NASCAR in Kansas: Drivers React To Fuel Mileage And Heat

Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway saw the finish come down to a fuel mileage race for the second week in a row. This week, however, teams also battle the high temperatures that caused the track to become slick, making it difficult to pass.

Here is what a few of the drivers had to say following the race:

Brad Keselowski (race winner on earning Wild Card spot in the Chase): "If we deserve to be in it we'll get in it.  If we don't, we won't. But right now we're on a good path to deserve to be in it.  That's really what matters the most to me... I'm a big fan for the rule NASCAR implemented putting winners in the last two spots.  I think that serves the sport very well. And hopefully we'll be able to capitalize on it. But there's no guarantees of that. I feel pretty confident that it's going to take really two wins to guarantee your way into it."

Paul Wolfe (Keselowski crew chief on fuel gamble): "We were only about three‑quarters of a lap short. So we didn't need to save much. But the way it played out, there was nobody really pressuring us. So we went into really conservative mode. And I can't really answer how much Brad thinks he saved. Only he knows that... We knew it wasn't ‑‑ it really wasn't close. I didn't feel it was a very big gamble. We had ourselves in a pretty good position."

Roger Penske (on if Kurt Busch's comments at Richmond led to positive changes in the team): "Well, I don't think that anyone making comments publicly or internally are going to turn the team around in two or three weeks... It's the crew chief and the driver working together. I think it's the transparency between the two teams. We've added more engineering capability this year. I think we're starting to see it now that we didn't have last year."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (on being apologetic for finishing second): "In the grand scheme of things I've got a lot of people that are ‑‑ there's a lot of people who will remind you throughout this sport of how fortunate you were and how lucky you were in and all those things.... So I like to beat them to the punch and let them know I realize how fortunate I was today to get second place."

Denny Hamlin (finished third): "Usually it takes a really slow car to save gas to be honest with you. It helps. I mean, when your car is ‑‑ when you're running back in traffic and stuff like that it helps you save gas. Your car's not handling as well. You know you're out of the gas more, and you're not getting back in it as soon. So typically you see when guys win on fuel mileage, it's guys knowing huge factors during racing unless the cautions work out just right for them. I think those guys had extremely good fuel mileage anyway. They obviously worked on it. He did a great job to save... So I thought that me and (Earnhardt Jr.) were the only ones on that fuel strategy. When he passed me I thought that was for the win. So (Keselowski) evidently saved a ton of fuel."

Brad Keselowski (on heat): "Nobody loves it. Some people tell you they love it just so they can look tough. But I don't know anybody that really loves it. But there's a part of that certainly plays in."

Denny Hamlin (on heat): "Just sit in there for four hours. It's really, really hot. These cars, the Car of Tomorrow, the Car of Today, whatever it is, they are hotter than the cars we used to run. The exhaust is closer to the floorboard. So I mean we're sitting right on our exhaust that's a thousand degrees. All these cars are completely sealed off. We've got our window nets now to where they pretty much seal the left side of the car so there's no air getting in or out of the car. So it's just extremely hot. Your feet are just boiling throughout the day... I mean, it's just, you know, sitting in a sauna for four hours and it's pretty much what you got." 

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.