January 29th, 2015
Brad Keselowski was one of 17 drivers to have a tire fail during the Auto Club 400. After the race he didn’t buy Goodyear’s suggestion that the tire issues were the faults of the teams.
WHAT WAS THE REASON YOUR TIRE WENT? “There were a lot of reasons why we blew a tire today or two or five over the weekend and the field did. I don’t know what to really say about it. As a driver you are left between the choice of driving your car to the limit and blowing a tire out or being a wuss and saving it. I saved it as best as I could and probably arguably was not following the 100-percent rule until the last run. That is what you had to do. It was the box we were all forced into today. I pushed it hard on the last run and I was one of at least three guys that blew a tire. It was really unfortunate. If I didn’t push the car hard I wasn’t going to have a good day. It was a matter of who blew it first. I was the second one to blow it but I didn’t blow a tire big enough to get a yellow.”
GOODYEAR WAS STILL SAYING IT WAS BECAUSE OF AIR PRESSURE AND AGGRESSIVE SETUP. “Yeah, well if air pressure was the issue then it is a pretty simple fix, you just enforce a minimum rule. If air pressure was the issue we would have blown this many tires last year because it is all the same air pressure settings as last year. If anything we were more conservative after the issues yesterday. I am not going to say it wasn’t a factor but at the end of the day you can’t add 500-600 pounds of down force to a race car along with a track that has bumps like you are on a freeway in Michigan. The tires just aren’t made for it. There is not enough margin in the cars and tires to do that and that is what we saw today.”
WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN NEXT? IS IT AS SIMPLE AS A TEST? WHERE DO THINGS GO FROM THIS POINT? “This tire didn’t have any margin. We have probably a half a dozen tires remaining that have no margin and I would expect similar issues through the season. No margin from last year and we have increased the demand significantly. If you are going to fix it you either have to change the margin on the tire or put the cars back to their configuration last year where they were less harsh on the tires.”
IN THE MEANTIME, WHEN YOU ARE IN THAT SITUATION ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE IT IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND TO PEDAL A LITTLE LIKE YOU DID TODAY? “Yeah, we did pedal and I don’t like doing that. You aren’t supposed to do that by the rules right? That is the reality of the situation we were in today. On the last run I was glad we had a win under our belt and didn’t have to worry about if we were going to blow a tire or not. Thank God because we did.”
-Ford Racing PR