FORT WORTH - Quotes following Brad Keselowski's clinching of the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway:
BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger) Finished Third/Clinched Nationwide championship
"We wanted to win the race; it was a great fight there at the end. I'm thrilled for my Ruby Tuesday/Discount Tire Dodge team. This is an awesome team that just fights real hard. We wanted to win the race; it just didn't go in our favor. We had a strong showing, placing third. That's what it takes to run up front and be there at the end. I'm proud of the effort all season long. Everyone at the shop that gets us to the races and gives us the fast race cars that we need to win races and a championship. It's very special."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GIVE ROGER PENSKE HIS FIRST NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP?
"It's pretty awesome. He's the Captain. I'm not sure how many (overall) wins that he has, I can't think of anybody that has more. This one was awesome and it's incredible that we were able to get him a championship."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING THE FIRST NNS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR DODGE?
"It's pretty awesome. My family has a lot of history with Dodge in the Truck Series and it's like I grew up with the brand. Dodge made a huge commitment to the Nationwide Series this year with the Charger and Challenger and to be able to give Ralph (Gilles, President and CEO of Dodge) and all the employees back in Auburn Hills (Mich.) the championships is really cool. All their support has made a huge difference this season. I got to drive really fast and cool Dodge Chargers and Challengers this year and to give them a championship is really special."
PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger)
WHAT DOES WINNING THIS NATIONWIDE CHAMPIONSHIP MEAN TO YOU?
"For me, I haven't had a lot of time to think about it. We get so into the day-to-day job in trying to win races that I really haven't sit back and thought about what it means yet. I'm sure over time that it will sink in. It's pretty cool. It's the first championship for a lot of us; for our sponsors and Dodge and a lot of the crew guys and for our boss RP (Roger Penske). He has probably done everything in motorsports that you can do, but get this championship. It's pretty special that we could do it for Penske Racing and all the hard work that goes into it. I'm just proud of the effort. I thought that we did a good job as a team, carrying each other throughout the year. Those weekends that we didn't give Brad the best car, but somehow he found his way to victory lane and vice versa. I feel like there were days where he was off a little bit, but we just have really good race cars and were able to find victory lane. We won the championship."
ROGER PENSKE (President and CEO, Penske Racing)
"At the end day, when you think about not being in the winner's circle at Indy and not winning that championship, this is right up there with it. Brad has done an outstanding job. All of the guys from top to bottom have been so good and so committed. To have the reliability and durability of the car and a driver that stays out of trouble, now we know that he's a great race car driver. He drove Kyle Busch really clean today and you see what happened. It was a great finish."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP?
"Obviously, Brad is a great driver. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) and all the team members that put this together, this deal came together quickly. At the beginning of the season, we had a vision on how to win this championship. We had the reliability and our guys put it together."
YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO CHAMPION BRAD KESELOWSKI?
"Well, I saw him as a great driver. He had a little edge on him which you want. He's not afraid to go. He's his own man. To me, we had the horse that he could ride. It all worked and we've got a champion."
WHERE DOES THIS RANK IN ALL OF YOUR MOTORSPORTS ACHIEVEMENTS?
"We've been in NASCAR a long, long time. To me, it's like winning the Indy 500 for the first time. What can you say; it's a team sport and a team effort. To me, that's what we came here for. Paul Wolfe, the whole group, they worked their heart out and we got the results."
MIKE NELSON (Vice President - Competition, Penske Racing)
"It's been an awesome year with a new team. We had a good solid foundation with what Chad (Walter, crew chief) and Justin have done with the 12 car. We've been able to build on that with Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) and Brad. We appreciate Discount Tire and Ruby Tuesday for coming on board and Dodge has been there all along. I'm excited about what we've just accomplished and look forward to more. We have a couple of races left."
JUSTIN ALLGAIER (No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger) Finished 13th
"The Verizon Dodge Charger was good. For the second race in a row, we just couldn't get off pit road. That didn't help us. All in all, my guys did a great job. We didn't have the car we wanted in practice, but they went to work and made a really good race car out of it. Track position really hurt us. At the end, we changed tires and the car just didn't take off like we needed. We also had a couple of things happen right in front of us on a couple of the restarts.
"It was a great job by the 22. For Brad and Roger (Penske), the season they've had is really awesome. They were able to win the championship this race and we were able to win the Nationwide Dash-for-Cash and the $75,000. That's pretty cool."