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FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Ironman Keselowski and Speedy Busch Brothers Talk

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIIAugust 8, 2011

Brad Keselowski feeds a giraffe at a Busch Gardens visit promoting the Daytona 500.  Well before the tall order of racing to a win with a broken ankle at Pocono
Brad Keselowski feeds a giraffe at a Busch Gardens visit promoting the Daytona 500. Well before the tall order of racing to a win with a broken ankle at Pocono

After a corner crash during a test at Road America, Brad Keselowski felt fortunate he didn’t sustain more severe injuries, even though his fractured ankle and sprained back were plenty annoying. But Keselowski overcame pain and hindrance with a lion-hearted win of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
 
Kyle Busch chased Keselowski with skill and speed, but could not overtake him to improve his second place finish.

Behind Busch, brother Kurt and Jimmie Johnson battled vigorously for third place with 200 mph bumping that didn’t cause a crash, but left Johnson angry about his fourth place spot.

Johnson visited Busch on pit road after the last lap and both exchanged unfriendly comments for several tense moments. No physical altercations occurred.

The Pocono race that was rain-delayed by two hours had plenty of drama to share. The “tricky triangle” provided more spectacle than projected.   

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Drivers are often prophetic with their comments before and after each race. This event with the Keselowski injury scenario and the Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch confrontation had abundant energy.

Check out comments from winner Brad Keselowski, runner-up Kyle Busch and third-place standout Kurt Busch before the green flag and after the checkered flag.    

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Dodge) Finished first. (Started 13th)

Before the green flag:

“Walking isn’t all that easy, but that’s just the deal,” Keselowski said. “You get in the race car and make it work somehow. I’m not going to get out (of the car); I don’t care how much it hurts. That’s not going to happen.

“The swelling in both my feet have gone down. I’m able to walk and do the things it takes to be a race car driver.

“I consider myself a lucky guy to have walked away and be here.”

After the checkered flag:

“It's been a hell of a week,” Keselowski said. “I knew some of the struggles I had gone through with wreck and so forth that that was probably holding everybody back a little bit. So I guess we tried to work around that the best we could, and did a good job of that.

“Everything kind of came together here. We were able to overcome adversity. I think when we look back at this, years from now I think that's what I'll think about—overcoming adversity.

“This was an earn-it weekend. And I've always wanted to win a Cup race and earn it, not fuel mileage, not Talladega, a real win. And today feels like that.

“I just didn't have any energy in the car. And I'm wearing a foot brace, which was helpful. But, again, you lose some things and still hurt to push the pedal, but it didn't hurt as bad it would if I wasn't.  And to add into that, I cut my hand open shifting from a blister, because I didn't get it taped because I forgot about that worrying about my leg. It was about every damn thing you can think of, other than having to pee. But it's just the way it goes.”


Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) Finished second. (Started 11h)

Before the green flag:

“Unloaded off the truck and was pretty close -- felt good about it,” Busch said. “Speed in race trim was there. Not sure how exactly the track changed with the heat and everything and how much we were supposed to slow down or not supposed to slow down. Seems like we’re relatively close to the competition.”

After the checkered flag:

“What I try to do each and every week is give my best effort and not give up,” Busch said. “No matter what comes at us. Some days it feels like we're just running an uphill battle and can't quite run the lap times that it takes.

“I feel like we're a very good top 10 car. But we really have to work hard and find a unique way to get these top 5s. And so I'm never going to lay down behind the wheel.”

Kurt Busch (No. 22 Dodge) Finished third. (Started fifth)

Before the green flag:

“It’s great to come back to Pocono,” Busch said. “It’s one of our favorite tracks on the circuit. This place over the years, for me, has been a really good top-five finish, a first or a second. So we’re looking for the positive side of it to continue to pad our points with where we are with just six races left to the cutoff.”

After the checkered flag:

“And for us to beat the 48, I mean, we've had our battles,” Busch said. “And a lot of times I come out on the short end of the stick. But what I saw today was good, hard racing, where one guy jukes at the other, the other guy jukes back and rubs you a little bit, that's racing. That's what race fans love to see. That's what they bought this ticket for. That's what they're sitting in the grandstands rooting on their favorite driver for is to see him get out there, mix it up clean and bring it home just like we were, third and fourth.

“We were racing hard. I think that's what we saw on TV and exactly that's what should be reported. There are a lot of times when the 22 is on the short end of the stick of the 48. And I raced him hard today. I'm glad I did. I have no regrets in it.”

FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com. 

Unless otherwise noted, quotes and information were obtained from official release materials provided by NASCAR and team representatives.

Photo credit: Dwight Drum at Racetake.com