Bristol II: Kasey Kahne preview

Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest * As the race to the Chase draws to a close, the point's battle tightens up with three races left to secure a spot in the 2009 Chase for the Championship. Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Team are all...

Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest

* As the race to the Chase draws to a close, the point's battle tightens up with three races left to secure a spot in the 2009 Chase for the Championship. Kasey Kahne and the No. 9 Budweiser Team are all too familiar with the pressure that accompanies the final races before the Chase field is determined. Kahne heads to Bristol Motor Speedway, a track that he considers one of his favorite, knowing that a solid finish will put him one step closer to solidifying his spot in the 2009 Chase.

* Kahne makes his 12th career start at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) when he takes the green flag for the Sharpie 500 on Saturday night.

* Kahne has posted two top fives, four top 10s and led 305 laps at the Tennessee short track. He has an average start of 11th and an average finish of 20th.

* Following Kahne's solid 11th-place finish at Michigan last weekend, he sits in the eighth position, 105 points ahead of 13th-place Brian Vickers and three points behind seventh-place driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Only 178 points separate seventh-place Montoya and 15th-place Kyle Busch.

* Kahne will run triple duty at BMS. He will attempt to log 480 miles competing in the modified race on Wednesday night, the Nationwide race on Friday night and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night.

Kahne Discusses Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:

Can you talk about the specific challenges that Bristol Motor Speedway present? "I think just how tight it is -- how banked and fast -- it's real easy to lose speed here. The passing is difficult at times. It's one of those tracks where you have to work on the car in practice to get the car where you want it because you definitely need it to run really well during the race. Staying out of trouble - I've gotten involved in accidents running in the back and I've gotten into accidents while running in the top 10. Trouble can find you anywhere on that track so that's probably the biggest challenge when you go into a race at a place like Bristol."

When you first raced at Bristol, what was one of the biggest surprises to you? "The biggest surprise for me was just how hard you can drive the car here. Every lap, how fast you're going on such a small track. Where you lift getting into a corner, you can drive in really far and you can get back into the throttle really quick. To me, when I first came here, I remember like it was yesterday--my first time racing here in the 98 car in the Nationwide Series. I couldn't believe how fast that you could go at this track. How the g-forces compared to any of the other tracks that I had raced on at that point. It was a big difference, big change. Now it's just kind of normal, just like any other race track. You figure it out and you remember how this place races and you just keep trying to get better."

What are your thoughts on how tight the Chase battle is and do you change your strategy? "It's close. We're all really on edge trying to make it, be part of the Chase. It's close from 15th to sixth, somewhere in there. It's a tight battle. Any little mistake can definitely cost you a lot of points and hurt your chances. I just try and focus on my racecar. We're doing the same things that we've been doing, trying to get the balance where it needs to be so that we can race and be competitive on race day. Hopefully it works out. You definitely think about it, but there's nothing that you can do. All you can do is perform and try and run strong on race day. If we can do that, hopefully, it will take care of itself."

-credit: rpm

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya