Brad Keselowski reflects on Talladega, title hopes, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Brad Keselowski goes 1-on-1 with Kenny Wallace to reflect on his win at Talladega and where he might be if it wasn't for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

KENNY WALLANCE For the fifth time in his career, Brad Keselowski has won at the Talladega Superspeedway.

KENNY WALLANCE Take me to the last five laps at Talladega. You were going to win your fifth race, knowing it was going to lock you into the next round of the playoffs. So much on the line.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: The-- the last five laps there, we had the red flags and the wrecks, and I just barely got through a bunch of them. And I was saying to myself well, I won the first eight. Second and second stage. No matter how--

KENNY WALLANCE Got some good points.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Got some good points. Let's just bring this home, and if there's an opportunity to win, take it. If there's not, let's go to Kansas with a 30 or 40-point cushion and breathe easy. And sure enough, right at the very end with half a lap to go, Joey Logano got a good push from Eric on the road all right, now I've got to help I need to be able to do something and was able to make the move on Ryan.

And then coming down the front stretch, when I thought I had the race won, Joey tried to make the move to jump in the middle three and beat all of us and he almost got it. We made contact. I got sideways and I thought we were wrecked. And thankfully, I just cleared the 31. I mean, just enough, and I told Joey Logano-- he asking me about it afterward. I said, after I saved it and just cleared the 31, I got to the lead. I looked in my mirror and I said, All right, which one of you is next? I'll block you too.

KENNY WALLANCE You're a champion, but it's not easy. Here you go again. Are you relaxed a little bit more? Did you learn anything from the first one?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I think you learn a little bit about worrying about what you can control. You know, what makes me nervous is leaving something on the table that I could have helped, that I could have done something about, whether that's on the track or off the track. But I'm more comfortable and more, I don't know, at ease with things that are in my control than I was before. I think that's what winning a championship has taught me.

KENNY WALLANCE Last week at Talladega, your car was a tribute and a thank you to Dale Jr. What was that all about?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I don't know where my career would be without Dale Jr. You know, there's there's part of you that you want to think oh, I would have made it anyway, and then there's parts of you that think, well, maybe I wouldn't have. But I'm glad I didn't have to find out. I'm glad that he came in and that he gave me the opportunity. That he believed in me when a lot of other people didn't.

And I appreciate that, and I'll forever be in debt to him for that opportunity. And so I was very fortunate to have the opportunity that Miller Lite gave us to take over the paint scheme for a couple of races, and it just fell right to kind of show some gratitude back to him on his final year and at Talladega of all places, to just say thanks, Dale, you know, let him know that we cared.

KENNY WALLANCE Kind of crazy. He went to victory lane again with his name on the care.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Damn, you're right. I didn't even think of that one. But you know, I've kind of grown into a place in my life where I'm trying harder and more than ever to be mindful and grateful of the blessings that I have. And that was an opportunity to do so. And I'm glad I got to do it. I ddin't know we were going to win it, but I'm glad I got to do it. I'm glad that it meant something to him.