to beat today. We just ended up in the wrong lane for that last restart. We would have been better off if we had lost a spot on pit road and started up on the outside. It’s just the luck of the draw. We had it won, but we didn’t drive our car into victory lane. I poured my heart out, trying to beat the 48 and then to lose to them, that’s what is upsetting.
“All and all, to come home third and to lead a lot of laps at Bristol felt good. It’s a total team effort. We were committed to four tires there at the end. All day long…let’s rewind and go back to the beginning of the race and started on the outside pole and felt like we had a car to beat early in the race. Especially on the long runs, I felt like we were able to make up time. That was the weak spot of the 48 car and some of the other competitors. I felt like as the race progressed, we were there in the mix. Whether it was a stop (here) that bumped us up a spot or a nice adjustment by Steve Addington, I feel like we were the car to beat. The only weak area that we had was just starting out on fresh tires after a restart and that bit us at the end. To pour my heart and soul into this race and try and beat that 48 car, I was trying to hit my marks every lap. I feel exhausted. I feel disappointed. But all and all, to bring the Miller Lite Dodge home in third as a competitive car, that’s our job. That’s what Roger Penske says, make yourself competitive and things will play out in your favor and other days, they won’t play out in your favor. We just got bottled up behind the 99 on the inside lane (on the last restart). The guys on the inside lane were on two tires. The outside (lane) seemed to prevail all day long. That’s where the 48 was able to restart. When luck shines your way, it shines your way. It’s tough to overcome. I felt like we had the effort today, we just came up short and finished third, we’ll take it.”
STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
“Kurt did a good job. We stayed on top of the race track all day long. He stayed with me there when we put a set of tires on and didn’t make any changes that made the car tight. Once we got those swapped out, we were gone. It was the right decision (four tires on the last pit stop). We got hung up there on the restart and got behind. It was the right call, 48 made the same call. The 48 and 2 were the best cars here today. They ran together all day long. He was on the outside and had the preferred groove on that last restart. We had 70 laps on the tires. I wasn’t going to put on two tires. The 48 did the same. That was the right decision.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 12 Dodge Charger) Finished 13th
“A great run for our Penske Dodge. We did a great job executing today. We did what we had to do and those was run hard, run smart and bring the car home in one piece. We did a great job on pit road and on the track today. We got the most that we could out of our race car today. That’s great for our team. It’s a great step for everyone on our Penske Dodge team. The guys back at the shop gave us a great race car for Bristol. I’m proud of our team’s effort. We’ll go back at work on getting the car a little faster.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PIT STRATEGY? “Jay (Guy, crew chief) called a great race. We had a lot of fight in our team today. Taking two tires isn’t something that you want to do, but we had to roll the dice to try and gain the track position that we needed. We got a yellow flag when we needed it that got us track position up front. You never want to be up front on older tires, but sometimes you have to bit the bullet and just do it and live with your call. That’s just part of the game and just ran really well today.”
WITH ALL THE ATTENTION WITH YOU AND THE 99, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS FOR YOU TO HAVE A GOOD RUN TODAY? “It’s good to run well here especially considering that it was my first time in a COT here in Bristol. We ran up front. We were competitive. I got a decent finish out of it and brought our Penske Dodge home in one piece. It feels great.”
JAY GUY (Crew Chief, No. 12 Dodge Charger)
“A great solid points day for the Penske Dodge. It’s just a relief to see all three Cup cars running so strong. I know the 77 had some problems late in the race, but he was fast all day. We got Brad some track position and that’s what we needed. We just had a good, smart solid day. We tried not to put ourselves in a position to knock ourselves out of the race and it paid off. Brad did a great job. The pit crew did a great job. It’s a good finish for Bristol. All the Penske cars have been running well all year. We (12 car) haven’t had the results that we needed. The 2 car is running great. We’re making progress every week and that’s a great sign. I’m proud of Brad (Keselowski) today. He ran a great race and really showed a lot of maturity out there. He’s a smart racer; a very calculated racer. I think that he did a really good job today.”
-source: dodge motorsports