Kingsport Times News Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Little time for Wolfe, Keselowski to celebrate with Bristol up next

March 13th, 2014 9:19 pm by Dave Ongie

Little time for Wolfe, Keselowski to celebrate with Bristol up next

Brad Keselowski holds up the Kobalt 400 trophy after Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas. (AP Photo)

Former NFL coach Jon Gruden once said that you never stay the same — you're either getting better or getting worse.

In the ultra-competitive world of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, that truism is what keeps crew chiefs like Paul Wolfe tossing and turning at night. Sure, Wolfe guided Brad Keselowski to a victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, a win that virtually locked Penske Racing's No. 2 Ford into the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

But there was little time for Wolfe and Keselowski to celebrate. Not with Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway looming large.

"The challenge now is continuing to evolve from what we've started here and continue to try to make gains and stay ahead because that's the way it works in our garage," Wolfe said. "Everyone sees what other teams are doing, and some of the components that were on our car when we won last week will be on display at Bristol this weekend.

"If you're not continuing to move forward (from) what we ran last week at Vegas, if we continue to sit on that, we'll surely fall behind in a hurry."

Wolfe and Keselowski experienced that first-hand last season when they failed to make the Chase a year after Keselowski won his first Sprint Cup title. It was a hard pill to swallow for the whole team, but it also motivated everyone in the race shop to work hard in order to get back ahead of the curve in 2014.

"You've got to just move on and realize that that's part of the cycles and fix what you can fix," Keselowski said after his win in Las Vegas on Sunday. "We certainly have done a lot to address issues when we're not the best we can be. I have personally and the team has."

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.


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