Atlanta: Kahne - Friday Dodge interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) YOU'VE HAD SOME GOOD RUNS HERE AT ATLANTA, IS IT BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT AFRAID TO RUN TH HIGH LINE? "Yeah, I think the high line definitely is a good spot a lot of the time here. When you run there (high...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)

YOU'VE HAD SOME GOOD RUNS HERE AT ATLANTA, IS IT BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT AFRAID TO RUN TH HIGH LINE? "Yeah, I think the high line definitely is a good spot a lot of the time here. When you run there (high line), you can look around. Actually the last couple of times here -- the win in '06 -- I was running right in the middle of the race track in 1 & 2 and high in 3 & 4 or right on the bottom. It's different -- it changes - it moves around depending on how your car is. I think that's why I like this place so much. Because there are so many lines -so much race track for a driver to find the best spot for your car."

WITH THE JEFF GORDON'S CRASH LAST WEEK AT LAS VEGAS, SOME SAY THE TRACKS ARE BEHIND THE SAFETY CURVE, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE? "We get in these wrecks and we walk away from them -- and everybody is - and that's very fortunate and it shows a lot of what NASCAR has done. When Jeff Gordon speaks, he usually speaks because it's something that needs to be spoken about and that was a really, really bad wreck. Without the safety stuff that he has now, he would have been injured -- but if they had a little more safety stuff like those the (soft) walls, it wouldn't have been nearly as bad. If you're going to put them (soft walls) up, I think you need to put them up everywhere a spot can hit. And those little openings -- we've seen two in the last couple years that are just terrible wrecks in terms on impact."

WHO SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE? NASCAR? TRACKS? DRIVERS? "I think the drivers just get in and race. Obviously we want to be safe and do everything we can to be safe. We get in a race we want to put on a show for the fans and that's what NASCAR wants us to do. NASCAR definitely needs to look at their race tracks, the tracks need to look at them (safety barriers) and make sure they're ready for everybody to race at. Those little openings with curves on them with no soft walls -- if he (J. Gordon) would have hit much straighter, it could of just about just stopped him. He was lucky it was no worse than what it was."

IS THE CONSISTENCY YOU'VE SHOWN SO FAR THIS YEAR WHERE YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? "The consistency is what I expected. I knew that I needed to be more consistent -- if the cars were better- it would be much easier to do working with everybody. As far as where we would be consistent with top-10s or top-5s or top 20s -- I really didn't know until we got into the season. As far off as we were at times last year, it was kind of tough to now exactly where we'd be this year. I think right now, we're from fifth to 10th and maybe better. I think this would be a great weekend to step it up and get into the top-five this weekend."

HOW MUCH DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS CAR OVER THE LAST THREE RACES? ":We learned a lot. We tested at those tracks and we've tested at this track. All these tracks are tracks that everybody has had the same amount of time on. We keep learning more and more about what were working with. We've go to learn how to work these bump stops and the whole Car of Tomorrow the rear wing, the splitter on the front, there's just a lot to it. It's been pretty fun, pretty exciting and when you have a good race car it makes it more fun to drive."

ARE YOU COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT WITH THE CHANGES YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE DURING THE RACE? "Definitely during the race, I feel really confident with the way the cars felt. The feeling it's given me I've given them the information and we've usually made it better. That side of the things has been really good."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon