Roger Penske praised Brad Keselowski and his NASCAR Sprint Cup team following their second win of this year's Chase at Dover.
Keselowski has now won two of the first three playoff series events and currently leads the championship, five points ahead of five-time champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson had temporarily claimed top spot at Loudon, only for Keselowski to regain the advantage with a fuel-saving victory at Dover, traditionally one of Johnson's strongest tracks.
Penske Racing is probably enjoying its best shot at a Cup title since its days with Rusty Wallace, who finished runner-up to the late Dale Earnhardt in 1993 and was third one year later. "The Captain" believes his team's current results have been built on the basis of a good group of people led by crew chief Paul Wolfe and Keselowski, both of whom worked together to deliver the organization's first NASCAR Nationwide title two years ago.
"The performance to date through the Chase and all the first 28 races has been really powerful from the standpoint of the team," Penske said. "Paul is a great leader, while the guy that's pushing us every day is Brad. That's what we like.
"Brad and Paul have been able to attract the people that are giving us the performance on and off the track. They're maybe people no one knew about three or four years ago, but we sure knew about them in our shop. To me that made the difference. We have to put our arms around those folks and say, 'Let's keep going.'
"Obviously, I look up to folks like Hendrick and Joe Gibbs and Childress and Roush, the other teams that have been so good here. We've never had a chance to get to the top, [although] we were close a couple times with Rusty. This competition is just very, very tough: a lot of smart people, a lot of experience. I think you've got to build it. I see how these other guys have done it – they haven't done it overnight."
Penske added that he wanted his team's long-term relationship with Dodge to end on a high before it switches to Ford for 2013. Penske Racing is currently the sole team running Dodge Chargers in Cup with Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.
"We've been representing Dodge now for 10 years," he said. "Obviously this is our last year. We want to go out on a high note."
Up next in the Chase schedule is Talladega, where Keselowski won earlier this year, claiming his second victory at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.