Charlotte: Winning team interview

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON WINNING YOUR THIRD RACE OF THE SEASON "The team did a great job all night long. The pit stops were awesome. Kenny and Keith kept working together to figure out the right...

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

COMMENT ON WINNING YOUR THIRD RACE OF THE SEASON

"The team did a great job all night long. The pit stops were awesome. Kenny and Keith kept working together to figure out the right adjustments to make. The tire situation was crazy. We were putting on two tires most of the time, no tires once in awhile. It was a good race. I knew we needed big adjustments to win this race. They did it. The guys stepped up on pit road and had a great pit stop. The did some things to the right rear and added some tape to the front of our Dodge Charger and it took off. I was pretty happy as good as it felt as soon as I left the pits on that run."

TALK ABOUT THE STRETCH RUN

"It was a heck of a battle. My spotter told me Kenseth was coming. Jimmie and the 99 were side by side and I really had nowhere to go, so I was trying to figure out where to go. Finally the high side opened. I think I got Jimmie in three and four and maybe Carl on the bottom of three and four a lap or two later. The car was handling great at that time. Before that caution we'd made one or two laps since the pit stop, and we were saving fuel. The car was cutting 10 times better than it was the pit stop before that. By that time I knew we had a car that could race. That's all I've ever wanted here, to have a car that could race with Jimmie at the end. Every time you get to the end of the race you know Jimmie Johnson is the guys to beat. We finally got to that point and had a car that could race him for the win."

COMMENT ON SCOTT RIGGS' TONIGHT

"I don't know what happened to him in the pits, but I knew he was going to be tough. He was driving away from us. He qualified on the pole. That's an accomplishment to qualify first at Charlotte. Then he ran up front all night long. They stuck with their car. They kept making it better. The communication must be good there. Then they had a couple of problems at the end that took them out. When I said we need to make some adjustments to win this race, I was talking about Scott Riggs and Jimmie Johnson."

HOW DID YOU STAY ON THE LEAD LAP WHEN YOU CAME TO THE PITS AND THE CAUTION CAME OUT?

"At that time I was really happy with my racecar. We had fought our way from the back. I didn't know if we were going to have to do it again or not. At the time it happened I thought we were probably going to go a lap down because we were pitting when the yellow came out. From what I understand we made it to the start-finish line in time and we never went a lap down and everybody else had to pit, so actually the pit stop was perfect timing."

TALK ABOUT THE RHYTHM OF THE RACE

"Early on we kept getting cautions for debris and cars would spin. Something would happen, and I was like 'man, these small fuel cells are hurting us.' Every time there was a yellow tonight you had to pit for fuel because the fuel window was so small. It was frustrating the first 100-150 laps. Then our car was better and things started flowing better and it seemed like we had more green-flag runs. Once we got past that point I was fine with the tire and the track and the small fuel cells."

RAY EVERNHAM (Owner, CEO Evernham Motorsports)

ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW MUCH KASEY HAS IMPROVED SINCE LAST YEAR?

"Not really. When I hired him I knew he was a smart racer and it would just take a little time. This is a tough sport. You go up and down in it, but he studies hard, and he's committed to doing the things it takes to win races and communicating with the guys. They've been working hard. He comes to the shop every week and he and Kenny talk about what they're doing."

COMMENT ON SCOTT RIGGS' NIGHT

"I was a little upset as a car owner should be. You see the guys work so hard. That crew works really hard. Mistakes in the pits have taken them out of a couple of races and a mistake tonight, again a mistake we shouldn't have made. We'll just have to get to the bottom of it. The good news is that Scott Riggs has shown he can drive a racecar and win races. They should have been in position to win tonight. We've just got to sit down tomorrow and stop inflicting wounds on ourselves. It would have been good to run in the top five, maybe 1-2 tonight, again a huge disappointment. The one thing I am going to go to the NASCAR trailer about is the car didn't carry the gas can out of the pits, the gasman did when they were pushing the car. I really don't understand the call on that, but I imagine it'll get explained to me."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs