KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) YOU WON HERE BOTH AT THE ALL-STAR RACE AND THE 600 LAST YEAR, WHAT DID THAT MEAN TO YOU? "It was a huge weekend for us to kind of get us going. The fans (vote) got us in the race and from there we ...
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
YOU WON HERE BOTH AT THE ALL-STAR RACE AND THE 600 LAST YEAR, WHAT DID THAT MEAN TO YOU? "It was a huge weekend for us to kind of get us going. The fans (vote) got us in the race and from there we stepped up and won. We had a great Budweiser Dodge in the (All-Star) race and the (Coca-Cola) 600 the following week. For me, I think that it gave us a lot of momentum and encouragement and that we were making gains with the car. It all turned out good. It was awesome to get voted in by the fans and then to win was even better."
YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES WERE INFORMED THAT RPM CEO TOM REDDIN HAD RESIGNED TODAY. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS TO THE ORGANIZATION? WILL IT BE A DISRUPTION? "I wouldn't say that it's a disruption. I heard that he had some family things that he was working on.
"As far as our side, Foster (Gillett) is coming back from Montreal and he's going to be more hands-on at the company. I think that it will be fine. I think Foster does a good job with things and he's a good guy to talk to and work with. Hopefully everything turns out good."
WHEN YOU GOT VOTED IN BY THE FANS LAST YEAR FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE, WHAT'S THE TIMING OF WHEN YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT IT? CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND? "You never really know. It's one of those things that people can say that you got good (fan) votes, but I really didn't know exactly. I saw no paperwork on who's voting for who. Going into the race, they told me that if we didn't make it (by racing our way into the All-Star field) we had a pretty good fan vote. So I tried to race my way in, it didn't happen. It was about five-minutes after the race (Showdown) that I actually found out that I was in (the All-Star Race) for sure. I was just kind of waiting there hoping that we had the votes."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE GOOD AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "One of the biggest things for me (at Lowe's) is that you have to be able to run anywhere on the race track. Your car has to turn really good at certain areas on the track and the front-end has to be in the track. Last year in the October race, the back-end of my car was so far out of the track that the front was still really positive in those areas that I wanted it to be and that really benefited us. We ran second and were pretty darn close to Jeff Burton (race winner). I would say the biggest things is having your front-end really positive at certain load spots on the race track."
HOW BIG OF AN UPSET DO YOU FEEL IT WAS WHEN YOU WON THE ALL-STAR RACE BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT YOU GOT INTO THE RACE? "I thought that was an upset with a huge surprise of how the Budweiser Dodge drove its way through the field from the back and be that strong. I was surprised myself doing it and I think everyone else was as well. To me, it was a huge surprise and then to look at where we had been the previous month with (our) cars and how they were handling, that even made it a bigger surprise to me. It was a huge part of our 2008 season and it worked out really well for us because of the fans."
WILL THE NEW 10-LAP FORMAT AT THE FINISH OF THE ALL-STAR RACE, DOES IT MAKE IT HARDER OR EASIER TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU DID HERE LAST YEAR? "It's tough to say, but I think it will be harder because last year I was third on the final restart, passed Jimmie Johnson and then was working on Denny Hamlin for like eight laps and finally got by him. He was just running the outside, otherwise we were way better then Denny was. It was just really a matter of getting past those guys and this year with only 10 laps, you don't have eight laps to work on a car. I think it will be the guy who gets the lead in Turn 1 with 10 (laps) to go on the final restart will have a really good shot at winning the race. I think track position will be huge at that point in time. Maybe the top couple of rows (can win), but it's going to be tough. These cars are tough and it takes time to pass. I really don't know why they did the 10 lap deal, it's alright I guess... we'll make it work."
ROAD COURSE RACING HAS BEEN A LOVE-HATE THING FOR YOU; CAN YOU TALK ABOUT INFINEON NEXT MONTH? "Road course racing has been tough for me. We've qualified well and run some good laps at times; we just don't finish the races. We just don't finish the races where we want to finish the races. That's a big part of the whole year and being in the Chase is running well at those tracks. I need to step it up on the road courses for sure and do more than just qualify well, we need to race up-front as well. Hopefully we'll have some good stuff to do that with."
-credit: dodge motorsports